Campus Beehives: Honey Extraction Process

The following slideshow illustrates how we recently extracted and jarred honey from our campus apiaries on the laidlaw roof and near the SEE building. The finished honey will be on sale w/c 23rd of October but will have probably sold out by the end of the week! (You can buy these jars from the Ziff, Pure (Worsley) and Business School Cafes for as long as stocks last)

 

1. Uncapping the Frames
Honeybees preserve the honey by using wax cells to cap it. The tops of the cells, or ‘caps’, need to be removed to extract the honey. Most frames will have honey on both sides, so both sides needs to be uncapped. A double edged knife is perfect for this, and stray cells that have not been uncapped are scrapped away with a metal comb.

2. Spinning the Frames
Two uncapped frames are placed in the extractor in a balanced position, and the handle is spun for a few minutes until the honey has been forced out of the comb and dripped down. The frames are then turned over and the process is repeated so the honey in the other side of the frame is released.

3. Filtering
The valve on the extractor is opened and the honey is filtered through a coarse and then a fine mesh filter. At this point, the wax cappings are also placed on a filter to left to let any residual honey drip through. Not a drop wasted!

4. Jarring
Once the all of the honey has been extracted and filtered, it is separated into jars, a break seal sticker is put on to make sure we know that no jar has been opened before first use. Our UoL stickers are placed on the jar to complete!

5. Sale
The finished product  goes on sale at Great Food at Leeds outlets around campus and completely sells out within a few days!

The Big Annual Crocus Planting

On the 18th October we will be running a crocus planting event, this should be a fun opportunity to get out over a lunch period and meet some of the sustainability team. The real importance of our annual crocus planting is to ensure there is a range of flowers on campus all year round, not only to provide for our bees but also to give some life and exuberance to the University through the bleaker months. The commitment to biodiversity on campus is evident through the beehives we have at several locations, but we need staff and students to help our bees and ensure the campus stays vibrant year-round, while also providing habitats for invertebrates. After a great year in which we gathered upwards of 95 jars of honey from University hives we are looking to keep up the strength and numbers of our bee populations. Take a look at our Biodiversity page for more information on our strategies http://bit.ly/2y0gEbE

The Big Annual Crocus Plant volunteer sessions are open to everyone, but also provide a great opportunity for anyone who is part of the Green Impact scheme to show staff participation and awareness of sustainability events on campus.

Equally, no experience is required at all, if you fancy getting out and about for an hour make your way down to behind Edward Boyle Library (near the Stage@Leeds building) on the 18th October.

Signing up on our Facebook event page http://bit.ly/2hIQcNj and let us know which session you would like to attend  – 12pm-1pm or 1pm-2pm  – by emailing the sustainability department at sustainability@leeds.ac.uk.