This is our main season harvest of honey. The bees collected the nectar for this honey during the early and middle part of the summer. This honey was harvested during early August.
Wildflower honey, as opposed to single-flower honey, comes from a variety of nectar sources. The plants that were flowering in the forage area of our bees during early and mid-summer include dandelion, clover, many different fruit tree blossoms, many berry species, rapeseed flower, as well as all sorts of wild flowers, garden flowers and vegetable blossoms.
The actual mix of nectar varies from year to year, depending on the abundance of certain plants, as well as on the prevailing weather during the flowering time of these plants. Honey bees only fly out to gather nectar when the weather is good. If the weather is cold or rainy during the blossoming time of a certain plant species, they will not get much nectar from that plant in that year. That is one of a range of factors that makes small-batch honey different from year to year.
This year, the main crop of honey is fairly light in colour and relatively hard in consistency.
At the time of the main honey harvest, there is still quite some honey in the hives that is not yet ripe, and therefore can not be harvested. This honey , together with new honey from new nectar that the bees collect during the latter part of the summer, is harvested a few weeks after the main harvest, to give the bees time to ripe the honey.
It takes time for the bees to turn the nectar they collect from flowers into honey. The enzymes the bees add to the honey need time to work, and the bees need to dry the nectar for it to become honey. Only once the honey is ripe, do the bees cover it with a thin coat of wax. At that point, it is ready to harvest.
Because the late summer honey is made from nectar of flowers that flower later in the season, this honey has a different aste and texture from the honey during the earlier part of the summer. This year, the late summer honey contains, among other, some heather honey, and it is slightly darker in colour and softer in texture than the main crop of honey.
Heather honey is a real delicacy! Heather honey is a single flower honey that is made virtually exclusively form nectar that the bees have collected from heather flowers. How do we know that, you wonder? Well, heather honey is one of the easiest single species honey to determine. Heather honey is dark, with a distinct smell and taste, and with a characteristic gel-like consistency. Most honey is liquid at the time of harvest, but heather honey has a consistency of marmalade already in the wax comb. This makes it very difficult to extract. Together with it’s aromatic smell and distinct taste, it also makes it easy to determine as a single-species honey.
To some people, heather honey is the best honey there is. What is truly delicious to some, is too strong for others. In the end, it’s a matter of taste.
It is not every year that the bees make heather honey. So it is more exclusive than other honey. This exclusivity, together with the fact that it is a real hassle to extract and causes a lot of extra work, makes heather honey also more valuable than other honey.
We use the wax from the old honey combs and the capping wax that is removed from the comb in the process of extracting the honey to make candles and other beeswax products. We use some of our own wax, and we purchase some wax for making candles from local suppliers. All of our candles are made from 100% beeswax. This means that not only do they have the pleasant natural aroma of beeswax, they also burn with a very clean flame. The flame of a beeswax candle is characteristically yellow and bright, and - unlike paraffin candles - produces no smoke or soot.
Beeswax candles are the perfect addition to the natural home to create a cozy atmosphere in the cold and dark winter months.
Did a swarm of bees choose your house or your yard as a destination to start a new colony? Give us a call quickly, and we’ll come and catch them.
During the summer months, bees tend to swarm. It is their natural way of procreating: The old queen leaves the hive with a good part of the worker bees and they go fins a new place to live. The bees that are left behind in the hive proceed to make a new queen form the eggs that are already in the hive. In this way, bee populations naturally multiply.
From a human perspective, swarming hives are not desirable, neither for the beekeeper, nor for the land owner where the swarm lands. Hives that swarm make little honey for the beekeeper, and most people are not too chuffed to have a colony of bees move in on their property. Therefore, beekeepers try to pre-empt swarming with appropriate management techniques, like splitting hives that are planning to swarm. However, it is not always possible to predict the swarming of a hive, nor do the management techniques always work as intended. We are dealing with nature, after all.
Should your property get visited by a swarm of bees, don’t panic, just give us a call and we’ll come and catch the swarm. In fact, tradition has it, that a swarm of bees brings good luck to the home owner where the swarm lands!
Bees are usually very docile when they swarm, meaning they are unlikely to sting. So even though a swarm of thousands of bees is an impressive sight, it is not particularly dangerous. Don’t go mess with them, but don’t be afraid either. Just call a beekeeper quickly, because time is of the essence in swarm catching. Often the swarm collects on a branch of a tree or something like that, while the scout bees are out to find a new home. This can last minutes or a few hours. This time window is the best opportunity to catch the swarm.
Once the swarm leaves and moves into someone’s chimney or under a roof structure or into a hollow wall, now we’re talking about swarm removal, which is a much more difficult problem to deal with. Therefore it is all the more important to try to catch bee swarms before they move into a building.
Currently, we only provide swarm catching as a free service in Lieto, Turku and Aura. We do not currently provide swarm removal. Swarm catching means we catch swarms that have not moved into a built structure yet. We do not currently have the resources to perform swarm removal from buildings.