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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Carrollton va
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    47

    Default Will honey drip out of the comb?

    Can honey be harvested by cutting the caps, turning it over, and letting it drip out over night? Would it help to lay it flat for one night on each side? Would it work if the caps were cut deeper? How would the honey do if it was allowed to settle instead of being filtered? I am thinking I will not have many frames and I have plenty of time.

    I am looking for a harvest method that does not use an extractor. I would rather not destroy the comb using crush and strain. My 2 hives spent all summer making 16 frames for their brood chamber. I think the comb building is very time consuming for them. I have no comparison as both hive started as 4 frame nucs. They did not bother to make me any honey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    Yes, that'll work. The comb is built at an angle so the thin nectar stays in until cured. You can either lay it flat or on the top bar of the frame. Though the area you are working in will have to be warm enough for the honey to flow.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    I was thinking of something else. Your processing area should be bee resistant. If the bees find your honey they will rob you out without any conscious.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    >Can honey be harvested by cutting the caps, turning it over, and letting it drip out over night?

    Some people seem to have succeeded at this. I never did. It would not run out. The surface tension holds it in. Perhaps it's a difference in the type of honey that makes it workable or not, but I would not recommend it based on my experience.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,544

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by reef10 View Post
    Would it work if the caps were cut deeper?
    Yes, it would. Cut them all the way down to the foundation. That's about the only way you'll ever get gravity to extract your honey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,734

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    I agree with MP. Honey will not drain out of uncapped comb.

    Sounds like you're across the creek from me. Drop me a PM and perhaps we can let you borrow an extractor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,934

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    thats funny. frames I leave on their sides in my uncapping tank overnight seem to have 50% less honey than a frame freshly uncapped.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Carrollton va
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    Thanks for the thoughts. I don't have anything to extract now. This is more a general question. The thought was to cut the cappings and leave it suspended in a tupperware container over night or how ever long... A dedicated plastic container to handle one frame at a time as a cheaper alternative. Then I would return the mostly empty frame for the bees to refill. Even if I got only 75% of the honey then reamining would be fixedup by the bees and recapped.

    Astrobee:
    We are close. Thanks for the offer. Was this a good year for your bees? How much space in the brood box do you give them to overwinter?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,934

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    they have cheapo plans of making extractors from bicycle wheels and such. Maybe that would be better for you to start with?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,734

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    thats funny. frames I leave on their sides in my uncapping tank overnight seem to have 50% less honey than a frame freshly uncapped.
    I've actually tried exactly as suggested. I uncapped a frame and placed it suspended over a tray overnight and found only a few drops had actually came out of the comb the next day. I then placed the same frame-tray setup into a warmer at about 105 F and saw the same thing. I don't believe that it is a viable way to get honey out of frames, particularly our local spring crop that typically comes out pretty dry.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,734

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by reef10 View Post

    Astrobee:
    We are close. Thanks for the offer. Was this a good year for your bees? How much space in the brood box do you give them to overwinter?
    No problem. Just contact me next June about the possibility of getting an extractor to borrow. I suggest pulling the spring crop prior to the cotton/soybean nectar flow.

    2012 was an awesome year for our bees - record honey yields! Regarding overwintering space, it depends on the size of the colony. We can successfully overwinter nucs, but most locals use 2 deeps. I generally use less. Most big colonies get 1 deep plus a medium. Really big colonies get either 2 deeps or 1 deep + 2 mediums (I've got more mediums than deeps). I overwinter most colonies in a single deep, but if you're just starting off with bees, then I suggest error towards the conservative side and give them lots of resources (2 deeps should be plenty).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,934

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    I dont think its a viable way to extract honey. I use 2 32 frame dadant extractors to extract honey. Just a simple observation of frames that get uncapped the night before and dont get extracted till next day. Most of them are pretty light by morning and thats from leaving them up on end bars stacked in uncapping tank.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by reef10 View Post
    Thanks for the thoughts. I don't have anything to extract now. This is more a general question. The thought was to cut the cappings and leave it suspended in a tupperware container over night or how ever long... A dedicated plastic container to handle one frame at a time as a cheaper alternative. Then I would return the mostly empty frame for the bees to refill. Even if I got only 75% of the honey then reamining would be fixedup by the bees and recapped.

    Astrobee:
    We are close. Thanks for the offer. Was this a good year for your bees? How much space in the brood box do you give them to overwinter?

    This was my first year beekeeping, and I definitely didn't have the extra money to fork over for an extractor. But, after a call to my local county extension office they put me in touch with a local beekeeping club who has an extractor that they allow members to borrow. It worked great!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,018

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...r/P1030990.jpg
    I did this my first year and had pretty good success. There were cells of dark honey, almost jelly like that did not drain. The photo shows the frames oriented as they would be in the hive. I learned later that the comb is made with an upward slant (13 degrees). So if I were to do this again I would secure the frames in the box and flip it over.
    Of course you will not get the frames as dry as you would with an extractor but if you give them back to the bees they won't care.

    I should mention that this comb is not small cell.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    I pull a frame and set it at a 45 degree angle on a cooling rack with tin foil under it. Flat it did not run out. Scratch it with a fork and let the ‘little honey hounds’ come by and get it. Pick up the tin foil and pour it into a jar, wax settles back to the top. Kids got to like the cut comb (**** son eats half a square it with a spoon with his ice cream at a single sitting). I don’t think much of cut comb but maybe give a square at try. They seem to like it better when there is one frame on the table than gallon jugs and quarts, but they are kids and I do not pretend to understand them.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,018

    Default Re: Will honey drip out of the comb?

    It is not likely to run too well at room temperature. Warm it to about 110F.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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