How To Extract Honey Without An Extractor

Are you a extractor/” title=”How To Extract Honey Without An Extractor”>novice beekeeper

with a hive or two under your care? Are you grappling‌ with the challenge of extracting honey from the combs and wondering if you need to invest in an extractor? Well,‌ worry no more! You’re about to discover that ⁢you can indeed extract honey without an extractor and much more!

Contrary to popular belief, a honey extractor isn’t a must-have. It’s⁤ a pricey beekeeping tool that typically‍ sees use only once ​a year. If‍ you’re not swimming in honey to sell,​ you certainly don’t need an extractor. However, as your hives multiply, you’ll instinctively know when it’s ⁤time to invest in one.

Even without a fancy honey extractor, there are ​several things you can do to prepare your delicious honey for your⁢ loved ones!

Extracting Honey Without An Extractor

As a small-scale beekeeper, you’ve already invested significantly in ⁣equipment for the growing seasons. However, ⁣when it ‌comes to harvesting‍ your ⁣honey,⁣ extracting honey from the comb can be a ​costly affair. ‌Honey extractors are typically used only once per ⁣year, and if you’re still gauging your level of commitment, it ⁣wouldn’t be wise to buy one.

There are numerous other ways to relish the fruits of your and your bees’ labor without incurring additional costs. However, it’s⁢ worth noting that using an extractor is the ​cleanest and most ⁤efficient method for ⁣extracting honey.

Before ⁤we delve into the‍ specifics of how you can extract honey without an extractor, let’s first explore ​the different types of honey products you can⁢ create simply by not‍ using a honey extractor.

Your first ​option is to harvest ​your honey and create ⁢unextracted or cut comb honey. Comb honey was⁣ a⁢ hit around the turn of‌ the 20th century before commercial honey​ extraction equipment became globally ‍accessible.

With the advent of these unfamiliar machines, consumers were skeptical that extracted ⁣honey might be diluted with other sugary syrups to​ maximize⁤ profits. Comb honey⁣ was a surefire way to assure consumers that it came directly from the source.

Cut comb honey is the least labor-intensive way of enjoying honey, hands down. All you‍ need is a knife to cut ⁣the comb when you want to consume it. However, it’s⁣ crucial to remember⁢ that⁤ comb honey can‌ only be produced with​ wax‍ foundation⁢ or foundationless frames. Comb honey cannot ⁢be made with plastic foundations.

Typically, beeswax foundations have wires embedded in the base, and ‍if you follow those lines when ⁣cutting your comb honey, things will ‍turn out neatly, and you’ll be able to savor⁢ it to ⁢the fullest!

The second option is for‌ those of you who are keen on producing liquid⁣ honey but are still unsure about purchasing an extractor. Fortunately, there’s another way to extract liquid honey!‍ It’s called crushing and draining.

Crushing and draining ⁣the comb is remarkably effective, resulting in ⁢clean and pure ⁣raw honey extracted with ‍minimal equipment.

Your third option⁢ is ross round honey. ⁤Ross round honey is gaining popularity due⁣ to its ease⁤ of production. Ross round ⁢honey is easy to package and sell. Ross round supers are specially designed frames that create disc-shaped combs. This means they’re already individual and​ ready to be packaged.

Ross rounds are easy ‍to⁤ assemble and are even reusable! All you have to do is place these round-shaped discs in‌ the hive,​ and the bees will​ produce the comb and fill⁣ it with⁤ honey. Then,⁣ when the bees are done, the beekeeper only⁣ has‍ to remove ‍the comb‌ from the⁢ frame and package it.

Your final‍ option ⁢is chunk honey. Chunk ⁣honey is‌ a‌ blend of extracted honey⁣ and comb honey. Essentially, you take a piece of cut comb, place​ it in⁢ a jar, and then fill the ⁤remaining space with strained honey.⁢ It’s an appealing way to present honey for sale or as a gift.

Of course, there are downsides to extracting your honey without a proper honey extractor, even when‌ you produce cut comb and crush and strain. While an extractor allows you to simply uncap the cells and save the ⁢comb for the bees to‌ reuse, the crush​ and strain method completely destroys the comb.

This ‌means that you’ll have to clean your frames and install a new foundation after extraction. The cost‌ of this is minimal. However, when compared to the purchase cost of an extractor and the storage space, an extractor will‌ ultimately be your best choice in the⁢ long run.

Extracting⁢ Methods Without Using An Extractor

The night before you ‍plan ⁣to⁤ extract your honey, visit your hives ​and remove the frames. Store the frames⁢ in a secure⁤ and dry place, like your garage, where your bees won’t be able⁣ to access⁢ them. Bees have an uncanny knack for locating their⁢ own honey and reclaiming it.

Wondering how to extract your honey? You’ll find all four different methods with step-by-step instructions in the lists ‍below, along with what you’ll need for each extraction.

Method 1: Cut Comb Honey

You will need:

  • A kitchen knife
  • A baker’s cooling rack
  • A baking‌ sheet or baking tray


  1. Place the cooling rack on top of the baking‍ sheet or tray.
  2. Position the frame of honey on your cooling rack.
  3. Cut the honeycomb ‍out of the⁢ frame and then remove ⁤the frame. Keep the comb ​on the cooling ‍rack.
  4. Using‍ the knife, cut the ⁣comb into 4-inch squares. Ensure to wipe your knife after each cut to keep the comb clean.
  5. Separate the cut pieces and let them drain overnight.
  6. Once ‍drained, you can wrap the wax combs for later‌ use.

It’s important ⁢to ‍remember ‌that you need to ⁣freeze the comb at some‌ point during‌ this process.

Method 2: Crush And Strain

You will need:

  • A ‍suitable ⁣sized bowl or pan
  • A baking sheet or⁣ tray
  • A bucket
  • Cheesecloth or any other type⁣ of strainer/filter
  • Potato masher or wooden​ spoon


  1. Cut the comb out of the frame and place it in a bowl or pan. If you have a plastic foundation, you’ll have ​to scrape the comb off ⁣on each side⁣ and then place ‍it in the bowl.
  2. Crush the comb with the potato masher or wooden spoon until there ⁣are no lumps left. You’ll need to⁣ crush every cell. If you don’t have a wooden spoon or potato‍ masher, you can use your​ hands. Just ‍ensure your hands are clean!
  3. Place the cheesecloth in⁣ a mesh kitchen ⁤strainer⁣ for support and begin to strain the honey. The strainer should​ be over the bucket. Remember to cover‌ everything to keep any dust away.
  4. Let it sit overnight in a warm ‌place.
  5. Once all is completely drained, ​you can wrap the wax combs⁣ for later.

Method 3:​ Ross Round Honey

You will need:

  • Ross round frame
  • Suitable packaging


  1. Place the ross round frame in ​your hive.
  2. Once the ross round frames have been‌ filled with honey, you can remove the frame⁢ from the‍ hive and wrap it up in‍ plastic.
  3. Place the wrapped frame in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
  4. Unwrap the frame⁢ after it has​ thawed.
  5. Gently separate​ the frames and remove the round honeycombs.
  6. Package⁤ the combs in your packaging.

Method 4: Chunk Honey

You will need:

  • Wide-mouth mason ⁤jar or any other suitable⁣ glass jar.
  • Honeycomb
  • Strained honey


  1. Estimate the size of​ the combs you will need and ensure⁢ that they will comfortably fit in your jars.
  2. Hold ​sections‍ on the ‌cut⁣ side‌ to​ prevent any​ damage to the caps.
  3. Put the comb in the jar. To keep the comb from floating up to the surface of the jar, stick⁢ the comb to the bottom of ​the jar with⁣ melted wax.
  4. Add⁢ extracted honey slowly to reduce air bubbles inside the jar.
  5. Freeze the jars after ⁢filling ⁣them for at least 24 hours to remove⁣ any impurities.

While honey ⁢extractors are indeed efficient tools⁢ for removing honey‍ and preserving the comb,⁣ they are expensive ⁣and occupy a lot of storage space. Hobbyist beekeepers, who typically have only a few‌ frames, don’t necessarily need to use an extractor.

As outlined above, there ⁢are various methods that beekeepers can employ ⁤to extract their honey from the comb using items readily available in their homes. However, some of these methods do require a⁢ bit of patience as you’ll need to wait for 8 to⁢ 24 hours to allow the⁢ honey to fully drain from the combs.

It’s also worth noting that ⁣since you ⁣can’t preserve the combs if you don’t use‍ a honey extractor, you can ​repurpose the wax for future projects. ‍For‍ instance, ​many beekeepers often choose to make candles or lip balm with wax.‍ There are countless uses for beeswax, and it should never go to waste!


Honey is the ultimate reward of ⁣beekeeping, isn’t it? If you’re‌ a new beekeeper, your first-ever honey ⁤harvest is a thrilling mix of anxiety and excitement! Navigating the equipment and the⁤ process can be a tad overwhelming, but resilient beekeepers usually thrive on a challenge!

Now that you’re armed with all‌ the innovative and efficient ways to extract your honey without having to splurge on an expensive honey extractor, you can start experimenting! However, bear⁣ in mind that harvesting honey can⁢ be a ⁣lengthy process, ⁢especially if‌ it’s your first time.

After harvesting your honey, you’ll undoubtedly relish tasting the fruits of your​ and your bees’ hard work over the year. Of course, you can share your honey with others too, or you‌ could even consider selling​ at local markets or fairs if you have‍ a surplus!

Title: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Extract Honey Without ⁢an Extractor


Honey extraction refers to the removal of honey from a honeycomb full of honeybees. In professional apiaries, honey extractors, centrifugal devices that permit ‍honey collection without destroying the ‍combs,⁢ are commonly used. However, for small-scale beekeepers or hobbyists, acquiring an extractor may not ​always be ‍feasible due⁤ to cost constraints or low harvesting ​frequency. Although extraction without an extractor is labor-intensive, this article⁢ outlines the necessary steps to successfully do so.

1. Suitable Honey Frames

To begin ⁢with, identify mature⁢ honey⁢ frames. An‍ ideal choice is‍ a ​frame ⁣that is about 70-80% capped with a white, waxy substance⁣ that bees use to store their honey. An easy⁤ way to check⁣ whether the honey is ripe is ‌the “shake test”. If you give⁤ the frame a quick shake and any nectar droplets fall ‍out, the honey isn’t ripe yet. The honeycomb cells​ should look full, and the caps should be flat or slightly concave, signifying that the honey is ready for harvesting.

2. ⁣Removing⁣ the Bees

Having‍ identified ‌the ⁣ripe honey frames,​ the⁣ next step involves removing the ‍bees from these frames carefully. A bee brush is handy to gently ⁣brush the bees off the frames. ‌Another option is to use a ‌bee escape, a one-way⁢ exit device‌ that takes⁤ advantage of the bees’ natural ‍instinct to leave the hive at‍ sunset and never return.‌ Place the escape between ⁢the ‌brood box and⁣ honey‍ supers a couple of days before‌ the intended extraction day, allowing enough time for the bees to⁢ exit.

3. ‌Uncapping the Honeycombs

Beware not to rush ​into harvesting once ‍the bees are ⁢out. Instead, uncap the honeycombs ‍using a ​heated electric uncapping knife or‌ a non-serated kitchen ⁢knife. Slice off the wax cappings to expose the ‌honey-filled ​cells⁢ gently.‍ Collect the wax ⁣cappings for ‌candle-making, lip ‌balms, or other wax-based products, ensuring‌ no wastage.

4. Expelling⁤ Honey‌ from‍ the Honeycomb

There are a ‍few effective ways to extract ‍honey without using ‍an extractor.

a) Drainage method:‌ Once ‌the honeycomb is uncapped,‍ cut⁤ the comb out from the frame into a large bowl or bucket and ⁢leave it to drain. ​This method is simple but ⁤may take longer (even up to 24 ​hours).

b) Crush and Strain method: This involves crushing the uncapped honeycomb into a sieve or cheesecloth placed above a⁢ clean container. ⁢Gravity pulls the honey through the ‍sieve‍ or cheesecloth‍ and into‍ the container while trapping the beeswax within ⁢the sieve.

c) ‍Swing method: This requires a secure and clean space. You swing the frame downwards, forcing the honey⁢ to ⁣splatter out from the⁢ comb cells due to centrifugal force. Although this is ​quicker,​ it demands more‌ effort and ​it can ⁢create a mess.

5. Storing the Honey

After the extraction,‌ it is essential to store the honey⁤ in sterilized glass ​jars right away to maintain its quality. ⁤Store these jars⁢ in a cool and dry place‍ away from direct sunlight.


While extracting honey without​ an ‍extractor can be labor-intensive, it ‌is a cost-effective method for⁤ small-scale beekeepers ⁣or ‍honey enthusiasts. Properly undertaken,⁤ it yields high-quality honey while preserving the honeycomb structure. It is crucial to ⁢remember⁣ that while involving couples⁤ of days and⁤ effort,‍ the result is a delightfully sweet liquid gold that is worth every bead of sweat poured into its extraction.

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