There are two ways to extract honey from your frames:
- Crush and squeeze
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.
- Filter (optional, but highly recommended).
There are a number of uncapping tools, ranging from expensive automated frame un-cappers to kitchen forks. Here are some of the simpler options:
Works well on fresh, light golden colored caps. Not as effective on darker colored caps.
You can also use a kitchen fork.
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.
- Home Depot carries food grade 5 gallon plastic buckets. Check in the paint department.
- Amazon has many food-grade buckets, e.g. this 6 pack of food grade, no BPA buckets.
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.
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.