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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    In my attempt to regress my bees to building small cells, my bees have made, on their first attempt, normal(5 mm+)-sized cells. They built these cells on frames using thin starter strips of pure comb, so these combs are not reinforced. Since I do not want them to raise brood in these frames, I have placed these frames above the queen excluder, and they are now filled with honey.

    My question is: how successful will I be trying to extract the honey from these foundationless and unwired frames using a mechanical extractor? Or, should I just forget the extractor and remove the combs from the frames and squeeze the honey out?

    Thanks,
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Post

    If you have a 2 or 4 frame extractor that can only extract 1 side at a time, and there is a mesh basket that holds the frames, you can probably get away with extracting if you take it easy. Mine works, some of the comb does buckle a little, but I just push it back straight and let the bees fix it.

    I figured it was worth trying, and if the comb blows out, what have you lost over crush and strain?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,339

    Post

    o Make sure it's had some time to age (new wax is soft like putty).
    o Make sure it's partially attached on all four sides (it doesn't have to be completely attached but at least SOME).
    o Be gentle. That means starting very slowly and not going very fast until it's almost completely empty.

    If it's not attached on all sides or it's new wax you can either use it for cut comb (if there are no cocoons in it) or crush and strain or leave it on the hive until they attach it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Michael and Rick,

    My hand crank extractor is a 4-frame tangential type.

    The frames I am talking about have comb that are about a month old, and are fully attached to all sides. I'll crank it slowly and extract half of one side before extracting fully on the other side. Hope to keep damage tom a minimum.

    If this works, I won't have to buy foundation for the ninety frames I just bought from Western Bee.
    Unfortunately, I bought the slotted instead of grooved BB frames. If I go foundationless on these types of frames, does it matter? Would the bees have a harder time attaching the bottom of the comb to a slotted BB as opposed to a flat or grooved BB?

    Thanks,
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,339

    Post

    &gt;My hand crank extractor is a 4-frame tangential type.

    That should work.

    &gt;The frames I am talking about have comb that are about a month old, and are fully attached to all sides.

    Perfect.

    &gt;I'll crank it slowly and extract half of one side before extracting fully on the other side. Hope to keep damage tom a minimum.

    That should work fine.

    &gt;Unfortunately, I bought the slotted instead of grooved BB frames. If I go foundationless on these types of frames, does it matter?

    Not really.

    &gt;Would the bees have a harder time attaching the bottom of the comb to a slotted BB as opposed to a flat or grooved BB?

    Not a bit. The bottom bars are stronger without the slot. They are even stronger without the groove and there's less places for the wax moths to get. But the bees won't care one way or the other.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Michael,

    Thanks for your input. You've always responded to my questions and I've learned alot from them, AND from the other multitude of responses to others that you have graciously spent your valuable time on.

    Have a great weekend,
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Oyster, when you extract you will lose some comb unless you extract half of one side, then all of the other then the rest of the first side again. If you don't mind blowing out the comb you can ignore this. If you see the problem, then you can change.

    Good Luck,

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Post

    I'm not sure if it makes a differance with new comb and this may be totally stupid to ask, but, is it easier on the new comb if it is in a radial extractor? Is it easier to keep the comb in one piece or minimize buckling with a radial?

    David

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Absolutely, good thinking. I was speaking of tangential. If you use a radial extractor the combs will weather it better. You won't have the force pushing the weight of an entire comb sideways. Way to go.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

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