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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Posts
    61

    Post

    I'm straining my first comb of honey. (I broke a comb off the bar by lifting without checking to see if it was attached. Another lesson learned).

    I'm using a method I read about on another website. I put a strainer -- in this case, a sprouting lid -- between two mason jars, and I'm letting it drip through.

    I started out with the small mesh sprouting lid, and nothing came through. I moved on to the medium, and a tiny bit dripped through. So now I've got the larged mesh lid on, and there is a good steady drip, but a lot of the smaller wax bits are coming through as well.

    Exactly how do you filter honey from a top bar hive? Any favorite methods out there?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    I use a nylon stocking stretched over a large bowl, it's fast, gets what I want out (lets pollen through) and is very cheap.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    Rich

    having never done this I'm curious
    does the honey go thru the stocking by itself, just from gravity??
    I wouldn't expect that to work very well but from what I read here it seems like the case

    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    A window screen isn't a bad size. The wax will all rise to the top and you can skim it off.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    {does the honey go thru the stocking by itself, just from gravity??}

    It works much better if the honey is warm. Be careful not to let it sit open too long this time of year as the honey will gain moisture and be ruined unless you want to de-humidify it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    Yes, just gravity. Warmer temps help speed it up a bit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    pcooley-get a plastic bucket (clean) and drill a bunch of say 3/8 ths holes in bottom, place a clean pair of pantyhose (even only one leg) over the lip of the holey bucket. Place the holey bucket over another bucket or big clean bowl and add your wax and honey to the top bucket containing the panty hose. Let it drain overnight! After the honey drains put the panty hose containing the wax into your solar wax melter and get some nice wax. Works for me.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  8. #8

    Post

    I just use a screen colander and a pot if I'm straining one or two combs, and I use a much larger bucket/windowscreen if I'm straining several combs.

    Make sure and put it all into an ant-proof moat of some kind, the Tupperware storage bins work great.

    Dripping for a day or two really makes most of the honey drip out (I've never seen a problem with honey becoming humid, by the way, maybe it's just where I live not being all that humid in fall/summer) I take the sugary wax that's left and if there's only a little bit of it from one comb or whatever, I stick it in freezer till I have a lot to process. When I have several combs' worth I render the wax down and strain the old brood nest cocoons out of it- I heat it very gently in a dedicated-to-this-purpose pot, then pour through a paint strainer bag (hardware stores have them for $1 they're nylon mesh) into another container.

    This gives me wax floating on top of water. WHen it cools I can separate the disc of wax and if I wanted to I could melt it down further into a smaller shape

    Solar wax melters are easier.

    IN the past I"ve also used a strainer bag, clamped between two boards with c-clamps, and suspended above the bucket, to squeeze more honey out of the wax after I'd done the initial dripping, but I don't know anyone else who feels like there's enough honey left to chase that way.

    [size="1"][ June 27, 2006, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: girl Mark ][/size]
    urban top bar hives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    You've probably all seen my honey harvest page at www.bwrangler.com/bee/thar.htm

    I have some additional thoughts.

    Smashing and straining is powered by gravity. But buoyancy is another very important force that could be harnessed improving the speed and efficiency of getting liquid honey.

    To exploit this force, the comb could mashed as before. But rather than pouring it directly into the homemade bucket strainer, a clean 5 gallon paint strainer bag could be placed directly into a clean honey bucket. The mash could be poured inside the stainer bag/bucket. The bucket would then be covered with a lid and allowed to set for a few days until the wax and nylon paint strainer float to the surface of the honey.

    Then the paint strainer bag, with its contained wax could be removed from the bucket and placed, intact, into the homemade bucket strainer to finish draining.

    Most of the liquid honey would have separated without dripping through the homemade bucket strainer. This would create less foam and the necessity for skimming the strained product.

    And a larger honey crop could be extracted, simultaneously, with the addition of a few extra paint strainers.

    I am using this approach this season. If you try it, let me know how it works for you.

    Regards
    Dennis

    [SIZE=1][ December 31, 2006, 12:17 AM: Message edited by: D. Murrell ][/SIZE]
    Last edited by D. Murrell; 11-07-2007 at 07:45 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    Is there a gate valve on the bottom of your honey pail? The picture doesn't show one. It seems to me that after going through the nylon paint strainer, the honey could be bottled directly from the bottom of the bucket.

    [size="1"][ July 07, 2006, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: Dick Allen ][/size]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    I use a type of collander used in restaurants, it makes straining easier and it also brings the drip of the honey to one stream. It fits over a 5 gallon bucket and you can get buckets that are taller than 5 gallons but at the same circumference.

    Its a conical strainer. I don't use a honey gate, well simply beause I don't have one. However the gate that comes on restaurant buckets seems to work just fine.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

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