Extracting honey is a potentially sticky business; if it spills, clean it up immediately or it may attract insects, get trodden all over the place and dirty/damage your home. It’s always best to extract honey just after it’s been taken off the hive – it will be warm and have lower viscosity than if cold. If the honey has crystallised/set, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EXTRACT IT – you will not be successful and may damage the equipment. If the honey is cold, but liquid in the comb, put in a warm place for some days until the combs are up to hive temperature. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EXTRACT COLD HONEY.
PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTION THOROUGHLY – If you damage the equipment, you will be asked to pay for repairs. If you return it sticky/dirty, you may be charged for additional cleaning. In either case, you may be asked to make other arrangements to extract your honey in future.
Pre-extraction – HYGIENE, checks and setup
- Ensure that the extractor is unplugged, clean and free of dust. If sticky, wipe with a clean cloth and hot water. DO NOT USE washing up liquid, disinfectant, bleach, steriliser, anti-bacterial product (e.g. Milton), solvents, etc. These products may damage the extractor and contaminate honey.
- Ensure the drain tap is secure and will open/close; start with it in the closed position.
- Check that the spindle is located in the hole at the bottom of the drum and that the cage assembly rotates freely; the two motor-bar retaining nuts must be tightened on the washers so the bar is firm, but not so tight they distort/damage the drum.
- Check the power switch is off and the speed control is vertical (neutral)
Extracting – SAFETY: You must remain with the extractor whenever it is switched on
- Uncap both sides of each frame of honey
- Place each frame in the cage, and ensure the lugs are securely located in the retaining loops at the bottom and between retaining pins at the top
- If the cage is not completely filled with frames, the frames in the cage must be evenly distributed; THIS IS VITAL
- Secure the extractor lid;
- Check a) switch in off position, b) motor control is in vertical position (neutral)
- Plug in, switch on and move speed lever so cage begins to spin slowly.
- Honey will be flung out of the combs and collect in the bottom of the extractor.
- Increase speed gradually until either the the drum starts to shake (slow down until it stabilises) or maximum speed is achieved
- When all honey has spun out, return lever to neutral then slowly increase speed in the opposite rotation up to pre-shake or max speed
- Switch off, unload frames and drain honey through tap.
- Repeat until all frames have been processed.
Please remember to check that the honey valve/tap is closed when it’s meant to be. Many have learned that hard way that honey flows silently and is unbelievably sticky when forming a 5kg puddle on a kitchen floor.
Cleaning up – Hygiene & consideration for next hirer
Please take great care over cleaning – you must do a scrupulously thorough job – you are dealing with FOOD HYGIENE. Equipment must be returned in a clean state.
- Unscrew the motor-bar retaining nuts and lift out the motor and cage assembly; take care that this does not get damaged or bent.
- Pick off any pieces of wax which may be sticking to the cage and spindle, then wash every part of the cage/spindle with COLD water and clean cloth (NO CLEANERS) until it is no longer sticky (this takes a long time) then wipe with a clean cloth using warm/hot water; take care that no water gets near the motor. When clean, allow to dry in the air – DO NOT USE a cloth/towel.
- Pick off any wax sticking to the drum, & lid remove the black lid seal, then rinse/wash the seal, drum and lid with COLD water until no longer sticky; Rinse with hot water, drain and allow to air-dry (with tap open). Ensure you have cleaned the bottom central spindle hole and tap assembly;
- Check that the exterior of the extractor is clean. and all components are thoroughly dry.
- Replace the lid seal, cage/motor assembly into the drum and secure with the washers and nuts.
That’s it – easy!………… or more accurately, nothing is difficult – you just have to have a plan for the day, be well organised and thorough.