We’ve been asked on a few occasions when customers have tasted our honey at our stand, if we add sugar to our honey. We thought that this would be the perfect time to talk about how we extract and jar our honey and why our honey is different.
We absolutely do not add sugar to our honey. We don’t add anything to our honey. Sometimes, the honey at our stand that we use for tasters has started to crystallise - especially our heather honey. Crystallisation (or granulation) is the natural process for honey - the natural sugars in the honey changes with age and in some cases, temperature.
Often honey crystallisation is misunderstood by our customers. Some people have assumed that honey crystallises (granulates) due to poor quality, bad storage or because it's unnatural, altered or that sugar has been added. Actually, it's the entire opposite. If honey does not crystallise for a long time, (except for certain types of honey like our such as our summer blossom honey or the well known acacia honey) then there's usually a clear indication that the honey has been altered or diluted.
We’ve put together some short videos of how we extract honey to show the process we go through.
The start of the journey which isn’t shown is the bees foraging off to thousands of flowers to gather the nectar and to bring it back to the hive (which is pretty hard to capture when there’s tens of thousands of bees!)
Firstly we start by taking the super (the box full of honey) off the hive and clear it of bees.
Once we get it into the kitchen, we start by scraping off the wax capping that the bees put on to preserve the honey. The wax over the top of the cells also lets us know that the honey is finished and is actually honey - uncapped honey cells generally have a higher water content and isn’t yet honey.
We scrape off the wax on both sides of the frame. Once we have, we simply pop it into the extraction machine. When we have 6 frames that have had the honey capping scraped off, we simply behind to turn the handle on the extraction machine which uses gravity to draw out the honey from the frames which spins out to the inside of the barrel, collecting at the bottom.
By this time there’s lots of honey, wax and little bits of pollen and propolis all mixed together. What we do here is put it through a wide filter, trapping all the big pieces of wax, then through a medium wide filter - catching bits like propolis and pollen and finally a thin filter which catches all the tiny bits of wax, pollen and propolis. Of course some very small traces of these get through the three filters - but that’s the beauty of raw straight-off-the-hive honey.
From here we use a special tap and simply jar the honey (apart from the video above where we took a cheeky jar for ourselves!) Then we add our labels and it gets put on our stand at events and in local shops for you to buy - that’s it!
So really, when we say we don’t add anything, take anything away or blend our honey - you can literally see we simply drain the honey from the combs - filter it three times and jar it. When you buy direct from beekeepers like us - you know exactly what you're getting.
Most supermarket honey is unfortunately imported in from non-EU and EU countries, blended together and then heated to high temperatures so that it remains its runny consistency for a long time.
We’re proud of our honey - and we can show you exactly how it’s processed in our 5 star food hygiene rated kitchens. We hope to offer experience days in the future where you can uncap some super frames and extract your own honey - ready to take home in a jar! We’ll post more details nearer the time.
In the meantime, thank you for supporting us and we hope you continue to buy and enjoy our unblended, unaltered pure, raw honey.