Last Monday (has that much time flown by already - how did that happen?), we extracted honey from the oldest of our four hives. The three new ones need all of their honey to get them through the winter and, honestly, I'm not anxious to get too close to those three hives again after what happened when we installed them this Spring.
I didn't get too close to any of the hives while my husband was removing the frames, except for that one time he called me over, handed me a piece of equipment, and told me to RUN with it back to the house. There were no stings, though. Not until a yellow jacket flew up my skirt four days later.
I meant to get pictures of the whole extraction process, but once we got going, Hubby, Teenage Daughter and I were all using both hands. These are the frames -
You use a heated knife to slice off the top layer of wax, then put the frames into the extractor, which is like a big metal bucket with a rack inside that holds the frames and a crank on top. Crank the handle and it spins the honey out, then the honey drains through a spout at the bottom.
Sounds easy, huh? And it mostly is. Except there's no stand for the heated knife so someone has to hold it, and there are a whole lot of other things that need to be held and balanced and it took three of us working together to get it all done. Next year, we're hoping to have more honey. The boys will be bigger, so we'll also have more helping hands.
This post is linked to Farm Girl Friday at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House and the Homestead Barn Hop.