1 Comment

Let’s put on the skateboard


Ye olde extracting device. My arm was pretty tired after a few hours of spinning.

Nearly extraction time. A while ago, I saw a neat movie, the secret life of bees, which taught me a lot about the falsely superior attitudes of white alcoholic men in the 1950’s, and the sisterhood among women of all races and classes – but not much about bees, other that not to swat them. Even the swatting bees mantra seems to be metaphorical. Still, it was a really enjoyable movie, and I am even tempted to read the book some day. The point of this, is the extractor. There was a 44 gallon drum with cages for honey frames, and a handle and gears to spin the honey out by centrifuge. I’ve been using one of those – possibly a 1940’s model or earlier, that used to be Dads. My friend has two hives, and had five supers to extract, which all went well. My shed seems to be fairly bee proof, though one of the imports stung my finger, and crawled up my friends leg before stinging him on the (thankfully) outside of his thigh.


D holding the escape board.


There was a mess of comb on the queen excluder, which was dripping with honey. We spent the next few hours attacking it with teaspoons, and spitting out the wax.

First up in the process of extracting the honey, is getting the bees out of the honey supers on the hive. The little operators (like me) put on an escape board on, where the bees can find a way out, but not back in. D calls it a skateboard. That brings forth some cool mental pictures. The bigger operators just use a thing like a leaf blower to blow them all out, with bees everywhere. Messy. Anyway, D helped me put the escape board on to the hive, and remove the queen excluder. It involves lifting each honey super off, one at a time, and then the escape board goes on, and then the supers go back on again.


D putting the escape board on the brood boxes

I had quite an exciting time – a bee got in my bonnet, and stung my neck before I could get him out. Then a bee got into Beloved’s hair, and the fun began. She has a deep seated fear of bees in her hair, dating back to a bad experience from her childhood. My Beloved really lost the plot, and was running around the back yard screaming and smacking her head, before whipping her top off (in case they were in her top) and running around topless and screaming some more. As she was the photographer of the day, and children may be watching, no photos of the incident will be posted. After a time, I managed to intercept beloved, and remove the offending bee, no stings. Putting the hive back together was uneventful after that.

Unfortunately, the bucket left under the extractor to catch the last drips also caught a large rat, which was completely dead. What a sweet way to go. It has now gone the way of the garden, buried in a shallow grave. I don’t think I will be using that honey – although, if I give you some honey, and you are not certain I actually like you…..

Another task is melting the cappings. There was about one marg container per super, though there was some very old wax in our friends hive, so lots of grot. I expect my brand new supers will give a lovely clean wax, this year at least. The wax can be traded in against new foundation for the frames, or used in candles, skin products, and other cool stuff.


D holding a full frame of honey, just begging to be extracted. Yum.


Wax pouring from the highly techanogical wax meltering device – a pan with a hold punched in it.


Stainless steel sink and mesh to catch the cappings and drain off any honey.


Me and Dad, setting up the cappings melting device thingy. Batman was very helpful also.

I have pegged in next Sunday as extraction day – feel free to come and help. There are few things as delicious as a finger full of honey straight from the extractor.

One comment on “Let’s put on the skateboard

  1. lurve your writing style oh fellow blogger! well done and laughed at the bee-in-the-hair-whip-the-top-off story!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Life by the Word

Words to inspire and bring new hope through Jesus. Musings, photography, the odd recipe...sharing the journey of life!

stillness of heart


Deep Green Permaculture

Connecting People to Nature, Empowering People to Live Sustainably

Larry & Stephanie Holden

Politics, Ham Radio, Prepping, Homesteading and the Bible

Want Some Honey

Beekeeping with the bees best interest in mind

The Tiny Homesteaders

Reconnecting with agriculture on a domestic level.

The Mountain Mystery

Just 50 years ago, no one knew why the Earth has mountains. Now we do. This is the story of how we figured it out - and how we keep learning.


Gently recording the amazing life of honeybees as I experience it.

Beauties Go Bald

Follow us as we share our journey to shaving our heads for CanTeen

The Beekeeping Journey

My Adventure with Bees

Boorinakis Harper Ranch

musings on local produce, family farming, sustainability, and other goings on about the ranch

Mrs Apis Mellifera

adventures of an aromatherapy beekeeper

Romancing the Bee

Beautiful Beekeeping, English Cottage Gardening, and Cooking with Honey

White House Honeybee Farm

Pure and unfiltered from flowers of the foothills


A Journey into the world of Beekeeping

%d bloggers like this: