Yesterday evening I started the process of extracting the frames I had. I wanted to spin them out last night, so the honey would strain through the strainer over night.
So I starter by setting up the extractor that I borrow from my friend Joe:
Here are the frames that I am planning to extract:
First step is slicing off the caps. I don't have an uncapping knife, so I just use my wife's bread slicing knife. It works just fine - I don't need to heat the knife or anything - it cuts through just fine. I did have to use the capping scraper a little, as some of the frames weren't built out enough to cut with the knife.
Then came the fun part - the spinning! For some reason this time the cage holding the frames was very off balance. It shook like an unbalanced washing machine! I had to get my kids to hug the extractor to try to keep it from walking off the table. I didn't have anything to secure it to, so it was an experience.
Here is the first of the honey coming out of the extractor:
You can see that I have a 2-stage filter set up - a 600 micron (coarse) filter, followed by a 400 micron (fine) filter. I initially had a 200 micron filter on the bottom, but hardly any honey was coming through. I suppose I could have set up a space heater to heat up the honey and make it flow more, but I just swapped the 200 for the 400 and it worked fine.
I was left with the cappings which still have hone in them. I put them in a colander and strained out a little more honey.
No, this isn't the level of honey in my bucket (I wish!). It's the honey sitting in the 200 micron filter which wasn't flowing.
I ended up with only about 3" in the bucked, which I weighed out to 11.5 lbs. It isn't a lot of honey. I probably left a pound or 2 in the frames, as I couldn't really spin the fast (due to the shaking). Heating up the frames a little would have helped, but oh well. I'll put out the frames for the bees to clean up so nothing will be wasted.
Here are the jars I filled. I'm probably going to use a lot of it for Christmas gifts for family and friends.
I thought the honey looked darker, but a side-by-side comparison of a jar of this honey and a jar from back in August had them looking identical. But the flavor this time seems a lot stronger, maybe due to some goldenrod.
I was hoping to extract some frames out of my backyard this weekend also, but I did a spot check and only about 15%-20% of the frame is capped - way too unfinished to extract. We've had a lot of rain this last week, so I am hoping with the dry weather, the bees will evaporate and finish off the honey. If they don't, I'll just leave the honey for them for winter.