View Full Version : Honey strainer

03-17-2012, 10:50 AM
What type and size of honey strainer do you use? Do you run it through more than one size? If you are extracting 3 5gal buckets, do you try to strain it as you go or do you strain it later? I am getting one gate valve to put in to one on my 5 gal. buckets. I was thinking of extracting every thing first then strain in to the bucket with the valve and as the bucket is getting 3/4 full start filling my bottles . Would it be better to have a valve on all 3 buckets that have been strained and let sit over night before filling the bottles?

03-17-2012, 11:19 AM
I use the strainers for the 5 gallon buckets. You only need a 600 micron strainer.
Here is the scoop, because they sell 3 different one.
600 microns - perfect
400 microns - needs warmed up honey
200 microns - removes 5% of your pollen and honey need to be heated
I have valves on my bucket. The easiest way to bottle turned out to be over the sink. That way any drips from the valve will go into the sink and not the floor.
Be aware that the strainer needs some time. Crush comb needs 24 hours to make it through. Extracted works much faster.
I also wash my crushed wax in the strainer. The first wash is being feed back to the bees, but I do add some sugar to it.
Works like a charm.

Leave the valve open in your extractor so the honey does not back up. Extract all into your buckets. Strain, and let rest overnight before bottling.

03-17-2012, 02:36 PM
I don't think the above information about the strainers is correct. I use a 200 micron strainer for all my honey and all it removes is the wax and other things that don't belong. From some quick research it looks like pollen varies from 2 microns to just over 100 microns so I doubt that losing pollen is an issue with a 200 micron. I NEVER heat my honey after extracting to put it through the strainer and never have a problem with it. I do allow it to sit for a day before bottling.

03-17-2012, 02:42 PM
You do want it to sit atleast overnight.

03-17-2012, 02:50 PM
I wish I could find my source now, but I remember that the 5% statement for 200 micron came from a university's website. I could not get my unheated honey through it. Even the 400 micron was an issue. The 600 worked very well and the honey was clear.

03-17-2012, 02:55 PM
I have a 5 gallon bucket with a honey gate in it.
I put a 5 gallon paint strainer bag in it.
I then put a stainless steel strainer on top like this...


I've also used just the paint strainer bag by itself, And I've used the Stainless Steel strainer by itself as well. All has worked great, using both strainers together in one bucket gives a bit clearer honey.

03-17-2012, 05:44 PM
Honey will go through the 200 micron filter like water if you get it up to 95-100 degrees. I just set my buckets in the deep sink and run it full of hot water from the water heater until the honey is warm. 95-100 degrees does not affect the flavor or any other properties of honey; takes at least 115 degrees and up to start changing things. Here in FL honey in the hive is at 90-100 from about April to October!

03-17-2012, 08:49 PM
400 plastic micron strainer and a paint strainer material underneath works good for me. Will be upgrading to a 400 micron metal strainer next year. I use it to wash the wax for the first time also.

03-17-2012, 08:54 PM
Here in FL honey in the hive is at 90-100 from about April to October! Sounds like my part of Texas. No need to heat the honey unless I am straining it on the three "cold" days we have a year. ;)

03-19-2012, 06:58 AM
That helps on the size of strainer, but what about the other question?

If you are extracting 3 5gal buckets, do you try to strain it as you go or do you strain it later? I am getting one gate valve to put in to one on my 5 gal. buckets. I was thinking of extracting every thing first then strain in to the bucket with the valve and as the bucket is getting 3/4 full start filling my bottles .
If you got 6 5gal. buckets full it would be hard to strain as you go. Would you drain your tank in to a 5gal bucket with out a valve then at a later time strain it in to your bucket with the valve to pout in to your bottles?

Adrian Quiney WI
03-19-2012, 07:57 AM
SunnyBee, I extract and strain as I go into 5 gallon buckets. When bottling I pour a bucket into the 5 gallon bucket that has the valve on it. Then I let it stand until the little waxy particles float to the top. I just bottle until the wax just starts to appear, and then I top up the bucket. The best tip I got was not to fill the 5 gal. bucket right to the top, and then it doesn't stick to the lid.
When extracting directly into a bucket the sieve starts to clog up after a while and you will need to scrape/lift out the globs of wax to prevent complete plugging of the sieve. I use the mid size filter that came in the three pack.
A tip I caught too late for last season was that if you let the bottling bucket sit for a day the wax that comes to the top can be skimmed off. I saw an old guy on a youtube video using a ladle/dipper for this purpose.

03-19-2012, 08:34 PM
Your wifes kitchen strainer, the one with the handle, works real well for skimming but I recommend you go buy your own! :D

03-19-2012, 10:40 PM
I have two of the double strainers that all of the bee houses sell. I have 3 buckets with valves. I have a stout wooden picnic table that we bring into the garage when we extract. I sit one bucket with a valve on the end of the table and under it, on the floor, I put another bucket with a double strainer sitting on it. I pour honey from the extractor into the bucket on the table and open the valve to allow honey to run through the strainer into the bucket on the floor.

As the strainer starts getting plugged and the flow starts slowing, I trade for the other strainer and clean the first. I usually first strain into the other two buckets with valves so after a couple of days, I can bottle from them. I just keep adding honey from the extractor to the bucket on the table. The large stuff floats pretty fast, so you start getting a "head" on the honey in the bucket, but if you just pour or filter directly from the extractor (like I did for the first 10 years or so) your filter will get plugged a lot faster. I can usually filter a couple of buckets without changing the filter this way. The old way, dumping honey directly from the extractor into the filter, would cause the filter to plug before a bucket was full.

03-20-2012, 12:37 AM
I do a metal strainer before the 600 filter. Need to wash out both each bucket. Bought a couple more so I can feed the girls between buckets.

03-20-2012, 06:48 AM
I could not get my unheated honey through it. Even the 400 micron was an issue. The 600 worked very well and the honey was clear.

Are you sieving in succession? I use home made ss screens, a coarse before a fine. It is best if you let the bucket set overnight so the wax floats and the heavy particles sink to the bottom. With the honey gate off the bottom the majority of the filtering is done except for the top end.
Letting the sieve set overnight allows the heavy debris to fall to the bottom and plug up the screens.

My wife would have no problem with me using kitchen tools, pots and pans, strainers and the like which I do. she even cleans them up.

03-20-2012, 08:04 AM
Thanks beedeetee that sounds good. Take it bigger, if you were going to have 6 buckets of honey would you have a valve in each bucket or use plane buckets and as you can pour it in to a bucket with a valve then open the valve and let it go throu the strainer in to another bucket with a valve ? I am no where near that much honey but would like to be some day. Would it help to use a corst strainer in your first bucket as the honey comes out of the extractor ? Thanks again

03-20-2012, 08:21 AM
I do more than 6 buckets, but I only have 3 with valves. I have a bucket hanger so that I can dump one bucket into one of the valve buckets and let it drain. So the first two buckets that I do have valves, so that I can bottle from those. When one gets empty I dump another bucket into the bottling bucket. You can't stack buckets with valves, so most of my buckets don't have them.

(What I mean by stacking them is when they are empty you can stack them inside one another and put a lid on the top bucket to save space. Obviously when they are full you can stack either type on top of one another)

03-20-2012, 09:18 AM
What is a bucket hanger ? Do you let sit for a day after you pour a reg. bucket full in to your bucket with a valve?

03-20-2012, 09:33 AM
Sunny, the way I do it is this: I have the strainers that fit over the tops of my five gallon buckets, and since I have an extractor that says extract with the gate open (I think most small hobbyist extractors recommend this) I place one bucket with strainer under the honey gate of my extractor and start cranking. When the bucket is close to full, I switch out for another bucket with strainer. I usually wait a few days to bottle, since I have to clean the kitchen, extractor, filters, etc. and that helps get any froth to float to the top of the bucket. You can save a few bucks and buy honey gates from any beekeeping supplier and install them yourself, just make sure the buckets you buy are food-grade plastic, and go slow when drilling the holes so you don't shatter the plastic (speaking from experience)!

03-20-2012, 10:53 AM
A bucket hanger sits on one bucket and allows a second bucket to rest on it while the last of the contents drain. Since the contents of my buckets have been strained already, there is usually just a thin layer of air bubbles (foam) on the buckets being poured into the buckets with valves. That foam rises pretty quick, so I don't worry too much, but if I can I still wait for a while I will.

What I do is when the honey level gets down to where foam would start coming out of the valve, I dump in another bucket of honey. At the end of the year I scrape off some of the foam and then put the rest in jars for my personal use. I don't mind some foam.