Earlier this year we partnered with Miel MTL to install two beehives in our garden with between 20,000 and 60,000 honeybees, and we can now enjoy the fruits of their labor. Our bees have been thriving, and for our first honey extraction, Miel MTL sent beekeepers to our head office to explain the process to us and have our team members assist in bottling and labeling it. With all safety measures in place, our employees enjoyed a tasty team-building activity while also learning more about our smallest Ardene family members.
Although the actual honey extraction was done by Miel MTL at their registered facility, we were treated to an explanation of the process by one of their beekeepers. The honey that collects on a comb is heavy, and so extracting it is delicate in order not to damage the wooden frames around the honeycombs.
- Bees protect their honey by coating it in a layer of wax, so those beeswax caps need to be carefully removed before we can get the honey. Warmth helps loosen it, so the frames are kept cozy until our beekeepers can remove the beeswax without damaging the combs.
- The frames are placed in an extractor: a machine that spins with such a force that the honey is whipped off the combs and collects on the sides. This is done without any heat to preserve the natural, nutritional properties of the yummy honey.
- After one more manual filtering for any leftover wax, the result is the delicious, organic honey that we were able to help bottle.
Our happy honeybees have already produced over 200 jars of raw honey, and we were excited to get involved! Our team members formed a (distanced) production line starting with using the honey filling machines to fill each jar, all the way to affixing our Ardene honey labels to the bottles. They’ll be sold internally to our head office team with proceeds going to support the maintenance of our beehives. We are proud of this initiative and happy to be working with Miel MTL, and we wish our honeybees a long, healthy future with us.