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Author Topic: Getting Honey without an Extractor  (Read 1813 times)
DeederMc
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« on: September 14, 2005, 03:29:24 PM »

Hi all! I have only one hive and a small super (in addition to their two large supers) from which I was hoping to get some honey. Seems kind of over the top to buy an extractor at this point, and in another post Michael mentioned just "crushing and straining". Is there a disadvantage to this if I'm just doing one small super? Can someone describe the process? Thanks for your help.
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Apis629
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2005, 03:36:56 PM »

Basicly, you just crush all the comb and let it sit in a strainer (a.k.a. flour sifter or panti-hose).  Eventually the honey will drain out.


P.S. It won't work if you have plastic foundation.
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Teresa
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2005, 03:40:29 PM »

I used to own 2 hives and was fortunate enough to be able to rent an extractor and hot knife when I needed from my local bee supplier.  Maybe you can do the same with someone in your area.  Good luck.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2005, 04:29:30 PM »

If you can get access to an extractor it has the advantage that next year you can give them drawn comb and they will not have to draw it.  This will make a bit more honey.  If your hive makes more than you can eat, which most will, it's probably irelevant.

If you get or make a double bucket strainer

http://www.beeequipment.com/products.asp?pcode=365

And cut out the combs and crush them in your hands.  Just make the wax into balls and let it strain through the bucket.  You can process a super or so at a time.  With two you can do more by alternating between the two working on one while the other finishes straining.
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Michael Bush
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buck
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2005, 02:49:37 PM »

You can get a nylon mesh paint strainer that is made to fit over a 5 gal pail to strain the honey. They are about $1.50. Crush up the comb quite fine, put into the strainer and squeeze out.  Then wash the wax comb in the strainer and melt down. The strainer can be reused.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2005, 01:35:36 PM »

This is how I do my honey most of the time.

I scrap it all into a bowl:


Then get my bucket ready:


Wrap some in a straining cloth:


Begin to squeeze the honey out:


And then just continue to squeeze until I can get as much honey as possible out of the comb:


The comb in this picture is dark, and obviously had been used at one time  for brood. But I make sure there's NO larvae in it at the time of squeezing. That would make for some icky honey.

I just harvested this honey today.
Beth Tongue
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2005, 01:47:56 PM »

http://bwrangler.bravehost.com/bee/thar.htm
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Michael Bush
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2005, 02:28:44 PM »

Hi Beth,

What kind of cloth is that and where do you get it?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2005, 02:58:36 PM »

Somehow, I don't think y'all understand the advantage of a double bucket strainer.  The link for Bwrangler's site (listed in my previous post) has pictures of how to make one.  They are awsome even if you're extracting because you can run right from the extractor into a bucket and then empty the bucket into the top bucket of the strainer.  With two of double bucket strainers, you really don't care how long it takes to run down, but it runs fast with all the weight of five gallons of honey to push it through.  With "crush and strain" I crush with my bare hands directly into the top bucket and drop the combs in after I have made them into little balls with my hands.  The ONLY trick is making sure you don't overun the bottom bucket.  I like a nylon screen door screen for a strainer, but I like mine coarse so there's pollen in there.  You can use the finer cloth and filter as fine as you like.  If you only have about five gallons to harvest one double bucket will do.  But even if you have about twice that, by the time you've crushed enough to fill the first bottom bucket, you can switch the top bucket to a different bottom bucket and keep going.  When you're done you can let the combs drain as long as you want.  I like to leave them for a day or two.  You can leave them for a day and stir them up and wait another day. Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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