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  1. #1

    Post

    It seems like the topics here in the TBH forum have slowed down a lot in the past few weeks.

    How did harvesting go for y'all?

    Any pictures?

    anyone discover any interesting new ways to process comb?

    I dont' have anything to report myself about fall harvesting- haven't gone into my small hive (started in early July or so) yet for harvesting, we're having an extended bout of Indian Summer here in Berkeley. I'd have to wear long sleeves and long pants and all that to go look in the bees, and the weather's been so hot I've been in summer clothes the past few days and doing summery things and don't want to put the long sleeves on.

    I'm about to render all the wax I've been saving up in the freezer from harvests all summer.

    Not much to report,

    Mark
    urban top bar hives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Girl Mark,

    All real beekeeping is over for the season in Wyoming. Most of my beekeeping, now, consists of e-bee kind of stuff and a little pondering.

    It's been almost two months since any consistent summer clothing could be worn. And it's been a month where a coat is required everyday, and with a winter coat required every 5 to 8 days or so.

    I have been pondering new ways to process comb. The double strainer works great when the weather is warm and the bees can rob out the 'cappings'. But the late fall harvest is a pain. Night time temps approach the upper 30's. I 'extract' in an unheated building. And lots of other critters (mostly skunks and raccoons)like to rob the 'cappings' as they get ready for winter. So, lots of wax is lost.

    I have changed how I harvest honey from my tbh. I originally harvest all the honey at the end of the year and designed my tbhs large enough to facilitate this. But straining the honey works best with several smaller harvests during warm weather. And I've decided to take advantage of the varietal differences between spring and late summer honey. So, I've reduced the volume on my next best ever tbh. And I've made some other changes to simplify construction.

    You can see these plans at:

    www.bwrangler.com/bee/tmyt.htm

    It's at the bottom of the page.

    Regards
    Dennis

    [SIZE=1][ October 27, 2006, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: D. Murrell ][/SIZE]
    Last edited by D. Murrell; 11-07-2007 at 07:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Post

    My top bar was started very late in the year and has drawn maybe 10 frames or so. Being my first year, I have not taken any honey. Probably the same for next year as I will use the frames to start a couple more. I have a good block of fondant placed, hopefully helping them through the winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I have one that I am going to try to baby through what I hope to be a mild winter. They just never took off. I suppose I should have done something but was too lazy. One of my other TBHs was a boomer this spring and I took off some honey for sale as comb but they then just stopped putting any up. I tried as best as I could to help them out but they just kept on making what they needed. Oh well. That's what I keep a few langs around for.

  5. #5

    Post

    Do you guys ever press the cappings (or whatever form of wax) to get the last of the honey?

    My first tool for doing this was a paint strainer bag squeezed between two hardwood boards by a pair of c-clamps, and suspended over some buckets. I'm sure if you do a really big harvest from multiple hives it would be inadequate. I have also seen plans for comb presses which used a hydraulic jack to press one board against another in a frame- pretty simple to build, I wish I had a scan of the plans.

    Mark

    [size="1"][ October 24, 2006, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: girl Mark ][/size]
    urban top bar hives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys and Girls,

    Decades ago, I worked for a commercial beekeeper who pressed all his cappings in a large, commercial fruit/wine press. It worked great for a 1500 colony operation. But was slow. Took up alot of space. And required alot of attention.

    I've tried using a third, weighted bucket on top of my 2 bucket strainer. It accelerated the early stages of straining. But didn't do much for the last stages. I think it requires alot more pressure than the weighted bucket provided.

    I think it actually slowed the latter stages of straining by compressing the wax against the bottom of the strainer which inhibited the honey's free flow.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Still thinking pressing but looking for other alternatives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,599

    Post

    I'm assuming you guy's have seen James Satterfield's pictures of a honey press, but in case not

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

    the rest of the site is neat too

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

    Dave

  8. #8

    Post

    I use a large-holed colander for initial straining which is quicker than using a fine one, and then transfer the crushed wax to a colander made with screen for longer settling times. It's easy to pour the honey through a thinner screen later to get the wax 'powder' that gets through the larger colander than it is to deal with a clogging screen strainer for the first straining.
    urban top bar hives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    West Africa
    Posts
    46

    Post

    Trying to start. Timber for the TBH's in the kiln, about a week more to go.

    First set of two plastic bucket hive traps hung in the "bush". More buckets ready at my office for the next field trip.

    Still changing TBH building plans. I want to use frames for ease of removal/handling. Would not want to upset the girls unduly. Something similar to the J.H.H. (Jackson Horizontal Hive). Well, that hive type has been around Slovenia for quite a bit longer than the conception of the J.H.H. (what I tend to mistakenly refer to as the Jackson Hype Hive).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Post

    The JHH has the advantage of a solid top bar. The ones I've seen from Eastern Europe had frames with gaps between the top bars.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    HillsBorough, NC
    Posts
    27

    Post

    Greetings All, this was my first year with a TBH and my 2nd year to beekeeping.

    Dennis, I have your 'next best ever TBH'. I believe it was your 2nd set of plans for the box type TBH's on your previous web site. I started with a NUC that built up 5 frames rather rapidly, this was at the end of April.

    I unexpectedly had a harvest near the middle of August. While doing a 'routine' inspection, I had / caused 2 bars of beautiful white comb full of honey to drop to the floor. After rescuing these and putting them in my bucket to take back, I intentionally took another bar of comb full of honey but wasn't expanded to the floor.

    Two weeks later, harvested 2 more combs that were not quite full of honey, more like 3/4's .

    Between these 2 times of taking honey we got 12 pints of lovely light colored honey. We used the crush and strain method (2 bucket routine).

    I have 2 TBH's using Dennis's 'latest best ever TBH', with one modification, thinking I might start a NUC in one end, there are 2 entrances, one at each end on the side of the box.

    When I build the next one it will have one entrace in the middle of the side, I believe it would be advantageous to have the brood nest in the middle of the box.
    Wayne - KA4ANQ

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    HillsBorough, NC
    Posts
    27

    Post

    Just walked out to talk to a neighbor across the fence. It's pushing 70 here today and on my way back decided to check on the bees.

    They are busy ! Opened the TBH for the purpose of moving the follower board up and reducing the space needed to be ventilated/heated for winter (if we have one). When I got to the follower board (7 bars from the far end), there were bees working on the top bar next to it. So, I left things as I found them.
    Wayne - KA4ANQ

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