A couple days ago, I joined my friend Kitty Sharkey in extracting her honey. Last winter she lost her bees but was able to save the frames of honey in her freezer. If you’ve ever stored honey, you’ve probably noticed that it crystallizes if it gets cold. Interestingly though, it only does that between 40-32 degrees Fahrenheit. Below freezing however, the water crystalizes and leaves the sugar in suspension and when thawed it returns to its liquid golden state. That’s what Kitty did with her frames to store them for a time when extracting the honey was actually a possibility.
One of the perks of my job at the Biofuel Oasis and Urban Farm Store is that I have access to the equipment needed to extract the honey from the comb, so I offered to help her out.
Together, we uncapped the comb and used the extractor to spin out the liquid gold. The honey runs through a filter to remove all the stray wax, leaving only pure raw honey in the bucket.
Unfortunately my recent back injury made me unable to finish the project with her and she was up til the wee hours of the morning before she was done, but overall, the haul was around 45lbs from about 20 frames. Not bad for a lost hive.
Of corse this called for celebration so we dipped glasses under the stream of unfiltered honey and filled up with bourbon. Cheers!