We extracted in August before the Iowa State Fair so that we could enter some of our honey into the Fair. Because we do not have an extractor and they cost a lot, we extracted with the Sanders.
Here Olivia is cutting the capping off a frame. The Sanders have a great uncapping set up. They have a five gallon bucket with a piece of wood notched so that it fits across the bucket’s circumference. On the piece of wood there is a screw. Just a little bit of pointy side of the screw pops through the wood. The frame sits on the screw as the frame is being uncapped.
To uncap a frame, first you saw up into the cappings from about a third of the way down the frame. Then you saw down the whole frame. If the knife cannot uncap part of the frame you use a cappings scratchier to uncap the rest of the cells. It is important to uncap all the cells because if all the cells are not uncapped, all of the honey will not be extracted. Here Bethany uncaps a frame. The cappings can be used in creams and cosmetics.
The honey poured out of a honey gate on the bottom of the extractor. Abigail held the bucket in place while the extractor ran to prevent the honey from spilling. The blue green thing on the wood piece is the cappings scratchier.
Here we are after we finished our first extraction. (Left to right: Mrs. Sander, Mr. Sander, Olivia up front, Abigail, and Bethany.)
We extracted 75.4 pounds from 23 frames of honey!
We stored our honey in food grade buckets. We put plastic wrap on the honey. The foam sticks to the plastic wrap and is easy to remove. We let our honey sit for about a week to let the foam rise to the top.
It was super fun to extract with our mentors. The honey tasted really good.