How To Harvest Honey, New Method – Beekeeping 101 – GardenFork

– [Lady] Today on GardenFork, yes? – Honey extraction, pretty cool, huh? – [Lady] Is that filled with honey? – This, I just pulled
out of one of our hives, this afternoon, and I want to put the empty comb back in that hive, so we’re going to extract
all of the honey out of it using a new method I
want to show you here. Now normally you would
take with a heated knife and cut the wax off
the top of these cells. This is honey that is in a bees wax cell and it’s capped with bees wax, and you take a knife and lop this off to get the honey out. – [Lady] Like you skim the surface? – Right, but it can really
kind of damage the comb, and the idea is that you
want to put this back in the hive, and the less
work the bees have to do to rebuild that comb, the better. So my friend, Rick Kennerly, told me about this new device here that
basically pokes a hole in the top of each cell, so
you can extract the honey without having to run the
hot, heated knife over this. – [Lady] It’s all about the bees. – [Eric] So, we’re going
to put this onto here, press it in, and poke holes. – [Lady] You’re almost done! – If this works, it’s much
easier than the knife method, and look it, we’ve poked
holes in almost all of it and we haven’t really damaged the comb as much as a knife will. – [Lady] Infrastructure intact. How hard are you pressing? – [Eric] Not very hard, I don’t want to crush the honey comb. Nice, huh? – [Lady] Looks like you’re done. – So we have another how
to harvest honey video where we talk about our extractor. This is a four frame extractor, nice. Now this frame has a little
bit of uncapped honey. It’s uncured honey, and that’s
okay to have a little bit. If there’s a large amount
of this that isn’t capped, it’s not ready to be harvested. That honey will crystallize
if it isn’t capped. It hasn’t had enough
moisture removed from it. That’s pretty cool. – [Lady] Two down, two to go. Has this been a good honey year for you? – This is our first honey of the year. So, late June, that’s pretty good, for honey in Connecticut, where we are, up in the ice box here. – [Lady] Where it was snowing in May. – Yeah. Alright our frames are in. – [Lady] It’s sort of like
making homemade ice cream. – Yeah, have your kids do this. (laughing) – No, just keep in mind that
the honey will get everywhere so we cover the furniture,
we cover the floor. We use actually shower curtain liners, kind of heavy duty and
you can rewash them. You can buy them cheap at the store. They work great for covering
everything when you work. Couple of things we’ve learned. If it’s a little cool,
it’s a little cool today, we point a blow dryer into the extractor while we’re spinning. It just kind of helps heat the honey up, and I warm up the frames
with a little space heater. I blow air into the frames. Be careful though, because
if you over heat the frames, you’ll melt the honey comb. Pretty good. So you want to have kind of
a soft touch with the roller. If it doesn’t work the first time, take the frames out of your extractor and roll them again,
but don’t brr into it, cause you could crush the comb, and that’s kind of a waste. – [Lady] Counterproductive. – Let’s see how this stuff
looks coming out of the tap. – [Lady] Yeah. – Nice, what’s really cool here is there isn’t a lot of
honey comb in the honey, because when you use the hot wax knife, you’re cutting a lot of comb, and it gets in the honey
when it’s extracted. This is extremely clear. And this is like an early summer honey, so it’s really kind of
yellowy light colored. – [Lady] Do you know what
kind of honey that will be? – No, I don’t, I don’t really know what flowers they’re pulling from,
but I’ll have to research that but this looks great. This works really well. I really like this as
opposed to the hot wax knife. – [Lady] Cleaner too. Who’s that for? – Just for me. (light music) Wow, it’s really light. Usually our honey has
kind of a caramely flavor. This is much more floral, very cool. More bee keeping, there’s
a link right below here and if the buttons are working here, there’s a button to watch
our other bee keeping shows. And GardenFork is eclectic DIY, kind of urban homesteading
mixed up with home improvement and cool stuff like this. So subscribe, we put out shows every week. You could also get our email newsletter. There’s a link in the show
notes for our email newsletter. Cheers.
(laughing) – [Lady] Good job bees, good job. (light music)


  1. Great episode !! Did you start keeping bees because you noticed fewer bees in your yard ? I live in Southern NH and this year there are much fewer bees than normal. It's also effecting my garden.

  2. Man, I wish I had a bit of land to keep bees… I'd love to do what you guys are doing. Nice video… lovely looking honey 🙂

  3. Too much work! I'm going for this method. No more killing bees, less mess, easier to do.

  4. Was that jar full from that one section of honeycomb? That was a lot. What would happen if the honey wasn't harvested? Would the colony just keep growing and growing until they take over the world?

  5. Our bees hit the locust tree blossoms heavy in the spring and we extracted a really clear to yellowish tint honey that was very light and floral. Yum!  Nothing better than honey straight from the tap. LOL

  6. Is that why finding the actual comb for sale is so hard because the keepers dont want their bees to have to rebuild it?  I look everywhere for the comb and it is very hard to find and when you do find it, they are usually asking a ridiculous price for a 4×4 square.  It's just so damn good though.

    The last jar I bought a local farmers market from actual keepers told me that they don't sell the comb and that they had also never eaten the comb themselves.  It sounded strange to me to hear a keeper say that.

  7. Absolutely amazing ♡ makes me want to get a hive together ♡ maybe next year i will have money save to build/buy a hive. Do you have any videos on hive culture and care ? Love your dogs and food videos ♡ keep doing what you're doing ♡ happy growing from ohio♡

  8. Looks like that honey was enjoyed by one and all, whether from jar or floor!  Quick question…I didn't think one of those centrifugal force honey machines would be such a leaky boat….  Can you tell where it is coming from (like a few spots near seams or the lid) or is it just like they made the whole thing from a big sieve, and it truly does go EVERYWHERE??  Oh, and one more thing….do you know if it is possible to get one of those machines that doesn't come with built in leaks?  Thanx everso to host, camera wife/holder of hairdryer/font of invaluable and funny commentary, and sidekick!!  tootles, Della

  9. Hey guys – LOVE the podcasts & videos.   Quick question.. It looks like the frames were put backwards into your extractor…  Generally the flange end is put to the outside of the spinner…  Is yours different?

  10. Honey's great in so many ways, greatly undervalued for it's health properties. And to harvest honey from your own Eco Friendly hives where the bees are not allowed to die off must bee a great Buzz! 😀
    Great job done Eric.

  11. That honey looks amazing. Now all you need are some homemade buttermilk biscuits and sweet cream butter.

  12. Cool.  I'll have to try the roller.  Suggestion: Put your frames in the extractor with the top bar toward the wall of the extractor. (Up side down so to speak) Bee make cells that have a slight tilt toward the ground. If you spin out the honey with the top of the frame toward the wall then you'll have an easier time and extract more honey.

  13. This makes me really want some honey haha. It looks so good! I really like your bee keeping series 😀

  14. If you use a painters paint filter over a 5 gal.bucket with a spigot built in to it, you will not get any comb at all in your honey. Easy and cheap. Love your videos.

  15. Frames were put in backwards.  The top (fat side) should be facing out; the cells are slightly angled up.  Will extract better that way.

  16. I've used a heat gun to melt open the wax cappings with similar results, although the roller looks ever better. Using a space heater to warm up the honey — very nice. I'll steal that trick if you don't mind.

  17. Great video. Really enjoyed it. I wish I had bees. Trouble is it's just one more thing to do. lol. But it would be worth it.

  18. Hello, I really liked the video. I have a question about the moisture content comment you made. I believe that honey not ripe will ferment, not crystallize. Did you misspeak, or am I wrong? Thanks for the video.

  19. Love the roller thingy…..I'm gonna get one,my hot knife tears up the combs too much….I drain my honey into a 5 gallon bucket first,then I re strain the honey through a screen then into jars…thx.

  20. Thx Eric….I just learned I shouldn't be straining the honey,I'm removing all the good stuff,and the wax and the pollen will just float to the top of the jars in a few days,and I can just skim it off….FAT BEE MAN on YouTube.

  21. Your videos are actually convincing me to start the hobby. Seeing the honey harvested made me smile.
    I can't stop watching your videos. 🙂

  22. I do not have an extractor so I am not sure about this, but with the honey comb being slightly angled up by the bees towards the top of the frame, would it not be better to have the top of the frame on the outside of the extractor so the angle of the honey comb helps the honey come out and does not hold a small amount of honey in it afterwards?

    I am ignorant with the extractor so pardon me if I am way off.

  23. Hi I've heard of that method before. One beekeeper here in Sweden said that the bees cuped cells empty because the cells don't open enough with that roller.

  24. Hi Eric, this might be a super silly/obvious question but here… you removed the super with the frames to harvest the honey. do the bees mind that you've removed that super? do you have to replace that super while you're harvesting the honey? Also how long does it take from day 1, the day you install the bees into that hive, till you can harvest your first jar of honey? thank you for your awesome videos!

  25. Hi neighbors! We are from Central Connecticut. This is our first year at beekeeping! Not sure if we are going to get any honey in our first year yet.

  26. the reason your honey usually tastes "like caramel" is probably because of the hot knife, which ruins the enzymes and caramelizes the honey

  27. Nice; great idea to save the cones. Thank you for sharing and have a Wonderful and Safe Holiday Season. New Subscriber will be looking at all your videos. I loved the bread oven!!

  28. Interesting tool! I used to use a heated bread knife (Heat with hoy tap water, wipe dry, cut gently until the knife slows. Patience is definitely important!
    Do you have honey left in the cells, using the tool?
    The honey does look dark gray to black in the video before spinning it in the extractor, looks like it has a green tinge after extraction. It's beautiful! What are the main flowers your bees are harvesting from?
    I haven't kept bees for quite a while, yet have had a couple of swarms land in the yard, and thought about boxing them up with a queen trap.
    I know of a massive hive near a recycling center/store near me where you can guestimate the size of the hive via the stains from the honey bleeding through the stucco. It's quite impressive, yet it would mean tearing out a stucco wall roughly 7*10 feet, and after extracting the hive, having s contractor fix the wall afterwards.
    It's been raining here in California a lot, so it should be a GREAT season to get a hive started! Plenty of flowers will be blooming soon! The drought had most of us on a schedule to only water once a week, and some people pulled up their orchards, which was sad. :•( Had those people waited a few more months, they'd be ready to have a great season this year with established trees!
    I wonder why you are getting honey all over? We had a very similar extractor with a metal crank handle, and it was wonderful! We only had, if I recall, about 4 2-high boxes (& I think a 2.5), and we had more honey than we knew what to do with!
    Be sure to leave enough to feed your bees over the winter! (You may already know this, yet others may not?)
    Great video I stumbled across! Following the directions from established, successful beekeepers, taking notes on when you open your boxes, what you find, time of day, weather, moon cycle, moving boxes, changes made, trapping queens, adding new bees nearby (& where from – are they wild catches from going to get some, or buying some from an established beekeeper (local or ?), did you smoke them to calm them? (+ if so, with what? {cardboard works well! & is generally free!}), and as many variables as you have time to scribble in a log book, etc., etc., etc. can be VERY helpful!
    Even something as seemingly insignificant as smoking with colored papers, magazines vs plain cardboard can make a difference and either cause problems, or help! (some colored, printed paper can be toxic, so know the source of your 'free' cardboard or newspapers.
    Looks fun to extract honey! I may consider taking up this hobby again! It helps local gardens/farms/orchards (including my own) produce far more food, and the honey is wonderful!
    For those who live in a city, or on a small lot, you can still keep bees! Many farms are happy to have bees on their property, and many, especially commercial farms are willing to pay for the service!

  29. I was about to comment on the last video about your tap needing to be rotated glad to see you fixed it lol you didn't harvest any wax with this method??

  30. bought a jar of supposedly raw honey on the side of the road here in California…it's the same color but for some reason, has zero particles and is not very thick… did I get hustled?! please voice opinions. thank you.

  31. was it me or did it look like you put the frames in backwards. i thought the comb was made at an angle facing up to prevent the honey from flowing out of the opening. if you have the frames in as you do will it not make it nearly impossible to get the honey out of them?

  32. if you use 8 frames in the honey super, you get nice fat combs of honey, making it SUPER easy to uncap with a knife, also leaving you with undamaged comb and plenty of wax to process how u like

  33. I like the experiment quite well. I would be interested to know if the bees recover the hurled frames well.
    Schöne Grüße aus Deutschland

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