Mango Honey – Miel de Mango
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure and honor to visit with one of the top mango honey producers in the area. Don Cuco, his wife Doña Juana and daughter Maggie invited me into their home to watch and participate in the process of honey recovery and processing. The bees were not necessarily so happy to see me, a stranger, so I did get a few stings on my neck. If you get stung by a honey bee, remember that their stingers are barbed and remain lodged in your skin until removed. And they can only sting once.
Don’ s family has been harvesting mango honey for the past 28 years. Their hives are located near Las Varas, and of course, in a mango orchard. At any given time, they have well over 200 flats of honey combs in approximately 60-70 hives. Each flat contains 9 frames eToro in which the honey combs are tended by thousands and thousands honey bees. During the mango honey producing season, which is during the blossoming stages of the mango trees, the hives are constantly monitored and harvesting usually starts after 8 days of bee pollination.
The female worker bees collect the nectars from the blossoms. They produce the honey inside their bodies and then deposit it in the wax honey combs of the hives. At this point, the honey is high in moisture, so the bees fan the combs by flapping their wings to evaporate the excess moisture. When the moisture content is between 18% and 20% the bees seal the combs with a layer of wax. This is called capping.
When the honey is ready to be harvested, Don’s family gathers the flats and brings them into their dining room to begin their work. Each flat contains 9 frames that are filled with capped honeycombs and of course some that are not finished yet.
The next step in harvesting the honey is to remove the frames from the flats and cut the caps off of the combs to expose the honey. They are then placed into a hand-driven centrifuge that spins at a high rate of speed which drives the honey from the honey combs and ends up draining into a bucket for further processing. The caps that are cut from the flats are left to drain naturally.
While Don is cleaning off the caps, others are loading up and spinning the centrifuge. The honey drains out the bottom, through a coarse screen and then filtered to produce pure nearly-organic mango honey. Of course, no one knows exactly where the bees have been hanging out, so it cannot be labeled organic. As you might be able to see, each flat contains a brand (RB). The many thousands of bees that are punching the clock each day, don’t have room on their little bodies for a brand.
The cleaned and filtered honey is packaged into various sized containers for sale at the markets, grocery stores and at their casa.
There are many different flavors of honey available. The flavors depend on what kind of flowers the bees are gathering the nectar from. In my book, the mango honey is the most flavorful and most desired of the honeys available here.
You can purchase honey at Don’s family casa which is located at Calle Mar Caribe #35. Their phone number is 274-1068. If you haven’t tried mango honey, you are missing something.