During the Honey Harvest, we process the honey as little as possible. The combs are placed on an extractor line and sharp blades slice off the 'cappings', a layer of wax covering all the cells filled with honey, to reveal the golden liquid beneath. The honey is extracted via centrifugal force - spinning the honey out of each cell of the combs at high speed before passing through a set of strainers. These strainers remove any foreign object from the honey as well as any large bits of beeswax but allow the 'goodness' such as pollen grains to remain. This honey is then stored in airtight tubs and coded for traceability so we know where it came from and when it was harvested. When honey is harvested and extracted correctly, it can be stored like this for years without being tainted, spoiled or fermenting. In fact, they have found honey in the Egyptian tombs that was still in perfect condition.
When the honey is to be bottled into jars or buckets, we gently warm the honey to make it easier to work with whilst transferring into the containers. This is a process that is carefully monitored to make sure the honey is not damaged by the heat. In fact, the honey is not heated beyond 35 degrees - which is the temperature found inside the brood nest area of a beehive. Once it has been gently warmed, it is passed through a set of filters into large tanks holding up to 600kg ready for bottling. The bottling line automatically fills each container up with honey from the tanks before continuing to pass the container down the line. The lid is then applied by hand and spot checks are made as part of our quality control. Labels are then applied automatically, batch numbers are
printed and the jars are boxed ready to be delivered to the shops or direct to our customer's doors.