I operate full-service honey extractions from the Summer to the Fall every year. I only do this as a side-service to help local beekeepers that have trouble finding other extraction services, so please reach out via phone (call or text) to check my availability. I charge $0.75 per pound ($20 minimum), and I keep any wax cappings from the extraction. The turnaround time is usually 48 hours (enough time for me to get every ounce of the honey out of your frames and wax cappings). You just need to bring me your bee-free frames (I will not accept frames still covered in bees – yes, this has happened multiple times in the past where I need to make this clear) and a honey bucket to my residence in Indian Hills – I take care of everything else, including straining the honey to remove large wax chunks. If you are interested, I also have glass hexagonal jars available for sale.
My Process of Honey Extraction:
Extracting honey from honeycombs is an essential process in beekeeping. It involves removing honey from the comb, so it can be safely stored and consumed. There are various methods for extracting honey, but one of the most popular is using a motorized radial extractor. I run two (2) 9-frame Maxant motorized radially extractors and one large motorized cappings spinner (used to spin your wax cappings and get the maximum amount of honey off of them for you).
What is a Motorized Radial Extractor?
A motorized radial extractor is a machine that uses centrifugal force to extract honey from honeycombs. It is a cylindrical drum with a motor that spins the drum at high speed. The honey frames are placed inside the drum, and the centrifugal force separates the honey from the comb. The honey flows out of the bottom of the drum and is collected in a container.
Step 1: Preparation
Before extracting honey for the season, I thoroughly wash and prepare my extraction equipment. Please note that there is a chance that a small amount of honey from a previous extraction job might integrate with your honey.
Step 2: Uncapping
The next step is to uncap your honey frames. This involves removing the wax cappings that cover the honey. I use a hot uncapping knife and/or scratching tool to remove the wax cappings, exposing the honey. The cappings go directly into my motorized cappings spinner, which will be spun (at roughly the same velocity as my Maxant extractors) to remove every possible ounce of honey from your cappings. That honey will be added to your final honey bucket(s).
Step 3: Loading the Frames
Once the frames are uncapped, they are loaded into the extractor. The frames are loaded so that the comb faces outward, allowing the centrifugal force to extract the honey. The frames are placed evenly around the drum to ensure a balanced spin.
Step 4: Extracting the Honey
Once the frames are loaded into the extractor, the motor is turned on, and the drum begins to spin. The centrifugal force separates the honey from the comb, and the honey flows out of the bottom of the drum and into the honey bucket or container. The honey gate or valve is used to control the flow of honey.
Step 5: Repeating the Process
Once the honey has been extracted from the frames, the frames are removed from the extractor, and the process is repeated with the remaining frames. This process is repeated until all the frames have been extracted.
Step 6: Filtering the Honey
As the honey flows out the bottom of my extractors/spinners, they immediately go through a double stainless steel strainer. The first screen filter measures in 20 meshes (841 microns) and the bottom screen filter measures in 40 meshes (420 microns). This process is only in place to remove large chunks of wax or bee parts that you don’t want in your final honey harvest. There is no loss of pollen content, as pollen particles range in size from 10-200 microns.
Step 7: Measuring the Honey
After the honey has been filtered, I measure your honey to determine its moisture content. Honey with a moisture content of less than 18.6% is considered ripe and ready for consumption. I use a refractometer to measure the moisture content of the honey and will inform you of this number.
Step 8: Storing the Honey
Once you have the honey back home, it is ready to be stored. The honey should be stored in a clean and dry area, away from direct sunlight and heat. It is also important to use clean and dry containers to store the honey.