Thursday, 9 August 2012
Harvesting Bush Honey
Our OATH (Original Australian Trigona Hive) - cleverly designed by entomologist, Dr Tim Heard to house our local stingless bee, Trigona Carbonaria. For detailed information about these amazing little insects, visit www. aussiebee.com.au
Here is a very basic outline for how to harvest bush honey (as I'm no expert but absolutely fascinated by the process) - I had no idea what "my" bees were up to in there and was totally surprised to discover they construct these intricate spiral structures.
Step 1: Splitting the brood
Ensure the hive weighs a good 8+ kilos, which generally takes around a year of non stop pollen and nectar gathering. At this point, it is fine to split the hive (below) and/or harvest honey. This can be done by carefully edging a knife around the edges, ensuring the "brood" remains unharmed by splitting in line with the "advancing front". A new hive can now be created by the gentle division.
Step 2: Extracting the sweet stuff
Carefully remove the top layer of the OATH, known as the "super". It should be full of waxy honey pots just like this.....
Vigorously pierce your honey pots so the honey rises to the top........
Turn the super over to allow the tangy sugarbag honey to drain out, strain and consume (after putting the hive back together of course).