Honey Extraction

Well formed frame from the Sophia hive.

The ThreeCounties beekeepers rented the community hall in Knocklong for three days (22nd to 24th Aug) in order to set up a honey extraction unit there. Pauline Walsh provided most of the equipment including the centrifuge honey extractor (red rimmed stainless steel cylinder in figure).

Preparation
The Sophia hive super is queued for extraction.

First, the honeycomb must be de-capped. A knife is used to open the cells on both sides of the frame. The wax cap rests in a settling box which has a filter partition to allow any honey removed with the caps, drain for collection.

A knife is used to remove the caps from the honeycomb cells.

The extractor accommodates multiple frames which must be distributed within the extractor in such a way that the load is well balanced, otherwise the vibration can be excessive.

Honey Extractor
Honey is extracted by spinning the honeycomb frames at about 8-12 revolutions per second.

One of the frames did not have supporting wire so it was cut into small rectangular sections for packaging.

Whole honeycomb.
One frame did not have wire support so it was possible to stamp out rectangular samples for packaging.

The honeycomb formed in the Sophia hive looked so good that Pauline reserved one to bring to the Honey Show. Fingers crossed – we might win a prize!

Well formed frame from the Sophia hive.

Finally, a sample of Sophia honey was placed on the hand held refractometer to test for water content. Sophia honey weighed in at 19.2% moisture. All-in-all a very good outcome.

Refractometer
A simple prism refractometer is used to measure the water content of the honey.

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