Oregon State Beekeepers Association

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Beekeeping 101 - Extracting The Crop - Nature's Sweet Mess


A large honey crop is clearly a mixed blessing. The more supers that go on the more honey to be processed. More honey means more work, but it also means more money. For years clever people have tried to develop equipment to make the uncapping, extracting, pumping, filtering, and bottling procedure more convenient.   Old processing equipment was made from galvanized tin with lead solder joints. It was solid equipment that was built to stand years of heavy use. The clutch-drive mechanism was simple, heavy-duty and a bit dangerous. Belts, drives, shafts and pulleys were all exposed.  A few early extractors were powered by low compression gasoline engines.

 

We now use stainless steel with welded joints on big extractors.   Smaller hobby-type extractors may use plastic barrels. In many in stances direct-current drive motors (DC) that are variable-speed are used that allow for gently extracting full combs of honey. The equipment is mechanically simpler, but technologically more complicated.   It's lighter and almost maintenance-free.

 

Most commercial processing lines would be ordered as follows:

1 - uncapper
2 - extractor (s)
3 - heated sump
4 - honey pump
5 - filter
6 - settling tank
7 - bottler

 

Other equipment might include a barrel melter, a flash heater, wax spinner and other equipment-moving devices.   A second line would drain honey from wax cappings to the sump.  Dried cappings would be melted into beeswax.


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SWARM COLLECTION

See a contact list by location of beekeepers who collect swarms of honeybees.

POLLINATION SERVICES

See a contact list of beekeepers who provide pollination services.

FARM DIRECT MARKETING RULES

Download the Farm Direct Rules PDF document.

BECOME A MEMBER

Download the OSBA Membership form.

HIVE REGISTRATION

Download the Oregon Dept of Agriculture Hive Registration form.

ENDOWMENT AGREEMENT

View or download the Endowment Agreement with Oregon State University.

DONATE TO THE ENDOWMENT

View instructions for donating to the OSU Endowment for the Northwest Apiculture Fund for Honey Bee Research, Extension and Education.

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