For us, the honey harvest is once a year in late spring. Some people harvest twice a year; late spring and fall. The bottom two boxes of the hive are just for the bees and they fill them with their brood and food. When the bottom 2 boxes are getting towards full, we add a 3rd box, then a 4th box. If it’s a good year, maybe a 5th box. We harvest what we can out of the upper boxes, but the bottom two boxes are for them. This is raw Indiana honey produced by us from our own apiaries. We do not buy from other sources and repackage it. This is a raw product, strained but not filtered. You get all the goodness of natural raw honey made in the USA.
How to take care of raw honey.
Store honey in a tightly capped bottle in a cabinet away from sunlight. Shelf life of pure honey properly stored is indefinite. Raw Honey will crystallize in time and it’s a natural and normal thing. All raw honey will eventually crystallize. The crystallized form of honey is just as nutritious as the liquid form. However, to return crystallized honey back to liquid form place your tightly capped bottle in hot tap water until the crystals melt. You may have to keep the water hot with additional heat. Hot tap water is usually hot enough but if you add more heat be careful not to cook your honey. Cooking does not make honey bad, but it’s does reduce or eliminates many of the nutrients. Grocery store honey that never crystallizes has been cooked to give it the clear look that is desirable to consumers and a permanent shelf life clarity desirable to grocery stores. Once honey has been heated to over 120F it is no longer considered raw.
All Natural, raw, and unfiltered
There are lots of good beekeeping websites and books. And, there are lots of questionable websites and books. What works for one person may not work for another. The best way to learn beekeeping is by your own experience and with an experienced mentor. The below links are pretty good, and several Universities have some excellent beekeeping programs where they share information online.
There’s lots to know about beekeeping. If I was to pick my top three, it would be stay on top of managing your hives for mites, other pests, and diseases. Keep reasonable hive records. Learn all you can about Queens.
Indiana Beekeepers Association The Indiana state level bee club
Spring Valley Beekeepers is our local bee club. Not sure if they have a website or FB page. Bee clubs are found at local, state, and national levels.
Scientific Beekeeping An excellent websites for beekeeping.
National Honey Board. A well done website with a lot of information on honey.
USDA nutrient data base for honey. Full details on thousands of different foods. Honey is NDB#19296
Honeypedia All things honey and bees.
Pollinator plants. An incredible selection of posters showing the pollinator plants that bees and butterflies enjoy. These are the plants bees and butterflies need as food and to survive.
The Practical Beekeeper Michael Bush shares his thoughts on natural beekeeping.