Harvesting a single frame
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Fort Davis Texas USA
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    Default Harvesting a single frame

    The guru told me to take this single frame of honey out of the hive and I have it sitting on the counter at home. Both sides are full of honey, about 70% capped.

    What is the simplest way to get the honey out at home without any equipment. I have no lofty plans for the honey except to keep it around the house and marvel at it for a while. I would like to preserve the frame of comb if possible - apparently it has use for a new hive?

    I was thinking of slicing the cap off with a serrated kitchen bread that has been repeatedly heated? Then setting the frame flat in a large pan and letting gravity do the work? Maybe putting it somewhere warm like a window sill or near a warm stovetop?
    That flowhive thing is starting to look appealing.
    Thanks
    Please have a look at my bio; I put in my location and equipment, colony description.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
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    891

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    crush and strain.

    cut it out of the frame, then grab hand fulls and squish. strain through cheesecloth or an actual 200 mesh screen.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
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    1,206

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveInTexas View Post
    The guru told me to take this single frame of honey out of the hive and I have it sitting on the counter at home. Both sides are full of honey, about 70% capped.
    Why?

    I have no lofty plans for the honey except to keep it around the house and marvel at it for a while.
    Why?

    I would like to preserve the frame of comb if possible - apparently it has use for a new hive?
    If you are going to increase your hive numbers, having already drawn comb gives new hives a head start. It is mind-boggling to me when I see people who have never done bees before, wanting to start packages on foundationless frames. I usually want to give new starts as much advantage as possible, and fewer things to go wrong.

    I was thinking of slicing the cap off with a serrated kitchen bread that has been repeatedly heated? Then setting the frame flat in a large pan and letting gravity do the work? Maybe putting it somewhere warm like a window sill or near a warm stovetop?
    My first time cutting off the cappings, I was trying to keep the knife hot. It got to be a pain in the butt, and I discovered that it didn't seem to make that much difference if it wasn't hot so I tossed out that bit.

    As far as draining the comb, warmer is better, especially if you're going to let gravity do the work, 85* or a bit more. The wax will melt somewhere around 147*, so don't let it get too warm. In TX you shouldn't have any problem getting an 85* day (I used to live in central TX and I loved it in the Summer).

    That flowhive thing is starting to look appealing.
    A small, hand-cranked extracting set-up is cheaper. I waited until I saw a sale on a "kit", and got the whole shebang for less than an extractor alone, I forget whether it was Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain.
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,768

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    >What is the simplest way to get the honey out at home without any equipment.

    Agreed. Crush and strain.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,046

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    A spoon.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Turn your oven on to "low". Cut one side of the cappings off with a long knife, no reason to heat it, better if you don't. Lay the frame over a cookie sheet so it is raised off the bottom. Turn off the oven. Place the cookie sheet/frame in the oven. Wait 15-30 minutes. Remove cookie sheet/frame from oven. Repeat for the other side. While waiting for side #2 to drain, split, toast, and butter as many English muffins as possible. Add honey to English muffins. ENJOY!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,613

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Quote Originally Posted by BadBeeKeeper View Post
    Why?

    It is mind-boggling to me when I see people who have never done bees before, wanting to start packages on foundationless frames. I usually want to give new starts as much advantage as possible, and fewer things to go wrong.
    Why? Swarms and packages prefer foundationless frames so they can festoon. You have at least as good of a chance of success foundationless as with foundation, usually better. Drawn comb is great if you have it, most beginners don't.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    my mom does this:

    uncap with a fork and put the frame upside down in one of the gray plastic "bus boxes" like this: http://www.amazon.com/Bus-Box-Grey-17-22/dp/B007NZTLVO
    she then covers it with a old, thin cloth tablecloth and sets it in the sun. a couple of days later a significant amount of honey has drained out. She will then put that frame back in the hive and do another. She pours the honey thru cheesecloth and then sets the cheesecloth out for the bees to clean up. It seems to work fine for her.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    Why? Swarms and packages prefer foundationless frames so they can festoon. You have at least as good of a chance of success foundationless as with foundation, usually better. Drawn comb is great if you have it, most beginners don't.

    Agreed with swarms - they are wax-making machines. Packages, however, were shaken off of already drawn comb and thus may not have that many wax-making age bees in them. Just my thoughts...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Take a comb out, cut it into chunks, in a large mixing bowl. Smash it well with a potato masher and put it in a big kitchen strainer set into a large enamel or stainless stock pot. Place in a nice warm area. I like to put it in the oven over the pilot light. Next day, you have honey in that stock pot. This is efficient, if you crush all the cells well.
    Last edited by jadebees; 05-06-2015 at 12:51 PM. Reason: more info

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    1,638

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Its your first harvested frame. Take your index finger, push it into a nice chunk of capped honey, scrape along a few cells, insert into mouth. Taste your new fresh honey.

    I guarantee, once you and a few family members have tried this, you wont be worried much longer about how to get the honey out, there wont be enough left to worry about. You (and everybody else) will find it impossible to stop grabbing 'just another taste', and before you know it, the frame will be empty.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fort Davis Texas USA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    update:
    I heated the oven up to 170F, turned it off and placed the frame flat, inside the oven, suspended over a metal pan after cutting the caps off with a long, serrated bread knife.
    Not much happened, a few drops.
    Tried this again and the comb simply started to sag.
    So, I carved the comb off the frame, mashed it with a potato masher in the pan, scrapped everything up and put into a 7" sieve. It is dripping into a bowl right now. Despite the frame and wax looking dark and dirty, the honey is looking clear.
    Please have a look at my bio; I put in my location and equipment, colony description.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fort Davis Texas USA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Dripping was too slow. Heated oven to 350F, turned it off.
    Inserted bowl, sieve and waited an hour. Mashed wax more and now lots of clear honey. Probably 2 cups.
    Please have a look at my bio; I put in my location and equipment, colony description.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,768

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    >I usually want to give new starts as much advantage as possible, and fewer things to go wrong.

    You mean like buckled foundation? Or fins off of the DuraGilt? Or fins off of the plastic frames? I agree. That's why I would do foundationless. No point setting them up for failure...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
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    1,206

    Default Re: Harvesting a single frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    You mean like buckled foundation? Or fins off of the DuraGilt? Or fins off of the plastic frames? I agree.
    LOL, I have not used DuraGilt or plastic frames, nor have I had any issues with buckled foundation. I did, however, discover just this week that a frame with comb drawn on black plastic foundation will melt quite readily if inadvertently left in the sun, no need to use a special-built solar wax melter at all.

    Seriously though, it's just my *opinion* that some beginners could be faced with problems that they might be better off avoiding by using foundation. I think it's better that they learn to keep bees first, then ease into going foundationless if that's what they want to do.
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

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