When Should You Harvest Honey and How Much?

August 10, 2022

When Should You Harvest Honey and How Much?

It’s August and both you and your bees have been working hard the whole summer to get that delicious honey. The next questions on your mind might be, when is it time to harvest the honey and how much should you take?

Now before we get into the details, make sure you’re set up to extract your honey and have all the right tools. The first step is uncapping your honey and you want to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Capping scratcher,
  2. Uncapping roller,
  3. Knife,
  4. Electric knife
  5. Extractor
  6. Jars or pails for your honey
  7. Filter and Bottling Kit

Once you get your honey uncapped next comes the extraction of the honey from the frames. There are several different methods on how you can extract honey. You may have prepared yourself by getting an Auto-Flow extractor, or maybe you would like to try your hand at cheesecloth method. However, we do recommend getting an extractor, as it will make the extraction process much easier and enjoyable.

Going back to our first question, how do you know it’s time to extract honey? When the honey flow stops. Let us break down what that means. During the honey flow, if you can weigh your hive, you will be able to see certain things happening. Such as, every morning the hive weight goes down by about 5lb. This is due to the bees leaving the hive and going to work. By the end of day, you’ll see those bees coming back to the hive and you will also see a general increase in the weight of the hive. During the honey flow your hive can gain as much as 10lb to 20lb a day in honey. So, when is it time to pull your honey? When this activity starts to decrease and not as much honey is coming into your hives. You also need to make sure that the frames of honey are about ⅔, if not more, capped. This means that enough moisture has escaped the honey for it not to ferment. 

You can watch a past episode of Hiveworld Hands On where we discussed this topic: When Should You Harvest Honey and How Much?

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