Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Decapping, Spinning and Bottling Abbott Spring Honey 2014 - A Photo Journal by Melissa Abbott

Charlie Decapping the Frames in Bee House
Careful! The Wax goes into the Decapping Tank Below

Putting a Frame in the Spinner after Decapping
After Spinning the Frames, straining the Honey
Bottling the Honey in my Kitchen
Production Line
The Final Product with Label!

This Spring's Honey was so fantastic! Pollen rich and light in color. It has flown out the door and I know that any of you who jumped on the option of getting some were rewarded with a beautiful Honey. I have some more to process and plan on making my infused honeys soon. 
Last years Infused Honey's came out so beautifully and I am looking forward to doing some more this year, especially the Mint Honey. It was so unexpectedly good! The Best of them All!!
Thanks to Charlie for helping me in the Honey House.

Happy Bee Keeping,
Melissa Abbott
Gloucester, MA 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Making Blueberry and Blackberry Cordials with Honey

Blueberry Cordial
Glass Quart Jar container
2 cups Vodka
1-2 cups Chopped Blueberries (I put them thru the food processor on a quick pulse)
1 cup Honey

Mix together and shake every couple of days for 2 months, strain thru cheese cloth and then decant into a pretty decanter or glass container. Serve in small crystal glasses as an after dinner drink. You can also flavor a champagne or sparkling wine cocktail with a bit of the Blueberry Cordial.
This makes a fantastic Holiday Gift and now is the time to plan it when berries are in season. I know you can make it with frozen berries in a pinch but what could be better than your own hand picked Blueberry Cordial. I happen to know that the berries I picked in New Hampshire were Organic which is a nice thing too!

A Collection of Fruit Cordials and Brandies Made
with Abbott Honey

I use coffee filters and Dollar Store funnels for decanting

Blackberry Brandy
Glass Quart Jar container
2 cups of Brandy
1-2 cups of chopped blackberries (I put them thru the food processor on a quick pulse)
1/2-1 cup of Honey (optional)
optional: You can add sugar to this if desired or you can wait and flavor to taste with a sugar syrup after the two months of shaking. You can put a cup of Honey in the brandy and enjoy a sweeter Blackberry taste.  

Mix together and shake every couple of days for two months, strain they a cheese cloth and then decant into a pretty glass container. Serve in Brandy Snifters. You can warm the Blackberry Brandy and serve it in the snifter warm. It is really a wonderful after dinner drink! The Warmed Blackberry Brandy is the perfect dark winter drink after a wonderful meal, best enjoyed in front of a roaring fire!

I pulled together a few jars of cordial and brandy and I am planning on a few more. I am going to try it with Raspberries too! I may even try my hand at Lemon Cello which you make with Lemons and Vodka. Hope this was inspiring for you! I know visiting my sister and imbibing some of her special Blueberry Cordial was such a treat, I was guided to come home and try it myself. Happy Concocting!

Decanting Away!

Melissa Abbott
East Gloucester, MA

Monday, June 16, 2014

Setting some Bee Traps with these Crazy Bee Swarm Lures I bought on Ebay using empty Brood Boxes

This is the Brood Box Bee Swarm
Trap on top of my Arbor

I bought these Bee Swarm Lures on Ebay during the Spring. I have never tried to lure Bee's before but I am game to try it. I know there are lots of ways to do it and maybe I am completely nuts to buy something online to try it. It smells a lot like Lemon Balm and supposedly have Queen Bee Mandibular Pheromones in it to attract any homeless swarms looking for a new living arrangement.

The Arbor Trap - I mean, come on,
Homeless Bees, this is a Prime Condo Location! Move right in!

There is a lot of discussion about what works best to attract swarms and some people think you need to put the swarm boxes in tree stumps or trees because that is naturally where bees live. I have some extra brood boxes and so I decided to use them. You are apparently supposed to find a high area in a tree preferably shady and facing southwest. I thought and thought about this and had this wacky dream that I put the swarm box on top of an arbor I have in my yard. My husband thought I was nuts but I decided well, why not. There is the theory that if you put swarm catchers on these things called Ley Lines which are energetic lines which dousers look for then it attracts bees and also keeps them free of Varroa Mites. I looked at a map of Ley Lines and although Cape Ann has some Ley Lines coming through Ipswich Bay, most notably the Annisquam River and Halibut Point area appears to have them. Since I am on the other side of the Cape in East Gloucester, I am not very clear about any East Gloucster Ley Lines but I am on top of a big granite rock and that has to count for something!

A Table Top Backyard Trap all set up
and Ready for Bee Inhabitation!!
Actual Empty Bee Swarm Lures

How attractive is this? I am sure any homeless Bee Colonies would be supremely happy in this fantastic cozy but modern Bee Condo Home!

Added Bonus for Homeless Bees! The Backyard Garden
with lots of Herbs, Flowers, and Veggies! Move In Ready!

I will keep my readers updated as to whether the Bee Swarm Lures actually worked for me but nothing ventured, nothing gained! 

Happy Bee Keeping,
Melissa Abbott
Gloucester, MA USA

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Small Boutique Amount of Abbott East Gloucester Spring 2014 Honey Available

There is a limited amount of 2014 Spring Honey available For Sale at Abbott Honey. These are photos of the actual jars. Please order by clicking on the Abbott Pure Honey Paypal Button on the right of this Website or use the "Buy Now Button Below. $10 per jar + shipping