Extraction in beekeeping is the removal of honey from honeycomb, usually with a device called an extractor. When extracting centrifugal force is used to remove the honey from the honeycomb.
Extractors are costly. For new beekeepers renting or borrowing an extractor may be the best option. If you are keen on owning an extractor, try buying a second-hand one from a retiring beekeeper or a beekeeper who is looking to expand. Look for a stainless steel extractor rather than a galvanized or plastic one. Galvanized extractors can rust and plastic extractors can break easily.
There are two types of extractors:
To extract honey the cell cappings must be disturbed, and the cell contents must be partially or completely exposed.
TIP: To speed up decapping, you may want to use this hint.
Buy a rubber container. Cut a 1 x 2 piece of wood long enough to hang over both sides of the container. Nail or screw 2 additional pieces of wood to the ends of the first board, so that these 2 pieces butt up against the sides of the container. Using screws or nails insert the 2 fasteners in the larger board. The pointy tips of the screws or nails will grip the honey frame, holding the frame in place while you remove the cappings.
This invention speeds up the process of decapping honey, and guards against you stabbing your hand with the sharp spikes of the capping fork.
Electric Uncapping Plane
This method is easy, quick and less messy, but the knife is expensive.
Tangential extractors have honey gates that can be closed or opened. I strain my honey twice, so that I can remove as much wax and debris as possible. My customers like to see clear honey. This may sound unorthodox, but I have used CLEAN, UNUSED pantyhose to strain honey. Surprisingly, pantyhose does an excellent job of straining and doesn't readily clog.
I have also used cheese cloth and a nylon mesh bag with great success. My advice to you is to try them all and choose the straining method that's right for you.
© The Country Bee Apiaries, 2008.