Sweet Harvest

Tuesday September 11, 2012

Other Berkshire beekeepers say they are doing really well this year as opposed to last year, when wet weather all summer kept the bees inside their hives.

Joe Moncecchi, the beekeeper at Hancock Shaker Village, said he extracted 630 pounds of honey from his hives so far this year and expects to gather more before the season is over.

"It used to be that [amount] three or four years ago, but the last few years were not good. It's really good this year," Moncecchi said.

"It tastes good every year, but it's always different," he said. "I taste it today and it's different from another day. Each day has a different floral pattern, but it's always good on toast and cereal."

Moncecchi will be sharing his knowledge and selling his honey at the Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair during the weekend of Sept. 29-30.

Tony Pisano, who keeps his bees in North Adams, said the mild winter made life easier for bees this year.

Lloyd Vosburgh in Stamford, Vt., said his bees already have the 100 pounds of honey they need to survive. They eat it once temperatures drop below 50-degrees. The rest is surplus which he can harvest and sell.

"Most of them have already made provision for winter," he said of his bees. "They'll be able to overwinter on their own.

"I'm just entering into the fall [honey] flow," Vosburgh explained. "I'm just waiting for the honey to ripen up. The bees put caps on [honeycomb cells] when the moisture cures to 17 percent.

"Honey is very similar to making maple syrup," he said. "It's looking pretty good. I've got some that's almost ready to take off."


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