Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?
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  1. #1
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    May 2016
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    Default Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    More or less as the title says - is there a method to harvest honey without and extractor and without sacrificing all that drawn comb?

    I initially had planned to crush and strain my two hives, but I'm not keen on just cutting it all off the foundation for the bees to create again next season.

    I've tried googling around, but it seems the two most prominent methods are extracting and C&S. Any alternatives out there?

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  3. #2
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    Jun 2012
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    Brookshire, Texas
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    Google "honey harvesting gravity".
    Probably one of the most popular ways to extract before spinners!

  4. #3
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    Winchester, Ontario
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    Yep, that makes perfect sense. I guess I was wondering if it would flow out well that way, and it appears it does if you give it a few days. However, I'm in no rush!

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    If brood combs are backfilled, can they be reused by the bees for brood after "gravity extraction"?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by baybee View Post
    If brood combs are backfilled, can they be reused by the bees for brood after "gravity extraction"?
    The bees will lick a used frame clean. Make sure you put the extracted frames back in the hive for a week or so before storage so the bees can clean them up. 'Wet' frames (ie, still with honey residue) attract pests.

  7. #6
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    Apr 2015
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    Richmond, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    I am in the same situation. I plan on putting a few frames in a plastic tote, and strapping it to an old playground merry-go-round.

    I have a followup question: How hot can you get the frames before you risk blowing out the comb?

  8. #7
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    It may depend on your local nectar source, but when I uncapped combs and tried to "let" them drain, they never did. No matter how long you wait. So my answer would be "no".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Lawrence, Pennsylvania, USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    That gravity-based extraction setup (inverting decapped honey frames over the filter) was equipped with a 200 micron filter at the bottom. The honey I harvested this year wouldn't even pass it: it passed the 600, then the 400 micron filters, but just sat on the 200. I had to remove it.

    So in answer to the OP question... I guess if your honey is like mine, it wouldn't work.

  10. #9
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    Yes, there is a solution.
    Google on "the flow hive." Also on you tube vids.
    Open the gate and honey will flow into your jar. At least this is the
    infomercial.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #10
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    Apr 2015
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    Cameron, Wisconsin, United States
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    I saw a video where a guy used a rubermaid tub that was just a bit larger than the frame. He put a cake cooling rack in the bottom of it then laid an uncapped frame on the rack and put the lid on. He had a rope that was about 6 feet long tied like a Y and the two ends of the rope went to the handles of the rubermaid tub then he just spun the entire tub by the rope around his head. I think it took about 12 spins to empty one side, then he flipped the frame spun it about 20 times then flipped the frame again and went another 10 or so. If you only have a couple boxes to harvest it would probably work pretty well.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0tbPhWWrFo

    This isn't the video I was thinking of but it is more or less the same idea and his way of attaching the rope may be more stable.

  13. #12
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    The "Ersatz Extractor" video that Joe linked above is a pretty slick idea. And hard to beat the cost!



    .. and good exercise for the pecs too ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #13
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    Sep 2015
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    Biswanath Chariali, Assam, India
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    Hello everybody,
    I am from India and we have been extracting honey by this method for a long long time. Instead of only one rope as shown in the video, we either make four holes to the container at the corners and attach two ropes to two holes on one side, or support the whole container in a long piece of cloth. Then we rotate the container by taking hold of the end of the rope or the ends of the cloth. I will try to post some pictures later.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    for less than $60 you can make a pretty decent one, this is the one I use and it works pretty slick.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM1oMJu4a70

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Jefferson Co, TX
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    I saw a video where they cut the comb back to the center wall with very little cell wall remaining. As they removed the comb all the wax and honey would be dumped into a container, then strain the honey out.

    The comb was then replaced in the hive for clean up. I would assume they would clean it up and rebuild the comb.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, not trying the no treatment anymore

  17. #16
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    Sep 2013
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    Stone County Ar. USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    for less than $60 you can make a pretty decent one, this is the one I use and it works pretty slick.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM1oMJu4a70
    I bought a 2 frame hand cranked tangential unit on ebay for about 110 bucks , works pretty good . I can extract a full medium in a couple of hours . Takes the dishwasher longer to sanitize the jars ...
    Retired wannabee Hillbilly Farmer in backwoods Arkansas
    Our biggest crop is rocks ...

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Victoria, Texas
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    89

    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    I'm thinking about building this:

    https://kiltedcraftworks.com/2015/10...honey-spinner/

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Atlanta, GA, USA
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    I'm with Michael. My experience was the same.
    It is what it is!

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
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    Default Re: Can you harvest honey without an extractor without ruining your drawn comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    I saw a video where they cut the comb back to the center wall with very little cell wall remaining. As they removed the comb all the wax and honey would be dumped into a container, then strain the honey out.

    The comb was then replaced in the hive for clean up. I would assume they would clean it up and rebuild the comb.
    I just did this last weekend with 3 frames and it worked like a dream. Back in the hive, harvested frames were cleaned and re-drawn in a few days

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