Harvesting our honey

This is the part of beekeeping that everyone ooh’s and ahh’s about – honey.  It’s the fruit of your labor.  So what goes into extracting all that honey?  Well I’m going to show you…and yes, it is a sticky mess.

Step 1: Gather your extracting equipment.  The basic items you will need is an uncapping bin, an extractor, a bucket, filters/strainers and an uncapping knife.  Make sure everything has be thoroughly washed and is clean.

Gather your equipment

Step 2: Gather your frames full of honey.  Don’t worry, we still left some for the bees in their hives.

Gather your frames

Step 3: Begin uncapping your frames.  When honey is ready in the honeycomb the bees will cap it (cover it) with wax.  This seals in and protects the finished product while it is still in the hive.

Uncapping

Step 4: Place your frames in the extractor to collect your honey.  There are many types and sizes of extractors you can get, based on your needs and budget.

Extracting

Step 5: Filter, filter, filter.  We run our honey through 3 filters.  A coarse one that gathers the larger pieces of wax in the honey, a medium filter that catches anything the first one missed, and a very fine filter that will catch any remaining small particles of wax.

Filtering

Step 6: Wait.  This is the hardest part! We let the honey sit for about 15 days.  This gives the honey time to settle.  All the air bubbles and any impurities will separate and allow you to skim it off.

Step 7: After you have waited you can go ahead and jar your honey.  I’ll post some pictures of that once we get to it.

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