With Christmas now far behind us and everyone back into the usual work routine, the Honey Club thought now would be a good time to add a little sunshine to the January gloom and get stuck in with our honey harvest.
We kicked it off on Thursday by inviting the lovely people at Wolff Olins to come along and help prepare the honey comb.
Before we can extract any honey, the thin protective layer of wax has to be removed, using the comb pictured. The wax can be used for a number of products, including candles, lip balm and shampoo. This can be quite time consuming, but everyone got stuck right in and had a go!
Once the wax has been removed, the honey combs are then placed in this centrifuge (like an old fashioned washing machine!). This needs to be spun by hand until the honey works its way out of the comb.
The next step is to filter the honey, to remove all traces of wax. We filter twice through two different sizes of sieve, which leaves us with the pure, golden honey we love. This takes a really, really long time!
On Friday we were joined by some Young Generators from Global Generation. First off Stuart, our Building Manager and resident bee keeper, gave them a tour of the roof garden and showed them our bee hives. The Generators are keen to find out all things business related as well as honey related.
Neridah giving a talk on all things Honey Club.
Now for the fun part! It was time to pour our yummy honey into jars.
Everyone got to taste the fantastic honey – which this year has a very elderflower taste.
We had some great feedback from the Young Generators after the event. Here are a few of their comments:
How do bees make honey so tasty? It was really interesting to learn about the honey club. I also learnt a lot of new things, like how the honey tasted of elderflowers with citrus hints. This was because of the bees getting the things they needed from these particular flowers. I mostly enjoyed eating the honey and I am glad I got to lick the big spoon at the end. Let’s make lip balm, sounds fun! – Ela
My experience today has made me curious about who first decided (as in humans) to harvest the honey and eat it. Who came up with all the methods to get different types of honey and how to take it from the bee’s in the first place? How did they know it was safe to eat and how did they get the bees to come back to the hives to produce more honey? Humans must had observed this for such a long time. – Marta
My experience today has made me curious about a bee’s life. Not only the finished, or diluted substance we know as honey, is quite simply sticky. The honey process is a long one and I understand now why it is called the golden liquid! It makes me wonder about how under appreciated bees are. Although I enjoyed the entire day and activities, I liked the tasting of the elderflowers honey the bee had produced and learning the different states the honey goes through. Honey really captures all 5 senses. – Ranya
Emily Cooper, Wolff Olins
Photography by Wunmi Onibudo