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Author Topic: Crush and strain or Extract?  (Read 2099 times)
harvey
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« on: June 23, 2009, 02:02:16 PM »

I don't even know what crush and strain is but I have an idea.   Isnt' it better to extract so that you are giving the bees back good comb to put more honey in?   

I am brand new at this and have no idea as I have never gotten honey before.  First hive in process of building up.  And doing quite well it looks like.   

A friend of mine has a two frame extractor and a hot knife he want me to have.  He was big into bees about twenty years ago and this is all the equipment he has left.  It is in good shape and clean.  I know I should offer him something for it even though he is just tickled that he knows someone starting out.  Any ideas on the worth of this equipment?

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Joelel
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 02:09:26 PM »

I don't even know what crush and strain is but I have an idea.   Isnt' it better to extract so that you are giving the bees back good comb to put more honey in?   

I am brand new at this and have no idea as I have never gotten honey before.  First hive in process of building up.  And doing quite well it looks like.   

a friend of mine has a two frame extractor and a hot knife he want me to have.  He was big into bees about twenty years ago and this is all the equipment he has left.  It is in good shape and clean.  I know I should offer him something for it even though he is just tickled that he knows someone starting out.  Any ideas on the worth of this equipment?



Extraction is the best.It's worth a hundred or two.
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danno
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 02:47:55 PM »

If he is giving it to you it is a gift.  Take it say thank you.  Give you friend some honey from your first harvest.  Your payment to him will show in your eyes.   Some day you can pass it on to another new-bee
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hankdog1
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 03:23:49 PM »

really all depends on the features hand crank extractor or motorized adjustable hot knife or not.  saying that it's a hand crank and the hot knife doesn't have an adjustable thermostat i'd go somewhere in the 150 to 175 range for it 175 being tops.  If he offers it as a gift say thank you i will take good care of it and if he ever decides to get back into bees he knows where a hot knife and extractor he can use is.  Also a few quarts of honey a year will help out the gift giving mood of your friend.  Not to mention you would have probably offered him some anyways for being able to pick his brain about bee stuff.  Good luck and extraction is better yes cause they don't have to draw out new frames of wax every time.  Less energy involved for the bees so they can make more honey.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 04:07:45 PM »

crush and strain is as it sounds.  you can do a search on here and Tillie has a video on it.  you should be able to find that with a search also.  you may not need the extractor or knife for awhile, but it would be nice to have.  it's not worth extracting unless you have a fair amount to do.  you lose some in the process, so only doing a few frames in an extractor can cut down on what you get.  + there is all the time cleaning it and stuff. 

crush and strain is also good for working out agressions....if you have any.....smiley
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009, 05:32:43 PM »

Agressions!!!!   I have many,   not sure I want to take it out on the bee's hard work of making comb though!   Nuf stuff to do around the house to tire me out most days
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Natalie
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009, 05:43:05 PM »

What about using some of that comb honey for .. comb honey grin
If it looks nice and clean you can just punch out squares of it with a comb cutter, looks like a square cookie cutter or you could do chunk honey where you drop chunks of comb into a jar of liquid honey.
It keeps your hive from having alot of old comb in it that you have to rotate out eventually anyway.
I think crush and strain is the way to go on just the one hive you have but I wouldn't turn down the extractor as you made need it for future use.
Tillie swears by crush and strain, she said in a thread not that long ago that her honey tastes better, one reason is because it doesn't have the air bubbles in it you get from extracting and she gave another reason but I forget what it was.
You may want to contact her for some advice on her methods or watch her videos.
The bees will make new comb fairly quickly anyway, I am amazed at how fast my girls build natural comb.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2009, 06:38:56 PM »

>I don't even know what crush and strain is but I have an idea.   Isnt' it better to extract so that you are giving the bees back good comb to put more honey in?   

Better than what?  Drawing comb is what bees do.  Not extracting means you don't have comb to protect from wax moths, you don't have to buy a lot of equipment.  Comb honey sells for more anyway.  Smiley

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm
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hollybees
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2009, 08:06:45 PM »


I like crush and strain, but now I have 5 hives so I may consider changing...we'll see!
This a link to Tillie's site that's were I learned yo do it.
http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2007/06/honey-harvest-crush-and-strain.html

You just have to try it once. It's an awesome experience.....in fact we're in the process on doing it right now!
Seriously!
My daughter's in town and she's really enjoying it! and so am I because ... she's doing all the crushing  grin

good luck!

Paul




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hollybees
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2009, 09:24:49 PM »


Ok......just look at these fatty's!!


I rest my case...... cool

Ya' just gotta try it!
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tillie
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2009, 10:09:22 PM »

Well, I have to put in my 2 cents.  Ditto Michael - it certainly takes less equipment to crush and strain and it's much easier to clean up a knife, a couple of pestles (or whatever you use to crush) and a pan than an extractor. 

I'm biased because I think it helps for the honey not to be heated via the hot knife and not to be flung through the air as it is in the extractor. 

And I have some ground for my feeling so positive about honey via crush and strain:  my honey won blue ribbons both in the state beekeepers' honey contest in 2008 (first time I entered and I got four blue ribbons) and in my local club contest in 2007 and 2008.  In 2008, at the local level, my honey won the black jar contest (based purely on taste) for the club contest and there were 70 entries.

One day I may use an extractor if I ever increase my hive numbers and we don't have a bad harvest like this year, but Michael, my beekeeping hero, used crush and strain for years and years before he moved to an extractor.

Linda T in Atlanta

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kathyp
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2009, 10:19:50 PM »

Quote
and it's much easier to clean up a knife, a couple of pestles


ok, i agree with all that you said, except......i remember my adventures with the carpet cleaner, door knobs, pellet stove, etc.   evil 

do not crush and strain when it's cold!!!! 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2009, 11:28:24 PM »

I do some of each.  A couple times/yr I extract with my old Root 2-frame extractor.  The extractor works just fine with natural comb.  You don't need wired comb.

Sometimes I crush and strain messed up comb, or if I am just grabbing a frame or 2.

But the best honey is comb honey.  As Natalie said:
Quote from: Natalie
What about using some of that comb honey for .. comb honey

Many of the subtle flavors of the honey are lost when it is removed from the comb.   

 
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Irwin
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2009, 10:45:45 AM »


Ok......just look at these fatty's!!


I rest my case...... cool

Ya' just gotta try it!

That is just out right mean grin I'm trying too get some this year I hope mine looks as good as yours
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2009, 11:11:17 AM »

I don't even know what crush and strain is but I have an idea.   Isnt' it better to extract so that you are giving the bees back good comb to put more honey in?   

One can argue the conversion of honey to wax,  some say 8lbs to 1lb, some say less.  But regardless, it takes resources away from them if you continually destroy the comb.  Even feral colonies will continue to reuse comb year after year and only build new comb as needed.   How would you like it if someone came every year and knocked down a portion of your house,  ya you can and will rebuild it,  but that doesn't make it something you like to do or is efficient for you to be doing.

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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2009, 11:22:38 AM »

sure, but if we left it to nature, we would not manage swarming, disease, space, or mark our queens  grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2009, 11:35:21 AM »

sure, but if we left it to nature, we would not manage swarming, disease, space, or mark our queens  grin
Nor would we have too..........
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2009, 11:31:54 PM »

Here I go again, I use crush and strain.  When doing more than 2 or 2 frames I use my cider press for the crush and strain part.  Placing a flour sack or pillow case in the press hamper, putting the combs of honey inside and then compressing the whole thing like I would the apple when making cider, the honey is forced from the combs, the wax is compressed into a flat cake for smeltering, and the sack or case filters the big stuff out of the honey.  I can bottle it straight of the spout and the end of the press.  You can use a tea strainer or the like if you feel you need to, I do mine outside so I often have to strain out the bees trying to take the honey back.

It is simple and much less work than using an extractor.  Believe me, I've been a beekeeper for a long time and my current method of processing honey is my favorite by far, I only wished I thought of using a cider press a long time ago.  Wash down the press with a water hose, wash the sack in with the clothes, the the wax cakes into the colar wax melter and your clean up is over.
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 06:23:02 AM »

Brian,
I love that idea.... got any pics you can post?
I can't seem put a picture of the set-up together in my head.

We'll, I don't what you to go to any trouble I'll look at presses then maybe I'll get it.
It sounds perfect to me.

Thanks,
Paul
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2009, 09:44:10 AM »

I extract and save comb for next year, you collect more honey if they have comb drawn already. next year when the flow starts I will just put 2 super each on each hive and check in a week or two and see if I need to add another. if you are going after honey collecting the extracting and saving comb would be best but if it doesn't matter how much you get then either way would work, extracting is also faster if you are doing a large number of supers also.
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