Harvesting our Raw Thyme Honey!
One of the most special moments in beekeeping is, without any doubt, when it’s time to harvest your honey! Here at Anthea’s once a year, in July, we collect the delicious thyme honey that our amazing bees have been creating during the months that thyme blossoms!
Step 1: Collecting the frames from the beehives
This is the first step in this magical procedure and one of the most difficult ones. The bees tend to become aggressive, and we thus choose to collect our frames very early in the morning. Always wearing our protective gear, we gently brush off the bees from the honeycombs and remove the heavy frames one at a time, before taking them to our extraction and bottling unit!
Step 2: Moving the frames to our ISO certified facilities
We are very proud of our modern, ISO 22000:2005 certified facilities, where our honey is extracted and bottled under the strictest hygiene standards, using state-of-the-art equipment throughout the entire procedure!
Step 3: Uncapping the honey frames
Worker bees are equipped with a special gland that allows them to produce wax from ingested honey. They build their honeycombs with wax, and then fill the cells of the comb with their honey. What is remarkable is that once they have reduced the moisture content to around 18%, they cover the cells with wax (known as cappings) in order to prevent atmospheric moisture from diluting their honey! So before we can extract the honey, we need to remove with a cap scratcher the wax which seals the top of the cells from both sides of the frames!
Step 4: Spinning the frames
We then place 10 at a time uncapped frames into our extractor and once the lid is closed the basket spins at full force! The honey is thus extracted out of the comb and drips down the inside of the extractor. When the honey starts filling up the bottom of the extractor, it flows through the open valve into the waiting bucket, giving us also the opportunity to taste it for the first time!
Step 5: Filtering the honey
Once the first bucket is almost full, the honey is poured through a filter device (so that all small particles of beeswax are separated) into the stainless honey container, before it is let there to mature for at least 15 days and then poured into our jars!
Step 6: Melting and using the precious beeswax
As we mentioned before, there is still a lot of remaining honey and wax in the scraped cappings that we removed from the top of the cells on the frames before extracting our delicious honey! Once we melt the wax, we use it for our natural handmade beeswax candles and all-natural beeswax dermal creams!
As you can see for yourselves, our honey is collected straight from the extractor, it is totally unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed, and bottled under the strictest ISO 22000:2005 hygiene standards. It is for all these reasons, that we can guarantee our honey’s excellent quality, its amazing smell of thyme, along with its invaluable therapeutic and nutritional properties, until the last drop in your jar!