Are you a novice beekeeper? There are plenty of things you may not know about the process of harvesting honey. You might be surprised that a lot of problems may show up on extracting day. But what you should understand is that these problems can be easily avoided if you’re equipped with the right knowledge and equipment. And with time, you’ll be equipped with experience as well. So be sure to keep reading and learn some useful tips on how to harvest honey the right way.
1. Honey is stick.
Yes, everybody knows how sticky honey can be. Yet plenty of beekeepers still underestimate this issue. It’s inevitably for honey to drip on stuff scattered in the area. So if you want to keep the mess to a minimum, then prepare some essentials on hand. For starters, a bucket of water and a dishtowel should come in handy. This way, you can rinse your hands any time you want. It’s also usually better to extract honey in the garage, porch, or basement instead of the kitchen because these areas have less traffic. And while you’re at it, note that propolis sticks to all kinds of stuff as well.
2. Bees are attracted to light.
In the extracting room, you’ll notice that bees tend to find their way toward a light bulb or window. This can make the extraction a frustrating job. An easy solution is to leave a small space near the top of a window to let the bees return to their hives. Note that this won’t work if the hives are located far from the extracting room. In such a case, you’d do better by placing drawn frames in the top of the window with a caged queen.
3. Allow the honey to settle.
Patience plays an important role in the honey extraction process. It’s highly recommended to let honey rest for a few days after extracting. This helps eliminate the problem of creating tiny bubble around the rim. You will find that within a few days, all debris in the honey either floats or sinks, making it easier for you to avoid accidentally bottling them.
4. Two heads are better than one.
Yes, this literally means that doing the extraction process with two people proves much easier. It’s much more efficient to have one person uncap the frames while you spin the honey. Not to mention, this makes the job less boring because you’ll have somebody to talk to.
5. Warm honey has better flow.
Spinning honey can be annoying, but only if you’re not using warm honey. You’ll find that warm honey spins faster in an extractor compared to cold honey. In addition, it strains quicker through a filter. If you work with honey that’s at least 27 degrees Celsius, you’ll have a much easier time spinning and filtering.
By following these tips, you should be able to have a smoother experience harvesting honey. A lot of these things may sound obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how much time it takes for you to learn and master the basics.