Extracting our First Honey Crop

This weekend we decided to extract the honey in our honey super!

My white hive was finally ready for a super (maybe it will get fall honey?) and the blue/purple hive had a full super that was fully capped.

To remove the bees from the super frames, we took the super and stood it on it's side. Then we pulled one frame at a time, and either hit the edge of the bottom board on the ground or just plane shook the frames and let the bees fall to the ground.

Believe it or not, just shaking the frames allowed the bees to fall right off the frames.

From here, we put the frames into a portable cooler. The cooler we had was just the right size to fit the frames length wise. We felt it was easier to put them into a cooler with an easy to open lid, then it would have been to acquire an extra empty super box, and cover/uncover it each time we cleared a frame full of bees.

Then we took the frames closer to the house, and used a vacuum on reverse to blow off any bees that might have still been clinging to the frames.

Once inside the house, we transferred the frames from the cooler, back into the super and then they were ready for extracting.

In the pictures here you can see Garrison, our 19month old who was overjoyed to get to play with all the exciting gear today!

Since this is our first year starting from foundation, we had to run 10 frames in the brood box (otherwise they might have drawn the frames funny). Since we ran 10 frames, none of the super frames were drawn out past the top or bottom board.

This meant we couldn't use a knife to uncap the frames. Each frame had to be uncapped using a capping scratcher.

It was a very slow process until we got the hang of it, so we took turns uncapping.

We tried to go slow, and not allow the tines of the uncapper to go too deep into the wax, rather, just deep enough to be able to pull the caps off each cell.

Once the frames were ready, Garrison and my dad helped turn the extractor.

We'd like to thank our friends Dave and Tina who lent us their 2 frame tangential extractor!

The extractor worked perfectly, and we're very fortunate they let us borrow it!

Below is a picture I snapped while it was spinning. It looks much faster in the picture than we were actually spinning. I think the camera shutter was open just long enough to capture a full resolution of the frames.

Once our frames were extracted, we put them back into the super and prepared our buckets and strainers for our first honey flow.

Once we were done, we weighed the bucket, and it totaled approx 38 lbs.

Comments For This Post: (3) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Kathy says...
Date:   August 1, 2011, 10:55 am

Cool, what a neat process. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for the taste!

Holly says...
Date:   August 3, 2011, 5:24 pm

How exciting!!!  How full was your 5 gallon bucket from the 10 frames?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   August 3, 2011, 9:30 pm


We were able to squeeze out 3 gallons of honey from our 10 frames and even got them in bottles without making a big mess all over the house (much to the delight of my wife)!


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