HONEY PROCESSING

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It doesn’t matter if you have one beehive or 200, the outcome is the same – glorious golden honey!

Our very first harvest was extracted in our garage, which we quickly learned was not bee-proof. Sadly, we were not as quick on the uptake as our sneaky bees …

We then tried extraction in the kitchen, the epitome of self-sufficiency. The bees were unable to join us on this occasion, and we considered the event a success! After a quick scrub up we thought we were done … but those sticky patches kept cropping up for days after! The moral of this story is … washing honey from surfaces takes at least three attempts because the first couple of times is just smearing it out over a larger area!

If only there was somewhere we could extract our honey, away from bees and dog fur, a bespoke space for small scale extraction that could grow with us as we expanded our hobby into a full-time occupation. There was nothing else for it, we had to build a shed.

 

We talked to fellow beekeepers, hobbyists and semi-commercials, and recognised the need for smaller scale honey producers to efficiently extract and process their crops and market within their local communities.

To date, our smallest extraction has been 2 x ¾ frames, our largest was 600 boxes.

If you are not sure what is best for your precious harvest, come and visit our plant and see what we can do for you.

EXTRACTION

 
Bee Supplies Otago Honey Processing extracting extraction hand spinning honey extraction
Bee Supplies Otago Honey Processing extraction extracting honey frame

Our boutique honey extraction facility is largely solar powered and can efficiently process any quantity of honey of all types.

When your honey is ready for harvest, call us and we can book it in for extraction.

 

The honey boxes are gently warmed for two days to ensure maximum yield. The frames then pass through a honey loosener, piercing the cappings and encouraging thixotropic honeys to flow freely. From there small batches of honey are hand wound in a manual extractor, while larger numbers are fed through our 16 frame tangential electric extractor.

Our draindown system ensures your honey is kept separate from other batches.

The resulting honey is pumped into the humma, a high speed centrifuge which separates honey from the wax (and bees legs!). At the end of extraction day the empty frames are ready for collection and the raw, unfiltered honey is in buckets or drums, ready for further processing.

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honey house delivery room
honey extraction room - jasmine & ollie

PROCESSING

 

While we all know raw honey is wholesome and delicious, it does have an annoying tendency to become rock hard and a mission to drizzle over your muesli! This is because the natural sugar crystals grow through the honey over time. Processing honey can ensure your honey stays manageable and marketable.

Bee Supplies Otago Honey Processing honey creaming

There are a range of options available when considering what to do with your golden harvest.

Filtering is done using a 200 micron filter as standard. The purpose of this is to remove particulates of wax and other contaminants without affecting the integrity of the honey and it’s health benefits.

Liquefying involves gently warming the honey over two to three days to around 40 degrees Celsius. This melts the natural sugar crystals, giving your honey a crystal clear appearance and keeping it liquid for longer.

Creaming honey is the term used for controlling the crystallization process. This can be done by manually grinding down the sugar crystals as they form, giving the honey a smooth glossy finish that will store well. 

Another way to get this result is by liquefying the honey, then introducing a smooth textured seed honey and mixing until the correct consistency is reached.

PACKAGING

 
Bee Supplies Otago Honey Processing packaging pottling honey

We can pack your honey to suit your needs, whether it’s dinky jars for wedding gifts, in buckets for catering and hospitality or drums for sale to wholesale honey buyers.

 

We stock a range of packaging options from New Zealand suppliers and manufacturers, as well as compostable cardboard pottles.

 

Talk to us about how we can best present your honey for sale or for impressing neighbours and loved ones.

Bee Supplies Otago Honey Processing packaging pottles jars containers buckets drums