How to Harvest Your Honey
There are certain techniques and approaches that you should employ to successfully harvest
honey. Beekeepers invest in the right tools and learn more about the behavior of bees to safely extract the
produce. You have to learn a few things about the characteristics of honey. You can save more time and energy by
following proven and reliable methods. Here are some tips outlined by the experts on how to successfully
Honey is a very sticky substance. Honey will drip and spread in different areas like the floor and doorknobs.
You should bring a bucket of water where you can rinse your hands. A dishtowel will come in very handy in the
extracting room. Some of the most ideal places in the house where you can extract include the garage or basement.
If you have kids extracting with you, you have to inform them about the proper ways of washing.
About the Bees
Bees in the extracting room tend to be drawn quickly to light. Straggler bees that remain in honey supers
usually find their way back to the extracting room and will move towards the light bulb or window. You can create a
small exit near the upper part of the window to let the bees return to the hives if these are close by.
If the hives are not close, you can hang a few drawn frames near the window top with a caged queen. This will
give them a place to settle, as well as make a good nucleus colony once you are finished. A vacuum cleaner hose is
another good substitute. Do not extract straight under the single light bulb.
You should prepare all the needed equipment beforehand. Take out the layer of wax over the top of the cells or
cappings. Save the cappings in a big tub or pan. Put the uncapped frames of honey and comb into an extractor. Spin
the frames using the handle or let the machine spin the frames for electric extractors. Repeat the process until
all the frames are empty of honey.
More on Honey Extraction
Take the wax caps that the bees have used for the honey to seal into the honey comb. Several beekeepers like to
use 9 frames instead of 10 in the supers. Having 9 frames allow them to have enough space to draw the comb out,
which puts the cap right at the edge of the comb. The wax caps then become easier to take out. Beekeepers will use
a metal knife to take out the caps.
The knife is very efficient if the blade is warmed. It is easier to cut warm wax compared to cutting cold wax.
You can keep dunking the knife blade into the basin full of hot water to keep it warm. Place a piece of cloth to
empty the honey into a second pot when removing the caps. The honey will go through the cheesecloth with the
beeswax caps collecting at the top. When the caps are taken out from the honeycomb, the honey will be ready for
Making Your Own Extractor
You can purchase ready-made honey extractors at around $200 to $300. You may want to make your own if you do not
plan to pursue the activity professionally. Some of the materials you need include a metal rod around 1 meter long,
two wheel rims of a bicycle, two pieces of wood, a big metal drum, 10 bolts for the metal rod, 2-3 mm fencing wire,
a self-centering bearing, 400mm sections of 8mm threaded rod, 1 pillow block bearing and 6 coach screws.
Take out the drum end then attach one piece of wood across the drum bottom using the coach screws. Bolt the rim
to the rod about 10 centimeters from the rod end, after inserting the threaded rod through the center of the first
bicycle rim. The newly opened drum end will become the honey extractor top portion. Fasten the wires to the bottom
wheel rim spokes, about 5 to 8 cms from the rim. You have to check that 2 cms of the rod will protrude. Take the
new extractor basket and set it into the drum. Let it settle on the pillow bearing.