Monday, August 19, 2013

Sweet Harvest: Honey 2013

In honor of National Honey Bee Day on Saturday, we decided to harvest honey from our beehive.  Our friends whom we borrow the extractor from are getting ready to move, so it was a kind of now or never situation.  

We harvested over five gallons!  And we are actually not through all of last years' harvest either--there's about a gallon left of that as well. 

Last year we harvested everything into one pot and jarred it.  But this year we noticed some particularly light frames of honey. (This frame has the two colors inter-mixed.) 

 We decided to try and harvest the lighter frames first and bottle them before extracting the rest of the honey. 


We got four quarts of beautiful golden yellow honey.  And the taste of it is amazing and difficult to describe.  It's like the sweetness is higher(?) than the other honey. . . Yeah, I sound looney. 

The rest of the honey still looked pretty light to me, however, so I pulled out a jar of last years' honey to compare to. 

It was definitely way darker last year.  I couldn't help exclaiming to my boys, "Isn't nature amazing?!"  Things created in nature are unique, not exactly the same.  God gives us variety for beauty. 

It's a shame that the honey on grocery store shelves is all exactly the same color. 

I'm actually really excited about the lighter honey.  As I've been working the last few years on converting recipes to use honey, I've been frustrated by some of the results.  Some desserts like custard and chocolate pudding are completely overwhelmed by the strong honey flavor, and end up tasting just like eating honey with more body.  It tastes good, but it's not what I'm looking for. 

Darker honey is known for being more nutritious, but definitely having a stronger flavor.  (It's especially good for making whole wheat bread.)  So hopefully I can have some more successes using the lighter honey for lighter dessert things.  

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