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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    I've got a five gallon bucket full of honey/cappings/blown out comb. What's the cheapest way to separate the comb from the honey? I can't afford a spinner and letting it just settle and drain is going to take a month of Sundays plus still leave the comb sticky and full of honey. What's the best & cheapest way to handle the sludgy chunky mixture?
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    If its warm enough outside the bees will be happy. Otherwise wash them with tap water.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    If you are just wanting the cappings, wash it in water.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    No there's probably a couple gallons worth of honey that I would be basically washing down the drain.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Well, there is always crush and strain with cheese cloth.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Spartanburg South Carolina
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    I have a fine mesh strainer that i use that sits in a bucket in a couple days they are fairly dry just keep moving them around

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,668

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    I put mine in a mesh potato bag and hung them over a bucket for a couple of days, then dumped them into a tub where the bees could get at them. Clean and dry in a couple days.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,843

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Borrow a solar melter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pickaway/Fairfield Cty, OH
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    I strain the cappings for a couple of days and then let the bees finish cleaning them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Putting the cappings in a paint strainer bag and giving it a spin in your extractor might work.
    “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
    Mar 2012
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Borrow a solar melter.
    how do you harvest the honey after melting it all in a solar melter?
    Buzz Abbott
    USDA zone 11a, Western Garden zone 24 (75 ft elev. n34.0w118.47)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    889

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Moon - One option is to drain the honey in your house, put the sticky wax in the freezer till spring, let the bees clean it up then and use the solar melter when the weather cooperates.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    setup a double boiler on your stove and just render it. Your honey will be on bottom and wax on top. Once it cools pull the wax off top and you will have all your honey. I think you can buy 2 cheap and cheesy pans from walmart for 8 bucks per pan that are stainless and hold over a gallon per pan. You will have 16 bucks invested and you will keep all your honey.

    Now you have to ask yourself if cheapest is always best. Your honey will darken and will be very strong.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Winchester, va
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    After hanging/pressing it in a paint strainer bag, spread it out on a pan and let the bees clean it up for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by buzz abbott View Post
    how do you harvest the honey after melting it all in a solar melter?
    The wax will solidify on top of the honey.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Being I have never used a solar wax melter I have a question.

    Will it truly render all the wax when there is over 2 gallons of honey mixed in with the cappings, or will it partially work?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,843

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    You get clean cooked honey on the bottom, a layer of slumgum in the middle if not caught in the melter pan, and clean wax on the top. No power used, no fire damage, no honey lost in water. Handy tool for any beekeeper who lives where there is a sun.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Being I have never used a solar wax melter I have a question.

    Will it truly render all the wax when there is over 2 gallons of honey mixed in with the cappings, or will it partially work?
    It will work and is why so many bee keepers use them

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    I like Ray's idea, just do it in two bags to balance the extractor though.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    setup a double boiler on your stove and just render it. Your honey will be on bottom and wax on top. Once it cools pull the wax off top and you will have all your honey.
    If you are talking high enough temperatures to melt the wax, won't that also burn the honey?
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: Cheapest way to harvest cappings

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyt View Post
    It will work and is why so many bee keepers use them
    I dont doubt they work. Im wondering how effective they are for folks that produce alot of cappings? I guess I was asking for first hand experience of the actual capabilities of solar wax melters.

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