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Show Me The Honey!
Aug 1, 2022

Show Me The Honey!

The aim is to have a strong hive which can take advantage of nectar flows. The bees then store surplus nectar which they convert to honey. Harvesting is best done at the end of the flow and when the bees have capped the honey. If you’re a first timer or just need a quick refresher on harvesting honey from your backyard beehives continue reading below.

Clear Supers

There are many ways to clear your supers including: using a smoker to pacify your hive, Queen excluders to separate your bees from the supers or frame you wish to harvest, or simply removing the section and brushing bees gently back into their hive. Pull the bee-free frames out and set them aside in a lidded, empty super until you’re ready to take your honey-laden frames inside for extraction.

Uncapping the Honey

The best temperature to uncap and extract honey is 70-80F. Above 90F the wax is too soft and below 65F the honey is stiff and is hard work to extract. Uncapping is the process of removing the thin wax covering your frames to expose the honey. Use a fork, heated knife, scratcher, or similar tool on both sides of the frame.

Extracting the Honey

Place supers in an extractor making sure the longest part of the frame is nearest the outside of the extractor to balance your frames. Start slowly and build the speed. This forces the honey to the walls of the drum where it will drip to the bottom.

Filter & Bottle

We suggest pouring the honey from the extractor, through a filter, and into a honey tank or bucket. This allows you to let the freshly extracted honey settle for 24 hours letting the bubbles and solids rise to the top. Remove any solids from the surface, at this point, your honey is ready to bottle. Use clean, sterilized bottles to avoid contaminating your honey product. 

It is important to remember not to take all of the honey from the hive. Only take what you need. You don’t want your bees to starve over winter! Especially since your bee colonies have actively foraged and stored their food. Take only the excess.