Introduction: Harvesting Honey

Picture of Harvesting Honey

This is how we go about harvesting honey

Step 1: Order Bees Online

Picture of Order Bees Online

We order The bees here in Minnesota and then drive to the place to pick him up.

Step 2: Remove the Food

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When you receive your bees they will come in a package of 10,000. You will open up the top and remove the tin can that has their food for traveling in them

Step 3: The Queen

Picture of The Queen

Your queen will come in her own box in the package of bees. This way the bees that are in the package have time to get acquainted with the queen. If they don't have proper time to get acquainted they will kill the queen.

Step 4: Putting the Bees in the Hive

Picture of Putting the Bees in the Hive

You first remove two frames from the hive normally there's 10 frames to a box. Then you will take the box that the queen is in and place it in between a couple of the frames. Before you put the queen in you remove the cork that's in the bottom of her box and there will be a piece of candy in there that will take them roughly 3 days to eat. Then the queen can move about the hive.

Step 5: Safety Equipment

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I wear a full tiveck painters suit to keep the bees off my body. You also where they helmet with the netting on it to keep them off your head and so you can see what you're doing

Step 6: This Could Happen to You

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This is what happens when you're not wearing your safety equipment

Step 7: Things They Do

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These are just some of the formations they make in the hive

Step 8: The Hot of the Summer

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Here's some photos of what the bees do throughout the summer. When it gets real hot out they go outside of the hive and fan their wings to try to cool down the inside of the hive

Step 9: Keeping the Queen Where She Belongs

Picture of Keeping the Queen Where She Belongs

This is called a queen extractor. This keeps the queen down in the lower boxes so she doesn't go lay eggs up where you want to harvest your honey from. The worker bees can fit through this rack but the queen is too large to do that.

Step 10: Collecting the Frames With Honey

Picture of Collecting the Frames With Honey

You remove the frames out of the top box that's full of the honey. Bring them into the house please be sure you shut the door quickly so no bees can follow you in.

Step 11: Removing the Honeycomb

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Once you bring the frames and then you take a heated knife and slice along the top of the honeycomb to get to the honey

Step 12: The Extractor

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This is a stainless steel drum that you can put four frames in and it spins around as you crank the handle. The inertia of this motion flings the honey out inside the drum and then comes out of valve on the bottom

Step 13: It's Messy

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This is a messy process but it's very worth it when you're all done

Step 14: Every Drop

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We was an old cast-iron sausage stuffer to squeeze the honeycomb and get every drop of honey that we can.

Step 15: End Result

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The end result is just some pure honey. It's what I do for fun and to help mother Earth out. It's a fun thing to do.


DDW_OR (author)2016-05-18

last week the first hive swarmed and i caught it
in the bee vacc, and I now have 4 hives.

just got 13 pints of honey out of 5 frames. last year i got 12 quarts out of 9 frames.

It tastes much better than store bought. like store bought tomatoes compared to
home grown.

Thor Hunter (author)2016-03-20

That's a real good idea with the heat tape. I'm getting a new hive this year. That will give me 5.

DDW_OR (author)Thor Hunter2016-03-21

I plan to keep the heat below 100 degrees or 37.38 degrees Celsius

Thor Hunter (author)2016-03-20

Wow thanks for that. I'm going to make one to

DDW_OR (author)2016-03-20

I think i will build this bee vacuum

DDW_OR (author)2016-03-20

last year i got a 3 hives, one with bees and 2 without. at the end
of the year i had all 3 with bees, 2 swarms just moved into the empty

last year i got 12 quarts of honey from 9 medium frames.

this spring all 3 hives are alive and active. will be putting 2 or 3 more empty hives out to catch more swarms.

purchased this

this year i added the electric motor, figure i will be using it for the next few decades

thinking of adding a water pipe heater tape to warm the honey. one for the extractor and a second for the 5 gallon pail. and a thermostat like this

purchased this also,

a weight to hold it down. it flipped off when i did not have a weight
on it and it landed up-side-down, the rain got inside the cover and i
had to drill a 1/8 inch hole to drain the water. will see how it works
long term and post the results here..

Thor Hunter (author)2015-06-25

ddw_az go to the mannlakeltd . My spinner will hold 4 frames. I start slow and then pick up the pace. I don't have any problems with not getting honey or break up.

DDW_OR (author)2015-06-23

is this the site?

Step 12, i have read a lot on these spinners and the consensus is, to be careful on how fast you spin. too slow and no honey, too fast and the wax comb will be torn apart. I am looking to buy some extraction equipment this month.

askjerry (author)2014-11-27

We had about 40,000 bees decide to move into my soffit. I didn't even notice them all summer... then in the fall when I was thinking about trimming the trees... I looked up. Well... I like bees, and I have a friend who was looking for another hive... so here is that story if you are interested...

The Bee Hive

askjerry (author)askjerry2014-11-27

Oh... and by the way... for those who think bees are really aggressive...

Take a look at this video.

DDW_OR (author)askjerry2014-11-27

How is the hive doing in its new home?

did he get the Queen? if not did you get a new "house hive"?

looking to start a hive here in Oregon. Winters are mild, I was outside this morning in just my shorts. could have stayed out for over an hour.

this year i uncovered a wild hive in the woods with a rented excavator. glad it had an enclosed cab. in the past i have been stung by both bees and yellow jackets. all i got was a small 1/4 inch welt that lasted for 2 days. have also been in poison ivy and oak with similar results. none of it itched. my dad is the same way.

askjerry (author)DDW_OR2014-11-27

Not at first... the next day there was a 9-inch ball of bees. He has a special vacuum designed for this. He came back with another frame, and got the rest including the queen. He added this frame to the current set... and they are doing well. The hive is now up to about 50,000 or so... very active.

joshem (author)2014-11-27

Very good, I´m in Chile working with she the bee. Is your extractor a normal and regular cilinder of inox steel, or it has the bottom lightly inclined to facilitates the extraccion, or is just a photo illusion? Thanks for your work.

trevormac (author)2014-11-27

A bee flies faster than a running man.Worth knowing when you are teasing any.

Thor Hunter (author)2014-11-27

That's man Lake

ruroragy (author)2014-11-27

Thank you very much for this. Bees scare the hell out of me, but on the same hand I have always been interested in doing this. You have explained a lot of my questions and I am going to try this next summer.

Thor Hunter (author)ruroragy2014-11-27

Good I'm glad. You can get everything you need at or a good place to start. And always wear your safety equipment and you won't get stung. I hope you enjoy it

axelheiberg (author)2014-11-27

Nice post, I used to keep bees and very much enjoyed their harvest. Even made 5 gallons of Mead for winter "warmth". If I may, one small correction on the "queen extractor", it should be Queen Excluder" as it excludes her exit into the other honey storage areas of the hive.

Thor Hunter (author)axelheiberg2014-11-27

You're correct I had a brain fart

rube (author)2014-11-27

What is done with the honeycomb?

Thor Hunter (author)rube2014-11-27

We save it and make it into candles

Thor Hunter (author)2014-11-20

Wired_Mist. You can get everything u need at Mann Lake. Com. It's a lot of fun.

pfowles (author)2014-11-20

How do you keep the bees during the winter?

Thor Hunter (author)pfowles2014-11-20

Hi. I first take the top box off. Usually 3-4 boxes high, I take the frames out,put window screen on the bottom, then put cedar chips in there to help absorb any condensation in the hive. Then I put some dry patty food down. You leave the bottom two boxes full of honey for them to eat. I give them the pattys just cause winter is so long here in Mn. Then I wrap the hives with a insulation that is a flexible. I then make a 3 sided wind block out of plywood. It's all about the queen bee,they gather around her & flap there wing to keep her warm. Then we just hope for the best.

Wired_Mist (author)2014-11-19

That allmost makes me want to try this!.. Allmost :P Thanks for the Insight; Really Cool !

sevinstraus (author)2014-11-18

How did you get the bees off the honey frames before bringing them into the house?

Thor Hunter (author)sevinstraus2014-11-19

I use a smoker and a brush

SimplyJenn (author)sevinstraus2014-11-19

I'd like to know too. it's great of we don't have to use the spray stuff.

loompiggytutorials (author)2014-11-19

And I would still never do this! Too extreme for me... I'm good with just the honey... Great 'ible nonetheless!

RavenThorn (author)2014-11-18

Mmmmm Mmmm Delicious looking..

Thor Hunter (author)2014-11-18

You can have them Fed Exed to your house. The place we get them from is in northern Mn. It's a nice road trip, just pray for no crashes on the way home.

Thor Hunter (author)2014-11-18

I used a smoker & a brush

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-11-18

wow that's so much information! I had no idea you could order bees online... then again the internet does have everything.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love playing in the woodshop, I'm a bee keeper.
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