"Free Range Bees"

Rohe Bee Ranch

Honey Processing

To uncap the honey I use an electric uncapping knife. I place the frame over the capping melter and start at the bottom of the frame and work the knife back and forth as I move the knife up the frame.  The cappings fall down into the heated capping melter.  The capping melter heats the honey and wax which then flows into the separator bucket.  The wax floats on top of the honey and is held back by a baffle in the bucket.  The honey flows under the baffle and into another bucket for straining.

The uncapped frames of honey comb are loaded into the extractor.  The extractor spins the frames, slinging the honey out of the individual honey comb cells onto the inside wall of the extractor.  The honey runs down the sides of the extractor and out the drain at the bottom.  Be sure to keep this drain OPEN while running the extractor.  Other wise the extracted honey will fill up the bottom of the extractor and bog down the spinning frames and can damage your extractor and frames.

I use double sieve stainless steel or plastic strainers.  Between the strainer screens I place some nylon strainer cloth to get as much beeswax and debris as possible. I run the honey through the strainer twice:  once with no strainer cloth then a second time with strainer cloth.  This speeds up straining because the finely woven strainer cloth gets clogged easily on the first run. I keep the honey house very hot while uncapping and extracting to help the honey flow faster.  This is very easy to do in the summer here.  I just turn off the AC and it gets to 95 degrees in a couple of hours.  I then pour the strained honey into a jacketed bottling tank.  This bottling tank allows the honey to stay warm for easy flowing for bottling.  While in the tank air bubbles rise and the honey “clarifies”.  I then pour the honey into containers.

Copyright Rohe Bee Ranch & Dale Rohe September 2001.  All Rights Reserved.  Free Range Bees copyright September 2001.