Honey extracting is our midsummer Christmas for several reasons. First is the sticky awe we enjoy at the honeybee’s efficiency. One bee will only produce 1/12 a teaspoon of honey in her life. So when you look at a jar, much less a bucket, you see immense cooperation. Extracting day also means new swag for us – honey & wax. The honey part is relatively simple: hot knife, honey frame, & extractor. This year we got to use a hot knife we inherited with the farm. Good bee karma and it definitely sped up the uncapping process which is both delightfully messy & cumbersome. So the honey frames get their wax capping lids sheared, and then go for a ride in the centrifugal extractor. Think merry-go-round on high. Spaghetti was helping out until I realized he was taking payment in the form of comb honey. Shoo.
But to his credit, Spaghetti made the wax rendering process mucho easier this year. Enter his solar wax melter. It started as a simple request, “Hey buddy, want to build me an extractor?” 8 weeks later I can finally park in the garage again. And have an amazing tool to show off. He built this thing. Alone. I mean, there were plans, but the only help I provided was funding and ‘here hold this’ support.
Now instead of turning my kitchen stovetop into a veritable wax altar, I can dump all the wax scraps into the melter and turn up the sunshine. (Sorry to those who’ve been wishing for cool weather. I have a bit more wax to melt and then we can do fall). The melted wax gravity-flows through a 2 stage filtering system and is collected in silicone molds for easy removal. Light years better than the stovetop, safer too. Did I mention that beeswax is flammable at low temps? Oh right, that’s why we make candles with it. Not to mention that anything touching liquid wax immediately becomes dedicated to beeswaxing jobs. It’s water repellant, solidifies quickly, and will coat a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. So nice work Spaghetti.
Extracting day also means we have new honey in stock! This year we have both our Wildflower honey (it’s a classic, man) and our first Sourwood blend. The Sourwood is a bit lighter in color and flavor with notes of anise (read licorice). It’s straight out of the NC mountains and extra tasty on pecan waffles. Well, anything is tasty on waffles, but then again this honey makes anything good too. Want to try this coveted NC treat? We will be at several markets/ festivals in the coming weeks. And we have several new products in the works for fall and the coming gifty season, so stay wired. Follow us on Facebook to keep tabs on where we’ll be, sticky or not.