Thursday, October 30, 2014

Honey Harvest 2014: 2014-09-30

Fall sure is flying by fast headlong into Winter.  I can't believe it was a month ago that I actually harvested my honey for the year.  The only good thing about not getting much honey is that it doesn't take too long to process!  I will say that I did get a bit more honey this year than I did last year.  I believe the total ended up being about 1.5 gallons.

My friend Keith was helping me out and it always makes things easier with an extra set of hands!  We start by using a long serrated knife to uncap the frames.

I have a plastic tub underneath to catch the cappings and all the dripping honey.

Once the frames are uncapped, we put them in a home made two frame extractor that is powered by a hand drill.  We spin the frames for a minute and then flip them over and spin them again.  It works pretty well and sure beats paying 300-400 dollars for a motorized stainless steel extractor!  Maybe I would change my mind if I was extracting 20 boxes of honey each with 10 frames.  But extracting one partially filled box of honey isn't so bad.

The raw honey and bits of wax collect in the bottom of the sanitized food grade plastic garbage can I use for this purpose.

We then pour it into a coarse filter that sits on top of the bottling bucket.

At this point I leave it sit for a few days and the honey slowly drips through the filter leaving behind the wax.  I usually rinse the remaining wax with water and then melt it down for later use.

Once the honey has settled and most of the air bubbles are out of it, it is time to bottle.

I really love the 12 oz. (by honey weight) hex jars.  They look really classy!

I also decided to redesign the label this year.  What do you think?

Not much left to do for the hive this year.  Here is a list of my remaining tasks to complete before Winter:

  • Put pine shavings in the ventilation board
  • Put on the mouse guard
  • Put on the winter wrap
Hopefully I'll get one more post on the blog before Winter sets in.  Until then, thanks for reading!