One long held tradition which distinguishes the J. & E. Riggin from the rest is that of maintaining hives of honey bees. We started keeping bees last Spring and finally produced enough honey to harvest. This week, we took time to collect that honey, and thought we would share with you its journey from our hive to your tea cup. We believe knowing where your honey comes from makes each sip a little sweeter!
We start by removing each frame from the super. The super is the box in which the frames hang. We then carefully scrap away the thin layer of wax on the surface to reveal gooey delicious honey.
We use a manual-crank extractor to spin the frame, sending the honey whizzing to the outside where it runs down into a basin in the bottom. Justin cranked a lot to warm up his anchor raising muscles!
After a spin, we return the frames to the super, leaving behind an empty comb for the bees to refill with new honey from the spring flowers.
The extractor is now heavy with honey, wax, and chunks of pollen. Now, it’s time to filter it…
Through finer and finer mesh…
Until there are no visible pieces of wax. Then, we took a taste, and it was delicious!
The honey was then put into jars which we will crack on the boat this summer. It’s a taste of our home made specially for you, courtesy of our hardworking little bees!