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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    70

    Default Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    Not sure yet if I will be extracting honey this fall or next but wanting to start getting the supplies I need and making sure I have all of my ducks in an order.

    Right now I have 1 hive, I might work my way up to about 3 hives total over the next few years. I am thinking a 2 frame extractor should work fine.

    Here is what I have read but please add or change any of these steps.

    1) Pull the super boxes and store them for a few days in a cool dry place. Thinking my basement should work good. (is it important to store for a few day and if so, why?)

    2) Put in uncapping tank. (is an uncapping tank necessary? if so is there a way I could make one out of a plastic tote?)

    3) Uncap honey. (I am guessing a heated uncapping knife would work best. What are other good options?)

    4) Put in extractor, spin honey out.

    5) Drain honey from extractor to bottling bucket. ( do i need a bottling bucket or can I put straight from extractor to jars/containers I am going to put my final honey product in?)

    Do I need some kind of strainer to go from the extractor/bottling bucket to the final jars? Would a normal kitchen strainer work?

    All tips would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    Storing the honey for a few days is not necessary.

    You can make an uncapping tank out of anything that suits you. I used a tote for a few years, I built a screen 3 inches above the bottom to catch the wax and let the honey drain. Install a gate vale you will be glad u did.
    If you are only doing a hive or two you can use a capping scraper (Fork) to remove the capping. they run about 7 bucks

    Yes you need a bottling bucket, as the honey needs to be strained, and allowed to settle before bottling.

    Yes, you will need a strainer. how fine depends on what your honey goals are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Shediac, NB, Canada
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    If you store the honey, you have to reheat it to get it to flow//best to extract in a warm area that the bees can not get into as they will come in a hurry if they can get in (at least in the fall when the flow is low). We get everything ready & take the honey super straight from the hive(s) to the extractor. Not sure about 2 frame extractors, but for our extractor (Maxant) you have to keep the bottom valve open during extraction to let the honey flow out (otherwise the centrifuge has to work too hard).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    1) Storing for a few days is unnecessary if all or most cells are capped. If you are careful only to harvest frames that are nearly all capped, no storing is necessary. Warming the frames to above 90 degrees with a thermostat and light bulb or some other arrangement hugely facilitates extraction.
    2) I use a bigger plastic tray for holding frames to be uncapped with an uncapping fork, and a smaller plastic tray to scrape the wax off the fork.
    3) I would advise using an uncapping fork first, you will need one anyway because many frames will have hills and valleys that need attention. A heated knife may be faster but they put far more honey into the uncapping wax.
    4) I made my own extractor. Two frame is fine at first. Radial are IMHO vastly better than tangential.
    5) From honey gate in extractor then through filters (eg 600/400/200 micron) into bucket with its own honey gate. Let sit for bubbles and wax particles to rise, then bottle from that. The filter sets are cheap and fit nicely in the bucket, but I started out using strainer with nylon mesh on top.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    How does the uncapping fork work? Just pokes holes in the wax to let the honey out?

    How long should the honey sit in the bucket before put into jars?

    Once you have the honey extracted, do you need to do anything to the frames with comb on them, or just store until next year? Anything special about storing them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    The uncapping fork has many sharp tines that slide just under the caps and lifts them off. If you are careful and skilful you will lift off very little honey, just the caps. The honey can sit in the bucket a day or for months. Having a small amount of foamy wax particles gradually come to the top after bottling is not objectionable in my opinion. It indicates to those who want raw unfiltered, unheated honey that all the good stuff is still there.

    There will be honey left on the extracted frames. Either put them back in the hive for the bees to clean up and refill, or set them out at quite a distance from the hives (so not to incite robbing) and let the bees clean them up. Then you can spray them with BT or just store them and check now and then for wax moth tunnels to scrape off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    Josh, go to ur local Lowe's or Home Depot and for about $25 u can get a heat gun. Get a clear storage tote from Wal-Mart, lay a piece of 2x4 across it, prop the frame on its edge at an angle and quickly run the heat gun over it. The cappings are so thin, they melt quickly. (I can do both sides of a frame in under 30 seconds) Then place the frame in the extractor and spin away. I toiled with knives, heated knives, scratchers, etc., the heat gun solved all my problems and cut my extracting time greatly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    1,777

    Default Re: Questions on honey extracting process and supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by casinoken View Post
    the heat gun solved all my problems and cut my extracting time greatly.
    True, but I've found it only works well on newly drawn comb. The older comb seems to need a different approach.

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