One of the first signs of fall is the harvesting of honey! Once the bees have filled the frames in their honey supers and covered them in a white wax cap it is time to prepare to harvest.
An escape board is used to separate the bees from their honey, the bees can move down through the maze into the brood chamber (the lower boxes where they live). The board is placed between the supers and brood chambers and after a few days the bees should have left and the frames of honey can be removed.
Once the bees have left the honey supers through the escape boards the frames of honey can be removed.
First the honey is tested using a refractometer, the refractometer measures how light passes through a fluid to determine its moisture content and therefore its ripeness.
If honey is bottled while unripe it can spoil.
The honey is brought to the kitchen for processing where the wax capping is removed with a warm knife, this is known as uncapping.
The uncapped honey is placed in the extractor which spins the frames launching the honey out onto the walls of the extractor, the honey is then passed through a two stage filter and is ready to eat!