happy bee

2 Bucket Honey Extraction

The simple 10-step method to extract honey using only 2 buckets.


Step 1:

Get 2 food grade 20 litre buckets with lids. They need to be the same size so they can stack. Handles are not important.


Step 2:

You will need:

  • electric drill

Drill multiple 5mm holes in the bottom of 1 bucket.


Step 3:

You will need:

  • jigsaw or

  • electric drill and sharp knife

Use the jigsaw to cut a hole in 1 lid, leaving a ledge of about 25mm for the top bucket to sit on. If you don’t have a jigsaw, drill a few starter holes and then use a sharp knife.


Step 4:

Sit the bucket with drainage holes on the lid with a hole.


Step 5:

You will need:

  • hole saw and a honey gate or

  • ladle

Using a honey gate install it into the bottom bucket using a hole saw. Have it sitting slightly above the base of the bucket so any heavy material can settle.

Not using a honey gate use a ladle to scoop the honey out of the bottom bucket.


Step 6:

Put a gauze filter (like paint filters – available from paint shop in packs of 12) over the bottom bucket and secure it in place with the holey lid. This catches the fine wax and pollen.


Step 7:

Place the holey bucket on top of the holey lid and scrape your honey and wax into the bucket. The honey trickles through the holes and drips through the gauze into the bottom bucket.


Step 8:

A bar with a nail which sits on top of the bucket can be useful to rest a frame on while scraping. Break the comb off a topbar and place it all in the bucket. Stir the comb to break it up. Put the second lid on firmly and leave in the sun so the heat can help the honey flow faster.

Step 9:

Pour honey into jars.

Step 10:

Cleanup is easy. Use a rubber scraper to get the last of the honey, then a bit of hot water to clean the buckets. The wax can be saved and melted down or fed back to the bees as it still has some honey on it.