Our Harvesting and Extracting Process

Beehives | Gentle Breeze Honey
Beehives | Gentle Breeze Honey
Beehives | Gentle Breeze Honey
Beehives | Gentle Breeze Honey

It’s honey harvest time when at least three-fourths of the hexagonal honeycomb cells in a hive are sealed with wax. This ensures that we are not bottling “green honey” (honey with moisture content higher than 17-18%).

The bees in the hive fan the honey with their wings to lower the moisture content before each cell is sealed with wax — amazing!

The moisture content of the honey is measured by using a handy device called a refractometer.

Beehives | Gentle Breeze Honey
Beehives | Gentle Breeze Honey

In the field, a blower is used to remove excess bees from the honey-filled frames of the “supers” (short for superstructures, which refers to the boxes placed over the brood chamber for bees to store honey).

View Beehive Components

The supers are then transported to our honey processing facility and placed into a “warm room” for about 36 hours. This allows any remaining bees to join a temporary small hive, and the combs can soften for extracting.

Each frame of honey is sent through a state-of-the-art extracting machine that first cuts the wax cappings from the combs. The frames are then hand-scraped to ensure a maximum yield of honey!

The frames proceed on a conveyor into a centrifugal extractor, where the honey is spun out.

View Extraction Photos

Next the honey drains into a pumping tank to settle and separate from the beeswax. (Later the recovered beeswax will be used to produce our varied line of pure beeswax candles.)

Finally the honey is pumped into another settling tank to be strained through fine mesh, and then the honey is barreled.

Because our honey is not overheated or force-filtered, you will find tiny particles of beeswax and pollen in the honey which enhance its flavor!

In every step of our honey harvest and production, our goal is to maintain the highest quality and delicate flavor that our customers have long enjoyed. Each drop of Gentle Breeze Honey® is a celebration of the industrious collaboration of beekeeper and honeybees!

Beehives | Gentle Breeze Honey

 

Extraction Equipment | Gentle Breeze Honey

Loading Honey Frames for Extraction

Cutting Wax Cappings | Gentle Breeze Honey

Automated Cutting of Wax Cappings

Hand Scraping | Gentle Breeze Honey

Hand Scraping of Honeycombs

Centrifugal Extractor | Gentle Breeze Honey

Centrifugal Extractor

Extraction Equipment | Gentle Breeze Honey

Loading Honey Frames for Extraction

Cutting Wax Cappings | Gentle Breeze Honey

Automated Cutting of Wax Cappings

Hand Scraping | Gentle Breeze Honey

Hand Scraping of Honeycombs

Centrifugal Extractor | Gentle Breeze Honey

Centrifugal Extractor