“Where does my honey come from?” explained to children.

Nov 08, 2020

Honey bees convert the nectar of flowers into honey. The bees consume their honey as energy food. The honey is stored for winter when there are no more flowers around. The beekeeper loves his bees and wants them to be healthy, so he collects just a little bit of honey for the kids and he makes sure to leave plenty for the bees so all can enjoy winter.

Honey bees live in a hive. The hive in the picture below is old and bees have lived in it for almost 10 years. The two large boxes at the bottom are called ‘Deep’ and this is where the bees live, raise the young bees and also store some honey and pollen. The two smaller boxes at the top are called ‘Super’ and will  be exclusively used by the bees to store honey. The beekeeper will harvest one Super per year and leave the other boxes untouched.

The first operation, when you decide to collect some honey, is to remove the roof. This roof is very heavy so that the rain does not drip in the hive, but also the roof helps the bees to stay warm in winter and cool in summer.

Then, the beekeeper removes the frames in which the honey is stored and places them in an empty Super.

You can see below what a frame of honey looks like: a large number of cells next to each other in which the honey is stored. The cells are covered by the bees with a fine film of wax to preserve the honey from moisture and dust.

Once the Super is full with the collected frames, it is covered with a blanket so the bees do not fly in. The box is brought to the workshop where the honey is extracted

In the workshop, the beekeeper has to peel off the film of wax over the cells of honey. He does so with a heated knife, in which the blade mainly melts the wax.

The wax film is left to drip the excess honey off and the clean rendered wax will be melted into candles for Christmas.

As the frames are peeled they are placed in a centrifuge, which extracts the honey. The frames rotate in the drum at high speed and the honey oozes out the cells into the collector. The short video shows the honey flowing out the collector while the centrifuge slows down to a stop.

The honey is left to rest over night to let the air bubbles burst to the surface. It is ready to be bottled the next day.

The jars of honey are now ready for the kids.