I extracted eight medium frames of honey this weekend. It came to about 8 litres after bottling. That’s somewhere around 25 pounds or 11kg, or 2 litres per frame. I extracted the honey with another beekeeper who got into beekeeping last summer the same time I did. He went before of me. Some of the following photos are of his honey — starting with this one:
The honey on his frames probably came from Goldenrod nectar. The appearance of the Goldenrod honey comb was different than my comb. The flavour of the honey was more earthy too. My honey probably came from Japanese Knotweed and other floral sources that aren’t as distinctive as Goldenrod. It’s all good honey, though. At any rate, step one was to put all the frames in a rack on the decapping table.
Step two was to remove the wax cappings from the frames of honey with a hot knife called a decapping knife:
The heated knife melts through the wax…
…and if we’re lucky, only the wax falls away.
Most of my frames were thick and bulging in places. It was difficult to slide the knife smoothly beneath the caps. I subsequently lost a fair bit of honey along with the cappings.
But that’s a small price to pay for the use of the extractor. I used a fork called a capping scratcher on a few of my frames instead of the knife. It was easier to poke holes in the caps that were bulging and bumpy.
Each frame was placed in the extractor after decappping.
Then we turned it on, waited a few minutes for it to spin the honey out of the frames, and then we turned on the tap:
This is what I saw when I put some of my honey in a refractometer and looked into it like a spy glass:
It seems like a good reading to me. 17% water is about right for raw honey. This bee couldn’t resist jumping into the honey:
The frames of comb were white and clean after the honey was spun out of them:
I brought the empty sticky combs home and let my bees lick up the leftover honey. They go mad for it. I’ll use those drawn combs in my honey supers next year, which will save the bees from having to make comb all over again. (These are not foundationless frames.) Here’s all the honey after I bottled it on my kitchen table:
I’ll post a video of the extraction process as soon as I have time to look at the video.