Monday, July 8, 2013

Sticky and Sweet, Extracting Honey: Part 1

This past Saturday I was up until 3am sanitizing a slew of jars. I can be such a procrastinator sometimes. Getting ready for the big event.
My bee host was hosting a barbeque to celebrate our very first honey harvest. I made a giant fruit salad to bring with me. Ahhhhh, fresh fruit. I love summer!!
It was a blistering 95F out yesterday. Hot. Hot. Hot. I was completely dreading putting on my beekeeper's suit. It's really hot wearing that in full sun and heat. But we had a job to do. On hot days like this, the bees need to cool down. On one of our hives, there was full bearding, the bees do this to keep cool. Check out all the bees in front of the hive.
We pulled the lid and here it is. 10 Frames full of honey! Woot, woot!
Pulling the frames from the honey super was tricky business! There are bees all over the frames. We did the brush method. Pulling one frame at a time, and using a bee brush to gently brush off the bees from the frames. Then the frames one by one, go into a large tupperware bucket and we throw the lid on top to keep the bees from getting on the frames. The actual extraction is done indoors because the bees will want to get back on the frames.
Once the frames are pulled, then we use a capping knife to scrape off the wax caps. This was so much fun, probably my favorite part of the extraction process.
Look at all that dripping fresh honey. The smell is just intoxicating! When the honey comb is built past the wooden frame, it's easy to run the knife along the frame edge to remove the wax caps.
Sometimes the honey comb don't go past the frames so we use a fork to scrape off the wax comb. We don't like this method of wax removal as much because the honey was harder to extract.
Here is video of the removal of the wax cappings.
video
Here's my beekeeping partner Paul and I removing wax off the frames. This is a face of a happy, happy Mimi. I'm literally grinning from ear to ear. Extremely giddy, maybe it was all the honey we sampled. A honey high perhaps? I'll take it.

1 comment:

  1. While we run 10 frames in the hive body, we run 9 frames in the honey supers...that way the bees are pretty much guaranteed to build comb beyond the frame (with the "extra" room), making honey extraction much easier...

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