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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL
    Posts
    95

    Default Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    Based on honey production, I believe I will be harvesting at the end of the month. Looking for some input on equipment.

    I have noticed there are so many options for extraction, uncapping, straining etc.

    What do I absolutely need?

    I will probably build my own extractor since I have the tools to do so. Believe I can build one for less than $100. Can pickup a food grade 55 gallon barrel for $30 locally.

    So, from here I am thinking
    1. Uncapper. Electric or Not?
    2. Strainer?
    3. Bottling bucket?

    What am I missing? In regards to getting the bees off the honey frames. Read some use leaf blowers aimed towards the hive. Assuming this is ok and if done properly won't harm the bees or the honey.
    Mike Harrell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    London, Kentucky
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    Make sure the leaf blower exhaust doesn't go out the same way the air is going or you will have motor oil tasting honey. If possible, use electric, or brush away the bees frame per frame and set them in a empty super with an escape board or some plywood on top. I've seen a sideliner use a 200mph leaf blower on 100+ hives and blow the bees in front of the hive area with no issues from year to year. He also used a "lazy susan" or rather a boat seat pivot to put the super on and rotate the front to the back and vice versa to get the bees out.

    You might also want to get some cheese cloth to put over the strainer to microfilter even more.

    Good luck and would love to see a post on your homemade extractor!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ithaca, MI
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    I just pull frame by frame like angel describes and shake the bees back in the hive then brush the last few off and put in an empty super with a cover (and base!). Blower seems like overkill unless you are doing many hives. I just harvested 25 frames of honey from 3 hives which yielded 7.5 gallons (90 pounds). I extracted into two five gallon buckets, one of which was fitted with a gate valve for filling jars. I extracted into a fairly fine stainless (kitchen) colander above a mesh 400 micron bucket filter. Electric uncapping knife definitely worth it IMO and an uncapping tub. I was able to borrow/barter some time on a friend's 20-frame extractor (bartered with my labor in helping with his harvest- oh, he kept the cappings too, which motivated me to uncap carefully!)

    All I needed was:
    Uncapping tank (first year/ fewer than 10 or so frames can be 5 gallon bucket with a cross bar/nail)
    Uncapping knife
    two or three 5-gal food grade buckets (one with gate valve)
    extractor
    jars

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    I also built my own extractor (4 frame, powered) and I use a bread knife/cappings scratcher to remove cappings. I drain the extractor into 5 gallon buckets fitted with a 600 micron filter. From there, I pour into one gallon jugs (I have 5), and after each 5 gallon bucket is emptied into the 5 1 gallon jugs, I "bottle" the honey into jelly jars. It may not be the "best" setup, as I have to empty one 5 gallon bucket completely to the bottling stage before starting on another, but, it works out well enough for me, and helped to keep my costs down. In the next few years, I'll slowly upgrade the extracting process.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    451

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    I built a very simple but elegant I think, 4 frame radial extractor. It works great. I have maybe $60 into it. Its a Rubbermaid 32 gallon Brute food safe trash can. A 3/8" all thread rod. A stainless steel acorn but at the bottom. A nylon cutting board cut and fabricated into a bottom bearing and a cross piece across the top with a hole to act as a top bearing. A drill motor spins it. I'll post pics under a new post tonight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    A friend and I worked together. He bought and electric knife. I bought a regular knife. Mine was faster and wasted less wax. Be sure to get a scratcher too for the low spots.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthomas View Post
    I built a very simple but elegant I think, 4 frame radial extractor. It works great. I have maybe $60 into it. Its a Rubbermaid 32 gallon Brute food safe trash can. A 3/8" all thread rod. A stainless steel acorn but at the bottom. A nylon cutting board cut and fabricated into a bottom bearing and a cross piece across the top with a hole to act as a top bearing. A drill motor spins it. I'll post pics under a new post tonight.
    Sounds similar to what I made, though I used a metal trash can for mine, which is also powered by a drill. I also wrapped the bottom of the can with eavestrough heating cable (that you lay in your eavestrough in the winter to prevent ice), and that keeps the bottom 4-6 inches of the trash can fairly warm so that the honey will stay warm and flow better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthomas View Post
    I built a very simple but elegant I think, 4 frame radial extractor. It works great. I have maybe $60 into it. Its a Rubbermaid 32 gallon Brute food safe trash can. A 3/8" all thread rod. A stainless steel acorn but at the bottom. A nylon cutting board cut and fabricated into a bottom bearing and a cross piece across the top with a hole to act as a top bearing. A drill motor spins it. I'll post pics under a new post tonight.
    I look forward to seeing the pics.
    Mike Harrell

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    451

    Default Re: Harvesting Honey Soon - Looking for input

    Here is the link to the pics and description of the extractor I built for about $60.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...80#post1151680

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