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Scott & Chef Jay Team Up to Process TPCC Honey

Friday, December 20, 2019

TPCC is home to many things, great food, great golf, and great friendships. If you read my blog post back in April, you also know that TPCC is home to honey bees as well! I’ve been keeping bees on the property for the past two years, expanding this year from one hive to two. Well, for this month’s blog post Chef Jay and I decided to team up again and show how members get to enjoy the sweet success from TPCC’s very own honey bees. We’ll take you through the process of harvesting honey and the steps, or lack thereof, needed to get the honey ready for your enjoyment in the clubhouse!

honey_comb_box
Honey super box filled with honey frames!

To begin, you have to separate the bees from their honey.  It’s important to note that I’m inspecting the hives regularly throughout the year to judge how healthy the colony is and I’m only taking honey from a strong hive that is actively foraging.  For our particular hive, I pulled the honey from them way back in October before the cold weather set in.  Thankfully, due to the nature of how bees produce honey and store it, if left untouched it can go millennia without spoiling.  This allowed us to find a time when both my schedule and Jay’s would cooperate.  If you are interested in some of the science behind honey, read through this article in the Smithsonian Magazine.

Okay, so we have our honey and our hectic schedules finally aligned for us to go through and document how to extract the honey. Jay brought in his comb spinner and we got to work! The first order of business is to remove the wax cap that the bees use to seal the honey once it is ready to store. This is done by taking an uncapping fork and gently scraping the top off the comb, taking care to not go too deep into the comb so as not to damage it.

capped_honey_frame
Frame full of capped honey!

uncapping
Uncapping cells.

Once the cells are opened up on both sides of the frame it is then placed into the spinner. Jay’s spinner is able to accommodate two frames at a time. Once placed inside, we simply turned the crank and spun away at a moderate speed to spin the honey out of each cell but not too fast to keep from damaging the frames and wax comb. After the honey is spun out, we then flip the frames to spin the other side. As you spin, the honey flows down to the bottom of the spinner and out a spigot at the bottom. We used a mesh strainer to catch any pieces of wax or debris that may have come loose during the spinning. After the honey passes through the strainer it is ready to eat or to be poured into jars and sealed for later. That’s it! Nothing else needs to be done to make it ready to eat!

spinner
Frames placed in spinner.

straining
Raw honey passing through strainer.

You can look for TPCC’s honey to be featured in a number of delicious dishes in the future. Chef plans on using it to make a number of different sauces and glazes so the next time you are enjoying a meal at the club, make sure to check the menu to see if you can enjoy some hyper-local honey!

2_honeys

Canned and ready to enjoy. The lighter color on the left is honey harvested in the summer. As the season progresses the bees collect pollen from plants that bloom later in the year thus producing differences in honey. Don’t worry, it all tastes delicious.

Scott LesChander
TPCC Grounds Superintendent

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Readers comments:

Dan Katt, 1/11/2020 4:52:46 PM EST   55555
Good article. Great photos. 

Will, 12/21/2019 8:31:48 AM EST   55555
Very cool! 

jan landwhr, 12/20/2019 9:16:29 PM EST   55555


Where can I buy it? Very interesting article.
 

Haldane (Hallie) Higgins, 12/20/2019 5:19:37 PM EST   55555
Can I purchase a jar? Loved the creative article. 

Cathy Miller, 12/20/2019 4:40:22 PM EST   11111
Very interesting info on the bees. 

Kelly Cocanougher, 12/20/2019 3:48:26 PM EST   55555