I figure its often interesting to update prior posts.
I did my partial harvest. Actually, its wasn't as partial as I thought it was going to be - I had 7 fully capped mid sized frames, though I only took out 6 because I had to pair up frames in my extractor.
It was certainly daunting to replace the honeyed frames with blank ones - I hope thats what I was supposed to do.
But I didn't get stung
It took a few hours, but I extracted about 5 or so liters of honey. I have no idea how much that is by weight, but if it was water it would be about 12 pounds or so.
There was a fail bit of waste, and cleanup was a mess, but I managed to fill 10 1/2 375 ml bottles and 12 135 ml bottles. I kept the bogger bottles for the family, but I distributed the little ones to friends and colleagues who have had to listen to my beekeeping stories for the past few months.
I replaced the emptied frames under the top cover so the bees could clean them. I suppose I should store that comb for next year, although it does look the worse for wear from the extraction process. Presumabley the bees what to do to straighten up damaged comb.
I am hoping my bee will produce a bit more honey before the end of September. We still have lots of flowers, etc..
I did learn a fair bit from the process. I have to make a proper stand for my extractor, and I need to get another honey pail to use for filtering. Plus, I'm going to fit a small electric motor to the extractor. It may not be much work, but cranking means you can't be doing anything else.
I'm already looking foreward to another 3 or 4 hives for next year. Plus this one should be in full production.
I'd give the empty drawn comb back to the bees. Just swap it with the empty comb you put in. They will refill it where there is a flow. When the weather gets cold and the bees obviously aren't going to fill them anymore, you could pull them off.
Pi... If you have the two frame extractor like I have, all you have to do to filter the honey is put a 20 cent knee high stocking over the pour spout, put your bucket under that, hold the stocking in place by hand or use a study rubber band around the spout to hold the stocking in place and ease open the nossle and wha la, your honey is filtered for about a penny because if you rinse your stocking, and let it air dry, you can reuse it "I don't know how many times" . If there are any burrs on the plastic around your spout, just hit it with fine sand paper. Burrs on the plastic puts runners in your hose.
IF you put black plastic around your honey supers to heat the honey up in the sun before extracting, the honey should be warm enough that ii just pours out the spout when you open it. Be ready to adjust whatever as you proceed. You won't need very much length of the hose to be below the spout because it'll stetch out under the pressure of the honey pouring into it. So if your mindful as you do this the first time, you won't spill any honey over the sides of your container.
>if you rinse your stocking, and let it air dry, you can reuse it "I don't know how many times.
Then your legs must smell honey. Don't walk in those stockings near the hives during a dearth
LOL, I know U're Right!
If you intend to sell your honey anywhere, you really should invest in a food grade filter. I just use the double screen that fits over the top of a bucket, but it is food grade. If you want finer filtering, check the catalogs. Would you want to eat at a restraunt that used t-shirts (or other things) for dishtowels and bar rags? What we do for personal consumption is one thing, but for product that is to be sold on the open market, there are rules in some states.
If I sell my honey, I'll use a new knee high stocking instead of a freshly laundered one. LOL
If I had a large bee yard, and collected enough honey ti sell, I'd have the fancy equipment to go with it but when folks have two or three hives, and a two frame extractor, they're not selling it, they're using it for their families and trying to keep friends from taking it all. ;0)
I only extracted from 4 hives last year, with a 3 frame hand extractor, and got over 400 pounds. I gave it away, sold it, and still have some left. I now have to unload last years, because most want the fresh stuff from this year.
Hows about mead? That's one of my objestives once I get a bit more honey (next year I plan on adding anohter 3 or 4) hives.
Plus, I figure if I end up with more than I can give to friends, neighbours, and family, I can always bring it to the local country store and sell it on consignment.
What's with people wanting only 'fresh honey'? Beggars can't be chosers ....
Chellesbees, do you use drugs in your hives?
So are you saying you would not eat at a resturant that used new clean shirts as rags to wipe tables or counters?
Daisy, no I don't use any drugs in my hives.
piccioni- I wouldn't dare try to sell mead- liquor license and dram shop laws come to mind.
coyote-I haven't been to New Mexico yet, but it's on my list. Maybe I won't eat much while I am there.
Brandon-how do you know they are new? Did they come from the package, or the second hand store down the road?
Imagine this. You are at a friend's house for dinner, and notice a pair of jockey shorts hanging on the fridge, and then they get used to wipe the dishes as they come out of the dishwasher. The person using them say they were outgrown by the previous owner. Do you stay for dinner? After washing my kids underwear (repeatedly), I don't think I would. What we all use in our own houses is one thing. My husband's T-shirts get recycled into almost everything-except dishtowels. But in a quasi commercial setting-any time you are selling to John or Jane Q. public- there are, or should be, minimum standards. In MN, food service regulations don't even allow dishtowels anymore. Stuff is supposed to airdry.
I just feel it is in the interest of beekeepers everywhere to set the bar high. That is the best way to keep the states from interfering.
The only underwear that belong in a food preparation area is whats on a body. What that body wears is a personal choice.
>, do you use drugs in your hives?
No, I can't get in my hive
I didn't mean make mead to sell. I meant to drink and to give away. Us Italians believe your own wine is too good to sell.
piccioni, I agree with you there. Homemade wine is a treasure.
Chellesbees, Unless you get your bee supplies from medical supply house who have hermetically sealed sterilized equipment, you are not going to get what you propose to offer in your own honey.
They're not aware with what they come in contact with. Bees don't wipe their feet before going into the hive so using washed tools and fabrics shouldn't be a concern. I use blanets on top of the clusters in the winter, I use t shirt material to cover my exposed frames of bees, I use dish towels to wipe my hands.......
I can't sterilize my hands of the wood the bees live in. Or the plastic they build on. The wax frames are not pure of residual chemicals because it's trapped inside forever....
You're not being realistic. IMV
Maybe it's being misunderstood about the use of the nylon stocking.....
The nylon stocking doesn't have fine filaments that can detach and get into your honey. The use of the stocking is as good as any filter out there for small amounts of honey to be filtered. Check to see what those fine honey filters are made of.
They're not made of natural fibers, that for sure....
Don't sell your mead unless you get your license to sell it. Both the USA and Canada you are allowed to make wine for personal consumption and also to give it away so long as you do not collect even a single penny for anything of it, even if its for a bottle deposit. You will find yourself in a heap of trouble.
In the USA you can ferment 200 gallons of wine for personal consumption per year. Or you can ferment 200 Gallons of Beer per year. If you do do both beer and wine, you can ferment 300 Gallons total, with neither exceeding 200 gallons of production per year.
That's a LOT of wine and a lot of beer.
It isn't a matter of being realistic. I just would prefer to be able to explain to an inspector that the equipment I use is truly food grade, and meets some standards. Each state is different in their requirements.
Items are manufactured to different specifications, depending on their intended use. Look at the new ketchup bottles. They are using recycled plastic, which is good, but squeeze one, and notice that it is in layers. That is so the inside layer is certain to be food grade, not recycled from laundry detergent and motor oil bottles. Open an old pickle bucket. Can you ever truly get the pickle smell out of it? What is nylon, but another synthetic plastic type material? Nylon hose that is manufactured to be worn can contain things that a nylon screen for filtering food cannot. There is no guarantee that those things can be washed out.
3M has a process for making those green scratchy pads. The same technology also makes bandages, and filters, and abrasives, and tons of other things. The big difference is the product used, and the environment it is made in. Med/Surg filters are actually made in a sterile environment (or zapped-another story)
If items are to be food grade, even the release agents on the molds are supposed to be food grade.
Why do you think they make a food grade lube for extractors? Why not just hit it with some WD40 or whatever is in the oilcan?
I am not saying that the system is perfect, it needs work, but it is actually a minimum standard that we must meet.
What we do in our own homes, with our own food, is entirely up to us and our degree of tolerance.
We have cut venison on our kitchen table, and wrapped and frozen it with no trouble. But when I am buying meat at the grocery store, or from a meat locker, I want to know what the minimum standards are.
Feel free to use what you want. But ask your local inspector what he thinks.
We don't have bee inspectors here. I don't have a honey house but I've visited one.
Once the filter is used, it's as clean as the solution that's used to wash it with. Once it sits for a minute, airborn particles land on it and it's no longer sterile. "If you could sterilize to begin with".
I'd go so far as to say that if I wanted to sell some honey to the neighbors and it was filtered with a nylon stocking, I betcha they'd take it knowing this and be happy.
I guess I'll cross those bridges when I get there. I hope to have all this equipment someday when my bees are ready.