This is a blog post on how I pressed the heather honey last November. The honey was collected by the bees up on the feather bed in the Dublin Mountains. Most of the frames that I gave to the bees to fill used a little starter strip which is basically a small strip of beeswax to help them to get started on the frame. I also used some frames will full sheets of foundation in between to help keep them building the comb nice and even between the frames.
The frame below was using a starter strip and the bee built everything you see there. This frame of honey could be used for cut comb or in this case cut out into a bucket for mashing. Here is a previous blog post on heather cut comb.
After all the frames are either cut out or scraped back to the foundation. The honey/wax mixture is ready for mashing up with the wooden spoon.
As heather honey is thixotropic meaning that in its resting state it is a viscous gel but when agitated or mixed it turns into a more liquid state. And once it rests for a while it turns back into a jelly consistency.
This is the heather press that I borrowed form my local beekeeping club, the CDBKA. It does the job but wouldn’t like to be pressing much more than I put through it this year. So for next years harvest I’m looking around for an alternative less labor intensive method. Any suggestions are more than welcome.
The mashed up heather is loaded up and ready for pressing. This year I used a synthetic muslin, it was suggested to me by a fellow beekeeper. Not sure how I rate it against the muslin, it seems to burst a fair bit so I started doubling it up.
This is the finished product before labeling…
And after labeling…