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Acacia honey acclaimed for its texture and its comfortable and delicate taste

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Its gentle style with out acidity, its scent with vanilla scents, its pale yellow shade, its liquid texture excellent for baking make acacia honey the honey most consumed by the French. Along with its style, its well being advantages are acknowledged: antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory particularly. It strengthens the immune system and has useful results on the pores and skin.

The manufacturing of acacia honey is sadly very depending on weather conditions. Acacia flowers are very fragile and freeze simply, are afraid of wind and rain. In Haute-Loire, the final harvest of acacia honey dates again 4 years. Suffice to say that Julien Vignancour and Guillaume Bayssat, from ApiAuvergne, have been joyful to welcome us on the finish of spring to share their ardour and love for bees, and invite us to their first harvest of acacia honey 2022.

Our guides to know all the things about bees and beekeeping: Guillaume Bayssat and Julien Vignancour from ApiAuvergne
© Radio France

Pascal Gourvat

With out bees, no honey

Even when it’s the beekeeper who harvests the honey, nothing could be attainable with out the work carried out upstream by the colony of bees gathered within the coronary heart of the hive. Queen, employees and drones: every has their position and duties to carry out.

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There is just one queen per hive. The queen comes from a larva, chosen by the bees, and fed solely with royal jelly. She solely leaves the hive as soon as in her life to be fertilized in mid-flight by drones. Along with her for much longer stomach which is crammed with eggs, she spends her whole life laying eggs (as much as 2000 eggs per day in spring). She will stay between 2 and 4 years.

The employees are all dedicated to their queen. Issued from fertilized eggs, they may turn out to be larvae, then nymphs earlier than hatching right into a bee after 21 days. The bees will then perform completely different duties relying on the interval of their life: cleansing the cells, feeding the queen, storing the honey, waxing and making the frames, stopping intrusions and foraging. The lifespan of a bee varies in accordance with the season: in winter a number of months as a result of it stays within the hive to “heat up” the queen by flapping its wings, in summer season solely about twenty days as a result of it goes foraging as much as 3 km from its hive from morning to night to usher in nectar and work to dying.

Drones, hatched from unfertilized eggs, are solely meant to mate with the queen. They don’t make honey, and don’t have any stinger. In winter, they’re typically expelled from the hive by different bees, the assets being inadequate to feed them. They’re then doomed to sure dying.

The beekeeper takes solely a part of the honey from the bees

Some would possibly suppose that beekeepers “steal” honey from bees. That’s not precisely appropriate. The hive is split into two components. The decrease half, which comprises the “physique” of the hive the place the queen lays her eggs and the place the larvae develop. The higher half, added by the beekeeper, will enable the bees to retailer the surplus honey. The frames contained on this half are referred to as rise frames. To forestall the queen from laying eggs on this a part of the hive, the beekeeper installs a queen excluder, which solely lets the employees move, stopping entry to the queen. The beekeeper will due to this fact by no means contact the honey saved within the decrease a part of the hive. This honey is crucial for the survival of the colony, particularly throughout the winter interval.

One of many frames contained within the hive
© Radio France

Pascal Gourvat

Harvesting honey

As soon as the tremendous frames are crammed with honey, the beekeeper removes them from the hive. Will then start a exact course of which is able to embrace a number of levels earlier than the potting of the honey :

  • uncapping: the layer of wax that closes the cells should be eliminated, both manually utilizing a knife or an uncapping harrow, or mechanically with an uncapping machine, which makes the work sooner
  • honey extraction: an extractor (a type of centrifuge) is used during which the frames are positioned vertically. As soon as in operation, the velocity and the centrifugal drive will take off the honey and undertaking it on the partitions of the tank of the system
  • As soon as all of the frames have been emptied of their honey, it’s filtered by means of a number of tanks, so as to take away all of the impurities, particularly wax. On the finish of the chain, we receive an already very clear honey.
  • It’ll then be saved in barrels, so as to let it relaxation, for a number of days to some weeks at a temperature of round 20° C. After a ultimate filtration, the honey will be potted and marketed.
Honey and acacia flowers
©Getty

Olena Rudo

What makes a superb honey?

  1. It is advisable to test the composition of honey : certainly some bees are fed with glucose, some components will be added. Nonetheless, honey is the fruit of the foraging of the bees which gather the nectar from the flowers. It may possibly solely be a 100% pure product, with none components.
  2. Greater than 80% of the honey offered in France is imported, significantly from China. Honey should be produced in France. Failing that, select a honey from the European Union. The origin of the honey should be talked about on the jar of honey.
  3. Belief the labels : PGI, AOC, PDO. Thus, you’ll purchase honey that meets excessive necessities, guaranteeing its origin and high quality. The natural label can also be a assure of high quality honey.
  4. Select brief circuits and favor beekeepers in your area. The point out “harvested and potted by the beekeeper” implies that the beekeeper pots his honey himself.

The right way to keep away from counterfeit honey?

Honey consumption in France is a minimum of twice as excessive as nationwide manufacturing. This manufacturing deficit is especially stuffed by honey from China. It’s most frequently a sweetened honey, ie honey blended with glucose, syrup, water or gelatin. One other observe is to combine honeys from a number of nations. They’re generally labeled as “mixture of EU and non-EU honeys”.

A trick to acknowledge “actual” honey : Pour a teaspoon of honey right into a glass of water. Don’t combine! Watch how the honey reacts: if it falls to the underside of the glass with out diluting, it’s “actual” honey. One other tip: Put a sheet of paper towel on the desk, then drop a bit of honey on it, and wait a number of moments: if it is counterfeit honey, it should rapidly be absorbed by the paper. The “actual” honey will stay on the floor.

Small lexicon of the newbie beekeeper :

Royal jelly: secreted by employee bees to feed the larvae and the queen. Wealthy in mineral substances and hint components.
Rise: higher a part of the hive, added by the beekeeper, so as to enable the bees to deposit the excess harvest there.
Tremendous body: frames current within the higher half (tremendous) of the hive.
Queen excluder: positioned by the beekeeper between the underside of the hive and the tremendous, it prevents the queen from going as much as lay eggs within the tremendous.
Capping: motion of the bees which cowl the cells crammed with honey with wax.

When you want to uncover beekeeping, or sponsor a hive, you may contact Julien Vignancour at ApiAuvergne
. Rental and set up of beehives in firms
can also be one in all their specialties.

Additionally uncover in movies: our file Seasonal merchandise, it is so good

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