Harvesting Honey in the Garden

The Garden of the Five Senses is known for its chickens which stroll in the alleys of the labyrinth.

But, in a garden kept secret, hide other small flying beasts.

Indeed, the garden has three hives from which we collect honey! This year we decided to share with you the whole harvesting process.

The village of Yvoire being located in the plain, we can carry out up to two harvests per season: a first in June and a second in August. Honey from hives located in the mountains is usually harvested all at once in August.
It all starts in April when we put the first rise in the hives. In June we make the first harvest of this spring honey mainly from flowers (dandelions, cherry, fruit trees, and wildflowers). This honey is sweet and has a light color.

When a second harvest is possible, it is the honey from the second rise that is collected. It comes from flowers of chestnut, bramble, raspberry and lime trees, its taste is stronger and it’s color darker.

The process is identical for each harvest:

  1. The frames are extracted from the increases. During this operation, the smoker is used which makes it possible to fool the bees and make them believe in a fire, which attracts them outside the hive. Honey extraction must always be done with appropriate equipment: the jacket!
  2. The wax of the frames is uncapped
  3. All the frames then pass through an extractor which, by centrifugal force, extracts the honey contained in the lids of the frames
  4. The extracted honey is then put in a ripener. The goal is to obtain a mixture of honey from all the frames for a more homogeneous result and to remove the last impurities contained in the mixture.
  5. Honey is finally potted

Garden tip: once the honey has been extracted, give the bees the frames to lick, which will clean them perfectly!

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