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Thread: Uncapping Knife

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Posts
    58

    Question

    Hi,
    I just extracted a super of honey using a kichen knife dipped in hot water. It didn't work very well so I looked on the internet for uncapping knifes and there all way out of my price range. Will a normal cheap electric knife from wal-mart do the job? or does any one know where I can get a cheap\used electric uncapping knife? I have a least a 3 more supers that I'll need to extract in a couple weeks (hopefully more than that).
    Thanks for your help,
    Matthias

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,360

    Post

    Matthias, we originally used a couple of cold uncapping knive when we started. They were veru sharp and worked well on small amounts. Just passed one along to 14 yr. old just getting started. You should be able to still find them possibly through Kelley or Dadant or check with other beekepers in you area. When you move up get an uncapping plane, it will be the same price and much easier and faster to use. I would avoid the electic knife at any cost. Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    74

    Post

    Check your messages. casey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    seattle, washington
    Posts
    5

    Post

    two great options are:

    one is to use a power uncapper for a mere $5,750

    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...8fef5e72afb00a

    or a capping scratcher for a much more economical $5.950

    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...8fef5e72afb00a

    a capping scrather is a tool that is always used no matter if you have a knife or not. You always have some cappings that need to have some special attention. But it is so easy to uncap the entire frame with a capping scrather. It's the cheapest way to do it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    $5950 for a scratcher? Hmmm...I don't think so.

    BubbaBob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Posts
    58

    Post

    Okay, I'll order an uncapping knife from dadant or someone. One more question. The honey I extracted I filtered through a double layer of cheese cloth. I then put the honey into gallon jars. The honey tastes right and is the right thickness but is very cloudy in appearence. I thought it might clear up over night but it hasn't. Any ideas whats wrong?
    Thanks
    Matthias

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Post

    That's a $5-point-95, BB [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Matthias, it's probably small air bubbles, I'd give it another day or two. If I'm not mistaken, cheese cloth can give off lint(which can lead to early crystallization)...I would use a nylon screen or paint filter.
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Posts
    58

    Post

    Thanks. I will.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    seattle, washington
    Posts
    5

    Post

    branman is right about both the lint and the air bubbles. One more idea is that the honey may be slightly crystallized as it comes out of the cells. Warming the honey to decrystallize it will clarify it a ton as well as will help expedite the raising of the bubbles. I place mine in the oven at it's lowest setting which will get the honey to about 140 degrees. Purists will say that this is baking the honey and can no longer be called raw honey. Heating does destroy enzymes, but if it's crystallized, there's nothing else to do.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Posts
    58

    Post

    I noticed that there seems to be very very small pieces of wax in the honey. Also would a fine mesh strainer get out as much or more bee pieces and wax as cheese cloth? I don't really want to heat my honey as I am going to try to sell it at the local farmers market that sells to a lot of health food nuts. Also some beekeepers sell raw unstrained honey. I figure that they must strain it at least a little as it never seem to have bee legs floating around in it. So how little straining would be considered unstrained? Anything to make it seem healthier.
    Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    My wife is the expert when it comes to handling the honey. I do the extracting, she takes it from there.
    I do a rough filtering as it comes from the extractor. This is a mesh strainer to get the bee parts and debris. The honey from this container is then put in the bottling tank.
    The bottling tank is made from a 5 gal honey container (60 lb). I drilled a hole at the bottom and silver soldered a tee for a sink drain to it. I used my wood lathe to turn a dowel that fits the tee. It is flush with bottom of the tee when closed. This shuts off the honey and doesn't drip.
    To use it, Irene stretches a nylon across the top of the 60 using clothepins to keep it tight. Honey is then poured into the nylon which sags with the weight. As the honey passed through, the nylon comes back up. The result is a minimum of air gets entrained and air from the extraction is mostly elimintated. A little foam still gathers at the top of the jar, but not much.

    DON'T USE CHEESE CLOTH.

    I use an electric uncapping knife but as previously noted, a cappings scrapper is also needed for the sunken comb. I find it faster to use both, especially if more than one person is uncapping.
    I use an uncapping tank. I uncap into baskets that allow the honey to drain as we go. The tank is long enough to hold two baskets and 20 frames.
    A way to avoid sunken comb is to use 9 frames in the honey supers after the first extraction. This produces nice thick combs.
    Jon, N6VC/5

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Matthias,

    Lately my wife and I have been using serrated bread knives for uncapping, and to my surprise, they work pretty well. I have an electric uncapping knife, but I like the cheap, unheated bread knives better.
    Rob Koss

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    Another solution that combines tow cheap methods...cheap bread knife laid across stove eye and heated.

    BubbaBob

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    I'm not allowed to use a sharp bread knife. We bought one several years ago and it seemed like every time I used it I had to find a band-aid. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I think the bread knife is a good idea. I'll give it a shot. The one I have is a Chicago Cutlery BT10 with a 10" serated blade. ^$%*&&%! Got to get a band-aid. @#*@*$
    Jon, N6VC/5

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
    Posts
    405

    Post

    I had good results with a double layer of bleached muslin, food grade, if i remember correctly, from McMaster-Carr.
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

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