The process of honey extraction is straightforward. Remove or disrupt the wax capping on the honey comb, centrifuge out the honey, filter and collect it, and package it as desired. Of course, there are variations of this, as one can simply crush and drain the combs, or cut up the combs and package them, but most beekeepers want to preserve their wax foundation for use next year (and plastic foundation as I use cannot be crushed or cut up).
Uncapping the frames. A heated knife makes the job easier.
The wax cappings are drained of residual honey and the fresh beeswax kept for later use.
Loading the uncapped frames into the centrifuge. It only takes a few minutes to spin out the honey.
Draining and filtering the honey. Dr. Hurst uses cheesecloth as shown here, but I had purchased some reusable plastic filters that he seemed to like.
Buckets of honey being weighed. I got about 187 pounds of honey.
The finished product. Labels courtesy of daughter Lisa.
The empty frames were reinstalled on the hives, and the honey buckets were left in the back yard as shown, to allow the bees to clean them up. Exposing bees to this much honey is reminiscent of drunken sailors on shore leave.
My mentor presents me with a certificate – it’s official, I’m a “Hurst Beekeeper”!