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Author Topic: Filtering honey  (Read 6811 times)
bassman1977
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« on: July 19, 2009, 10:35:57 PM »

Just did a harvest today.  Got about 30 gallons from 3 hives.  I'm in serious need of a bigger extractor, especially as I am building up.  I saw the one on another post that JP got.  Nice one and I will be looking into one of those jobs in time.  In the mean time, we were slowed up considerably by the filtering of the honey using the double sieve.  It just gets clogged up way too fast.  Any ideas what I can do to speed the process along?  And before someone suggests not filtering, this is not an option.  I need a filtering method that isn't going to eat time.  12 hours to extract 9 supers is ridiculous.  Thanks!
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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2009, 10:41:29 PM »

Maybe you need to warm it up a bit.


Steve
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bassman1977
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 06:29:19 AM »

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Maybe you need to warm it up a bit.

The thought had crossed my mind.  This is probably the coolest it's ever been during a harvest.  80 degrees in house and the honey was really thick.
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 08:05:57 AM »

Quote
Maybe you need to warm it up a bit.

The thought had crossed my mind.  This is probably the coolest it's ever been during a harvest.  80 degrees in house and the honey was really thick.

Sounds like Steve hit it. Smiley

I always keep the honey house 90F+  and also have a heater tape wrapped around the extractor.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 08:11:34 AM »

I'll give that a try for next time.  Thanks guys.
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 10:37:56 PM »

Bassman, if you do not mind me asking, how old are these hives?  This is my second year, but I had to start over with new packages and nucs this year since I lost all of my hives last year.  I have the added bonus of drawn comb this year andhave pulled some oney, but I curious about how one gets so much honey from 3 hives.  I have no shot of three supers per hive this year.
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Brian
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2009, 07:25:33 AM »

Location, location, location. Your bees must me in an area with with a good and steady nectar flow. For years I kept most of my bees in an area that I was convinced was outstanding. My bees did not do well and I did not make much honey. My mentor convinced me to  move them. They do much better now and make me some honey.


Steve
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2009, 07:45:24 AM »

Andy
Back in the 70s and 80s evryone had a water bed.  When I got rid of mine I new that someday the heater would come in handy.  If you can find one they wrap completely around a bucket and are about 15" wide so they cover from top to bottom.  The thermistat can be set at 70- 100.    As for JP extractor they are very nice.  I got a 30 frame Maxant plus 3 knives and a 25gal water jacketed clarifier for 400.00
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bassman1977
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2009, 11:34:07 AM »

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Bassman, if you do not mind me asking, how old are these hives?

The hives in question are 3 years old.  I have two others that are splits from this year.  I started one on fully drawn foundation.  I expect to get comb honey from this one.  The other, I am not going to get anything from it this year.

Quote
I have the added bonus of drawn comb this year and have pulled some oney,

I replaced a bunch of comb in the brood boxes this year from all of my older hives, they are foundationless.  They are all rebuilt.

Quote
but I curious about how one gets so much honey from 3 hives.

The area I have a couple of my hives have a lot of wild flowers and other nectar producing plants.  Lots of farming area and just brushy areas not being used for anything.  I knew it would be a good area for the bees, but never expected to get what I got.  This is my first year at this particular outyard.  I'll be expanding there next season.  My home apiary is kind of similar (it's about 5 miles from my outyard).  I've always had pretty good success at my home apiary.  Not last year though.  Last year was just outright bad.

Quote
Back in the 70s and 80s evryone had a water bed.  When I got rid of mine I new that someday the heater would come in handy.  If you can find one they wrap completely around a bucket and are about 15" wide so they cover from top to bottom.  The thermistat can be set at 70- 100.    As for JP extractor they are very nice.  I got a 30 frame Maxant plus 3 knives and a 25gal water jacketed clarifier for 400.00

Thanks I'll check into the water bed heater.  I think my dad might have some of that laying around somewhere.  How do you like the clarifier?  Do you have a dedicated honey room?
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2009, 11:44:17 AM »

In the mean time, we were slowed up considerably by the filtering of the honey using the double sieve.  It just gets clogged up way too fast.  Any ideas what I can do to speed the process along? 
I just had that problem last week. Fortunately, the person I borrowed the extractor from also included their double sieve, so I had two sets. When one got clogged, I could just swap it out, let it drain, and then scrape out the debris.

Warming the honey may help, but it won't eliminate the clogs.
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2009, 01:04:00 PM »

Andy
I have not set anything up yet so I dont know how the clarifier will work.   I have a 3 stall garage with a kitchen set up in one stall.  I am planning on building a dedicated honey house so at this time I'm just collect equipment when I can find a deal. 
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bassman1977
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2009, 04:49:49 PM »

Gotcha.  I don't know what I am going to do as far as a dedicated honey house yet.  In the next couple years I will be building a 3 1/2 car garage and was considering attaching a honey house to it, but we'll see.  I think whatever I build, it'll have to be something that I can use as something else for when the time comes and I get too old for this.
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2009, 09:49:48 PM »

I'm still working on that honey house project. maybe next year. LOL  Sure would be a nice thing to have.
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2009, 07:39:38 AM »

This speeded up my poorman operation !

Hope this link works;
I'll have to post pic. of homemade filter, made from a 5 gal bucket also.

Bee-Bop

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?action=post;topic=23592.msg182666;quote=182666;sesc=9a2e9519c69a437f33bb0b3652c230af
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bassman1977
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2009, 08:12:39 AM »

No, link didn't work.
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2009, 11:08:25 AM »

I got posting instructions, I'll try again

Don't bet on it !

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,23592.msg182666.html#msg182666

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2009, 11:13:18 AM »

It worked this time Bee-Bop   grin
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2009, 04:48:08 AM »

Andy
Back in the 70s and 80s evryone had a water bed.  When I got rid of mine I new that someday the heater would come in handy.  If you can find one they wrap completely around a bucket and are about 15" wide so they cover from top to bottom.  The thermistat can be set at 70- 100.

Do you have to monitor the heat closely?

I can remember toasting the bottom of a matress that didn't have adequate water in it.  I believe they work best when they have a large volume of water to heat.

My curse is that my parents came from the Depression era.  They never threw anything away that might be used in the future.  I'm a horrible packrat because of it, to my wife's frustration.  I've still got mine from the "free-spirit" days.  But I might add, you can still get a great deal on ebay.

BB
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2009, 05:00:27 AM »

One of the biggest problems with clogs, I've found, is the way you prepare the frames.  Cappings scrathers are horrible for filtering, whether or not you have an uncapping tank.  Alternately, you may want to consider a hot knife to uncap.  Very low tech, to be sure, but very clean.

Using warm frames is so much easier, but instead of fancy heating bands or a hot honey house consider placing a low wattage bulb in an empty super, below your honey supers.  It warms them nicely without any special considerations.

Low tech/ KISS method.

BB
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2009, 11:40:08 AM »

consider placing a low wattage bulb in an empty super, below your honey supers.  It warms them nicely without any special considerations.

mmmm, i'd consider putting the bulb ABOVE  the supers, and using a small fan.  wax and honey dripping on the floor will make a mess.  dripping on the bulb could start a fire.

deknow
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2009, 06:10:49 PM »

The old, easy way of heating hive boxes:

Turn a expandable top upside down place on floor, this will catch honey dripping.
Get a mechanic's trouble light with a metal guard on it, place light in center of expandable top,with the cover guard metal turned up, honey will not touch light bulb.
Place a empty hive box in expandable top surrounding trouble light.
Place several full hive boxs on top of empty box and trouble light.
Cover the whole shebang with a piece of plywood, old blanket, etc.

OH, don't forget to turn trouble light on!   fishhit

Not rocket science I know, but it's been done this way for years !

Bee-Bop

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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2009, 03:07:51 AM »

Much more complete description than I had in my previous post, Bee-Bop.  I failed to mention placing the supers on a large metal pan, shimmed, using a shielded, low wattage (15W) bulb, and covering the top super.  As well, not assuming prior experience, heating should be done PRIOR to uncapping.

Honey may leak into the pan from ruptured cells, but I've never seen wax melt in this setup.  However, monitoring the temperature with a simple thermometer, 90 - 110F is sufficent.

BB
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2009, 10:15:16 AM »

...there are so many ways this can go wrong (ie, how many people keep a low wattage bulb in their trouble light?).  putting the heat under the tower of wax and honey is just asking for trouble.

deknow
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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2009, 10:54:11 AM »

..there are so many ways this can go wrong (ie, how many people keep a low wattage bulb in their trouble light?).  putting the heat under the tower of wax and honey is just asking for trouble.

I would suppose that any one using this method would have a low wattage bulb in their trouble light !

I guess I should have posted that as a warning, along with the notice I mentioned to be sure light was turned on.

I assume now you do need to be a rocket scientest to do a simple chore these days !    Wink

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2009, 11:49:56 AM »

I assume now you do need to be a rocket scientest to do a simple chore these days !     

... I've already called OSHA to see where the yellow lines need to painted ...   rolleyes
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2009, 06:53:17 PM »

Deknow; are you a lawyer? Work for OSHA? Worrywart?
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2009, 05:12:57 AM »

yes, anyone that uses a trouble light for such a purpose probably has a low wattage bulb in it.

anyone who has never used a trouble light for such purposes has a high wattage lightbulb in their trouble light.
 
of course, the advice offered here is for those that don't use a trouble light for heating honey in the comb (otherwise, they wouldn't need such advice), and those people will, by default, have high wattage bulbs in their trouble light.

nothing like incomplete advice that will likely cause a big mess, and possibly a fire when the user follows such advice completely Sad

deknow
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« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2009, 12:35:31 AM »

Righteousness through rightism ... or the death of common sense.

Daily life requires a modicum of forethought to perform the most basic of tasks.  If I were told by ____________ (insert your favorite master beekeeper here) that if I were to choose to mix a 2:1 sugar/water syrup for feeding, I would need to heat the mixture to get it to dissolve quickly and properly.

I believe that I would choose to some vessel to heat the mixture.  A plastic bowl would not be an appropriate choice, because it would likely melt and cause a mess or fire.  Finding a suitable metal pot, I would then have to decide on a proper heat source.  I could use my acetylene torch, but that would likely melt my metal pot and defeat its purpose.  Observing that spilled sugar grains quickly turn into bubbly, black masses, I would regulate my heat source to slowly heat the mixture to prevent burning the sugar.  Perhaps, even using a thermometer.  Also note, this would not be the proper time to walk the dog.

Once the mixture was dissolved, I would need to realize that this hot mixture would not be physiologically compatible for bee consumption.  It should be cooled to ambient temperature.  However, leaving it on the heat source would slow this process.  Remembering my Mother had admonished me when I was three for touching hot things from the stove, I would select a pair of potholders before moving the pot to a cooling location.  This should be an insulated location, and NOT my wife's Formica countertop!

To monitor cooling, it would not be advisable to place my hand in the mixture.  Again, the thermometer would be a very useful tool.

If things did not work out, I would not curse the advise, but give a little more thought to the possibilities I might have ignored.  Failing that, I might consider enrolling at MIT, Purdue, or CalTech to improve my critical life skills.

BB
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« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2009, 06:28:56 AM »

BruinnieBear, what a fantastic way to warm supers before extraction - I've been heating a whole room, your idea is going to save me a whole heap of moving supers and mucking around - thanks, that is nice and easy!
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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2009, 07:19:01 AM »

So long as said trouble light is not in direct contact with the wooden parts being heated, I don't see any real issue. They do not come equipped with 1500W bulbs, probably 150W to 200W. Also if you are thinking that you NEED to heat the hive, it's probably below 50°F to begin with and cooling to the outside air will dissipate all or most of the heat from the 200W source. Your wax will NOT be able to get above the 140°F required to melt the wax comb. If it is warm enough for that to happen you really didn't need the heater anyway.
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2009, 10:28:47 AM »

Actually the trouble light bulbs used by mechanics, is usually 40 or 60 watt heavy duty bulbs purchased at your local auto-truck parts store.
These lites are not used as flood lights, they are used in enclosed spaces such as between the fender well and the engine, or what ever.

Oh well enough of this nonsence.      beat a dead horse

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2009, 10:35:50 PM »

Wow...what a conversation!!!!!What ever happened to the easy way???  Use either a heat tape or a 50W light bulb placed within an empty box and placed directly above the honey super.  It does not take long for the temperature to soften the honey.  I use a similar method to keep my outdoor pipes going to my pond filtering system from freezing.  They are set on a thermostat that kicks on when the temps drop down below 40 deg. F.
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« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2009, 12:34:06 AM »

Hey--thanks for all the details, everyone. I hope to have this problem next year!

Deknow, et al, I actually appreciate the extra caution. What may be common sense to one person may not be common to me at all. Vice versa. It helps to remember that we probably all have different areas of knowledge and experience.

Okay--off my soapbox Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2009, 11:53:18 PM »

When I harvest, I remove the door of the honey gate on my extractor and rubber band or zip tie on a panty hose  (the kind the size of a sock). The panty hose fills and stretches till it sits in the five gallon bucket.  Wax and bee bits stay in the hose as honey runs down inside it, coming out where ever. It is not uncommon of the panty hose to have a softball sized knot in it. They can handle a surprising quantity of debris and still maintain a high through rate. I have never had one break, though they may develop runs.  My wife lets me keep them after I use them for this.

This system has the added advantage of putting very few bubbles in the honey since the honey never falls.  When stretched, the top of the panty hose will restrict the flow of the honey coming out of the extractor.  I pinch and lift the top of it up while I am letting the frames spin after cranking and it flows in more easily.  When your done, pull the panty hose out of the honey it is floating in and squeeze it (if you LOVE the feel of honey) or let it drain.  Then invert the panty hose to get the wax out.

The main need for improvement with this system is a 90 degree elbow coming out of the extractor.  Attaching the panty hose to this would prevent the restriction problem mentioned above. 

I harvest in a screen house outside in Maine where summer temps are rarely above 90.  Those double sieve things are a scam, IMO.
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