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Author Topic: Cleaning crush and strain super frames for storage  (Read 9466 times)
tillie
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« on: October 22, 2006, 09:20:25 PM »

After harvesting via Michael Bush's crush and strain method, I put the drippy frames back in the hives for the bees to clean up.  I left one super there for about a month and not only did they clean up but they made more wax:



I think frames like the ones above, I can just put in the freezer for the winter and give them to the hives when I super next year.

But other frames look like this:





How should I handle them for the winter?  Scrape off the wax remnants or leave them as starter for next year?  Should these frames be frozen for winter to discourage wax moths in my basement?  

Thanks as always for the help,

Linda T in Atlanta
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 09:19:20 PM »

Leave the wax for starters.  They will keep great in the freezer.  Does it freeze there?  Do the wax moths die from the cold there?  If so you can put them outside once you've had a hard freeze.
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 11:14:37 PM »

Thank you, Michael, for the response.  I thought you'd say to freeze them as is, to be starters for next year, but I wanted to know for sure.  

We do get hard freezes here in Atlanta but not usually until late November - it is, however supposed to freeze here tomorrow night.  I've spent many winters here only wearing my heavy coat on one or two days.  I'm going to rely on my freezer to get rid of the wax moth.

BTW, I did all of the honey from my two hives via crush and strain - with some cut comb.  Everyone who tasted the honey has said it is the best they've ever tasted.  I attribute that to the crush and strain - no air added to the honey via swirling around in the extractor.

Thank you for the inspiration and information on your website.  It was an easy way to get the honey - very interesting to do and I even shared the process one afternoon with some kids who belong to a friend of mine and we all had a sticky great time!  

I did extraction at the Folk School and found it quite messy - cleaning the extractor, leftover honey on the walls of the extractor, etc. and it still had to go through a filter - my crush and strain took less time and was much less sticky and messy.

Such fun - I can't wait until next year.

Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge with all of us newbees

Linda T - newbee in Atlanta
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2006, 02:19:45 PM »

linda

i wanted you to know that your blog is great.  all the pictures are really helpful.  as a new beekeeper, i find that seeing what someone is talking about helps a lot.  

thanks for keeping it up.  i look at if often!
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 06:19:31 AM »

>I did extraction at the Folk School and found it quite messy - cleaning the extractor, leftover honey on the walls of the extractor, etc. and it still had to go through a filter - my crush and strain took less time and was much less sticky and messy.

But you can't convince anyone who hasn't tried it of that.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 11:08:13 AM »

i think i'll try it next year.  i am not going to ever have enough honey to justify an extractor and i don't want to do the co-op thing.

i didn't have a good idea of what i needed or the process this year.  that's ok.  i only had 2 shallow supers to do.

MB, thanks for the info you post.  as i move along in knowledge, i find i get more and more out of your site.
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.....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
tillie
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 07:43:11 PM »

I encourage you to try it, Kathyp.  Crush and strain is just a few steps - I did it with four shallow supers and had a great time - I don't know if I "did it right" but here's what I did:

First cut the comb from the frame into a pan with sides:


The mash or crush the comb - I used a wooden pestle, but anything you have that will do the job:


Then you pour the crushed comb, one crushed frame's worth at a time, into a filter over a bucket (I used ones I bought from Dadant)  The filter held all of the crushed comb from one shallow super:


I put the top on the bucket and a brick on top of that and left the whole contraption on my garden walk for an afternoon while the honey filtered through and then honey flowed out of the spout - easy as can be:


Try it next year - little equipment needed and lots of easy harvesting.

Linda T in Atlanta, enjoying delicious honey
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2006, 08:44:08 AM »

Good post Tillie, you should expand that into an article and post it at www.beekeepersvoice.com.  The pictures are indeed worth a 1000 words.
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 05:13:48 PM »

what kind of foundation is best to use for the crush and strain
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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 05:59:36 PM »

I used a thin wax foundation from Dadant:

http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=138

You don't want any wire in the crush and strain comb, so using pure wax is the goal.

Next year, I'm going to use the comb the bees make from the remnants of the comb left behind after my crush and strain (see earlier in this thread)

Linda T in Atlanta
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2006, 07:28:30 AM »

None works pretty well:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm

Thin surplus works fine.  Starter strips work fine.  You can use any kind of wax. Some people have scraped it off of plastic foundation with a spatula.  I have never tried that, but it sounds very messy.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2006, 05:19:07 PM »

Linda, I would be curious if you used the wax after you crushed and strained for candles or what.  I have quite a lot of cappings left from when I extracted and I see that they STILL have some honey residue.  I want to use this wax for candles pretty soon and wondered what you did to get the rest of the honey off the wax.  got some ideas?  Great day. Cindi
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tillie
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2006, 07:02:05 PM »

After the straining process, here's what the filter looks like:



I squeezed the last few tablespoons out with my hands and then washed the wax and froze it.  I understand that I could have made use of the honey-sweetened water that I washed through the wax, but I didn't.  You know, in the South we make complete use of every part of the pig except, they say, for the squeal, so I feel somewhat challenged to figure out what to do with that water next year!

I have about 2 1/2 gallons of wax remnants in my freezer.  I plan to find out how to make candles next year, but don't have the equipment this year - I've bought a used, beaten up double boiler and I think one of my daughters is giving me a mold for Christmas, but I don't have enough wax to do anything much with - so that's a next year's project! 

Linda T in Atlanta
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2006, 09:32:46 PM »

Linda, you took some groovy pictures.  Tomorrow I'll take a picture of my wax cappings and post it for you.  Mine kind of look like yours, but they are in a cheesecloth ball in a bucket.  Think I may try to squeeze it too, but I remember (and I can't remember who) was involved in a post that he was talking about pressing the wax inbetween two pieces of plastic cutting board.  Oh ya, I could just go to the post about it because I participated in one of the posts, hold on...gonna have a quick look back...OK, so it was one that Mick talked about.  He said....."What say I get two plastic cutting boards and trim them to fit exactly inside a frame. I place one ontop of a brick in a metal dish. I put the frame of honey on this. I then put the other board. Then I apply weight. Im looking for all of the honey to be pressed out of the frame leaving a flattened sheet of wax, still with the wires embedded, ready for re use."  So, in a nutshell, I wonder if it worked for him if he tried it.  I might give it a try.  Great day. Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2006, 09:52:10 PM »

That water could have been fed back to the bees. They wouldn't have minded that at all.
Some spread cappings out for bees to clean also...
Of course all this should be done some distance from the hives, cause the girls will get a bit excited. . . . .

Regards,
Trot
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2006, 11:01:58 PM »

couldn't you melt the cappings in water just as you do other wax?  the wax would separate from the honey/water and be pretty clean, wouldn't it?

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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2006, 06:08:16 AM »

I squeezed the last few tablespoons out with my hands and then washed the wax and froze it.  I understand that I could have made use of the honey-sweetened water that I washed through the wax, but I didn't.
Two obvious options, here:
A. Feed it back to the bees. They won't complain.
B. Add yeast, put it into a fermenter and wait. In a few weeks, you'll have a lovely young mead.
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« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2006, 06:44:03 AM »

Frank, I think that putting the cappings out for the girls would be a great idea, except for right now, I wanted to use this wax to help my grandsons, neices and nephews make a couple of small candles for their mums, so I have to get on with the wax cleaning stuff.  If it were spring, surely it would be set out for a lovely dinner for them to participate in (LOL).  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Jorn Johanesson
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« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2006, 08:17:36 AM »

Sorry, Feeding in the free is considered as bad beekeeing practice. Putting cappings and other wax in the free for bees to clean up can/will produce problems. Spread of diseases, starting robbery and why feed the neighbours bees. Melt the wax as normal in a stainless pot with water. let it cool. cut of the dirt in the botom of the waxblock. Use it for candelmaking or what ever you can think about. Clean cappings is excellent for cosmetic use.
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2006, 08:22:05 AM »

Jorn, OK, excellent advice and I listen, no disease or problems desired within my apiary.  When melting wax that still has honey residues, could or should the water be strained, frozen and used for making sugar syrup for bees in the spring?  I do think they would love it even better than plain s.s.  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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