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"I'd like to know about the different components in a hive, how to extract honey, and how to do an artificial swarm, learn about queen rearing and disease recognition"

We run a series of Summer Experiences and Winter Workshops which will answer all these questions and more. For more information view our 'Activities' page.

or contact our Chairperson, Margaret Moore <>

“Honey Extraction”

The aim of this session is to go through the steps to get honey from the hive to the jar. We will have a number of extractors for participants to examine, including manual and electric, radial and tangental. We will illustrate the different ways of clearing the bees and how to get the honey filled supers to the extractor. Participants will be able to experiment with different uncapping methods, including knives and heat guns and will practice loading frames into the extractor. We will discuss storing the extracted honey, filtering and putting into jars.

Session outline

How to establish that a super is ready to extract

Checking for capped cells

Clearing the bees

Using porter bee escapes and the rhombus method

Brushing away the bees

Delivering the super to the extractor

Transporting and short term storage

Different extraction methods

Gravity – no machine

Manual extractors

Electric Extractors


Different methods of uncapping

Using the extractor

Loading frames

Spinning and knowing when to stop

Removing honey from the extractor

Storage buckets


Jarring the honey

Choosing jars

Sterilising used jars

Lids and labels

“The beehive: The varieties and how to identify and use the parts”

Participants will handle a number of different bee hives in order to see how they differ and what parts can be interchanged in different hives. As well as discussing the pros and cons of each type of hive participants will learn how to ensure the hive has been correctly assembled for top or bottom bee space, as well as looking at the different options for frame types.

Session outline

A look at what makes up the popular hives and how they differ from each other





What can be mixed and matched

Different materials used for hives




Some of the finer points

Top bee space vs bottom be space

Manley frames vs Hoffman frames

Porter bee escapes vs rhombus

Runners and castellated bars

Hives for special tasks



Queen rearing mini nucs

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