Here’s a video on how we harvest honey using an uncapping roller. This extracting tool has saved us a lot of time, say goodbye to capping knives.
Previous to my friend Rick telling me about this cool too, we would use a capping knife to cut open all the honeycomb to harvest honey. This results in a lot of wax and damaged honeycomb frames. I never liked this part of the honey extraction process, always gouging out chunks of honeycomb.
But the uncapping roller is great –buy it here . You have to take care not to press it too hard into the comb, or you will damage it, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. Roll it several times back and forth and up and down. You may have to pull a few frames out of the extractor and re-roll them.
I have found that not all the honey comes out of the comb, but its not an issue for me. I put the honey supers back on the hive, above the inner cover, and let the bees clean up the frames. Its all good. I have found it helpful to have a hair dryer, aka blow dryer blowing hot air into the extractor. It seems to help the honey sling out of the comb.
Combining this new roller with the DIY bee escape board we made – video here – , honey extraction has become a much easier process. I have found its best to put the escape board on the hive a 2 days before you plan on removing the honey super.
The uncapping roller cleans up easily. I use a spatula to remove as much of the wax cappings as possible from the tool and then I run it under water for a minute.
There are more photos of the uncapping roller in action here.