Extracting Honey

combWe extracted our first honey this past week! It was really fun. Here’s an empty comb in all it’s mathematical beauty & precision.

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This is the frame (the wooden part) filled with capped honey. The bees cap the honey with wax to seal it. The comb is irregular because we only put a half sheet of wax foundation into each frame and let the bees do the rest. Master beekeeeper Chris Harp of Honeybee Lives taught us that.

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Here we are uncapping the comb. This basically involves cutting off the wax so that the honey inside can be drained or spun out in an extractor.

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Jem & Felix are spinning the extractor, it works on centrifugal force. The uncapped comb with honey inside faces the outside of the barrel and the honey spills out as the frame is turned.

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When all the frames are done we opened the spigot at the bottom and the honey poured into a clean bucket with a fine filter fitted on top. The filter just ensures that no wax makes it into the honey. The honey itself is still raw and untreated.

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Here’s the honey dripping into the filter.

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The honey!! Note the light color. it may be Catalpa or clover honey, we’re not sure. it is very flavorful and clover honey is supposed to be mild so we don’t really know where they got their nectar.

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We thought these little bottles would make nice gifts, they hold 8 ounces each so we ended up with about 7 lbs total. The little bear was a gift from Megan at Hudson Valley Bee Supply where we get lots of our supplies.

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Our ladies seemed to really loves these drumstick allium. I think I’ll plant more this fall.

IMG_0176Summer in the Catskills has a lot to offer, and Felix was a huge help with our adventures in honey collecting.

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3 thoughts on “Extracting Honey

    • It’s not hard but it helps to be a little bit handy at carpentry because there is a fair amount of building and assembling. My husband does a lot of that part of it which is good. The whole beekeeping community is very helpful though and people are always happy to give advice. I took a 2-day course with local beekeepers and that’s what gave me the confidence to start out on my own. Our hives are not in the woods, they are in a meadow next to a garden shed. Bears are a concern where we live so we didn’t want to put the hives too close to the woods.

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