Every beekeeper may use a bit different process for “How To Extract & Bottle Honey”, but this is the process we use at Bramblestone Farm, and it’s produced award winning honey (see Bramblestone Blue Ribbon Honey) at the Medina County Fair every year:
1st Step – Clean Up
The first step is to get everything cleaned and set-up for extracting the honey from the comb. The process isn’t hard, but it does take a bit of time.
We extract the honey in the garage with all the doors and windows closed, because otherwise the bees would join us and try to take back all the honey we removed from their hives. Since all the doors and windows are closed, it can get pretty warm in the garage – so it’s not an easy job.
2nd Step – Uncapping Honey Cells
Below are the tools we use for uncapping the honey cells – an electric knife and scratcher.
This is the centrifuge that spins the honey out of the comb cells.
Here’s what the centrifuge looks like, on the inside. It has slots to hold the frames while spinning.
This is what the capped comb looks like coming out of the hive in a “super” (the box holding the frames).
Here’s an individual frame ready for uncapping the honey cells.
This is how the electric knife is used to remove the caps from the honey cells.
This is how the scratching tool is used to open up any cells that the electric knife missed.
3rd Step – Spinning Honey
Once the cells have been uncapped, the honey frames are loaded into a stainless steel centrifuge designed specifically for spinning honey. Our centrifuge holds 18 frames of honey. As the centrifuge spins, the honey is forced out of the frames by gravity and collects in the bottom of the centrifuge tank.
4th Step – Straining
After spinning, the honey is drained into buckets fitted with a coarse filter to begin straining. The honey is strained to remove bits of wax and other “non-honey” items that remain after centrifuging.
After straining, the honey is poured into a bucket for bottling. The bottling bucket has a heating band around it that provides a small amount of heat so that the honey flows well for bottling but that stays below 90° F so that none of the beneficial properties of the honey are destroyed.
Final Step – Bottling!
And, finally the honey is bottled.
And there it is! Pure, local wildflower honey. It’s $9.00 per pound container, and won a blue ribbon at the Medina County Fair again!