Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hey Honey!

Phase 2: Honey Extraction (Phase 1 is a few posts back "Whats the Buzzzzz")
I always knew you wanted to learn how to extract honey! I know I did. Luckily for both of us I have a father who is a bee keeper. When he said he was extracting honey this weekend I knew I wouldn't want to miss it. My neighbor, Russell, came along too.

In each of the bee boxes (aka hives) there are slats that fit inside vertically. These are called "supers". There are about 10 supers per box. As the bees do what they do best, make honey, these supers are filled with honey comb (the little wax hexagons brimming with honey). My dad keeps tabs on their progress all summer and as they fill he adds more boxes which are have 10 more empty supers.

On extraction day. Dad, in the bee suit of course, took all of the full supers out of the boxes. We took them into the garage where the extraction operation was set up. The first step is to remove the layer of wax covering the comb. It is melted off using a heated knife. The wax can be used to make candles (pretty cool!)

Two supers are put into the big metal spinning extractor where the honey is literally flung out of the comb onto the sides of the extractor.

The honey then drips down the insides, out a hole in the bottom, through the strainer into a pot.

An entire box of honey left for each of the bee colonies. They eat the honey to survive the winter.

Bees are really amazing little guys, making wax and delicious honey! They are surprisingly nice too. There were no stings reported.
My parents are planning of selling their honey... so if you are interested please feel free to email me.