On Sunday, August 26, our eldest son-in-law (Richard Chao) was nice enough to help harvest the last hive. This is the third year that Rich has helped in the honey harvest and he is becoming a pro.
This is the hive (# 5) that was started by a swarm. At the beginning of the season, I placed empty hives in the apiary, to get ready for the new bee packages. We (Mathew Togmai – youngest son in law and I) picked up the bee packages from Steve Tabar in Vacaville and when we attempted to install the first package, we discovered that the hive was already occupied by a swarm. Fine with us. So we were very interested in how the swarm would perform as compared to the other hives started from bee packages.
The result was that the honey harvest from the swarm hive was about the same as the first three hives – with two honey supers. The fourth hive (harvested last week) was clearly the best with four honey supers.
We, of course, were required to celebrate the final honey harvest with a proper meal:
*) Roast Beef
I used a rib roast and made an au jus. I roasted the beef with onion, garlic, green beans, mushrooms, carrots (from our garden), bok choy, and red wine.
*) Fresh Bread
Evelyn hit a home run on this one.
I selected the following cheeses to match up with the beef:
*) Westcombe – Borough Market Cheddar
A British raw cow’s milk cheddar.
*) Keen – Farmhouse Cheddar from Neal’s Yard Dairy
Another British raw cow’s milk cheddar. A very nice, sharp cheddar.
*) Long Clawson – Cotswold
A British pasteurized cow’s milk cheese made with chives and onion.
*) Borough Market – Stilton
A pasteurized cow’s milk made in the classic blue British style.
*) Afinage – Pave du Nord Herve Mons
Pave du Nord is named after the pavement stones it resembles. The rough like exterior hides a bright orange interior. This is a hard cheese that has a wonderful carmel flavor.