During the middle of last week I found time to visit my hive. I had taken 4 frames of foundation out to my hive with the intent to exchange them out for honey frames. My hive was looking marvelous! I was able to pull out 4 frames of capped honey and was reminded that I am dealing with insects that can sting (the girls pack a pretty good punch).
Over the weekend I was able to uncap and extract my honey! Only having 4 frames, I did not find it necessary to run them through a Sideliner Uncapper. My weapon of choice was the Cappings Scratcher (would have been faster with a Cold Knife).
Placed all of my frames in a Multi-Use Straining System while I uncapped one frame at a time. Included is a cross bar with a nail to rest your frame upon. Using the Uncapping Scratcher, I slid the forks slightly underneath the caps and lifted perpendicular to the frame. Working small sections at a time, I was able uncapped all 4 frames in little time.
At the beginning of the nectar flow I was unsure if I would even be able to extract any honey this year. Now that I am able to work in 4 frames to extract, I was not prepared to invest in an extracting kit. Another benefit of joining a bee association or having a mentor is the ability to borrow some equipment until you are ready to invest in your own.
With this being my first year as a beekeeper I did not want to put a lot of money into an extractor that I might grow out of in a couple of years. I was fortunate enough to use someone's extractor. The extractor I was allowed to use was an 18-frame motorized extractor. I only had 4 frames and one of the important things to make certain during the extracting is that your frames are evenly spread out in the extractor for balance.
|Frame in Extractor|
Once all the frames were loaded, I started the extractor off at a slow speed. As i gradually increased the speed, I was able to see the honey being 'flung' from the frame.
|Honey Coming Out of Honey Gate|
Before I began extracting, I opened the honey gate and placed a bucket with a strainer to catch the honey as it flowed out. The strainer made certain that I had nice, clean honey (free of debris).
|Bee in Extractor|
The bees that had followed me into the extracting room were drawn to the extractor as the honey was being drawn out of the frames. All in all I was able to extract 8-10lbs of honey. As it was coming out of the honey gate I had to sneak in the finger taste test.
Best Honey I Have Ever Had!