The last post was about harvesting honey, so what else could follow but one about honey extraction at Brookfield Farm? There’s not really much to say other than : Decap Honey (still with a hot knife), Put honey in extractor, fill buckets, clean room.
Thus is this more of a photo essay:
My extraction room is small: 8 foot by 8 foot, with a second room beyond, which got turned into the new water pressure tank room!
The Honey Extraction Room
Honey Stacked for extraction
You can just see the motor of the extractor on the left.
Extraction Room View Two
Honey Before and After the Decapping Knife
This year’s honey:
Honey Frame Before Uncapping
Turns out it’s quite light – they found the thistle and fireweed.
I’m still using an uncapping knife. Next year I’m testing a new tool.
It’s a Light Honey Year – lots of thistle and fireweed
The Honey Extraction Process – at Brookfield Farm
Once uncapped; it’s into the extractor. I have a Maxant 20 frame Extractor – and I love it.
Loaded and Ready to Spin
Extractor Spinning (don’t open spinning extractors, it’s dangerous)
My husband, the woodworker, built me the extraction stand.
Waiting On the Extractor
The wonderful thing is that it tilts. The out-flow on the extractor does not allow all the honey to flow out, so to get all the honey, it must tilt.
Going For The Last Drop
How it sets on the stand:
But it does need the “high tech” shim to keep the extractor from turning in the wooden collar that holds the extractor
The all important extractor stand shim
Participating in a Honey Authentication Protocol Study
While extracting, I cut two samples of from honey comb for a research study that University of California, Davis, is doing in conjunction with the US Food and Drug Association (FDA). I did use frames which were being decommissioned, having served their 5-years in my hives.
Sampled area : cut from older honey frame
The study is “aimed at identifying honeys made by bees that have been fed a sugar source other than natural flower nectars.” The study aims to develop “standardized methods and protocols for authentication of honeys,” writes Amina Harris, Director, Honey and Pollination Center,Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science,UC Davis.
Honey Sample for UC Davis
A good protocol is greatly needed in the US, in my humble opinion. Too much “honey” bought in many US stores is not honey, but rather a substance created by bees who are given non-nectar sugars (cane, beet, corn syrup….).
Fall Hike With Pack Goats
Once done with extraction – a small vacation was needed. The packgoats, my husband, our small dog, and I took off over the high Cascade Mountains for a 5 day walk. I’ll write more about “what I did on my fall vacation” later in the depths of winter, but here’s two pictures of the “boys” on our journey:
A fun walk – For a Pack Goat
Only the big goat wears a pack. He is an Oberhasli – he’s the only one old enough to carry a pack (3 years). The other two are a 1.5 year old boer goat X cashmere, and a 6 month old cashmere. 2 Plugs here: the Northwest Cashmere Goat Association and the Northwest Pack Goat Association are both worth checking out if you like goats, and – if you hike – especially pack goats (none of us are getting any younger). Pack goats are great – small enough to fit in a pick up, able to walk nearly any terrain, and obey quite like a dog – you do have to train them.
Pack Goats relax without packs
Tiberius, the big goat, in the above image is wearing a rain coat. He’s the Oberhasli and doesn’t have a thick coat like Speedy – Speedwell Thyme is his whole name – (the small cashmere X boer goat). Tibo’s also has to wear his red raincoat because this is hunting season here – and so some hunters he looks like a deer.
That’s the news from Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, Maple Falls, Washington. We’ve dropped into a long-lasting rain storm here – the arrival of fall in the Pacific Northwest. Must not grumble though – east of the Cascades has has one of the worst drought/fire seasons in years.