Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Honey... Finally!

After lots of hiccups and run ins with bears, skunks, varroa mites, swarming, and just about every other mishap that  a beekeeper can have we have finally pulled honey off our hives!

We decided to spin the honey off the frames at night because our building isn't bee proof and we feared that if we spun it during the day that every bee within two miles would come to check out the delicious smell.  This way we hoped all the local bees were safely in their beds.  

 Fitz gets the honey frames out of the truck.  

And we bring them into our building to the 

uncapping unit..

and honey extractor...

Then we begin the long process of uncapping the honey frames.  We have an electric knife that gets hot (you can see John using it), but we found it cuts through the caps very slowly.  A sharp serrated knife did a much quicker job.  The wax caps that we cut off fall down into the uncapping unit and any honey that comes out of the comb drains into a bucket placed underneath. 

Fitz comes in and gives it a try.

Then we put the uncapped frames into the extractor.  This unit spins and through centrifugal force makes the honey fly out of the combs and drip to the bottom of the unit.  

We catch the honey in a bucket. 

As the honey comes out of the extractor we pour it through double screen strainers to catch the wax bits, bee parts, and other debris.  

And end up with lots of beautiful golden honey!
(the white stuff is foam from the honey drizzling out of the strainer)

Winnie the Pooh:   Christopher Robin, I think the bees S-U-S-P-E-C-T something. 
Christopher Robin:   Perhaps they think you're after their honey. 
Winnie the Pooh:   Well, it may be that. You never can tell with bees. 
~from "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree"


  1. OH, MY!!!! I love it!! I don't care how much the shipping is, but if this honey is for sale, I want a couple of jars!! Love it!! Btw, your birthday present is almost in the mail...!!

    Love you!

  2. Looks like a great harvest! Love the Winnie The Pooh quotes at the end :-)

  3. We won't get our first batch of honey until next Spring...but this post is extremely inspiring!

  4. Congrats on your harvest! Found you on the Barnhop, glad I did! From one beekeeper to another!

  5. I bet it will taste so good...especially on fresh made biscuits or light bread. My dad was a beekeeper and we did this same thing when I was a child. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

  6. My husband was trying to explain extractors to me yesterday -- now, thanks to your pictures, I get it!