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Author Topic: First time pulling honey!  (Read 2494 times)
Moots
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« on: August 05, 2013, 08:57:49 PM »

 As a new Beek, I took another step on the long Journey of new experiences this weekend when I pulled and extracted my first honey.  Smiley

All and all, I think it went well, I started in mid January with two Nucs and lost one along the way.  Since then I had added a number of swarms (some from my hives, many not), as well as a few cut outs...with a few shake outs and newspaper combines thrown in the mix along the way.  Smiley

Most importantly, I wanted to make sure I wasn't too aggressive in how much Honey I decided to take.  I had ten hives...The only downer of the day was I discovered that wax moths had overrun one of my hives and it was a total loss.  Of the remaining nine, I felt that three weren't strong enough to take anything from the bees.  Of the remaining six, I ended up with 264.2 pounds of honey. 

I have to give a shout-out to my friend Schawee who was nice enough, as always, to take the time to field a few phone calls and answer question throughout the weekend to help out this greenhorn.  laugh

Bottles ordered, labels being designed...should be interesting.  The journey continues.....

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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 09:28:41 PM »

moot, since our old buddie got outa that hospital room. he ready fo anything to get him out even doing it over the phone
kep him busy   my job is to get him to slow down
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 10:21:26 PM »

Congrats Moot
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Moots
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 10:38:21 PM »

Stay on him Bud, we have to get him back to full speed.  Smiley

Thanks, SC.....

A question about bottling...First, I strained it once through a 600 micron strainer coming out of the extractor.  I know there's no "right" answer here and everyone does it different, but I wasn't planning on any more straining, I wanted to keep it as pure and natural as possible, while avoiding bee parts and bits of wax.  Wondering what other do and what's their thoughts on this....

Second, I only have one 5 gallon bucket with a honey gate.  If I bottle out of that bucket.  When I pour another bucket into it...How long should I leave it sit for it to settle and let the air and whatever make it to the top before resuming bottling?
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 12:53:54 AM »

You are right.....no right answer and I think also depends on temps and thickness of honey. I have a friend that waits one month, I bottle mine in about one - two weeks, depending on how quick I need it. I imagine some go less. Let it sit the period you wish, pour one up and inspect in good light and go from there.
I use either the 400 or 600 strainer. I have a friend that basically lets everything gravity settle except large chunks. His honey is often a little more cloudy. Someone on here recently said, they don't mind their honey having a little cloudy look because to them it advertises a raw product unlike the store junk.

A bottling tip, crack the pail lid a little for a vent
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 07:25:25 AM »

Congratulations, Moot. I also pulled honey for the first time this year. Best honey I ever et.
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 04:11:25 PM »

We only have one hive and it swarmed twice so pulled a total of 8 medium frames. 3 after the first swarm and 5 after the second in case they were not strong enough to keep up with hive beetles and wax moths...didn't want to lose it all.

As you said....best tasting honey ever..!!! We just did crush and strain....and should have used 2 nice combs for comb honey....maybe next time.

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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 12:07:32 AM »

i strain mine once through a paint strainer as it comes out of the extractor.  as for settling, depends on how quickly i need it and who it's going to.  if it's for our use, family, or my close friend, i might put it in bottle that day so that i can give it out.  

make more buckets!
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 12:37:01 AM »

Bet it was the best you ever had, first extraction usually is.  I goes from the extractor into a 5 gal bucket.  I put a lid on it and in a few days skim the wax pieces off.  Then I pour it in another 5 gal bucket with hole drilled in the bottom, with a 5 gal paint strainer in it, into another bucket under that one.  OK, I cut a lid so just a little of the top bucket is in the second bucket.  And it is ready to bottle.  Walmart has food grade buckets and lids, the white ones, and cheaper than most other places around here.  Good going Moots




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danno
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 08:51:05 AM »

Moots
if you buy one of these, wrap you bucket with the thermostat bulb pushed down between the bucket and pad and set at about 100, the bubbles will be gone over night and the honey will flow like water

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AQUA-QUEEN-MODEL-5000-TEMPERATURE-CONTROL-WATER-BED-HEATER-/221264539238?pt=US_Bed_and_Waterbed_Accessories&hash=item338464ee66#ht_239wt_646
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 05:55:00 PM »

I ended up with 264.2 pounds of honey. 



Wow!  th_thumbsupup
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sc-bee
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 08:12:40 PM »

Moots
if you buy one of these, wrap you bucket with the thermostat bulb pushed down between the bucket and pad and set at about 100, the bubbles will be gone over night and the honey will flow like water

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AQUA-QUEEN-MODEL-5000-TEMPERATURE-CONTROL-WATER-BED-HEATER-/221264539238?pt=US_Bed_and_Waterbed_Accessories&hash=item338464ee66#ht_239wt_646


I suppose it won't get hot enough to liquefy crystallized honey ?
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 10:09:29 PM »

make more buckets!

Kathy...As always, simple, solid, logical advice...Thanks!  Smiley

Danno, Thanks for the waterbed heater tip...Great suggestion.  I might have to give that one a try.

Joe and Palouse, Thanks!  I was pretty please with the entire experience.

SC, Don't know if it's practical for large quantities, but someone on the forum (can't remember who) suggested placing containers of crystallized honey on your dash in your vehicle on a warm day.  I tried it earlier this week with a small container of crystallized honey...worked like a charm.  I think it's my new method of choice.  Smiley 
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2013, 10:15:57 PM »

SC, Don't know if it's practical for large quantities, but someone on the forum (can't remember who) suggested placing containers of crystallized honey on your dash in your vehicle on a warm day.  I tried it earlier this week with a small container of crystallized honey...worked like a charm.  I think it's my new method of choice.  Smiley 

I will put them in the hatchback in the summer, don't work to good in cool weather.

I guess the pad comes with the water bed heater? Looks like a good idea and cheaper than pail heaters. I see that one is used. Wonder how often they come up for sale.
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2013, 07:15:30 AM »

There are always a lot for sale on ebay.   They really do work great.  The heating pads are just the right width to match the height of a bucket and they are long enough to wrap completely around.  they can be dialed in to heat anywhere between 70 and 110.  The will liquefy crystalized buckets but you would need to do some stirring to speed up the process
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2013, 12:31:13 PM »

Keep in mind that water bed heaters are designed to be placed under the water mattress with the thermostat up against the mattress to control it. I have been using water beds for years and if you forget to unplug the heater before you empty the water out it can destroy it's self and anything it is touching. In other words it needs full contact with the bucket and the probe needs to be in the honey.
Jim
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2013, 02:21:30 PM »

Keep in mind that water bed heaters are designed to be placed under the water mattress with the thermostat up against the mattress to control it. I have been using water beds for years and if you forget to unplug the heater before you empty the water out it can destroy it's self and anything it is touching. In other words it needs full contact with the bucket and the probe needs to be in the honey.
Jim
I disagree Jim.   If the unit is used as intended on a waterbed the probe is not in the water.  Its is between the heating pad and the mattress or in the case of heating honey it is put between the pad and bucket.   If you put it in the honey you would most likely overheat and darken the outside edge of it.  The heater I have I started using in 2007 and it is still working fine.   
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2013, 04:45:36 PM »

Keep in mind that water bed heaters are designed to be placed under the water mattress with the thermostat up against the mattress to control it. I have been using water beds for years and if you forget to unplug the heater before you empty the water out it can destroy it's self and anything it is touching. In other words it needs full contact with the bucket and the probe needs to be in the honey.
Jim
I disagree Jim.   If the unit is used as intended on a waterbed the probe is not in the water.  Its is between the heating pad and the mattress or in the case of heating honey it is put between the pad and bucket.   If you put it in the honey you would most likely overheat and darken the outside edge of it.  The heater I have I started using in 2007 and it is still working fine.   


I have not tried using one of these heaters on a bucket but the instructions say to place the probe in an area away from the heater so that it is detecting the water temp. If it is between the heater and the bucket, as soon as the heater gets warm it turns off then waits until the heater cools down and then it does they same thing over and over again. That might work for honey because it would keep the temperature from ever getting hot.
Jim
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2013, 05:51:14 PM »

The heater I have I started using in 2007 and it is still working fine.   


Good enough for me - sounds like hands on  grin
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« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2013, 09:52:59 PM »

My younger brother and I went together this year and bought a new 18-9 radial extractor from Mann Lake. 

You can drool now.
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2013, 11:01:45 PM »

My younger brother and I went together this year and bought a new 18-9 radial extractor from Mann Lake.  

You can drool now.


uuuughhhhh yes I can. If motorized it deserves a double drool grin
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« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2013, 12:09:21 AM »

Congrats moots... Didn't think you would wait to long to try out that new extractor...  Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2013, 12:12:12 AM »

bud three weeks in a hospital,you know I want to get with them bees.talking to moots was good for me.it was like being in the yard with him.i know you will slow me down and make sure I don't do anything that will hurt my knee. thanks buddy   by the way ,I tried to get jp to bring a nuc to the hospital nd keep it in my room.that didn't fly with the hospital.lol             schawee
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Moots
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2013, 10:50:52 AM »

Update....

Got my bottles in and my labels done...Bottled up the first batch yesterday.   Smiley

   
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2013, 11:11:52 AM »

awesome idea! I'm all about DIY smiley  "If you can't open it you don't own it" ~ Makers Credo.
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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2013, 11:11:53 AM »

awesome idea! I'm all about DIY smiley  "If you can't open it you don't own it" ~ Makers Credo.
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2013, 05:08:02 PM »

Strange color Moots.   Its almost got a red tint. 
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Moots
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2013, 06:19:56 PM »

Strange color Moots.   Its almost got a red tint. 

Danno,
Interesting....Pretty much just looked like honey to me.   grin

But now that you say it, I can kind of see a slight reddish tint.  huh

Being a newbie, I'm not sure exactly what the girls foraged on predominantly.  But supposedly, Chinese Tallow is the big flow around here....maybe that's it.
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2013, 06:28:40 PM »

you will find it changes from year to year.   We normally get very light honey.  Some years its more on the amber side.  This it more on the water white side
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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2013, 07:04:02 PM »

It could be picking up the color of the tile behind it . That looks sort of pinkish
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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2013, 09:19:48 PM »

My very first batch of honey from my farm, 4 years ago, was real dark. My mentor said that it was probably Chinese tallow because it was so dark. It tasted very floral. I found 2 pint jars, in the back of the pantry, of this honey. It now tastes like licorice. I like it but it totally different tasting than when we bottled it and the last time we used it 2 years ago and darker.
If you can try saving a pint or to for about 4 years and see what happens.
Has anyone else had this happen. Is it normal for that much of a change?
Jim
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« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2013, 09:26:00 PM »

Love the labels, real eye catchers.
Nico
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« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2013, 09:56:15 PM »

Ok I'm gonna ask EFF & E's. I presume eff a part of j-eff. and E?
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« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2013, 10:09:58 PM »

Nico,
Thanks for the complement on the labels, I was quite pleased with how they turned out.  Smiley

sc-bee,
My nephew Easton, who's my right hand man on this whole bee adventure, has always been known to the family simply as "E" for short.  He's now 14, but when he was little, he couldn't pronounce the "J" in Jeff for the longest...so for many years, I was simple known as "Eff" to him. 

Hence "Eff & E's Bees"!  Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2013, 11:17:11 AM »

Moots,
congratulations on the honey. Looks like Chinese Tallow to me. Its usually an amber color. Very good honey.
When I started extracting my honey this year I noticed it was on the thin side. 100% capped frames tested 21% moisture. I had to dry out the suppers before extracting. Just wondering if you noticed the same.
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« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2013, 11:30:37 AM »

Gov,
Saw the same thing when I helped a New bee, that I am mentoring, extract his first honey. 10-100% capped frames.  I tested it, it was 20.5% and then figured that I needed to re calibrate the instrument. It turned out the oil had gone bad. When I put the oil on it everything was Blurry. I then extracted my honey and it tested at 18.5%. I loaned him my bucket heater to dry it out.
Jim
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« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2013, 11:48:31 AM »

Gov & Jim,
I tested it with my newly acquired refractormeter and it tested right over 20%, which I thought was a little high. 

However, I then tested some store bought honey which tested out at the same level....Based on that and the fact that I had pulled NOTHING that wasn't 100% capped, I "assumed" I was in a acceptable range.
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« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2013, 02:11:36 PM »

My nephew Easton, who's my right hand man on this whole bee adventure, has always been known to the family simply as "E" for short.  He's now 14, but when he was little, he couldn't pronounce the "J" in Jeff for the longest...so for many years, I was simple known as "Eff" to him.  
Hence "Eff & E's Bees"!  Smiley

Great deal with E. My son started with me, actually he was one of the driving factors of why I started. It was a short stint since I made some real rookie mistakes that cost us in the pain dept  Sad And he found girls that didn't help any. Actually he got heavily involved in NJROTC drill team and lost interest.

We had come up with the name "Bee Beaus"

Oh yea on the honey moisture content, I think the bees checked it and capped it for you when it was ready  grin
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« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2013, 02:13:03 PM »

As a new Beek, I took another step on the long Journey of new experiences this weekend when I pulled and extracted my first honey.  Smiley
Most importantly, I wanted to make sure I wasn't too aggressive in how much Honey I decided to take.  I had ten hives...The only downer of the day was I discovered that wax moths had overrun one of my hives and it was a total loss.   Of the remaining six, I ended up with 264.2 pounds of honey. 

Great first year crop. That's about what I'm getting in my second year. Sorry to hear about the wax moths, I feel your pain. 
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« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2013, 01:54:07 AM »

There are several sources of red honey one of which, for the PNW is red potatoes, that honey has a musty earthy taste that is distinctive.
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