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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    98

    Post

    Hey everyone,
    I'm a Lang Beekeeper, but after reading all this stuff about TBHs for the last month, I've just been itching to try one. However my partner is not so sure about it. So I have a few questions for you guys to try and get some more info.

    First, everyone talks about beveling the bottoms of the frames, "to give the bees a better start at making comb". But do you mean to bevel it down like \/ so the bottom of the top bar points down, or to bevel it concave like /\ so the center of the bar is also the high point? And why do I need to bevel it if I put a thin strip of wood vertically out of the top bar?

    Secondly, the extraction process is really what is killing my partner. If I am correct, each fall we must cut off the honey comb, and then crush and strain it? That seems like a lot of work, and extra equiptment. Is there an easy way to make a press for the honeycomb, that will not end up gooping my garage with honey? Can you cut the comb out and put it in a tangential extractor? The other option I've heard is to cut the comb and sell it as comb honey, but I haven't even found a market for my Ross Round comb honey yet. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Post

    >First, everyone talks about beveling the bottoms of the frames, "to give the bees a better start at making comb". But do you mean to bevel it down like \/ so the bottom of the top bar points down, or to bevel it concave like /\ so the center of the bar is also the high point?

    Like this: V
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Foun...lessFrame2.JPG

    > And why do I need to bevel it if I put a thin strip of wood vertically out of the top bar?

    You don't. You need one or the other or a wax strip.

    >Secondly, the extraction process is really what is killing my partner. If I am correct, each fall we must cut off the honey comb, and then crush and strain it?

    If we are talking about a top bar hive, yes, I've never tried to extract it. If we are talking about foundationless frames, then not at all. You can extract it. You have to make sure that the comb is attached at least a little bit on all four sides and that the comb has aged enough that it's not that soft new comb that just falls apart. I extract foundationless frames. Here's a fully drawn one ready to uncap and extract:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessDrawn.JPG

    Just uncap and be gentle. That means you start very slow and spead up as the comb gets more empty.

    >That seems like a lot of work, and extra equiptment.

    If you want to crush and strain, which is another option, then you'll need a double bucket strainer. That is the cost of two five gallon buckets. I just cut the combs out and put them in a double bucket and pick up the combs and crush them with my bare hands into another double bucket and leave the combs in that one to drain.

    >Is there an easy way to make a press for the honeycomb, that will not end up gooping my garage with honey?

    You will goop up your garage with honey no matter if you extract, crush and strain or whatever. I don't see anymore or less mess.

    >Can you cut the comb out and put it in a tangential extractor?

    I've never tried. Perhaps. I've never owned a tangetial extractor.

    >The other option I've heard is to cut the comb and sell it as comb honey, but I haven't even found a market for my Ross Round comb honey yet.
    Any suggestions?

    Take the comb honey to the local retirement villages, VFW halls, American Legion halls and senior citizen centers. They are the people who will appreciate it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Hi Jon. Michael pretty well covered everything but I wanted to add a few points.

    If you use the wood strip you do not need to bevel. But you should paint the edge of the strip with melted wax. I think this is real important.

    Second point on the honey harvest. TBH's are not for big production. I just got back from the beeyard and I broke off a chunck of comb full of honey. Wow it just doesn't get any better than that!

    If you want it out of the comb the easiest way I have found is to crush it in a 5 gal pail with a maple stick 2x2x 18 inches. Then pour it into another 5 gal pail with a paint strainer from home depot. They make them to fit right over the pail.

    I am trying to get my neighbors and friends to try the comb honey every chance I get. That is the way everyone used to eat honey until 100 years ago. They had trouble selling extracted honey at first cause no one belived it was really honey!

    Good luck and have fun!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Check out this site for building a honey press.

    http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/press.htm

    Running TBH hives is a fraction of the cost and equipment compared to Lang's.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

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