Since 1st January 2014 we sell our honey as ‘Hoogelandster Honey’. For the honey extractor we have a special room used only for honey extraction. Our honey is sold in jars of 500 g and 250 g. We deliver to shops, resellers and companies wanting to give a unique product from Groningen to their business associates. You can order here.
The bee colonies of breeding station Ameland are put up at locations where the bees can collect lots of pollen and nectar. With our bees we travel to locations where they can collect an abundance of forage. The bees use the pollen and nectar as forage for new generations. We harvest the surplus honey from the colonies to produce our Hoogelandster Honey.
A year of honey
The bee season starts with visiting the early spring bloomers like crocus and willow. Soon after that we travel to the fruit orchards with the colonies, and there the bees find not only cherry and apple blossoms but also the first dandelions. From these flowers the bees collect their first larger amounts of pollen that form the basis for a healthy and vital bee colony. Shortly after the fruit trees the bees visit the rape fields, usually from mid-April to mid-May. The bee colonies at the rape fields grow spectacularly and collect honey in abundance. All these spring flowers are wilted by the end of May and slowly the summer flowers begin to bloom. For the first summer crop the colonies visit the acacias. These are trees with large white clusters of blossoms. After the acacias the colonies are put up in small groups near villages in the province of Groningen. The bees always find flowers in the gardens of the villages and often there are large old lime trees. Most of the time lime blossom honey is the last honey that is collected in our region each year.
Processing the honey
The honey is stored by the bees in the combs of the beehive. The combs are removed by the employees of the breeding station Ameland and moved to the honey extractor room. This room is designed for optimally processing honey. First the moisture content of a honey lot has to be determined. Only if this moisture content is low enough the honey is processed. Processing starts with uncapping the combs. After that the combs are placed in the honey extractor which extracts the honey by centrifugal force. From the extractor the honey flows into a storage barrel where the honey is inoculated. Inoculation, adding small amounts of perfectly crystallized honey, speeds up the crystallization process. Fast crystallization allows the production of many small crystals in the honey because there is no time to form big grains. Therefore the honey stays creamy and easy to process.
During the whole process the honey is not heated to maximize preserving all of its qualities.
After the honey has crystallized but is still liquid it is filled into our jars from the storage barrel.