@ Anon– Here’s a How It’s Made on raw honey extraction. This shows a major factory setup, but effective extraction is carried out by plenty of smalltown beekeepers on their own with simpler setups. The same friend I mentioned before actually has a hand-cranked centrifuge that he uses to extract honey for jarring. 

I also don’t know of any smalltown keepers that use the cherry-scented gadget when extracting. We only ever use a bit of wood smoke in our hives. The smoke serves two main purposes– First, it tricks the bees into thinking there’s a fire nearby, so they’re less focused on potential predators and more focused on filling up with honey and pollen to take with them if they have to abandon hive, and Second, it masks the scent of any alarm bell pheromones workers might start putting off when they realize that there is no fire. they also just don’t care for the smell. One of our girls accidentally flew through some smoke from a campfire we had out back and had to crash land on my dad’s knee and regain her composure before going off on her way again. 

Overall most smaller beekeepers don’t care much for commercial beekeeping methods–they tend to be more focused on profit than caretaking–but this is a decent vid for showing the extraction process. And, as it says in the video, regardless of whether it’s smalltown or commercial, the bees do not starve because of the honey extraction. Bees have no real concept of how much is too much when it comes to producing honey, so a good healthy hive tends to make about five times more honey than it actually needs to survive. This is also why small beekeepers only start harvesting honey after their hive has made it through at least one solid year on its own, so that they can be sure the hive is healthy and able to sustain itself even if some honey is taken out of it. 

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