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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    723

    Default Crush and strain not good

    I was all set that I would crush and strain but got to thinking about ruining all the drawn out comb the bees made, is this considered a bad practice .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,273

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    It's not a bad practice if that's how you want to do it. You are correct, drawn comb saved from year to year, sure does make it easier and faster to get spring buildup and honey crop. If you want to harvest wax as well, then crush and strain would be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    gordo, al
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I've read it takes 8lbs of nectar for 1 lb of wax. But I have top bar hives so this is the method I use. I'm setting up a few Langstroth hives this year and probably at first will crush and strain as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I would look at the downstream products as well. You will get wax if you want it and the honey may be slightly cleaner. I typically extract from only new frames for the year, any brood frames that become honey frames I leave for the bees to winter on. You may cut down on your yield, but if you have good flows and harvest what you need and use it's not a big deal unless you're trying to squeeze every penny out of girls.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    Quote Originally Posted by lavert5 View Post
    I've read it takes 8lbs of nectar for 1 lb of wax. But I have top bar hives so this is the method I use. I'm setting up a few Langstroth hives this year and probably at first will crush and strain as well.
    While that figure's been around for ever, I've seen no basis that bears scrutiny. Somewhere I read how many pounds of honey a pound of comb stores and that was huge.

    I also read comb wax is secreted from the youngest workers and they may do that independently of how much honey they eat, like growing finger nails.

    The only one that made sense to me is having comb available during the flow gives the girls a ready place to store vs. building comb as they haul in the goods. I suspect if the build isn't as fast as the flow, they may not gather all they could.

    For me and my five hives and three colonies (winter losses), three hundred bucks for a extractor is better spent on buying honey already in the jar.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    When a flow is on and you have plenty of young bee's, making new wax isn't that big a deal for them. As mentioned, wax is valuable and if that is a product that you want to use, it'll benefit you to harvest the honey AND the wax.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    Well that seals it , the wife was thinking about making some candles ! Didn't thing about not getting any wax with extractor . I've seen crush and strain with bags for a filter that way you fill up a 5 gal. bucket , quite a few frames would fit , the other way showed plastic filters that fit in the bucket but said you could only fit in one frame of comb at a time , that doesn't seem right ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I use paint strainers over a bucket. The honey is typically a little cloudier if I crush it hard but it tastes just as good. Just pull / cut the comb off of the frame, drop pieces into the strainer and go to town. Clean up the wax that's left with water so that it won't be too sticky and you're pretty much done.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I use C&S exclusively. I like the idea that the wax that contains the product that is eaten by me and others is fresh and new, and has the lowest potential of being contaminated. I think that old "8 to 1" ratio is bunk. I use 5 gallon white plastic pails, make sure they are food grade plastic. I drill a bunch of 1/2" holes in the upper bucket and put a plain old stainless steel screen sieve underneath. The only other tools needed are a bread knife to cut the honeycomb out of the frame, and a potato masher to mash it up. I do the mashing one frame at a time in a dishpan and then transfer the mash to the upper bucket. The honey I get is very clear, very little wax actually makes it through the holes in the bottom of the bucket. I usually let the wax+honey mash drain for at least 3 days. During the winter, I work on cleaning up the wax I collected during harvest season, ending up with a nice supply of solid beeswax blocks that people like to use for candles and other things.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I think honey that was crushed and strained tastes better. I think it oxidizes coming off the comb in the extractor.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I used to crush and strain until the girls paid for the extractor. I also think the 8 lbs figure is probably a bunch of bull also, however there is a cost and it's what I would call opportunity cost. Around here we have a pretty short flow, and if the girls don't have somewhere to put the nectar and spread it out to dry you are missing out on harvest time or your opportunity to make honey. To me it's about time and not about nectar or honey.

    Rod

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,224

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    It's hard to nail down exactly how much honey goes into making wax, but wax has about 8 times the energy content that sugar has -- check out the calorie difference between oil or fat and sugar. Therefore, since the only source of the carbon for making wax is nectar, the bees had to use quite a bit of nectar up making the wax to store honey in.

    I do believe you get much larger yeilds of honey if you have all drawn comb. My strong hive, and my brother's hive, both have at least a full shallow of nectar stored already, with occasional cells capped and are busy working more. If they were working only foundation or empty frames, they would only be building comb as my weak hive, without a super of drawn comb, is.

    Getting plenty of new wax made in the spring on the main flow is not a problem, but I figure a box of empty frames pretty much costs me half a shallow super of honey compared to giving them a box of drawn frames.

    Peter

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    Depends on how much you want honey and how much you want wax. I think wax is a valuable substance in its own right so I have no problem with C&S, I would be wanting to harvest wax anyway.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,273

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    And, remember, extracting honey using a hot knife does give cappings wax. It's not near so much wax as crush and strain would give, but you do get some very clean wax.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,290

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    It's hard to nail down exactly how much honey goes into making wax, but wax has about 8 times the energy content that sugar has -- check out the calorie difference between oil or fat and sugar.
    Fat: 1 gram = 9 calories
    Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
    Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I watched a PBS documentary, I believe they threw a 6:1 figure out there.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I typically extract from only new frames for the year, any brood frames that become honey frames I leave for the bees to winter on.
    Many of my frames are starting their 4th year of use. I read it's a good idea to cycle out old comb after 3-5 years. After making sure I have winter stores I wil CNS what remains. Do you prefer not to CNS old brood frames because the honey is darker or possible chemicals in the honey or what? Just curious. Thanks.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I think this can be scientifically resolved if someone fed a new package of bees 3 pounds of raw honey before nectar flow, let them build as much new comb in a month, cull the bees and remove ALL COMB, strain and melt it down, and there you go! You have a ratio!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    Raw honey wd b 2:1 tho, yes?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Crush and strain not good

    I wash my crushed wax/capping and equipment with just enough water to clean them. Save the water and make mead.

    It is easy to make and so many variation to make it to your taste.

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