I'm looking for suggestions for what to do with about 200 pounds of crushed honeycomb that's mingled with thousands of dead bees.
Background: A metal hive stand collapsed, toppling a hive with multiple supers of capped honey. The frames were new, wooden and outfitted with thin surplus foundation to produce cut comb sections. The beekeeper righted the hive and sorted out the frames, cutting away the mangled areas of comb. The bees have since repaired the comb, virtually "like new." But the beekeeper now has several 5-gallon buckets full of mangled comb, honey and dead bees. All of the comb is new and light--it looks like fresh cappings, except filled with dead bees.
I counselled him not to mash the goo through a screen as a crush-and-strain operation because that would produce a tremendous amount of bee guts mixed in with the honey.
Let's please set aside the idea of "let the bees rob it away, then you'll get the honey without the debris" approach.
Is there a simple way to separate out the bees from the rest?
As a little experiment at separating the goo, I put a couple of gallons in a microwave oven on the lowest setting and ran it for a couple of hours to warm it without getting the honey above 120 F. This seemed to be marginally successful in getting the bees and comb somewhat separated, but I'm hoping to find a better solution.
Thanks in advance,