Honey is the natural sweetener that we all enjoy. Honey has become one of the most valuable products we can use in everything from cooking to medicinal care. However, learning how to harvest honey can be surprisingly challenging. If you have never gone through the process before, we will try to break down the basics below. Here are the main steps to harvesting this gold, gooey goodness.
Smoking them out
First off, to harvest the honey, you need to ensure the bees themselves remain confined in one place. To do this, use a smoker and blow the smoke into the hive’s entrance. The smoke becomes irritating to the bees, so they escape to the bottom of the beehive to avoid the smoke. You can then harvest the honey and take what you need. Another option is fume boards that annoy the bees with their distinct smell.
Get rid of the wax
Next, you will need to pull out the wooden frame inside the hives that hold up the honeycombs. A wax seal forms to the frame, so pulling it out is necessary. You need a hot knife to get through the wax, as this will stop you from getting to the honey itself.
It is a great idea to preserve the wax, as it is suitable to make candles, soap, etc. or for selling.
Get an extractor
Now, you need to use a tool known as a Honey Extractor to remove the honey from the honeycomb. The honey extractor will take the liquid honey and ensure the frame itself is not damaged or destroyed. Once you complete this step, the frame can be placed back into the beehive itself and used again. The honey you harvest will need to sit for a few days before it is ready to be extracted.
Only take the required honeycombs
When you deal with the hive, you will likely notice various honeycombs that the bees themselves do not need. Bees need honey to survive the challenging winter. Ensure you only harvest the honeycombs you need. If you take more than you require, you could leave the hive without enough honey to survive the winter. Only take the honeycombs that the bees do not need; leave the rest.
Learn about hive care
Lastly, make sure you research proper care for your beehive and bees so that you can always extract honey without harming the colony. You will need to read into the type of bees you have, the variety of honey amounts they need for the hive, and then work out the best way to balance this out. It is best to visit a local bee expert and have them help you understand what you need and require to make the hive as healthy as possible.