Great Honey Robbery of 2013

The weekend we've been waiting for had finally arrived...the honey in our outyard was ready to be extracted, and our family calendar finally had an open weekend!

Early on Saturday morning we got up and gathered our gear as the sun was peaking over the hill. We packed our van and arrived at the hives at Tom's house by 7am.

We pulled about 4 boxes of frames of capped honey and shook the bees off of them. For the remaining bees that clung to the frames we used a special leaf blower attachment to a week whacker and then rubber banded the trigger down so it would stay running unattended.

It provided a steady stream of air to gently blow the bees off of the frames.

After each frame was cleaned of bees, we stuck them into a nearby empty cooler. Once we had 10 frames cleaned, we'd move the frames up the hill to where the van was parked.

Back home we set to uncapping the frames. Garrison came over and wanted to help use the uncapping fork, so I had him help me on a few of the frames.

The frames are resting on a 1" x 3" piece of wood on top of an extra 5 gallon extracting bucket. In the center of the 1" x 3" wood is a screw facing upward so the frame can pivot and spin easily.

The dripping caps and honey fall from the frame and directly into the strainers in the buckets. You'll notice newspaper around the buckets, that's there just in case.

Maeve who just learned how to crawl recently couldn't help buy come by and see the action.

It seemed, though, Maeve  was more interested in trying to lift the lever on the honey gate and see what would come out.

Rest assured though, after Garrison did that to use two years ago and actually spilled some honey on the floor, we made sure to keep the wing nut on the gate locked down pretty tight now.

Although she kept trying and trying anyways.

At one point she just sat back and leaned up against the extractor while it was running feeling it vibrating. It didn't take long and Emmett (pictured bottom-right) found his way downstairs to see what was going on.

Finally after a few hours of uncapping, spinning frames and putting the empty ones back into their super boxes, it was time for "Garrison's Job".  Last year Garrison was in charge of opening the honey gate on the extractor and keeping an eye it to make sure it didn't over flow from the buckets.

Once the extractor was completely drained, we put the honey buckets onto a scale and weighed them. The 9.5 gallons came out to be about 120 lbs.

We left the honey in the buckets overnight to allow the bubbles to float to the top so they would make a clean pour into the jars.

After a full nights rest we regrouped and started filling jars. You can click on the picture below for a much larger version.

Once we were done we took over a bunch of jars to Tom as a thank you for letting us keep hives on his farm. We're very grateful to be able to keep bees there!

Comments For This Post: (3) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mom says...
Date:   June 24, 2013, 6:37 pm

This is awesome. Didn't expect to see that much honey. What an incredible process. Nice pictures of the family checking out the process. Thanks for sharing.

Robin says...
Date:   June 25, 2013, 5:36 am

Way cool!    I'm working with split hives and a cutout this year, so I don't know if we'll be able to extract nearly that much honey, but I'm excited to see yours.   Our fall flow is pretty good, so maybe by October I'll have some, too.

Mark Martin says...
Date:   June 26, 2013, 1:23 pm

Whoa!  Nice!  I don't think I'll be close to even looking for surplus honey until the end of summer.

Post your Comments!

Your Name: (Leave Blank for Anonymous)

(Feel free to link back to your site within your message!)

You should see a captcha above.
If you don't, your network or browser is likely blocking it.
Your comments will not appear until they're approved.