The second step in harvesting honey is to remove the honey supers. This involves opening the hive (taking the outer and inner covers off) and taking the honey supers off.
I always light my smoker before hand just in case I need it to calm the bees or move them. In this case, hardly any smoke is necessary because there are virtually no bees left in the supers. They were removed in step one.
I have learned to pull the supers off the hive the day before I extract the honey. Full honey supers weigh about 40 pounds and it was 85 degrees today. Doing the work of removing the supers the day before makes the process of extracting that much easier.
If you look carefully at the picture you will see that I have placed the honey supers on top of plastic. Extracting honey creates a sticky mess. I will use plastic drop cloths to cover the kitchen floor before extracting to make clean up easier.