First of all, to check the honey is ready to be extracted, some frames with honey,
should be shaken - an experienced beekeeper will know when the frames are ready,
and a sign may be that there is no honey dripping from the frames when shaken.
Some beekeepers use a refractometer, and the honey is ready if it registers a max
of 18 for moisture content (although some beekeepers will accept 19 or 20).
Secondly, when the honey is ready, a clearer board is placed between the super and
the main hive, the night before extraction was due to take place (approx 7pm). There
are different types of boards but the example above uses cone escapes, or a Rhombus
clearer board (see left) can be used. There are many more including Porter escapes
that came with your hive.
At approx 7-9am the following morning, the super may be removed off the hive.
Cells are uncapped first using a decapping fork. You can use a knife and slice off
the wax, but some beekeepers find that it takes away too much of the honey too.
Once uncapped, supers should be placed inside the extractor, where the handle was
turned slower at first, then faster. Some frames may need to be fastened to the side
of the ‘cage’.
This type of extractor (see left) requires the frames to be turned around, and the
same spinning to be done to the second side - extractors will vary, some frames do
not need to be turned around, depending on the extractor that your are using.
Once the honey is spun out, it will sit on the sides and at the bottom of the extractor.
A spatula can be used to remove from the sides and graduate downwards towards the
Honey buckets are needed (with a double sieve to collect any wax deposits when the
valve was opened).
For a more refined honey, a micromesh cloth can be used (this would be placed between
the first and second sieve).
Leave the honey to settle for a while in the honey buckets, then you can jar.
If you are selling your honey, you will need to be aware of the legal requirements,
some useful PDF’s are provided above.