Yesterday we took another 25 kilos of honey. This makes a total of 45 kilos of spring honey from four hives. For us, that is a good harvest and certainly the artifical swarms played a part. If the bees swarm, we lose about half the honey.
So today I spent the morning bottling the liquid gold. It takes time and organisation. We don't have a handy little tap so the ladle is used - lots of drips. I start with a bowl of water and two (clean) sponges to mop up drips and also to wipe the jars clean. The photo shows a frame of honey, totally capped with wax, just before it went into the extractor. In case you are interested, one frame such as this holds approximately 2kilos of honey.
Then we had an afternoon building shelves - or at least Max and Ralph did. Last week I visited our neighbour who is selling her house. She has given me all her preserving jars which is a really generous if you check the prices. However, we need somewhere to store so many and we finally sorted out a shed and put in some DIY shelving.
In the past I have used these jars for chutneys and tomato ketchups, but I have never preserved fruit and vegetables. Since she also gave (yes, GAVE) us a steriliser and burner, this year will be one of new experiences and experiments.
Max took the opportunity of emptying the shed to wash the empty bottles so that they would be ready for filling in two weeks. We buy red wine "en vrac" and then bottle it here. We have carefully kept bottles for this purpose. The wine is a good table wine and buying it this way is a lot cheaper. Please note - the picture shows a bottle collection of many months!