Our beekeeping experience in the past month or so has been a trying experience and I don’t want to talk about it (we still have some challenging days ahead). To maintain our sanity and derive some satisfaction from the all this bee business, we decided to pull a frame of honey yesterday from a monster hive that’s out of control.
The honey has a hint of maple and a distinct wild flower aroma compared to the more delicately balanced honey we harvested in the city last year. I’ve tasted some wild flower honeys that were almost pungent, not particularly pleasant or elegant. I’m glad that’s not the case here.
We hope to find a safe place in the city for a few hives next year. The huge diversity of flowering trees and plants in the city has got to produce to best tasting honey around. I’m almost sure of it. The honey we harvested yesterday isn’t bad at all. It’s good honey. But the honey we harvested last year in the city seems to have more subtle, complex flavours. It’s still early in the season, though. The bees may produce something altogether different by the time September rolls around.
Check out the First Honey of 2012 photo album to view the photos individually. (It might take a couple seconds for the slideshow to load. Refresh your browser if it’s played out by the time you’re reading this.)
iPad and non-Flash mobile devices can view slideshow photos here: First Honey of 2012.
The honey on the frame is only partially capped (or cured). Usually we’d wait until most of it is capped, but we weren’t in the mood to wait another week. (By the way, last year we didn’t get any honey until September 4th. It was a horrible year for everyone.) Here’s the video version. The best part is when we bite into it and feel the warm honey burst out from the soft comb. That’s a personal moment I cut from the video, but trust me, it’s the kind of moment that makes the hard days of beekeeping worth it.
JULY 07, 2012: I’ve changed my mind about the flavour of our new rural honey — from St. Philip’s. We had a good feed of it last night along with some comb honey we harvested in St. John’s last year for comparison, and both of the honeys were delicious. The St. Philip’s honey has a more wild earthy flavour compared to the delicate flavour of the St. John’s honey, but the earthiness isn’t so intense that it overwhelms the palette. There’s plenty of room to notice the maple sweetness and other subtleties. It’s different but just as good as last year’s honey.
PHOTOS NOTE (OCTOBER 2015): The photos in this post may not display properly because they were uploaded through Google’s Picasa online photo album service, a service I no longer use because certain updates create more work for me instead of streamlining the process. I will eventually replace the photos with ones hosted on the Mud Songs server. This note will disappear when (or if) that happens.