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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    North Haven, CT
    Posts
    40

    Default Crush and Strain with foundation?

    So I am new and am starting my first hive in the spring. Is there anyway to use the crush and strain technique to harvest honey if you are using plastic foundation in a Langstroth hive?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,928

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    very easy -- scrape the comb off the foundation, strain through a collander or screen, put the frames back in the hive, bottle the honey
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    North Haven, CT
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    Awesome. I can't wait

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    pomfret, ct,USA
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    There is an excellent vid on youtube of a guy doing this with shallow supers. If I can find it ill post the link. Quick and easy..

    http://youtu.be/tAFCiSXGg2I

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    I harvest for personal use and gifts. I use shallow supers with wood frames and thin cut comb foundation with a queen excluder above two deep brood chambers with plastic frames. I insert the excluder about a week after placing the super so that the bees will start drawing comb. Once drawn, in my experience the bees pass through the excluder like it wasn't there. Each full shallow frame holds about five pounds of honey and the foundation runs around fifty cents a sheet.

    Many here despise queen excluders and some call them honey excluders. One year I got lazy and put on the excluder with the empty super. They packed the deeps to the gills, but ignored the super. Another year I forgot about the excluder. Her highness had a grand ole time laying drone in my super. Someone suggested I didn't provide her with space such as drone comb. Another calls drone comb a mite factory. I even had the girls get impatient with the queen and lay their own eggs in the super. Larva don't lend themselves well to crush and strain. Make your choices, pay your money and take your chances.

    I pull full frames throughout the season using only one super instead of waiting till the end. I shake of the bees from the frame at the hive, replace with fresh frame, put the full frame in an empty super about twenty feet away and cover, bring the super into the garage and close the door, bring each frame into the house leaving the few strays in the garage. Each transfer drops the number of bees by a factor of ten.

    I use an 8" serrated knife to cut and drop the comb from the frames into a food grade bucket. I find a five gallon bucket handles a full shallow super. I smash the comb and strain through a nylon bag filter in a second bucket with a pattern of half inch holes through the bottom that sits on a lid without center on a third bucket with a gate valve. After a couple weeks in the third bucket during which the fines settle to the top, I set the bucket at the edge of the counter, pull a jar from the dishwasher, fill with clean and clear honey from the gate and catch the odd drip on a cookie sheet below. The bottom of the bucket leaves me with fines in the last two jars that settle to the top and easily spooned off by the time I get to them. I leave all buckets, gooey wax and tools next to the hive where the girls salvage every last drop. We melt and strain the clean dry wax wax through cheese cloth and make candles on the short winter days. Michael has good guidance. http://bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm

    If you already have the plastic frames, you may consider retaining that gear for a second hive and buying frames more suited to your preferred process.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    pomfret, ct,USA
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    Is there anyway to use the crush and strain technique to harvest honey if you are using plastic foundation in a Langstroth hive?

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

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodguyrob View Post
    Is there anyway to use the crush and strain technique to harvest honey if you are using plastic foundation in a Langstroth hive?
    Yea, but it was another pain in the can.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    pomfret, ct,USA
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    The video looks pretty easy to me. If you're doing bulk you can increase the size of containers strainers etc. Either way the comb is going to get melted down. But hey what do I know.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    >Is there anyway to use the crush and strain technique to harvest honey if you are using plastic foundation in a Langstroth hive?

    I've seen people use a rubber spatula to scrape the comb off the plastic. But it seems to me if you intend to do Crush and Strain it's easier to just do foundationless.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    The youtube is great. Here is a thought for a modification for more frames at a time. Get a 5 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon paint strainer. Put a honey gate in the bucket. Put the nylon paint strainer bag in the bucket. Take the trowel and scrape the frames all into the bucket until full. Place lid on bucket and store for a day to let the wax float to the top. Fill jars from the honey gate in the bucket. Can lift and tie the paint strainer bag to an overhead hook or rafter over the bucket for it to drain. I may try this, this year. I have a lot of plastic foundation in wood frame frames. This sounds like an easy way to get honey and wax each year.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    North Haven, CT
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    Thanks for the info everyone. I will install my bees next month and see what the season gives me. Now with all this advice I have a lot more confidence when it comes getting that honey out of the comb. The youtube video was really informative. I only wonder, if I have a small hive how much am I holding back the bees by destroying their comb every year when I harvest the honey?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    >if I have a small hive how much am I holding back the bees by destroying their comb every year when I harvest the honey?

    A cheap extractor (which is time consuming and inefficient and not cost effective for the number of combs it will extract at all) can easily run you $600. Then you have to extract only a few frames at at time and you have to find a place to store it. How are holding bees back? Drawing comb is what they do.

    "...time after time I have seen novice beekeepers, as soon as they had built their apiaries up to a half dozen or so hives, begin to look around for an extractor. It is as if one were to establish a small garden by the kitchen door, and then at once begin looking for a tractor to till it with. Unless then, you have, or plan eventually to have, perhaps fifty or more colonies of bees, you should try to resist looking in bee catalogs at the extractors and other enchanting and tempting tools that are offered and instead look with renewed fondness at your little pocket knife, so symbolic of the simplicity that is the mark of every truly good life." --Richard Taylor, The Comb Honey Book
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    I did crush and strain until the hobby paid for an extractor through honey sales. I do expect to get a bit more honey now with drawn frames because the bees will have the area to immediately spread out the honey for drying as opposed to having to build the comb first. We don't have that good of a honey flow here in Missouri so every advantage I can give the bees the better. I sure did like all the wax that I got from doing crush and strain, I guess now I'll just have to get more hives so that the cappings are enough wax.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    See if you have a local bee club in your area. We have at least 2, if not 3 and members borrow the extractor and/or have extraction parties. Good luck to you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Crush and Strain with foundation?

    Thanks for all the replies too, I had a similar question which has now been answered.

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