We just extracted honey from our downtown yard this past week and boy oh boy is it some YUMMY honey! Its a light sweet floral honey with a slight touch of cinnamon taste to it. Very interesting, I wonder what flowers the bees were browsing on downtown! I LOVE the taste of this honey! Everyone asks us a lot of questions about our honey: Is it raw? Is anything added to it? Is it heated or treated? The answers are YES, NO, NO respectively! So I decided to take a few photographs of Chuck while he was going through the extraction process to show you just how we get that PERFECT honey from HIVE to BOTTLE! Enjoy!
First you have to UNCAP the honey that is on the frame. Above photos show Chuck using a regular cold knife to slice off just the outer layer of wax capping.
Then you drop the frames into the extractor to spin. Our extractor spins out one side at a time and holds 2 frames. It is spun by hand or you can attach a drill, but I just hand cranked these frames. Once the extractor starts to get full, you have to open the spout and let some honey out because the level of honey rises enough to interfere with the spinner. Once this happens, you put a clean/sterile bucket down below the gate valve, with 2 different size strainers on top of it. The top strainer has bigger holes, so it only catches the larger wax pieces. The lower strainer is a much finer strain to catch anything else that is not just raw honey. See photos below:
Then we check basically the humidity level of the honey with a refractometer. Good capped honey should be below 18% water, so that it won’t spoil.
The buckets can then be marked and stored for bottling. We like to bottle our honey in the old fashioned glass Muth bottles, this is what our customers prefer.
When we are ready to bottle, we pour the honey into a little larger bucket with a honey gate valve in it, stick a bottle underneath and open the gate to fill the bottle. Then we cork the bottles, band with the type of honey, (ie: wildflower for here in Central Texas), and put the shrink wrap lable on and use a blow dryer to shrink the wrapper and Voila! A beautiful jar of raw honey from our hive to your table, ready to go! 🙂
We have 4 ounce jars for special occasions, like wedding favors! 8 ounce jars and 1 pound jars! We sometimes bottle in pints and quart sizes as well. Just ask us if you need the honey in a special size, we may be able to get it for you! 😉
Now you see what I mean when I tell you that our honey is RAW, NATURAL, LOCAL, TEXAS HONEY!
Thanks for checking us out!
Tanya & Chuck