Extraction Party

The June Extraction Party, courtesy of our generous host Peggi, was a big success. A lot of us have more summer honey to extract… Should we have another Extraction Party? Thanks to Bob Weseloh, we now have two additional extractors in addition to the club’s large extractor.

Please fill out the form below to let us know if you’re interested, and what dates work for you. Thanks!


Do you have frames to extract?(Required)

Honey Extraction – Equipment

There are two ways to extract honey from your frames:

  • Crush and squeeze
  • Extractor

Crush and Squeeze

The crush and squeeze requires the least amount of equipment. It is simple – scrape all the capped honey cells off the frame with a putty knife or spatula, squeeze the honey out of all the wax, and strain it.


  • It’s inexpensive and simple.


  • The wax comb on the frames is destroyed. Your bees will have to rebuild the comb, which takes significant energy.
  • It’s very messy and time consuming.


The club owns two extractors – a 12 frame motorized extractor, and a small hand-crank extractor. Both can be reserved here.

You will need:

  • Uncapping tools.
  • Bucket.
  • Filter (optional, but highly recommended).

Uncapping Tools

There are a number of uncapping tools, ranging from expensive automated frame un-cappers to kitchen forks. Here are some of the simpler options:

Heat Gun

Works well on fresh, light golden colored caps. Not as effective on darker colored caps.

Pin Roller

Uncapping Fork

You can also use a kitchen fork.

Uncapping Knife

An uncapping knife can work well if your bees have built very even honey cells. Pictured above is a “cold” knife – there are also heated knives that melt the caps.

When you uncap your wax, put that through a strainer too. You will be amazed how much honey is in there. Once it’s strained save the wax and render down to use to make other hive products such as candles and bees wax wraps.

Buckets and Filters


Remember to get a lid!!  A simple lid (like these “easy peel” lids) is best – the gamma seal lids can be harder to clean and are more expensive.


If you use a filter as you are extracting, your honey nice, clean and ready to bottle. Paint filters work well.

  • These strainer inserts work very well with 5 gallon buckets. Recommended!
  • Or you can use a mesh bag filter, like this, available from Amazon, or find them in the paint department at your local hardware store.

Gate Valve

It will be easy to fill your honey jars if you install a gate valve in your honey bucket before you extract. Here’s a link to a valve on Amazon. You will need a hole saw to drill the hole in your bucket. Come to a GBA Extraction Event and we will have a drill and hole saws available for use.


Honey Extraction

Click here for more information on Equipment.

Selecting Frames

  • Take frames having only honey.
    • Do not take frames with any brood, larvae or eggs.
    • Avoid taking frames with pollen.
    • Do not take frames that have pest damage, e.g. wax moth trails. It can add a bad taste and smell to all your extracted honey.
  • The honey should be capped.
    • It is best to only take fully capped frames. If there are a few uncapped honey cells, hold the frame horizontally and gently shake it up and down. If any liquid comes out of the uncapped cells, then  put that frame back. That uncapped honey is not a high enough concentration yet – you risk having your extracted honey start to ferment.
  • If you are using an extractor, take an even number of frames to balance the extractor.

Removing and Transporting Frames

  • It is easiest to transport the frame in a hive box.
  • If you have an extra hive box:
    • Select a frame.
    • Brush and/or shake off most of the bees.
    • Put it in your extra box.
  • Best not to leave empty room in the super:
    • Remove the empty super.
    • Or replace the selected frames with empty frames.
    • Or replace the extracted frames (“wet” frames) soon.
    • Warning: the “wet” frames (those which you just extracted) can easily create a very ugly robbing scenario… if you are returning the wet frames to your super, do it quickly.
  • A small leaf blower (like this) is handy for blowing off stragglers before transporting or moving the box(es) of honey frames.

You now have a box full of sticky honey and beeswax… keep that in mind if you’re putting it in your vehicle.

  • Laying down a large, flat plastic garbage bag works well to protect your car.
  • There will always be a few stragglers… placing a wet towel over the box will keep them from flying around in your car.
  • Don’t forget, your box of honey frames is a magnet for other bees in the neighborhood. Keeping a wet towel or cover over your hive box will reduce the chance of creating an unwanted bee party.

Prepare for Extraction

Avoid getting yourself into a robbing bee frenzy! Keep your honey frames under wraps until you’re ready:

  • It is highly recommended to do this indoors, in your garage, or at a club Extractor Day. Doing it outdoors is asking for trouble.
  • Get the extractor setup and ready to go.
  • Get all your tools, buckets and filters organized and ready.
  • Take a moment and rehearse in your mind your workflow.
  • If you find extra bees in the extracting area, turn off the lights. They will fly towards a window, and can easily be removed.
  • Keep a bowl with water near by and paper towels to rinse your hands and hive tool when they get extra sticky.
  • Be careful not to get water in your honey – this can cause fermentation.
  • Put down a canvas tarp or cardboard or a tablecloth on the floor where extracting to catch any drips.


Getting Started – Equipment


BEFORE you get your bees, you’re going to need some gear, and do some setup. The following is a list of MUST-HAVES and a few optional items. BEFORE you get your bees, you need to have all this stuff, be familiar with its operation and setup, and set up the hive.


Always wear a bee suit!!

  • Bee suit (integrated jacket & veil, or integrated veil and overalls).
  • Gloves. Disposable nitrile or dishwashing gloves work well.
  • Pant leg belt (or duct tape).


  • Hive tool – they’re inexpensive, so you might get a spare too.
  • Smoker.
  • Smoker fuel – you can use dried leaves, or you can buy burlap or other smoker fuels.

Be very careful starting and using your smoker. Do not start a wildfire! If it’s a windy day, best not to work on your bees.


Please see here for an overview of a typical beehive.

We recommend starting with a Langstroth hive – by far the most common type of hive.

The minimum to get started:

  • Hive stand – highly recommended – it is best to get the hive up off the ground.
  • Bottom board – either a solid or “screened” bottom board. You can always change it later.
  • Deep hive body (see below about 8 vs 10 frame bodies).
  • Frames for the deep body – 9 1/8″ black waxed.
  • Cover – telescoping cover w/ inner cover recommended, but “migratory cover” ok too. Make sure it matches your body (number of frames)!


  • Water source. Your bees need water. Don’t make them go to your neighbor’s swimming pool for water.

Nice to Haves

  • Propane torch to start the smoker. Much quicker and easier than a match or lighter.
  • Feeder, syrup and pollen patties.
  • Notebook and pen.
  • Camera / phone.
  • Mint candy or gum – your breath (CO2) can agitate the bees. DO NOT eat bananas around your bees, or have any banana smell or material on your person when near your bees. It has a chemical compound similar to bee alarm pheromone and will agitate your bees to sting you.