I extracted honey yesterday. It's a job Ive come to dread and I've been putting it off, but every week I have several people ask me when the honey will be ready.
Extracting honey involves a hand crank centrifuge. I'd love to have a motorized one, but I can't justify the expense in my small scale operation.
Extracting honey involves everything getting sticky. As careful as one might be, and even taking the precaution of laying down a tarp, the floors along the path to the sink get sticky. Mopping the floor helps but what it really does is thins out the stickiness. I need to mop the floor every day for a couple days to remove it all.
When it is all over my shoulder is aching from turning the crank. My lower back is aching from carrying empty boxes of frames. My clothing and skin is sticky, but I have several buckets of honey settling, waiting to be bottled.
For me this year the yield was far less than years past; about 40 gallons less. This year was considered to be a poor year by most beekeepers in the Pacific Northwest I will be able to supply. All the rain we had in June and July had the bees socked in. Rather than gathering nectar, they were eating their nectar because it was too wet to fly. Add to that I kept fewer colonies this year.
Next I have to bottle the honey and then label and sell it. Then I can call it a season. I hope I'll break even this year.