Honey Extraction and Bottling

I have extracted the honey in the supers from my colonies. In all there were 12 supers but most were around half full, at least the majority were capped off. About 8 were uncapped and I didn’t extract these as the water content might lead to fermentation problems later with the bottled honey (don’t ask me how I know this!). I checked the water content with a refractometer and it gave a reading of 18.25 to 18.5 which is what I was after. This also means the honey will be ideal for creaming (more in a future post).

To uncap the honey I resorted to suing my uncapping knife which as it’s heated made short work of the job, but is a bit messy. I did try using a heat gun on some of the frames but the results were a bit patchy and there was quite a bit of honey left in these frames after spinning. The advantage of the heat gun method is that it’s a lot less messy and should be quicker. However, past experience shows that it only really works with frames that haven’t been previously extracted.

In all I managed to get around 75Kgs which is about 50% of what I had expected earlier in the season. But it seems that yields across the UK are down significantly. I also produced some cut comb for the first time. Found it very easy with the comb cutter and certainly not as messy as I had envisaged it would be.

Finally after a couple of days in the settling tanks I have started to bottle some of it into 454g and 227g jars. The cut comb goes straight into containers and is topped up to 227g with some liquid honey.

I have had some new labels printed up using one of my photos and I am really pleased with the way they have turned out.

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