Sunday, September 1, 2013

Honey Extraction 2013

I harvested my honey rather late this year. My bees had a rough time this season and I wanted to give them every opportunity to get some honey capped for me. I finally pulled all my honey frames last week and was waiting for another 80 degree day so I could extract. Today proved to be just such a day.

My uncapping tank is a sink I bought off Craigslist which I set on top of 3 shallow honey supers, stacked one on top of the other. There is a bucket lined with a straining bag placed directly beneath the drain opening.

I set the frame in the sink and use my uncapping knife to uncap the cells. Then I go over the ones I missed with the capping scratcher. You need to make sure all the cells are uncapped in order to extract the honey from the frame. Once the frame is uncapped, on both sides, you place it into the extractor. The wax and honey that remains in the uncapping tank gets pushed through the drain opening and falls into the bucket.
Once all of the frames have been extracted I place another bucket, lined with a filter, under the opening on the front of the extractor and open the "honey gate".
The honey flows out, along with chunks of wax and any other debris. The honey is then filtered by passing through a very fine strainer. This large bucket also features a honey gate. The nicely filtered honey is now ready to be placed into smaller storage buckets, or jars, for long term storage.

After the frames have been extracted I place them, and the rest of the extracting equipment, out into my bee yard for the bees to clean.
That way there is no waste. The bees are only too happy to take the leftover honey back to their hives. Today the air in my backyard was full of happy, excited bees. It was a challenge to get these videos and pictures as the bees were careening past me, full throttle.
In the end I extracted 16 pounds of honey this year, which is twice the amount of last year's harvest.


Robin said...

Very nice Roxy. I lost all my bees this year and will be starting over in the spring. I am so sad but I am not giving up.

crazihippichic said...

Don't give up. Does Lauri Miller sell nucs? If so, I would try to get one from her. The bees she has are very hardy. The queen I bought from her is an egg laying machine. I can't wait to see how that hive does next year.

Maybe you just got a bad batch of bees this year?

Many of us in the bee club had problems. I lost a queen to illness, the bees created a new queen but she couldn't mate due to the rain, one of my hives was a challenging year. I guess I should be glad I got any honey at all.

crazi said...

I am going to try to learn "queen rearing" since that is one if my biggest problems. Every year I need to re-queen due to losses, and have to scramble to find one.