Here’s a 2-minute video that shows another beekeeper, then me, extracting some honey a few days ago:
See Extracting Honey for all the details.
November 6th, 2011: It’s been a month since I extracted and bottled the honey — and it’s still cloudy. All the honey I bottled from crushing and straining earlier in September turned perfectly clear easily within 10 days of bottling (it looks like apple juice). I’m not sure why the extracted honey hasn’t become clear, though I suspect it’s because it was inevitably mixed with a different type of honey that was left over in the extractor before we used it.
December 14th, 2011: See Cloudy Honey for a fuller explanation.
The honey I extracted is cloudy. It’s never cleared up like the clear-as-apple-juice honey I crushed and strained. It still tastes great, but I wonder why it won’t clear up naturally like my other honey. I was surprised to learn that the extractor is only cleaned once a year. My honey, therefore, would inevitably get mixed with particulates from left over honey in the extractor. That might have something to do with the cloudiness. The honey I extracted and the honey I crushed and strained were more or less cured at the same time, so I can’t see any other reason why they wouldn’t have the same physical properties. I plan to use my own clean extractor next year to see what happens. I’m keen on preserving whatever unique properties our honey might have. (Not that I’ve noticed anything unpleasant about the mixing of the honeys through the extractor, if indeed that’s the case. I just don’t know why our extracted honey won’t clear.)
I’m working in New Brunswick today and for the next little while. I picked up some honey in a grocery store from a local apiary when I first got here. The label on the honey jar reads “Pure liquid Canadian honey — Canada No. 1 White.” Is it pasteurized or heated? Is it ultra-filtered? What does “pure liquid honey” actually mean? Whatever it is, it taste like most grocery store honey — like melted plastic compared to the honey I’ve tasted from our hives.
What is it that makes grocery store honey, even “pure liquid honey,” taste so artificial and bland? Does heating the honey, whether to pasteurize or clarify it, kill all the goodness in the honey? Or does blending honey from various hives through a single extractor result in a homogenous honey, a honey with a consistent (but bland) flavour?
I don’t know.
But I’m curious to find out.
Here’s a video featuring Aubrey Goulding, the one and only professional beekeeper on the east cost of Newfoundland (he’s about a 20 minute drive from my house), and by professional I mean he makes his living at it.
We extracted some of our honey at his place last October. I didn’t identify him in my video because I’m picky about maintaining people’s privacy. But if he goes for this kind of video, then I guess he’s cool with it.
Nice VIdeo of Aubrey. I really liked it.
I just added a video to the post that demonstrates a brilliantly clean and easy way to uncapped the honey before extraction.