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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    499

    Default Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    Reading over various crush and strain methods, I think I've come up with my own. It's probably half-baked and ill informed, but let's throw it out there and see if we can refine it:

    1) Obtain a large stock pot, drill a hole in the side near the bottom, and install a metal water tap. I'm thinking the kind used on the exterior of houses used for garden houses.

    2) Remove capped comb from frames, put in pot. I think such a pot would just about hold about 1 medium super's worth of comb.

    3) Put lid on pot, place pot on a hot plate plate set to low, in the hot sun for a few hours. I believe the honey and wax should liquefy, and wax should float to the top.

    4) Use the tap to fill mason jars with honey until honey runs out, and wax starts to flow out. Then start filling wax molds with the wax coming out.

    When finished, just rinse the stockpot out, or throw in the dishwasher, and you're done.

    What does everyone think of this idea?
    Last edited by mrspock; 03-10-2010 at 03:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
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    2,529

    Default Re: Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    If you like dark, burnt, over heated honey that should work great.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeslave View Post
    If you like dark, burnt, over heated honey that should work great.
    Is it not possible to heat the honey and wax to the point of liquefying without ruining it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Central Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    I briefly contemplated if it was possible to create one of these with a giant sized salad spinner. (Because I firmly believe that salad spinners are the greatest thing ever invented. I have one dedicated to spinning out hand washed laundry, yarn post dyeing and swim suits) Then I decided it was a horrid idea destin,ed to not only fail, but fail and make a big mess. When a process has been around for this long its really hard to come up with a better way to do it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    Beeswax melts at around 150 degrees and that is way too hot for my honey.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by NasalSponge View Post
    Beeswax melts at around 150 degrees and that is way too hot for my honey.
    First useful response this thread. Thank you.

    What if I sun-warm the honey to the point of liquefying, drain off all the honey into mason jars, and then increase the heat to liquefy/drain the wax off?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Lightbulb Re: Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    I harvest from cut comb foundation and crush and strain per Mike's method.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm

    I've got my own photo along side last year's harvest, but can't find it.

    My buckets are food grade soy sauce containers from the local Chinese restaurant. I put a 2" plastic honey gate on the side at the bottom of the lower bucket and I use a couple of pieces of poly cutting board to keep the strainer and wax above the holes (Dennis Murrell).

    I cut the comb free and let it drop from the frame directly into the bucket, break up the comb with chrome 5 gallon paint stirrer on a cordless drill, pour it into the "strainer" bucket and let gravity put it in the bottling bucket below over the next day. Then I let the liquid honey set for a couple more days so that the wax fines and bubbles "settle" to the top and jar through the gate valve. If you only count the time your fussing with the process, you spend only a fraction on what a spinning extractor consumes. Because gravity becomes your slave, the actual work goes unnoticed.

    The honey coated wax can then be rinsed and strained giving the rinse water to the bees. Easier yet, leave the honey coated wax to the bees who will give it back clean and dry if it doesn't rain. The buckets are easy rinse and wipe in a utility tub and the rest goes through the dishwasher.

    Compared to a $300 hand crank extractor, its near free and effortless.

    Piece of cake and very little mess.

    Yea yea, here it comes "All that wax could have been honey!" Not quite. The reported trade off is based on observation and poor evaluation and I'm not buying it especially since we can't figure out CCD after spending boatloads on research. Besides, beeswax candles can easily go for a buck or two with no containers, permitted kitchen, fear of contamination or inspections at your annual yard sale.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Possible low-effort, low-mess honey extraction idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by throrope View Post
    I harvest from cut comb foundation and crush and strain per Mike's method.

    I've got my own photo along side last year's harvest, but can't find it.
    No worries. I am familiar with Mr. Bush's process, and it appears great, but I am trying to think of a way I can further streamline the process by incorporating wax melting/harvesting into it, by using a metal, instead of plastic container.

    I love your cordless drill suggestion, and I'll be doing that.

    I like your other ideas, but have a few questions.

    1) Regarding giving rinse water to the bees: Do you put it in a frame feeder? Inverted bucket? Does this not ferment?

    2) Regarding giving honey-coated wax to bees: In what manner do you give it to them? Just drop the bits it over the frames? Put the bits in a bucket on top of the top bars and cover the bucket with a super? Is it not possible for them to re-use the wax to make new comb?

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