Beekeeping 101: Processing Honey

In a typical bee hive, there are several boxes; the bottom two boxes are where the queen lays eggs and the bees store honey that they will eat over winter. More boxes are added on top of these two boxes and they are called “supers.” On my farm, when a super is full of honey, I take the frames out of the box and take them to my “honey processing shed.”

The first thing I do is remove the “cap” from all the cells that the bees put on to preserve the honey at the proper viscosity. In the picture below I’ve removed the caps from the right half of this frame.

After I get all the caps off (and saved the wax caps for other uses) the frame goes in my 2 frame honey extractor.

This extractor spins the frames around so that the honey is extracted from the frame onto the inside of the extractor and then drips down to the bottom.

The picture below show the frame after most of the honey has been extracted. The frame will be returned to a super in the hive so the bees can clean up the frame and fill it again.

When all the frames have been processed, the honey is removed from the extractor by opening the valve at the bottom of the extractor (see image below). The honey is filtered though a screen to remove wax and any other foreign particles before dripping into a food grade bucket.

Finally, the honey is poured from the bucket into glass bottles and sold in the Green Bee Farm market.