We got our first order from outside the EU today! Two pots for Peter's boss in Moscow!
We will be selling it locally on Sunday as there is a Summer Fete in our street in Espoo. Might also try and sell some in Helsinki on Sunday as it is Siivouspäiva which is "Clear Out Day" - a huge flea market all over the city - anyone can set up a stall anywhere, just on Sunday.
The local branch of one of the major supermarkets in Finland (K market) has agreed to stock our honey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That is really great news. Of course it doesn't mean that anyone will buy it but we are glad that (a) they are sourcing from local producers and (b) they like our honey (we sent them a sample to taste).
In the meantime, P has been selling it at work (+20 pots already) and giving it out to neighbours. In fact anyone who knocks on our door ends up buying honey. P is a pretty good salesman.
Astonishingly quite a few people have said, "What do you do with it?" Well, In Finland a lot of people put honey in their tea instead of sugar but not many people would think of spreading it on toast. So I think I need to write down some recipes and/or a few other ideas.
Now I really need to get my act together and take some into work.
Delicious. Organic archipelago rye bread from Backers bakery in Ekenas and our very own, very pale and extremely creamy Rosendal honey.
Peter has been filling honey pots and I'm supposed to be printing labels. Somehow I think I got the short straw... or maybe technology just got in the way. I'm pretty sure I could've handwritten all the "best before" labels quicker than it is taking me to print them. Why is this so difficult?
Anyway, we have honey for sale. Best before August 2015.
Taking advice from the experts we added 3 pots of Mesimestari honey to our own, to trigger the crystallization process. The barrels of honey are in the cool cellar (under the sauna) and we are stirring twice a day.
Within a few hours of adding the "bought" honey, we noticed a significant change in the aspect of ours: it had changed colour and consistency. Apparently the bought honey acts as a "starter" (a bit like live yoghurt or sourdough) but to be honest I'm not sure I understand the science behind it yet.
We will continue to stir the honey for 2-3 days and then we will be ready to put it into pots.
One thing is sure... it tastes really good!
(I'll add some photos but I have a new camera and no clue how to use it yet)
We are still regularly topping up the feeding trays with "neste 65" (sugar and water solution).
Complicated day. We collected a new queen from Janne for hive #7 but when we went through the hive yesterday evening we found a nice, big healthy queen in there. No idea where she had been hiding all the time. Grrr... It means we bought a new queen for nothing. We had to think on our feet... didn't really want to kill any of the existing queens as the hives all seemed to be functioning well.
In the end we rebuilt #9 hive and put the new queen in there. We had enough nice frames with larvae and food for her to get started. However, to prevent robbers coming in for the food, or any kind of desertion, we decided to take #9 hive up to the farmhouse. So, about 1km away (maybe a bit less) from the current hive location, on the far side of the pond.
Peter got stung several times in the process, the bees are quite aggressive right now, they don't want anyone going into their hives and taking away their food before the winter!