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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creamed Honey

I have been a little remiss in my responsibilities as a blogger.  It has been a while, five months to be exact, since I have posted anything.  I even failed to blog about our 2012 honey harvest.  We did have a good harvest- with the nine supers we harvested last September and the two supers we harvested last June we ended up with about thirty gallons for the year!  Not bad for three hives, one of which was created form a split of the other existing hive and the third consisting of a newly installed 3 pound package of bees.  We ended up selling fifteen gallons in one pound jars and one gallon pails and kept the other fifteen gallons for ourselves.

We decided to try an experiment and attempt some creamed honey this year.  First of all, you have to understand that creamed honey has nothing to do with cream or any other dairy product.  It actually consists of honey and nothing else- honey that is partially crystallized with uniform microcrystals that give the honey a creamier texture.  It is more spreadable and a little less messy and will not crystallize into a hard rock making it difficult to use.

Rather than explaining the process for making creamed honey I will let you watch the video that I used for instructions.  It comes from a blog at naturesnectar.blogspot.com.  It is an excellent resource for beekeepers, and I have learned a lot from it.  Double click on the video for full screen.

We mixed the creamed honey in a five gallon bucket which has since been sitting down in our cool store room.  We should have transferred it to smaller containers a long time ago- that would have made it easier to work with.  Today we put some in pint jars.  Since cool creamed honey is stiff I had to dig it out with an ice cream scoop.  It will be a lot easier to warm the pint jars up to room temperature and make the honey more usable.  Here are a couple of pictures of our creamed honey.


You can see by looking at the side of the bucket that the creamed honey sits on top and there is a layer of liquid honey down below.  That is because the spoon I used to mix the in creamed honey crystals was not long enough to reach the bottom.  But if you look closely, it appears as though the bottom portion is beginning to cream as well.  I guess we won't know for sure until we get down to the bottom.

Next year we will cream the honey again but will put it in smaller containers- maybe one gallon pails.

On a different subject, I do find it interesting that our liquid honey has not begun to crystallize yet.  Last year crystallization began in November.  The main source of nectar in our area is alfalfa, but I guess there must be variations in the amount of nectar from the different sources or maybe even differences in sugar content of nectar from year to year.  In any case the differences are great enough to affect the rate of crystallization of our honey.  I can't wait to find out how this year's crop will turn out.

3 comments:

Eric said...

Finally! I was beginning to wonder if you had quit the beekeeping life.

Cache and Suzanne said...

What a fun project. Thanks for sharing your cool project. I seem to be meeting more and more people who are doing bee keeping... a neighbor even started a business in Logan for their sons and they sell honey caramels every week at the market - Bees Brothers in Logan UT.

Shanna White said...

I love cream honey! It is so delicious! I love seeing the step by step of making it. Thanks for the post!

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