After the honey frames have been removed from the supers, the beekeeper starts the extraction process. The first step is to remove a thin layer of beeswax that seals the honey in the cell; this portion of beeswax is referred to as the capping.
The beekeeper can use a cappings scratcher to scrape open the honey cell or an electric uncapping tool to cut off a thin layer of beeswax to expose the honey. Dadant offers several plain knives that can be put into hot water to help slice through the beeswax capping.
If you are using plain knives, we recommend having two knives on hand to keep one in the hot water while using the other. When one cools down simply switch knives and continuously uncap the cells.
Electric uncapping knives or planes are constantly heated to cut through the sealed beeswax cell. A capping scratcher is very handy to help open the low areas on the honey frame. The cappings are usually placed in a filter over a bucket or tank to allow the honey to drip from the cappings.