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Author Topic: bees mixed in with honey  (Read 1080 times)

Offline SkepWrangler

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bees mixed in with honey
« on: June 25, 2012, 12:48:27 PM »
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,

Online kathyp

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Re: bees mixed in with honey
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 02:21:07 PM »
that happens to me when i do cutouts and have honey comb that i want to keep.  i pick out the dead bees that i can, crush and strain, and filter through a paint strainer and then cheese cloth.  i have no doubt that there are some bee guts in there, but it won't hurt anything.  i keep that stuff for me.

i don't know any other way if the comb is capped...except to melt it and i don't like to heat the honey.  even then, you'll have parts, etc. mixed in. 

the other thing you might be able to do if it's warm enough, is to uncap it bit by bit and let it drip through something like a paint strainer into a bucket, then filter it again.  that will take a lot of time, but you won't be squishing bees.  personally, i have not had a lot of luck dripping honey out of comb without crushing the comb......
.....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

Offline AllenF

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Re: bees mixed in with honey
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 07:55:15 PM »
Strain it.    And remember, brood is a luxury item is some countries.   

Offline Jim 134

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Re: bees mixed in with honey
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 08:51:47 PM »
This RPVC did see brood for sell on the street of Tunis,Tunisia Queens cells got the most $$

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Offline SkepWrangler

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Re: bees mixed in with honey
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 02:52:08 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion, kathyp.  Because the wax is so very new and light, I think it may be able to be strained without actually uncapping it. In other words, I think the cells are bursting both through the cappings and the cell walls.  I'm thinking in terms of the following and would appreciate your thoughts on the approach:
1. putting bucket straining bags, the kind one would put into a 5-gallon bucket, into service but
2. with one-inch slats around inside the bucket, to allow ample amounts of airspace between the strainer bag and the bucket wall.
3. warming the mix to maybe 110 to 115 F overnight before pouring it into the strainer bag.
and maybe:
4. keeping the setup warm, but below 120 F, while it is dripping through the bag.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions...I hope to get this solved and move onto other, less sticky bee matters.

Offline calrow99

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Re: bees mixed in with honey
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 03:28:05 AM »
Some people pay a premuim for "chunky honey"... yum...


« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 09:47:00 PM by Robo »

Offline sc-bee

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Re: bees mixed in with honey
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 05:16:30 AM »
Try scatching the tops of the comb with a capping scratcher. Palce comb in a strainer inside a five gallon bucket. Place lid on bucket and place it in the sun. I think you may be surprised at how much honey will drain from the comb. It may not get it all but it will be a start before you crush and strain the guts  :-D 
 
 
 
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Online kathyp

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Re: bees mixed in with honey
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 11:46:10 AM »
Quote
Place lid on bucket and place it in the sun

ah yes....we don't have that here.  :-) 

you'll have to turn the comb periodically unless the wax melts also.  if it does, that's not a bad thing.  you can remove it from the top of the honey later....or just have chewy honey.
.....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

 

anything