So you’re interested in extracting honey from your hives! Congratulations! A honey harvest is one of the best things that can happen for a beekeeper. Luckily, it’s been a great year for honey despite the lack of rain.
So, you’ve collected your supers off of your hives… The next step is extracting. There are a few different ways to extract honey, and it all depends on how much you’re looking to spend initially. People with 5-10 hives might want to look at spending a little bit more than say, a person with 1-5 hives.
The most inexpensive way to extract honey is through the Drip Method. For the drip method, all you need is some deep disposable aluminum trays. You can easily find these at your local dollar store or grocery store.
Now, you’re going to go ahead and uncap your honey frames with an uncapping comb. You can find these in our store for $10.00. Once you uncap your honey frames, all you have to do is let it drip. So lean your frame against the side of one of the trays and leave it for 24 hours. If you don’t want to leave it leaning, you can also use those “pizza tables” that come in those 24 slice party sized pizzas to hold your frame up and flat. This may allow for a better flow. After 24 hours, go ahead and uncap the other side of the frame and leave it again, for 24 hours.
After both sides have drained, you’ll have quite a bit of honey left in the bottom of those trays. You can go ahead and drain these through a filter into a bucket, and then you’re good to go. We recommend using a bucket with a Honey Gate, which we also sell in store for $40.00. You can leave your honey in the bucket, or you can then bottle it from there. If your bucket has a honey gate, it makes the bottling process a million times easier.
There are other methods available that will be a bit more costly. This is because you’ll be purchasing additional equipment to help speed up the process. The equipment that can help you speed up the process are: extracting machines. There are either handcrank ($$) or motorized ($$$) machines. Handcrank are more affordable, and they allow you to spin the machine both ways so you don’t have to worry about flipping your frames around when you finish extracting one side. Motorized, however, will cost you a very pretty penny, and you have to flip your frames after you’ve finished extracting one side. This is because the motor only spins one way.
There are also uncapping knives, which heat up and allow you to uncap your frames faster. The only downside is if your honey frame isn’t built up past the frames edge, you’ll have to uncap it with an uncapping comb.