Fall Honey Harvest

Maine Wilderness Honey - Bees never Fed Sugar

In the above video, Boris the Bee Guy, a natural beekeeper, is harvesting honey in mid-October in Central Maine. 

There are a couple of advantages of honey harvesting in late fall:
• By late fall, we have a mature, ripened honey where the bees’ enzymes had plenty of time to fully work their magic
• In the fall there are also fewer bees as they are preparing for winter & it’s easy for the beekeeper to see which frames with honey to leave for the bees to live well through the winter and which frames can be safely harvested.

This particular frame has about 6″ of capped honey on top and some yet uncapped nectar under it. I am not harvesting this frame – I am leaving it for the bees – a few such frames will leave perfect reserves for the bees to make sure that they successfully survive through the harsh Maine winter.

Having collected a few frames with honeycombs, before honey extraction, I use the so-called uncapping fork – a simple tool to uncap the honeycomb that the bees have capped with a thin layer of wax.

The wax cappings that I uncap for subsequent extraction are mixed with some honey – they taste like a super-delicious gum. So I make sure to collect them, they are great! 

So, after uncapping, I use the extractor to get the uncapped honey from the frames without destroying the comb.

This extractor is a simple galvanized steel cylinder, holding a 3-frames basket that I manually spin inside the cylinder.
Extractor uses a centrifugal force to force the honey out of the honeycomb cells while spinning.

The honey itself ends up inside the cylindrical extractor and can be collected after the extraction.

After the extraction, I open the gate and the honey starts flowing…
This is liquid gold, an ode to nature! 

When there’s no more honey left in the extractor, I let the bees clean it. They clean really well!

And here’s the honey that I harvested.
This is the honey as nature intended – no pesticides for miles, the bees were never fed sugar, and the bees and the beehives were never treated with chemicals or acids.

As we never use chemicals or acids, we are able to add to our fall honey some Bee bread – the tastiest and the most nutritious part of the harvest – it’s the fermented pollen/honey mix that the bees were feeding their young with.

So, what does this Maine Wilderness Honey looks and tastes like?
It’s a rich, fragrant and yet delicately balanced golden amber honey with beautiful plum and apricot undertones.