Best way to filter 35 -50 gallons of honey?
This year I harvested 35 gallons of honey. This mostly came from 4 hives that made it through the winter, but 6 packages also contributed a little, as well.
Extraction was done using the equipment of the local bee club. Uncapping is done by scratching, which is the only method allowed by the club. Meaning, there is a fair amount of wax debris in the honey that needs to be removed.
I am now in the process of filtering the 35 gallons of honey. I am using white 5 gallon buckets and pouring the honey through a nylon mesh filter from one bucket to another. The filters are the standard nylon filters available in the paint department of the hardware store. Everything is scrupulously cleaned in hot soapy water before and after each use. This is all done in the house since I do not have a sanitary workplace elsewhere.
The honey is allowed to stand for a few days so the wax debris floats to the top, where the bulk of the wax is then skimmed off by hand. Even so, the filtering is a slow and tedious job. Really really slow. As in it is taking a long long time. Whew! Pouring honey through a filter from one bucket to another was okay when I was dealing with 10 gallons of honey, but it is not practical for 35 gallons. A significant part of the problem is that the filters quickly clog despite the pre-skimming.
As I get better at keeping bees, I expect my yearly harvest to increase to upwards of 50 gallons per year. Ms. shinbone will be throwing me out on the street if I start trying to filter 50 gallons of honey with just 5 gallon buckets.
Anyone got any suggestions on the best way to filter 35 - 50 gallons of honey? I don't want to get too crazy on buying a bunch of expensive dedicated filtering equipment, but I am willing to do some capital investing.
Last edited by shinbone; 10-20-2016 at 08:37 AM.
(1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')