Heather 2021

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Brenda 

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Agree re quality vs quantity. Nice to try something new even if challenging to finish. Any more tips on producing sections or reading, pls do share Brenda, keen to learn how to do better next year
I let my Nuc’s expand nicely then when a flow is imminent I give them small 12 section crates which were made for them, start them without queen excluder (although sometimes she comes up and this backfires). When they are pulling the Wax nicely I reintroduce Queen Ex. Always keep them warm on top with thick compressed polystyrene on top of old sailcloth cover too. Watch progress and introduce another crate on top when necessary, once they activate some wax pulling in this, I swap crates around and the first one becomes the top one, this works for me. You must always do whatever is best for you and your bees, remember we all make mistakes therefore there is always another year to rectify. Like Bruce and the Spider Try try and try again until you are satisfied with your work. Beekeeping is like a River, many tributaries lead off so you must choose which one to follow, if you do not like it you can return to the main river and try another one. I have chosen Comb Honey in all its forms, because after two replacement knees I do not move my Colonies anymore. Used to have 28 now I have 3.
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
I let my Nuc’s expand nicely then when a flow is imminent I give them small 12 section crates which were made for them, start them without queen excluder (although sometimes she comes up and this backfires). When they are pulling the Wax nicely I reintroduce Queen Ex. Always keep them warm on top with thick compressed polystyrene on top of old sailcloth cover too. Watch progress and introduce another crate on top when necessary, once they activate some wax pulling in this, I swap crates around and the first one becomes the top one, this works for me. You must always do whatever is best for you and your bees, remember we all make mistakes therefore there is always another year to rectify. Like Bruce and the Spider Try try and try again until you are satisfied with your work. Beekeeping is like a River, many tributaries lead off so you must choose which one to follow, if you do not like it you can return to the main river and try another one. I have chosen Comb Honey in all its forms, because after two replacement knees I do not move my Colonies anymore. Used to have 28 now I have 3.
Wisdom and experience delivered in a very nice way. :)
 

Into the lions den 

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Aren't all Erica's heath?
I wasn't sure which one was flowering here or even if we had both tetralix and cinerea flowering. I'll have to find the list. View attachment 28522tView attachment 28523
The darker one is still flowering

Erica cineria...aka Bell Heather....sometimes as a heath as well....has a second flowering lots of years in certain settings. Only the first flowering yields as Bell needs a nice period of high temperatures to really get going. The later subsequent flowering usually takes places when the weather is well less than optimal.

Have never seen a yield from Cross leafed heath Erica tetralix..
 

elainemary 

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I let my Nuc’s expand nicely then when a flow is imminent I give them small 12 section crates which were made for them, start them without queen excluder (although sometimes she comes up and this backfires). When they are pulling the Wax nicely I reintroduce Queen Ex. Always keep them warm on top with thick compressed polystyrene on top of old sailcloth cover too. Watch progress and introduce another crate on top when necessary, once they activate some wax pulling in this, I swap crates around and the first one becomes the top one, this works for me. You must always do whatever is best for you and your bees, remember we all make mistakes therefore there is always another year to rectify. Like Bruce and the Spider Try try and try again until you are satisfied with your work. Beekeeping is like a River, many tributaries lead off so you must choose which one to follow, if you do not like it you can return to the main river and try another one. I have chosen Comb Honey in all its forms, because after two replacement knees I do not move my Colonies anymore. Used to have 28 now I have 3.
Thankyou. Nice analogy.
 

elainemary 

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2 years ago I made a section box for a nuc which took 16 sections. I put this on a strong double nuc and got 8 saleable sections.
Would like to try it again on heather.
View attachment 28519
Looks great! Definitely worth doing again. Like the double Nuc idea. One of my double Nucs last year filled a mini super above with a few frames of Bell heather.
 

maddydog 

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Extracted and sold my heather honey from home apiary. Both colonies produced 2 fully capped supers. Sold in a flash. Have kept some from my colony I took directly onto my local moor for Xmas gifts.

Particularly proud of my first 3 sections. Only took me & the bees 3 seasons to make - year 1 got the comb drawn but not enough honey in; year 2 the bees filled with pollen and removed it; year 3 they filled and sealed the honey.

My mission next year is to learn more about sections and cut comb, v rewarding and sells well
They look fantastic, well done.
I've got around 6 boxes of the stuff from my continued efforts to work out whether commercial heather is worth pursuing. Struggle to sell it to folks around here as the taste is too 'potent' as they push past me to get to the brownie stall.....
 

Curly green finger's 

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They look fantastic, well done.
I've got around 6 boxes of the stuff from my continued efforts to work out whether commercial heather is worth pursuing. Struggle to sell it to folks around here as the taste is too 'potent' as they push past me to get to the brownie stall.....
You could always make a blend which imo is a better taste anyway.
My blend is 75% clover/vetch 25% ling Heather.
Imo commercial heather is most worth the effort.
 

maddydog 

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You could always make a blend which imo is a better taste anyway.
My blend is 75% clover/vetch 25% ling Heather.
Imo commercial heather is most worth the effort.
I agree, I made some 50/50 and some 90/10 (heather) last year and the former is probably my favourite honey of all. Maybe it only sells well to those that grew up on it 😀
Extracting is proving to be a pain, I've a hydropress that does a good job of squeezing the honey out but filtering is still a problem, I need to play with different mesh sizes I guess.
 

elainemary 

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They look fantastic, well done.
I've got around 6 boxes of the stuff from my continued efforts to work out whether commercial heather is worth pursuing. Struggle to sell it to folks around here as the taste is too 'potent' as they push past me to get to the brownie stall.....
Aw, but v funny! How about trying a heather blend? Achieve the lovely amber colour, less potent and a gorgeous flavour, preferred by many. Can market it as a blend and still charge a premium vs wildflower honey.
 

elainemary 

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I agree, I made some 50/50 and some 90/10 (heather) last year and the former is probably my favourite honey of all. Maybe it only sells well to those that grew up on it 😀
Extracting is proving to be a pain, I've a hydropress that does a good job of squeezing the honey out but filtering is still a problem, I need to play with different mesh sizes I guess.
Why is filtering a problem? I just filter mine through a double seive straight from the press to the bucket with tap.
 

elainemary 

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Visited Northern bee books this morning. Cuppa with Jerry B listening to his stories (lives in the next village and we’re in the same association). Picked up the book recommended by @Brenda and the book on comb honey, plus borrowing his copy of Killion on comb honey. Hamilton’s book looks to be full of pearls of wisdom, looking forward to a good read
 

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maddydog 

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Why is filtering a problem? I just filter mine through a double seive straight from the press to the bucket with tap.
I find it starts to revert back to a gel almost instantaneously and clogs the sieves. Do you warm the frames before pressing? I'm guessing the cold water in the hydropress may not be helping.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I find it starts to revert back to a gel almost instantaneously and clogs the sieves.
It does, it's a PITA goes through the coarse mesh no problem but when it hits the fine one, it soon clogs so you have to continually take the coarse one off and give the stuff over the fine mesh a brisk stir.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Perhaps that's why some folk use vacuum. I think mbc does
 

mbc 

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Perhaps that's why some folk use vacuum. I think mbc does
Correct, I didn't go to the heather this year but I usually process the honey with a hand jiggler, tangential extractor and then shear the honey through a strainaway vacuum filter.
They're not made anymore so it is treated with kid gloves, cleaned and stored carefully to hopefully give me many more years of service.
 

Curly green finger's 

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I agree, I made some 50/50 and some 90/10 (heather) last year and the former is probably my favourite honey of all. Maybe it only sells well to those that grew up on it 😀
Extracting is proving to be a pain, I've a hydropress that does a good job of squeezing the honey out but filtering is still a problem, I need to play with different mesh sizes I guess.
I think the key is agitating the Heather as much as possible I have been siving through a fine siv from buckets no problem.
But jarring after being left for a couple of hours.
 

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