I don’t like to use the chemicals to run the bees out of the honey supers so I just pull the frames individually and shake/brush the bees off. My kids run the frames to Emily who stacks them in the extraction area inside empty supers. I can’t hardly lift a full super of honey anyhow, so this is a lot easier on my body…and without the chemicals/smell!
Honey frames should be almost entirely capped. If there are too many uncapped cells, the honey is not done. In fact, if you bottle it, the moisture content will probably be too high and the honey may ferment.
A well capped frame should look clean and white or maybe golden. It smells great!
When we extract, we use a searated edge knife to remove the bulk of the honey cappings. We then go over anything we missed with a fork. No need for a fancy cappings scratcher unless you want to use it. There is a ton of honey that remains in the cappings that are cut off so we always catch them and save the honey and the wax.
I am pretty happy about our extraction setup. We go to Emily’s grandparents’ house and use their garage most times. We can venitlate it, keep it clean with plastic table cloths and have plenty of room. Ventilation is so important because the perfect day to extract is the absolute hottest day of the year. It doesn’t matter when you plan to do it…it will melt you!
Aside from getting the honey out of the frames with our motorized extractor, the only processing we do is to run the honey through a nylon filter to remove any large wax chunks or bee parts. It goes from the filter straight into the bottles.
I like to keep honey in containers of several sizes and shapes to appeal to people’s needs…plus I think it looks cooler!
Here are some pics of the harvest process and
-the honey we got in 2014
-the honey we got in 2013
-the honey we got in 2012
-the honey we got in 2011
-the honey we got in 2010
-the honey we got in 2009
-the honey we got in 2008