The Honey Mans Buzy Week

inspecting bee hives

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My wife is constantly complaining that I’m always busy with my bees and not doing her jobs. So I thought I would write a note because she likes to read but doesn’t like to listen. And now it is on the world wide web she can refer to this post for to find me in a buzy week.

In the Lake Macquarie NSW, the peak honey harvest season runs from the beginning of October to around the end of April. In season I would hope to extract honey from each hive once per month. At the moment with the drought, I am struggling to get one lot of honey per season. If we weren’t in drought, and the trees were in full bloom, the bees could fill a box in a week.

On my hives, I usually have 2 honey boxes. This is where the bees store their honey, as opposed to the brood box where the queen lives and lays her eggs.

My hives are all 8 frame gear. The option is 8 frame or 10 frame, but 10 frame hive is too heavy for an old bugger like me.

From a full box, I could get 18 kgs of honey which includes any honey in burcomb in the lid (see photo) and honey in the cappings. I run the cappings though my solar wax melter which melts the wax and separates it from any honey.

My Buzy Week as a Bee Keeper

inspecting bee hives

Monday, look at a hive, if there is burcomb in the lid, collect it. If there is a box ready to be harvested, swap the two boxes and up an escape on. Put the burcomb in a strainer sitting on a 15 litre bucket.

Tuesday, extract the honey and run it through the same strainer as the burcomb.  Look at next hive, and set it up to be robbed on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, put the burcomb and cappings from the first hive into a wax melter. Wednesday night, pour the honey from the melter through the strainer and wash off the wax. All the honey has been collected and is then stored in 10 litre buckets. This process is over 3 days, with me robbing one hive per day.

Thursday I pack honey. I have about 3 tonnes of honey package and ready for shipment.

Friday I uncandy the winter honey. Going into winter, the honey candies (a natural honey crystalisation process) and at the end of winter when the weather starts to warm the honey doesn’t magically uncandy by itself. Each kilo has to be uncandied.

I store my honey in 10 litre buckets (easier to handle for an old bugger like me) and have a heater box, about a half metre cubed with a globe in the bottom of it. It takes about 2 days for the gentle warmth to uncandy a bucketful, so I have different honeys lined up for their turn.

Saturday & Sunday I go to sell my honey at the markets. My Highland Honey Market Calendar is here, I know my wife likes to have epic reminders.

Going to markets involves preparing and packing the whole store in the back of my Iveco van. And then unpacking it when I get home.

That is why using Highland Honey Online Store has been great. I know there is demand for our honey grown in The Lake Macquarie and Northern NSW Highlands. Our customers love that our techniques of apiary and hive extraction and processing is gentle and minimises loss of goodness.

If you are local to our markets you can choose from our product line, order and pay online, then collect at our next market. Saves you a lot on postage. And you get a free taster for your next order.

If you are far away then here are some suggestions that you can add to your cart.