Six Things You Should Know About Harvesting Honey
Nothing excites a beekeeper more than harvesting honey. He thinks of it as gardeners think of
their crop yields. And to a beginning beekeeper, it is important to know everything about harvesting because if one
thing goes awry, the experience will not be as enjoyable.
Here are six things you should know about harvesting honey. Keep them in mind, so when the harvest day comes,
there will be less glitches but more fun.
1. A bee-proof room makes a good extracting area. It can be your basement, barn, garage, or anywhere bees will
have hard a time getting into. Have an available exit for those bees left in the supers and are carried into your
extracting room. You can perhaps slightly open a window. Never leave a window open overnight, otherwise bees will
get into the room and rob most of the honey back to the hives.
2. Your extracting room and equipment should all be clean. Honey is a food product, and like any other food, it
should be prepared with consumers in mind. So before you even start extracting, gather all your stuff and clean
them as thoroughly as you can.
3. You can use paint stripper to melt the wax cappings instead of uncapping them with an uncapping knife or a
serrated bread knife. This proves to be a lot quicker.
4. Normally, wax cappings have 10% of the honey yield, so make sure to drain them. After which, you can melt the
wax cappings. Remember that wax leaves a wax film on the tools used for melting, so do not use these tools for
5. Honey can be really sticky. Many beginning beekeepers seem to forget it, so when they uncap the combs and
extract the honey, they keep touching a lot of things, leaving honey residues in many places. The best way to avoid
making your place all sticky is to have a bucket of water and clean towel in your extracting room to rinse honey
off your hand easily.
6. It is best to prepare honey containers early on. Plastic, glass, or stainless steel containers do well.
Remember, honey is acidic, so don't use containers whose materials may react with honey. Have an estimate of your
honey yield to be able to prepare enough number of containers. A shallow super may produce around 2 to 2 + gallons;
the medium-depth super, 3 to 4 gallons; and the full-depth super, 5 to 6 gallons.