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Last night we received word about the status of our trip to France. Governor Cuomo ordered that all NY state schools cancel their spring break trips, and ordered all study-abroad students to come home. We fall under this category, and our flight was canceled. However, we refuse to let this bring us down! We have instead shifted our focus to the beekeepers of the east coast states, and have prepared teams to visit each east coast state. We are already contacting and setting up interviews with a variety of beautiful people for spring break. So stay tuned for yet another one of our incredible documentaries! Now back to our regularly scheduled Beesearch!

So, how do you get the honey out of a beehive? Well, in a fixed frame hive, the Super holds the harvestable honey, containing removable frames filled and capped with the golden stuff. The first step is to clear the super of bees, usually with a bee brush. Then you can get to the extraction step. 

To extract the honey, you need to remove all of the caps that are on the honeycomb. In large companies, this can be done with a machine called an automated uncapper machine, or in the case of small beekeepers, they use an uncapping knife with a pronged cappings fork. The blade is usually heated to make this process easier. The cappings are saved, drained of honey, and kept to be sold for candle maxing or for other products made with beeswax. Once the frame is fully uncapped, it is placed in a honey extractor, which spins the honey out of the frame using centrifugal force. The resulting honey will have bits of wax in it, so it must be further strained for purity. The frames are then typically placed back in the beehive, where the bees will finish cleaning it off and refining it for the next extraction cycle. This must be done with care to prevent bees from fighting over the source or to prevent infection to other hives. After filtering is completed, the final product can be bottled and sold, or eaten. 

You can watch how this process is done here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTErM4uuPdc

Do you or someone you know keep bees? We want to hear your story! Pace University’s Pace Docs crew is in the process of producing a documentary about Urban Beekeeping, the latest in a series of award-winning environmentally and culturally relevant documentaries from our department. Contact us at paceudocs@gmail.com. And follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok for more content!