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About Chug

  • Rank
    Nu Bee


  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper


  • Location
    West Coast

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  1. Hi Neville, you don't need any seed honey to cream honey! this is a common misconception. We cream tonnes of honey at a time and do not use any seed honey it just takes a little longer but we can still cream some honey types in 4 - 5 days using this method some take 7 -10 days. It's all about the correct temperature (usually somewhere in the vacinity of 12-16 degrees depending on honey type) one study suggests that about 14 deg C is optimum if it's too cold the crystals don't grow either.. You have to liquify your honey first to remove all crystals. this can be done at around 35 - 40 degrees. then you can cool the honey back down to 14 degrees and and stir for about 5 min every hour. It is the stirring that breaks the crystals down to an even size which creates creamed honey. I have creamed honey in a Kenwood kitchen baking mixer with a paddle (do not use a wisk) but it is time consuming and not as good an outcome. If you could keep the bowl at 14 degrees somehow (maybe in a temp controlled fridge or box) and then set a multi timer on the kenwood mixer then you can have it turn on for 5 min every hr and it would take the work out of it. If I was to try doing it again in a Kenwood kitchen mixer I would possible leave it for 100 min then stir for 3 min as in such a small qty it tends to beat some air into it and the cream profile isn't correct (the mixer needs to be set on very slow revolutions per minute). creaming is essentially controlled crystallisation. So as the honey cools down again from melting it and starts to form crystals again you are breaking the crystals to a uniform size that is all that creaming really is. It's actually not that complicateds science wise. In the old days once the honey was down to 15 degrees sometimes a little bit of icing sugar was added to kick off the crystallisation. Some companies use seed or starter honey this is just a way to "kick" the crystallisation process off. it speeds up the process as there are seed crystals for the main bulk of the honey to crystalise off of. once you see "pearling' in your honey you know to watch it carefully because it is usually not long afetr this that the honey can quickly become fully creamed (this can be from 12 - 72 hrs depending on the honey type. There's a lot of variables). Typically the longer you leave your honey creaming the whiter or lighter in colour it can become and will tend to stay softer in your jars. The sooner after the honey is creamed and packed then the honey will have a firmer 'set' in the jars. there's all kinds of reasons etc for having softer or firmer 'set' on creamed honey. this is a science for someone that is doing it full time like we do but the pricipals are easily applied on a small scale if you have some small gear to do it with e.g. Kenwood mixer and paddle (not wisk) in a temp controlled fridge 14deg C. Hope this helps everyone. (use at your own risk!)
  2. If someone overheats the honey then all the markers start to disappear! I had a stroke in December and left a batch (not that I would have known at the time) and it was destroyed! HMF was through the roof and it went from Mono to totally unsaleable (a costly stroke!). The markers do change somewhat in a normal setting. As honey exporters it is imperative to have the markers slightly above what MPI state as the honey has to retain its integrity for the duration of it's stated shelf life (Best Before date). There's no legal reason in NZ to have to have a best before date on honey but some countries demand it so we have to be careful to make sure the Manuka is well within the markers.
  3. To name a few.......................... Astron Sustainability 591 Rosebank Rd Avondale, Auckland 1026, New Zealand …………………… T 098285546 Ferrier Industrial Ltd I Mob : +64 21 2601195 I DDI : 09 2766603 VIP 4 King Street South, Temuka, 7920 T | +64 3 6158173
  4. It's a type of Borage family and seems to be good as a green manure crop. maybe we could convince some farmers to grow it for our spring buildup! It seems like a lot of hives he's putting on just 125 acres!
  5. They honestly have no idea!!!!!! The only thing they know for certain is how much is exported. Other than this it is just a survey. I see some people reporting 30kg per hive average and some as high as 90 or even 110kg (double queened) yet I know some beekeepers only get between 7 & 10kg. From what I'm seeing It depends somewhat on locality and the methodology of the beek. I've seen some beeks from the same reginal area have 38kg per hive and others with just 10 - 18kg so maybe it's methods or maybe it beeks chasing particular crops so they empty the supers before they move???? as an extractor you see a lot of variables across a wide range of beekeepers, regions, methods etc. until someone can get true totals and averages across the whole of the country the data is not worth much (in my opinion that is, for what it's worth).
  6. Probably under the 1kg limit for most countries so they can get away with exporting it as a personal item or gift.
  7. Send me an email with the specs & test results of your UMF 15+ Manuka we may be interested in some. manuka at forestgoldhoney dot kiwi
  8. I've heard that Honeydew falls somewhere in that category too?
  9. They come to us on both wooden and metal decks we've not had too much problem with them but maybe if you glue some butanol with contact adhesive to the bottom of them in the corners it might help. My guess is that it would peel off quite quickly though. 4x2 might be an option although when a metal beck is whet I've seen 4x2 slipping around a bit as well.
  10. Either MPI themselves or your auditor. but I suspect they might just say that it has to comply with the labeling guidelines as it is each RMP's/operators responsibility to ensure their labels comply.. There's one requirement however that I don't see many people complying with and that is the allergen statement. you will need to read through the material to sort out what you 'must' have on a label. there's also requirements around the size text you use for stating the amount of Honey in a jar. I think from memory the text for any weight or volume has to be no less than 2 mm high!!! and if you ever export to the USA or Canada I think that it has to be placed on the bottom third of your label on the front.... If you use the word 'raw' you need to be careful which country you send it to if you're exporting as it has to meet their requirements for the word raw honey. https://www.mpi.govt.nz/processing/honey-and-bee-products/honey-and-bee-product-processing/labelling-and-composition/
  11. I'm with you Tristan, we extract hundreds of tons every year and none of it is filtered or pressed and there's virtually none of the bees legs and wax in any of it. The honey normally never goes above 30 degrees max ever and our rooms are set at 25 degrees max and we get everything out of the combs.. If any filtering is done before packing it takes out virtually no pollen and if it does it can't be seen on the filter. There's still millions of pollen grains per gram when the honey is tested. Believe me no one wants to be stung in the throat especially if they are intolerant to it. After dealing with bees for years and then suddenly finding yourself getting anaphylaxis is no joke. I was stung one week recently and the next week was going into anaphylactic shock. stung almost on a weekly or bi-weekly basis before that without too many problems apart from some local swelling. Raw honey is actually defined in quite a few countries as not being processed over x temperature and the pollen has not been significantly filtered out. The temperature in most countries that I've bothered to check is somewhere around 45 - 55 degrees. So there's a fair margin as to what is considered raw honey worldwide. Some suppliers I've seen even put a small piece of cut comb into the jar to help with the aesthetics.
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