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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Winnipe, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    Hi,

    I've got 3 hives and don't have the money to blow on an extractor. I'd like to harvest the honey without crushing the comb, has anyone tried the scratch and drain method? Or do you have any other ideas about how to harvest honey without crushing comb?

    Thanks,
    And

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,712

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    Well, if you are a handy person, you can build an extractor for minimal cash. Here's a link to one of the more interesting treadmill motor powered home-built extractor threads (with photos):

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...made-extractor

    Treadmills typically have a variable speed motor and associated control system. This makes them more desirable than a motor that is fixed speed.

    As I understand it, you are wanting to extract from
    frameless top bar combs. To have any chance of doing that successfully, you will likely need to control the speed carefully.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,614

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    cant you rent an extractor from a local hardware store or beeclub? letting them drain does work but the honey has to be 100 or a little more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    Investing in an extractor is not "blowing money" any more than investing in woodenware or any other equipment. It is just part of it.

    Be patient and keep looking for a good used extractor on craigslist and similar places. In the meantime, rental is usually a viable option.

    -js

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Berwick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    You should be able to rent one from your local bee club. I think ours charges $10 per day. We also have a bee supply store that extracts for $2 per frame. Check around for local options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    Scratch and drain will get you about 50 % of supers that have deep cells from widening frames spacing. Just put the frames back and the bees will rebuild. Do it twice and you have the same honey yield as crush and strain. The difference is you and the bees still have comb. Plastic tub in the sun, but not to hot, with the frames upside down and off the bottom drains best. KEEP IT COVERED. Give it a couple of hours and you get most of what you will get.

    Spinner type extractor with a drill in a barrel works as well. Easy to store and clean up. Fits any schedule. Best choice ; local options above.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    I've never had any luck decapping and draining. The honey just doesn't move. That may vary by location and nectar source, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

    You can make comb honey, you can crush and strain, you can make an extractor or borrow an extractor. In my experience without an extractor you have to either eat the comb or crush it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    I built an extractor from the plans on this site under the "Build it Yourself" section. It wasn't too terribly hard, and it cost me under $100. I use a cordless drill to power it. I don't know how handy you are, or if you have a friend/relative who's handy enough to help you with it in exchange for some honey, but that may be an option for you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbarker View Post
    I built an extractor from the plans on this site under the "Build it Yourself" section. It wasn't too terribly hard, and it cost me under $100. I use a cordless drill to power it. I don't know how handy you are, or if you have a friend/relative who's handy enough to help you with it in exchange for some honey, but that may be an option for you.
    For $100 you should be able to find a good used extractor and not have to rely on some cobbled-together gizmo that may or may not work.
    but then, anyone reading this is likely far more handy than I at building stuff. Still, dollar for dollar, I'd just as soon buy a real one. Plus, I didn't have to spend the time doing it. that's just me. -js

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,622

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    On this rare occasion, I agree with Mr. Bush, make comb honey. That was more common before extractors where invented. Besides, it will make you a better beekeeper.

    Crazy Roland

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Harvesting honey without extractor or crushing comb?

    It depends on your goal. If you want to get the most honey you can as quickly as you can crush it. If you are going to leave them honey rather than feed syrup than frame manipulation will work better long term. Widening the frame spacing will cause them to build deeper cells, it is trimming the cell that yields the honey with only a little bit draining after that even with heat. Move the trimmed combs away from the cluster and they will move the honey to the closer frames where you can trim again. Leaves you frames that can take syrup or honey for the winter.
    Crush and strain in the fall locally does not give them a chance to make winter comb. Your season is your season so judge for yourself. Obviously many find it no problem and have for a long time.

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