As I wanted to label my honey as Produce of England I figured I'd best get some English seed honey to start the process. Turns out this is actually far easier said than done late at night anyway, if it was daytime I could've probably just got some from another bee keeper.. anyway I tried 5 supermarkets before I was able to find any English Honey, everything on the shelves in Tesco and Sainsbury's was a blend of "EU and Non EU" Honey. It wasn't till I got to Asda that I found English Set Honey. Well done Asda for selling English Honey. But unfortunately also big black mark to Asda for sticking a Bumble Bee on the label instead of an actual Honey Bee. D'oh.
Actually in 2014 this stuff was withdrawn from sale after some came into contact with South African Honey by accident. Having been mixed with South African honey they couldn't sell it English that year. Oops. Red faces all round but I'm sure after a little shouting and some awkward foot shuffling they'll've tightened things up after that though. That's the kind of faux pas I'm hoping to avoid and assuming Asda's product is as
|English Set Honey from Asda -There's a mistake in this photo..|
|Asda's English Honey meets my English Honey|
The first thing to do is add your seed honey to a bucket of liquid honey. Then stir. It's actually not easy stirring a bucket of honey for long, but not to worry technology to the rescue. A modern honey stirrer is like a 3' long blunt corkscrew made from food grade stainless steel that fits into a drill. You need to mix it evenly and avoid dragging air bubbles into the liquid.
The noise of the drill should give some indication of how much work is involved. It must've been really hard work prior to electronic shortcuts. Once mixed it looked a bit like a coffee.
|Liquid and seed honey mixed|
|Everybody be cool..|
|Chilling. A bit.|
|45 Kilos of Local Honey.|
|Granulated Honey in a Mortar|
|Same honey after some heavy grinding|
It's harder work than you'd imagine and you have to do a very small batch at a time to get it even. I assume commercial outfits like whoever made the Asda English Set Honey will probably have some high tech machinery to do the job or possibly even some clever sciencey temperature controlled set up but if you have the time you can do it yourself. Once you've creamed a two or three jars you can use them to seed a bucket and when that sets use it to seed more buckets. If you store it right you should be able to use some of that next year to seed your next crop.
|The original granulated honey and the ground honey|
|Ready for mixing with liquid honey|