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  • Beefarmer John

The 2022 Spring Crop Harvest Has Begun.

Well, the last couple of weeks have been busy busy busy here at Hedgerow Honey. We have continued with our regular markets and really enjoyed seeing our returning customers and our new customers, and hearing what they think of our honey.

Wendy has also almost completed the Spring extraction, her first solo extraction, and feels quite chuffed that she managed it even when the extracting machine broke a pin and she had to fix it..........John wasn't quite as pleased with her 'fix' but it managed to get the job completed so now it can be fixed properly.

As the last couple of weeks have been busy with extracting our spring crop of honey, I thought that I'd tell you about how we extract it in this weeks blog.

When we know there are boxes ready to have the honey extracted, we go out the day before and put a board below these boxes in the hive tower, this is called a clearer board and its purpose is to prevent the bees going back up into the honey boxes we will remove the next day.

The following day, we go back to the hives and remove the boxes, load them onto the Land Rover and head back to base.

Here we unload and begin the extraction process. We begin by removing the layer of wax called cappings from the frame being extracted. The wax is removed using an uncapping brush (which looks like a mini car wash brush). This does not damage the honeycomb that the bees have built or the honey.

The frame is then placed into our radial extractor. This is a stainless steel drum with a cage inside where we place the frames. This then spins at high speed both clockwise and anticlockwise, the honey is forced out by the law of physics (centrifugal force) and runs down to the bottom of the tank and out through the nozzle into our sump. We can extract multiple frames at a time using this equipment.

The sump is a large tank which contains three graded filters. The honey passes through these filters (like sieves) and any debris is removed such as pieces of wax or comb.

Once the honey has reached the end of the sump we use a pump to pump it into a large tank called a settling tank. It is then left here to settle and then it is put into jars, labelled and ready to sell. This is the only processing our runny honey goes through.

In other news from Hedgerow Honey, Wendy is still plodding on with her apprenticeship and doing well. We are continuing to attend out local markets and are also busy getting ready for Shrewsbury Food Festival in the Quarry on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2022.

We are next out and about at Made In Shropshire in Much Wenlock next Saturday (18th June), pop along and see us, and remember, our honey is also available from our stockists and our online shop.

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