I’m happy to say that our honey room has now been complete for about two weeks, I’m really happy with it and the transformation from its previous use as a disused milking parlour to its new lease of life is unbeliveable!
Our first real use of the new honey room (other than storage) was processing Heather Honey. We’ve been really happy with our crop producing over 25lb per hive that went to the Heather Moors. The very best comb is used to make our Cut Comb, then the smaller peices of comb get used for Chunk Honey and everything else gets pressed through a machine called a Screw Press which squeezes out the honey, and leaves us with beeswax that we can use for our wax products. The honey is then filtered and jarred to produce our limited edition Heather Honey.
Back to our new room, my grandpa stopped milking in 1991 and since then, the milking parlour has mainly be used for strorage. The first job was to strip out all of the old electrics and take out the large ceiling that was used to house the feed that would drop down to the cattle while they were being milked. Taking the ceiling out really made a mess and it was hard to see just what it would become, but the next job was just as big. The milking parlour trench had to be uncovered and filled in with the new floor drains fitted.
The insulated panels arrived next, and with some help we managed to get the panels and roof up in around three days. We knocked through to our existing honey room and the flooring company were then in for a few days to level the floor and put down the new flooring!
Unfortuantely the door was one of the last things to arrive due to shipping issues but that meant there was plenty of time for the electrians and plumbers to get finished off. The new room has two heated pods which can heat up to around 45 degrees which is as hot as we need for warming honey. Each pod would warm up to 1,800 kg of honey, far more than we need at the moment but it’s been built with expansion in mind!
This Month’s Recip-bee
Honey Honey Comb! (Adapted from BBC Good Food)
Happy November! We have decided to go for a classic this month relating to Bonfire Night, which is known for Cinder Toffee. In a true Holt Hall Apiary style, we have shaken things up by literally putting the honey in honeycomb. This recipe was made with our warming Cinnamon Honey, but would work with any of our honeys! As always, please share pictures of your creations to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 200g caster sugar
- 5 tbsp Honey
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- STEP 1 – Butter a 20cm square tin. Stir the caster sugar and Honey together in a deep saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted. Try not to let the mixture bubble until the sugar grains have disappeared.
- STEP 2 – Once completely melted, turn up the heat a little and simmer until you have an amber coloured caramel (this won’t take long), then as quickly as you can, turn off the heat, tip in the bicarbonate of soda and beat in with a wooden spoon until it has all disappeared and the mixture is foaming. Scrape into the tin immediately – be careful, the mixture will be very hot.
- STEP 3 – The mixture will continue bubbling in the tin, simply leave it and in about 1 hr-1 hr 30 mins the honeycomb will be hard and ready to crumble or snap into chunks.
This month we have two markets so please make sure you come along and see us for Christmas gift inspiration!
13th & 14th November – Open Air Country Fair, Planters at Bretby 10am – 3:30pm
28th Novemeber – Market Bosworth Farmers Market, 9am – 1:30pm
Thank you all for reading our blog, I’m hoping as winter arrives and I get more time I will be able to share more with you and show you some more of our honey room and spring preparation!
Holt Hall Apiary