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Author Topic: Crush and strain, without extractor  (Read 4583 times)
GerryL
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« on: March 04, 2007, 08:06:16 AM »

Can anyone tell me the best way to crush and strain? I probably won't be able to afford an extractor this year. I will only have one hive. I did read Michael Bush's double bucket synopsis, that sounds great, but I need the how too. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Gerry
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Gerry L
tillie
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 08:18:52 AM »

Hi Gerry,

I followed Michael's methods and there are good pictures on my blog in the August archive about how to crush and strain:

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html

In a blog the most recent post is first, as you probably know, so you'll have to scroll to the bottom of the August archive.  I simply bought a plastic bucket and honey gate from Dadant and a set of filters from them as well.  That was all it took.  I also think the crush and strain method was less messy, less waste of honey, and much less of a production than extracting (and I've done extracting as well in a class I took at the John Campbell Folk School in North Carolina - great class BTW, but I can't tell where you are located from your post)

I also posted in the fall earlier on this site and posted pictures of the process, but when I search "crush and strain" your post is the only thing that comes up so I don't know where that post went.

It's a very easy and rewarding way to get your honey and IMHO the honey tastes richer than honey that has been whirled through the air by an extractor. 

Linda T in Atlanta
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2007, 08:21:14 AM »

Found the post on this site:

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=6621.msg39206#msg39206

The pictures are more comprehensive on my blog, but these four in the post above summarize the whole thing.

Linda T
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GerryL
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2007, 09:22:42 AM »

Linda: Updated my location did'nt notice it wasn't listed, thanx. Your blog is great! Very helpful and very extensive. Can't wait to continue reading.

Crush and strain doesn't look too difficult or messy. With only one hive I believe that this will be my choice. I do have a supplier that rents an extrator very reasonably but I think clean up would be less with crush and strain.

I get my first Bees April 14.

Thanks again for all your help,
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Gerry L
tillie
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2007, 09:34:33 AM »

Absolutely - here's the clean-up difference:

With an extractor, you have to clean the extractor - lots of parts, lots of extractor wall space, sticky with honey.  Three of us worked on cleaning the extractor at the Folk School (4 frame) and it was a mess after the job of extracting.  You have to clean the uncapping knife, if you use it, and the pan into which the cappings fall.  You still have to use a bucket and strainer for the cappings (and that has to be cleaned) as well as all the drips between the extractor and whatever other containers you use.

With crush and strain, you have to clean your knife, rubber spatula and pan into which you cut the comb (all can go into the d/w) and you have to clean the straining bucket and filter.  I put a piece of cardboard on the floor (one of the many boxes *(flattened)  I got from ordering bee stuff and there were very few drips and only onto the cardboard.  I put that out in the carport for the ants the next day.

For the hobbyist beekeeper, just the difference in cleaning effort is enormous!

Linda T less sticky in Atlanta
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2007, 10:06:32 AM »

I have a extractor.But I prefer to crush and strain.I use the bucket syestem on Michael Bush's page.I find it easier than my extractor
kirko
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2007, 10:31:45 AM »

The hard part of crush and strain is simply getting something big enough for it to drain.  Hence the double bucket strainer.  I cut the combs out of the frames, into the bucket, crush them with my hands into balls of wax and leave them in the bucket to strain.  Some people use a stick, like a mortar and pestal system.  In the end just work out a system for yourself.  You'll need some containers to work with and something to strain it with.  When I only had one or two hives I used a sieve and a big cooking bowl, but it was never big enough and it took too long.  I wish I'd figured out the double bucket strainer then.

Of course, if you HAVE an extractor and you don't intend to do cut comb, drawn comb is a wonderful asset to have.  I use the extractor.  What I use the crush and strain for now, is combs that aren't pretty enough for cut comb, or extracting or the scraps from the cut comb.  But most of them work well for either comb honey or extracting.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm
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Michael Bush
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Ruben
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2007, 11:48:13 AM »

I used MB's method and it worked great, I did go to Lowe's and buy some paint strainers for $5 to strain it. The one key rule is you MUST do this in your wifes kitchen like I did, it will make her happy grin

Just a joke add the word NOT between you and MUST above or she will be evil and you will be  Sad
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clgs
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 11:51:16 AM »

THANK YOU LINDA AND MICHAEL AND EVERYONE WHO POSTED AND LINKED.
Your advice, blogs, articles, video and pictures saved me.  I am new to beekeeping and had one super to harvest. Yea!  However, I missed being able to extract with my local beekeepers club, could not borrow an extractor, could not find one to buy (those nuts on Ebay are paying full price for used extractors!) and did not have the time to clean/de-rust/fix older models for sale.

Your step-by-step instructions and supply lists were perfect!  My one worry was that I had wax wired foundation in all my boxes.  But I was ready to pick out the metal bits if it came to that. 

However, I did not need to.  I did not start by cutting out the comb from the frame, thought just maybe I could filet cut the frames.  I did not have an uncapping fork, so I started to poke with a spoon.  As I scratched at the caps, a big chunk of comb/honey easily peeled off of the original foundation layer!  I was able to gently scrape comb/honey off of both sides without tearing the middle layer.  Left with my frame and foundation layer intact.

Everything else went just as you all said - even to the point of my 2 english springer spaniels licking up every drop of honey that was on the cardboard and that made it to the floor.

Thanks for the cost saving tips of paint buckets, paint strainers and even those great blue plastic gloves from Lowe's.  Needed those, the bees got REALLY mad by the time I was taking out and brushing off the 3rd frame.  (did not have a bee escape or fume board) The cotton cloth cloves that come with start up hive kit were useless, got a sting right through.  Pulled my hands back into the sleeves just as millions of bees coated and chomped from their backsides on the fingers.  I knocked the bees off by slapping the empty clove hands on my garden posts and then put the blue gloves right on top of the cotton ones.  Little difficult to bend the fingers, but good enough to get the job done.  Bees still really mad, but no more stings.

Again thanks to everyone on this forum, I read so many tips can not name all the helpers.  I have my first crop of bottled honey ready to give to friends and neighbors.

CLGS
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2008, 12:06:02 PM »

MB and tillie's instructions are great.  good thing you didn't read mine!  i do think the crush and strain is a great way to go, but i hate to lose the comb.  were you using plastic or did your honey just peel off the wax foundation?

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,14035.0.html
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clgs
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2008, 12:11:21 AM »

It was beeswax wired foundation from Walter T Kelley.
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Angi_H
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2008, 03:15:10 AM »

I am crushing from a cutout we did a month ago. They have a 33 gal blue rubber maid tub half full plus a 3 gal bucket 3/4 full of comb and honey. I got the one 3 gal bucket done and am slowly working on the tub. My dadant cappings tank is almost full of wax and what honey did not drain and pollen. Now I need to figure out how to melt all of that crushed wax and pollen. I would like to save the pollen pellets though to grind up and feed to the bees in pollen pattys anyway of doing that?

Angi

and sorry for the long time no chat I have been very busy. I am up to 10 hives and did a huge cutout in a garage wall a month ago. about 90lbs of reserves. I have a few pictures I need to get off my camera to show you all. And my pain levels has been through the roof lately.
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danno
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2008, 07:59:25 AM »

what size holes do you drill in you strainer bucket
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tlynn
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2008, 11:36:05 AM »

Have you found any local beekeeper clubs?  We didn't want to buy an extractor and didn't want to destroy drawn comb either.  We found a really nice fellow at the meetings who let us borrow his extractor.  Find a club and you're going to find people with extractors.  He also invited us to visit his beeyards.  Had one hive he said was "mean."  He popped the top and thousands of bees volcanoed out and mounted a concerted effort to kill us.  Stingers all in my clothes.  Glad I had a denim shirt on! No veil and we'd be through!  Point is you might find some adventure at the same time!  shocked
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