The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...
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  1. #1
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    Default The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Maybe I'm just too strong and spun it too fast. I wasn't expecting the comb to get ruined. The wired comb did pretty well, it was the unwired foundationless that disintegrated.

    Are there any tips for keeping your comb intact while using a manual extractor?

    P.S. - I think I'm finding that extracting just before the main flow (while making sure each hive has enough for brood rearing of course) might be a really good time to extract - take the winter leftovers instead of guessing how much they'll need in the fall. Anyone else do that? Also, a positive about having deadouts, you get their honey (and so do your new nucs, or the growing colony that may need it).

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  3. #2
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    For best possible results extracting foundationless or even medium brood, the combs mustbe warm but not too warm. The frames need spun slowly until much of the weight is outbefore speeding up. There are good reasons people give up on style points and run rite cell or one of the other durable foundations. I started out running medium brood wired and embedded after dealing with them I thought duragilt was a gift from heaven.

  4. #3
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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Same here.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    Are there any tips for keeping your comb intact while using a manual extractor?
    Yeah, wire all your frames. That's what I started doing after having too many blown out frames. The ones you have that aren't wired will be fine next year.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  6. #5
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    Morro Bay, California, USA
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    A couple of points: in my region winter honey is not-so-good, quick crystallizing and often tannic and "musky" flavored. Your flows may be different, but ours always has a bit of oak honeydew and English Ivy. Both notoriously acrid.

    I used stainless steel stamped metal (such as the old-style kickplates on screen doors) to reinforce the baskets. I've seen small barbecue grills of an appropriate size (originally intended to cook fish or warm bread) used for the same purpose.

    The winter honey may have already begun to crystallize, crystal honey tears up comb, as it doesn't flow.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Interesting all, thanks.

    I wonder if anyone has thought of making frame baskets to put your frames in before you put them in the extractor, maybe something along the lines of mesh wire. Might not be a bad idea to wrap the frame in mesh wire and see what happens.

  8. #7
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    Vernon, AZ. USA
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    I sometimes need to place a sheet of wire mesh on the outside of the comb, in the basket on the outer side. This is for new drawn comb, foundationless, frameless. (Warre topbars).
    I use 1" new chicken wire. One could use the 3/8" tile mesh, if you're really in a hurry. Mostly, the problem is my impatience. Too fast!
    If I have a lot of comb to do, I tie the mesh in. Wax that galvanised wire mesh first. Thats the good way to use galvanised mesh of any type.
    You can easily wire a frame, as if you are using the plain type foundation. The bees will build right around the wire if you string the holes.
    Last edited by jadebees; 04-17-2016 at 06:23 PM.

  9. #8
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    Feb 2016
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    southwest ohio
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    If the comb is attached on all 4 sides it should not blow out. A tangential extractor works best I believe.

    You can trick the bees to attach the comb by nicking it where it doesn't meet the frame and when they fix it they normally attach it to the frame too.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Quote Originally Posted by jadebees View Post
    I sometimes need to place a sheet of wire mesh on the outside of the comb, in the basket on the outer side. This is for new drawn comb, foundationless, frameless. (Warre topbars).
    I use 1" new chicken wire. One could use the 3/8" tile mesh, if you're really in a hurry. Mostly, the problem is my impatience. Too fast!
    If I have a lot of comb to do, I tie the mesh in. Wax that galvanised wire mesh first. Thats the good way to use galvanised mesh of any type.
    You can easily wire a frame, as if you are using the plain type foundation. The bees will build right around the wire if you string the holes.
    Aha - so it's not an original idea. Never thought about waxing the mesh. You'd think someone would have come up with a mesh basket/cover by now, pop the frame in and voila.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Don't forget that if you have treated for mites using OA during the early winter broodless period, that the honey that was in the hive during the treatment is no longer fit for human consumption. The combs, of course, are just fine for future honey collection. (Ditto a late fall, or early spring, application of Apivar or Thymol (Apiguard). Only MAQS is the exception to this. (But I don't know a lot of people who use MAQS in seasons when queen loss would be a serious crisis.) That broodless period treatment is so critical to my mite-strategy that it would over-rule any notions I had to harvest in the spring - unless I could figure out a way to remove the honey during the treatment. But it's usually too chilly when I do it to be messing around pulling boxes or frames just in case they would be surplus in the spring.

    Enj.

  12. #11
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    Mar 2015
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    Searcy, Arkansas
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    I use plastic foundation but I'm still careful not to try and remove all the honey from the first side in the first spin. I crank a little then switch sides then give the second hive the full spin. Next I flip to the first side and finish it.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    I can still hear my grandpa telling me to to slow down while cranking the extractor!

    Tangential extractors and foundationless frames can be a problem, which is why I use wired foundation and cross wires.

    Slow down the speed, especially on the first side with a tangential extractor, you need to get the bulk of the honey out of both sides before spinning them hard. A radial extractor is easier on the comb. First year foundationless comb is quite soft, it will be stronger next year if you don't blow it out of the frame this year.

    If your bees will use plastic foundation, it works great in the extractor.

    Peter

  14. #13
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    I spun honey out of foundation less deeps in my two frame (manual) extractor. It was about 95 degrees. Just had to take it slow and the only issues I had were it bouncing around in the back of the truck after we were done. We were gentle on them in the extractor, but it did take a little longer.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    The winter honey may have already begun to crystallize, crystal honey tears up comb, as it doesn't flow.
    This honey tastes good, but the crystallization is a good point. I'll keep my eye on that. Some people prefer crystallized honey, but I don't. Some of the frames inside the hives had some crystallization from the winter. But that was uncapped, so I wonder if that made a difference.

    Thanks for the pointers all, I think the next go-round will "flow more smoothly".
    Last edited by NewbeeInNH; 04-18-2016 at 04:08 AM.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Combs that look iffy can be reinforced with rubber bands. If decapping is not done well, then the weight can be an issue when speeding things up. Going slow at first is vital.

    I had about 3 combs collapse on me last year.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    Even wired frames with foundation can get blown out in an extractor. There is a trick to doing it just right. You have to start out very, very slow. When the comb is full of honey it is very heavy and more prone to blowing out. You can try rubber bands or such, but I find that just starting out very, very slow works well.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    ON soft comb I put rubber bands on the frames. Still take care in how fast you go. getting the honey out takes time and it needs to be warm.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  19. #18
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    I didn't think going slowly would budge the honey. I'll try that next time.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: The 2 frame extractor blew out my medium foundationless comb...

    I peek in the extractor. If the frames are spitting honey I'm going fast enough.

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