Extracting honey with an apple press

Crushing and straining is a honey extraction process that has experienced an increase in popularity recently due its use with Warre and Kenyan Top Bar hives. What is often forgotten is that this method of extraction is just as valid when extracting from Langstroth hives, especially for a small number of frames.

The below process describes using a standard apple press for the honey extraction using cheese cloth to strain/filter the honey. The press used is an Italian made press that was purchased in Australia from Bec's Beehive.

The standard apple press cage is too coarse for honey so the honey comb is wrapped in cheese cloth for pressing

Standard wired Langstroth frames can be used without removing or cutting the wire

Run a large kitchen knife under hot water and start the cuts from the end of the frame, cutting the comb onto cheese cloth

The wire in the frame can be used as a guide for cutting out strips of comb

Any comb that isn't fully capped can be removed before pressing

Fold the cheese cloth back over itself to form a ball the diamater of the apple press cage

Push the wrapped honey comb to the bottom of the apple press cage

Wind the press down to the top of the cheese cloth and then slowly turn the press to apply constant pressure

There is a slight delay between applying pressure and the honey passing through the cheese cloth

Collect the strained raw honey directly into storage containers

Wooden blocks can be added between the press and the wrapped comb to increase the pressure if required

After pressing, place a wooden block at the back of the press and allow the press to drain