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Production of Honey

Information to help honey production

Comb honey requires no extraction equipment. Its production can be practiced by newcomers to the craft, for the first few seasons of operation, as they are unlikely to sell honey, so there is no need to buy extracting equipment or find space to store it. It can be done with any type of hive including Top Bar Hives. There may be no equipment required, but the beekeeper is selling comb along with the honey crop, which may be a disadvantage if beeswax is required as a crop or useful by-product.

Squeezing and straining (pressing)... Is where the comb is cut up into chunks, placed in a cloth bag and the contents squeezed so that the honey passes through the cloth and drains into a suitable container. This may be a sensible way for small-scale beekeepers to harvest some types of thixotropic honey like heather and for those with top bar hives.

Sections, whether round, square or rectangular can be very profitable, provided that your customers are educated enough and understand the value of good quality sections. Cassette sections also come into this category and are gaining in popularity among both beekeepers and their customers in USA.

The majority of honey produced in the western world is "extracted honey" that is put into various containers and jars. The combs are reusable and can be considered a capital resource. I have heard stories of extracting combs that are fifty years old and still going strong.

The "Honey Extractors" page covers honey extractors and various methods of extraction.

The treatment of extracted honey to remove foreign bodies is dealt with under "Straining and Filtering".

Soft Set is a method of dealing with crystalised or granulated honey.

The amount of honey that a beekeeper can gather in a season is heavily dependent on several things, including the skill and knowledge of the beekeeper, this involves using the right type of bee for the conditions encountered. as well as managing the bees development to match the availability of nectar in the surrounding area. Beginners are usually at a disadvantage here and should realise that in their first few seasons, their crops are unlikely to equal the stories (possibly exaggerated!) that many established beekeepers may tell of monster amounts of honey produced.

Originally written by Dave Cushman. Edited and additions by Roger Patterson.

Page created pre-2011

Page updated 24/11/2022