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Author Topic: Information Gathering  (Read 4924 times)
bassman1977
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« on: July 11, 2005, 11:28:51 PM »

I was wondering about extracting.  I haven't done it yet and probably won't until next season, but in the mean time I want to get an idea of equipment.  

I would like to extract all my honey.  No cut comb or anything like that.  One thing I would like to do is to keep as much of the drawn comb as possible and not have to cut it off.  Is it necessary to cut a lot of it off or can the caps just be scrapped enough to let the honey out?  What would the best type of equipment be for doing this?  It looked like a capping fork and electric knife could take too much off.  A capping scratcher looks like it would be right up my alley.

How does that sound?  Would only scratching the cappings not be enough?  I am using 9-frame spacers in my supers so the comb will be a little thick.

I would appreciate some advice.  Thanks in advance.
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2005, 09:00:49 AM »

The amount of comb you would "save" scratching vs. cutting is not worth the additional effort.  Using a knife is much quicker and neater than using a scratcher.  If your not careful with the scratcher, you can easily damage the comb walls.  

Using a knife also allows you to "true" up your comb.  

The idea of saving comb is to eliminate the added effort the bees must do to draw foundation.   Even if you cut with a knife,  there is still enough comb left to raise brood.

Go with the knife.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2005, 04:13:05 PM »

There are many opinions on scracthers vs knives vs planes.  I think if I were buying one right now I'd buy the plane.  But then I'm pretty good with the point of the knife to get the low spots and I'm not sure how I'd do it with the plane.

I use an electric uncapping knife.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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bassman1977
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2005, 06:53:58 PM »

Thanks for the ideas.  So what about the cut cappings then?  What kind of inexpensive (yet highly effective) methods are available?  I know there will be a lot of honey in the cappings.  Is just melting the wax and straining the honey out the best idea?
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2005, 07:01:50 PM »

Put them in a sieve and let them drain.  you can put them in cheese cloth and add some weight too if you desire.  Heat and honey don't mix, so just melting them down and then reclaiming the honey is not the best, unless you plan on feeding it back to the bees.
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Jon McFadden
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2005, 07:44:02 PM »

I use both the electric uncapper and the scratcher. The scratcher is used where the comb is lower than I want to go with the knife. I use an uncapping tank with a couple of cappings baskets. I don't know if these are still available, but you could   make them. They fit in my four frame tangental extractor. I've never really liked the job they do in the extractor, but I like the way they collect the cappings and drain the bulk of the honey.
Here is the solution I am planning for next year. It is a press designed for the TBH guys, but should take care of the cappings problem.
http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm
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Jon, N6VC/5
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2005, 10:38:53 PM »

I have an advantage that most of you don't.  Besides having my own hives, I have worked for a commercial operation for a while also.  Therefore, my views on certain things can give perspective from both sides of the coin, both commercial and hobbiest.

Please don't take this personal Robo, as it is not my intention to single you out, but I have have a different view on some of the suggestions you offered.
Quote
The amount of comb you would "save" scratching vs. cutting is not worth the additional effort.

Having done both in a commercial operation, scratching is much faster.
Capping Scratcher
Quote
If your not careful with the scratcher, you can easily damage the comb walls.

I haven't seen this to be any disadvantage, even when the cell walls split, the bees are quite adequate at patching if needed.

Would you rather leave a trail behind the hot knife, of burned honey, and mix that in with your good honey?  I personally sell raw honey, not raw honey with a burned flavor.

Quote
Using a knife also allows you to "true" up your comb.

This can also be done by scraping with the capping scratcher.

Quote
Even if you cut with a knife, there is still enough comb left to raise brood.

Are we talking about honey supers, or brood comb?

Quote
Put them in a sieve and let them drain. you can put them in cheese cloth and add some weight too if you desire.

Cheese cloth leaves behind microscopic fibers of cotton, upon which your honey will start to crystallize, let alone taint your honey.

Quote
Heat and honey don't mix, so just melting them down and then reclaiming the honey is not the best, unless you plan on feeding it back to the bees.

Never feed heated or old honey to the bees...Heated honey and bees
If you say now that heat and honey don't mix, did you not mean a hot knife in your previous suggestions?  If you meant a cold knife, then again I would still have to argue that a cold knife would do more damage to the cell walls trying to uncap the frames.

Jon,
Quote
I use both the electric uncapper and the scratcher.

In a commercial operation, I have found that way too time consuming to use the electric uncapper(hot knife) for the high spots, set it down, pick up the capping scratcher to finish the low spots, and switch again to start the next frame?  Maybe if I only had a few hives and hated to see my hot knife getting lonesome, otherwise why not have just one tool in your hand, and use a capping scratcher exclusively, for the advantages mentioned above.
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asleitch
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2005, 03:16:55 AM »

Several people I know wizz over the frames with an electric hot air gun, if you are really fast, it just melts the capping - they claim its faster than either method, and once you have a good rythem and some practice you don't miss a cell, nor only "part melt" any indicidual capping, such that the honey has trouble coming out the cell in the extractor.

Adam
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bassman1977
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2005, 01:10:21 PM »

Interesting method.  Thanks for all the replys.  I think that will be enough to help me make a decision.
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2005, 09:30:54 PM »

That's not a bad idea Adam, I might just have to pull out the heat gun and give it a try.

Thanks.
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beebloke
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2005, 07:10:44 AM »

Hi
I sent away for some Hackler Honey Punches.They work fine.
Thank you,
Beebloke
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bassman1977
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2005, 12:03:47 AM »

I've never heard of those.  How do they work and where do you find them?
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beebloke
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2005, 06:50:17 AM »

Hi Cheesy

Hackler Honey Punch,try  plastools.com or search for hackler honey punch.

They come in different sizes,look like a spikey paint roller.No uncapping mess.I rest a frame on my extractor ,roll the punch over it,put it into the extractor then spin.

When you pull the frames out they look like they have not had the honey spun out,they have.The frame is much lighter.At first we were not sure so we ran the knife over.The honey is gone.What is left is no different to what you would miss with an uncaping knife.

There is very little damage to the drawn comb.

I am very happy with mine I would give them a plug all day.I payed over the internet and had them a week later.

I live in Australia and no one I show them too has seen one.Then again the old fellas shake thier heads at my different hives,they reckon the internet is doing things to my thinking.

Thank you
Beebloke
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2005, 05:44:28 PM »

I have a hackler honey punch.  It's about the only way to deal with PermaComb that is capped below the surface.  But it gets all clogged up pretty quickly.  Maybe I just haven't figured out how to use it correctly.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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bassman1977
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2005, 07:48:20 AM »

Thanks.  That's a new idea to check into.
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beebloke
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2005, 05:42:11 AM »

Hi;
My punches clog a bit but not a real worry.I have read that other blokes dip thier punches in hot water to free them up.

It is very hot in summer here,this could help me in not having too much of a worry with clogging.
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Romahawk
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2007, 10:10:18 PM »

I know this is and old post but I was wondering if this place is still in business. I have sent a couple of emails seeking info on the punches but have had no response...... I tried the website but the pictures don't show foir me and the site navigation doesn't appear to be working.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2007, 11:49:17 PM »

Their web site is still up.  I bought some before.  Have you tried the phone?
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Romahawk
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« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2007, 03:50:06 PM »

Just got an email from Clyde and indeed he still has punches for sale. Just having a problem with getting and keeping the website up and running. I still get no pictures and can't navigate the site but he sent all the needed info in his email response.
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