Harvesting Honey in Eastern Ontario, Canada
Just finished writing a piece for Wondercafe and used many of these images to set up a discussion about the differences between medieval beekeeping and modern apiculture. Have a look if you like that sort of stuff,
This is me out taking pictures (no gloves) with my family near Roseneath Ontario in Canada. Here is a play by play of how we harvest honey in the bee yard - we had a small crop this year compared to most years and it was darker because we left the supers on the hives much longer than usual. There was very little wax and no bee propolis either. Often I do collect other organic ingredients for bread making while harvesting honey.
These images are from my time at Campbell's Honey Sept 24th 2011 just north of Roseneath Ontario
First we walked around the bee yard and opened every hive (one at a time) and pulled off the honey supers. We used our hive tools to take off the metal queen excluders that separate the honey supers from the queen's brood chambers below - this year there will no second or third crop
Then we used a bee blower which in an instrument that's very similar in design to a leaf blower to force the remaining bees from the eight frame honey supers. Do you see the plastic frames? we like them. Also noteworthy in this image is the solar fencer in the background. It keeps every type of animal (except skunks) away from the beehives including the animals that might be tempted by all those harvest apples. I love this picture for property maintenance irony - its classic. Our honeybees pollinated those wild apple trees which yielded a bumper crop, half of which will be wasted by falling inside the solar fence's confines around the hives.
Although we have less honey this year, I believe the flavour is better. There's more character, more Loosestrife, Buckwheat and Goldenrod accents in the crop. The challenge now of course is to keep track of which location brought forth which flavour and that would indeed be a unique test of custom made agricultural inventory management software. With a proper system you could strengthen flavours by separating the various locations and contributions and blending the buckwheat together and the purple loosestrife together etc
I do get carried away in my thoughts.
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