Sweet Harvest


The honey harvest is late, but what’s a beekeeper to do when fires burn and the backcountry calls? A week and a half ago I raided the hive and strained nearly a gallon of honey into smaller jars. It’s raw honey–still contains pollen and propolis, which the bees gather and store.

The cooler weather has slowed them down. They spend a lot of time inside, clustered together. But when sun hits the hive, they emerge to fly around and I see them returning with pollen packed onto their back legs. There are still a few flowers blooming. The bees keep most of the honey to feed on throughout the cold winter and into early spring.

I am sniffling and coughing, so am glad to have honey for my favorite cold remedy: half a fresh lemon squeezed into a cup with a big spoonful of honey and boiling water poured over. Stir and drink while hot. A little whiskey added to this brew soothes a cough.

The other sweet harvest is boiled apple cider. This is the first year I have made it, and it’s easy. Pour fresh apple cider into a large pot, bring to a boil then simmer until most of the cider is reduced to a dark apple syrup. This takes 4 or 5 hours and makes the house smell good. Save in glass jars to use in apple pies, on ice cream or pancakes, or with sparkling water for a tasty beverage. No sugar added. Yum!

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