We handle our liquid honey gently to retain as many of the natural qualities as possible from how the bees have made and stored it.
After we harvest the frames from the bee hives, we freeze them for 72 hours at temperatures just above 0 degrees F. This will kill pathogens or eggs that might be in the combs. The bees are quite fastidious, and honey has natural anti-microbial properties, but this insures that your honey stays safe during handling. Honey does not freeze solid at that temperature.
We then thaw the honey to room temperature. Once the honey has thawed, we extract it from the comb. We begin by visually inspecting every frame to ensure that we are only giving you honey … no brood, no “bee bread” capsules, just honey. Any cells that don’t look right we remove before extracting.
We then remove the wax cappings that the bees placed on top of the honey to keep it fresh. Once uncapped, we place the frames into an extracting machine and spin them to pull the honey out of the combs using centrifugal force. Honey is too viscous to remove using gravity alone. By spinning the frames, we minimize the damage to the comb, which we can return it to the bees to reuse.
The extracted honey is passed through sieves to remove any debris or wax capping remnants. We usually use a 1250 micron followed by a 650 micron sieve. This is different from commercial honey producers, who will heat the honey to make it flow smoothly, then force it through very fine filters, such as 100 microns. For supermarket honey, this increases “shelf life” by delaying crystallization. The product is more consistent, but they may be denaturing desirable proteins and enzymes and removing some of the healthy components from the honey.
After allowing the honey to settle, we pour the honey into jars, label them, seal them and send it to you! That is about as fresh as you can get.
We use only our own equipment that is thoroughly cleaned between batches. Masks and disposable gloves are worn while extracting and pouring the honey. We give our honey to our family, friends and neighbors, and we handle it with food safety in mind at all times.