How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey
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  1. #1
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    Default How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    A colony of africanized bees took up residence in a junked TV set in the backyard of a neighbor, and I waited months for the weather to cool and also borrowed another neighbors bee suit in order to destroy the hive.

    Which I did today. Drug the TV set out of the neighbor's yard and into the drainage ditch behind his house, with the intention of burning the TV and the bees. But it was SO HEAVY. I wondered if there was any honey in it.

    So I broke out my tools, removed the back of the TV set and discovered about 5 gallons of honey inside this TV set. I used putty knives to pull the irregular combs out and put them into large plastic bowls.

    It looks a mess. There's probably hundreds of dead bees in these combs and in the honey. There's light brown combs with light amber honey, dark brown combs with dark amber honey and very dark combs that are totally empty. Wax, dead bees, bits of grass, etc...

    How do I process all this honey? Youtube video says use a metal colander but there's a ton of dead bee bodies in there so I assume you'd want something with a finer mesh. Also I assume the warmer the honey the easier it will flow through whatever screen you use, so I wonder if you might warm it all in an oven, or what?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    get asumeing you some how did this with out poisons the the honey isn't contaminated.
    get 2 food grade 5 gal buckets and a 5 gal paint strainer https://www.walmart.com/ip/Trimaco-1...&wl13=&veh=sem

    put all the comb in one bucket and mash it up with a stick for 10+minuints
    put the strainer in the outer bucket and pull it down form the out side so it only hangs a few inches in to the bucket, wrap tape around it to hold in place, set on the bucket with comb and tape the 2 together, then flip so the emty bucket is on the bottom, come back in a day to get your strained honey

  4. #3
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    you do realize that in Texas it is illegal for you to sell that honey. read SB1766


    (7) "Small honey production operation" means a
    beekeeper that:
    (A) produces less than 2,500 pounds of honey each
    year;
    (B) sells or distributes the honey or honeycomb
    that the beekeeper produces either personally or with the help of
    the beekeeper's immediate family members;
    (C) only sells or distributes honey or honeycomb:
    (i) that is produced from a hive that is:
    (a) located in the state; and
    (b) owned and managed by the
    beekeeper;


    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs...l/SB01766S.htm

    you can feed it to your bees, but you can't sell it

  5. #4
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    sr....
    Thats why I live in Mo., cause that is a stupid rule that has no measure of common sense. My guess is the hive started being managed the minute the back of the tv started being taken off.
    Cheers
    gww
    Ps Feeding it back to the bees might be the one thing I would not do as foul brood hurts bees not people.
    zone 5b

  6. #5
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    I would say that you "owned and managed" that hive. Neighbor doesn't want it back does he? There is your ownership. He gave it to you. You killed the bees, right? There is your management. Label it up and stick an $18/quart price tag on it.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    I would say that you "owned and managed" that hive. Neighbor doesn't want it back does he? There is your ownership. He gave it to you. You killed the bees, right? There is your management. Label it up and stick an $18/quart price tag on it.
    You guys have a point, I been doing all my cutouts wrong! LOL

    Joe

  8. #7
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    I would say that you "owned and managed" that hive. Neighbor doesn't want it back does he? There is your ownership. He gave it to you. You killed the bees, right? There is your management. Label it up and stick an $18/quart price tag on it.
    I plan to give the honey to neighbors. The neighbor is a heavy drinker with a reputation for being an inconsiderate "a-word". I pulled the boards of his fence without asking him in order to get the TV out of his back yard. The bees were attacking me when I mowed on the other side of his fence, and my wife is allergic to bees. Today I'll put his boards back.

    I never intended to get any honey, so this caught me unprepared. I watched a Youtube video where the guy used cheese cloth instead of paying for a paint sieve. I also have some window screen and I might make my own sieve. I wonder how fine it needs to be in order to filter out the dead bug parts.

    Now that I've had time to think about everything I realize it's not that complex. Still wonder if warming the honey might not make it flow easier/faster, maybe through a finer mesh.

    Also what about the super dark honeycombs. Are they pretty much all the same? Why are some darker and some lighter?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Tighty...
    So far, if I leave my honey sit for a bit, all the heavy stuff falls to the bottom and all the wax floats to the top. What is left in the middle is very pure looking honey. Make sure to seal it good while it sits for about a week so it does not draw moister from the air. I think what msl told you would work good. I have used panty hose and it did very well. I think a kitchen collander would work fine. I hear cotton cheese cloth does leave particals in honey that will cause it to crystalize quicker.

    After it sits for a couple days to a week, I use a peice of suran wrap layed on top of the honey and when I lift it, it pulls most of the foam film that is on top leaving pure honey.

    I am pretty sure if all you did was catch the big stuff that the honey would self filter if left sealed and sitting. This is of course after breaking up the cells in the comb and at least cathing most of the comb above where the honey drains. I don't think you will be hurt much no matter what you do as long as you don't let it sit out and get moister from the air and as long as what you took was mostly already capped and dry enough.

    I have only harvested a few times in a few differrent ways but the honey always seems to self filter with time no matter what mistakes I might make.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  10. #9
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    How did you kill the bees???



    Quote Originally Posted by Tighty_Whitey View Post
    A colony of africanized bees took up residence in a junked TV set in the backyard of a neighbor, and I waited months for the weather to cool and also borrowed another neighbors bee suit in order to destroy the hive.

    Which I did today. Drug the TV set out of the neighbor's yard and into the drainage ditch behind his house, with the intention of burning the TV and the bees. But it was SO HEAVY. I wondered if there was any honey in it.

    So I broke out my tools, removed the back of the TV set and discovered about 5 gallons of honey inside this TV set. I used putty knives to pull the irregular combs out and put them into large plastic bowls.

    It looks a mess. There's probably hundreds of dead bees in these combs and in the honey. There's light brown combs with light amber honey, dark brown combs with dark amber honey and very dark combs that are totally empty. Wax, dead bees, bits of grass, etc...

    How do I process all this honey? Youtube video says use a metal colander but there's a ton of dead bee bodies in there so I assume you'd want something with a finer mesh. Also I assume the warmer the honey the easier it will flow through whatever screen you use, so I wonder if you might warm it all in an oven, or what?
    Quote Originally Posted by sr4440 View Post
    you do realize that in Texas it is illegal for you to sell that honey. read SB1766


    (7) "Small honey production operation" means a
    beekeeper that:
    (A) produces less than 2,500 pounds of honey each
    year;
    (B) sells or distributes the honey or honeycomb
    that the beekeeper produces either personally or with the help of
    the beekeeper's immediate family members;
    (C) only sells or distributes honey or honeycomb:
    (i) that is produced from a hive that is:
    (a) located in the state; and
    (b) owned and managed by the
    beekeeper;


    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs...l/SB01766S.htm

    you can feed it to your bees, but you can't sell it
    This is correct, it is illegal to sell cutout honey in the state of Texas.


    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    sr....
    Thats why I live in Mo., cause that is a stupid rule that has no measure of common sense. My guess is the hive started being managed the minute the back of the tv started being taken off.
    Cheers
    gww
    Ps Feeding it back to the bees might be the one thing I would not do as foul brood hurts bees not people.
    Its not a stupid rule, cutouts are a very common practice here, so is taking matters into your own hands. I do many cutouts a year, I assume half to three quarters of them have been sprayed by some type of pesticide by the owner. No one wants to eat pesticides, they really don't want to pay to eat it. Selling cutout honey is a horrible practice, no matter where you are. Additionally, cutouts are in locations and in materials that they person performing the cutout may not have any knowledge of. I have removed bees with dead mice stuck in the combs, crawling with roaches, covered with mouse crap, covered with goat crap, surrounded by lead paint, (from the inside) behind asbestos siding, the list goes on. It is beyond irresponsible to sell this honey or even give it away.
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
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  11. #10
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    mike 171
    It is still stupid. You have to use common sense when you do anything. It is legal to sell your honey from your hive but you indidcate that a hive never gets a mouse? It would still be up to the guy with the hive to have the common sense not to sell that legal honey. What you say makes no sense. Honey made by bees is the same in your hive as it is in a differrent place that the bees made it and it will be good ethics wether in a hive or some other hole on what the guy harvesting it decides to do with it and he will have either good or bad ethics in how he handles it. It is a stupid ideal of a law though it is not stupid to think about what you have and what the conditions were where you got it from. You act like nobody can have those same conditions or others in hives they manage and so it is ok cause it is legal. In the end, honey is honey and contamination is contamination and the person doing it is in the best place to judge.
    Stupid law no matter where you live.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #11
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    TW said “Also what about the super dark honeycombs. Are they pretty much all the same? Why are some darker and some lighter?”

    Darker combs are older combs with multiple brood usage thst leaves old cocoons in there plus the bees dirty little feet Lighter comb is newer comb, less usage and dirty feet!
    Proverbs 16:24

  13. #12
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    mike 171
    It is still stupid. You have to use common sense when you do anything. It is legal to sell your honey from you hive but you indidcate that a hive never gets a mouse? It would still be up to the guy with the hive to have the common sense not to sell that legal honey. What you say makes no sense. Honey made by bees is the same in your hive as it is in a differrent place that the bees made it and it will be good ethics wether in a hive or some other hole on what the guy harvesting it decides to do with it and he will have either good or bad ethics in how he handles it. It is a stupid ideal of a law though it is not stupid to think about what you have and what the conditions were where you got it from. You act like nobody can have those same conditions or others in hives they manage and so it is ok cause it is legal. In the end, honey is honey and contamination is contamination and the person doing it is in the best place to judge.
    Stupid law no matter where you live.
    Cheers
    gww
    I don't get mice in my managed hives. I also don't get goat crap, asbestos, lead paint, dirt, piles of wax moth frass, any of the permethrins, the list goes on. I don't want to sell honey that has been contaminated, I sure as heck don't want to buy honey that has been contaminated. Someone removing a hive has no way of knowing if the hive has been poisoned in any way. To sell "wild" honey, is at best, irresponsible.
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Mike
    I don't get mice in my managed hives. I also don't get goat crap, asbestos, lead paint, dirt, piles of wax moth frass, any of the permethrins, the list goes on. I don't want to sell honey that has been contaminated, I sure as heck don't want to buy honey that has been contaminated. Someone removing a hive has no way of knowing if the hive has been poisoned in any way. To sell "wild" honey, is at best, irresponsible.
    I guess the law was made for you then and I am sure all bee keepers have the same conditions as you and never have a problim. That is proby why I see several threads a year on here talking about mice in thier hives. You may think everybody but you is irresponcible because they have those problims that you don't have but the point is those problims don't have a law behind them but still do happen with legal hives and the guy has to make the right decision to do the right thing if that happens in his hive. Nobody wants to eat contaminated honey but just because honey is not made in your perfect hive does not mean it is contaminated. It is irresponcible to throw away good honey that is not contaminated in some way and irresponcible to sell or give away contaminated honey even if technically it is legal.

    If a person is greedy enough to not make the correct decision on what to do with the honey he has harvested based on the conditions of the honey he is harvesting then the law does not matter wether in a hive or a wall. The law means nothing in that case. All honey from every cut out is not bad no matter how you want to try and frame it. It is not all bad to eat or sale. Some honey is bad to eat or to sale and this could be in some wall or some hive.

    It is a stupid law that does not fix doing good or bad. I hear you on things you should worry about, I would worry about them to with out some stupid law. If however you say that all cut out honey is worse then all legal hive honey, I would have to dissagree.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Mike


    I guess the law was made for you then and I am sure all bee keepers have the same conditions as you and never have a problim. That is proby why I see several threads a year on here talking about mice in thier hives. You may think everybody but you is irresponcible because they have those problims that you don't have but the point is those problims don't have a law behind them but still do happen with legal hives and the guy has to make the right decision to do the right thing if that happens in his hive. Nobody wants to eat contaminated honey but just because honey is not made in your perfect hive does not mean it is contaminated. It is irresponcible to throw away good honey that is not contaminated in some way and irresponcible to sell or give away contaminated honey even if technically it is legal.

    If a person is greedy enough to not make the correct decision on what to do with the honey he has harvested based on the conditions of the honey he is harvesting then the law does not matter wether in a hive or a wall. The law means nothing in that case. All honey from every cut out is not bad no matter how you want to try and frame it. It is not all bad to eat or sale. Some honey is bad to eat or to sale and this could be in some wall or some hive.

    It is a stupid law that does not fix doing good or bad. I hear you on things you should worry about, I would worry about them to with out some stupid law. If however you say that all cut out honey is worse then all legal hive honey, I would have to dissagree.
    Cheers
    gww
    A greater percentage of bees in walls, or tires, or barrels, or soffits, or any number of places wild bees get is contaminated than managed hives. Managed hives are generally not poisoned on purpose, do not have mice in their honey supers, are not painted with lead paint, are not surrounded by asbestos, the list goes on. Managed colonies do not have these issues. Most people I have meet doing removals do not know when honey in a colony is compromised, almost none can tell if the hive has bee sprayed with chemicals of any kind. It is not worth the risk. Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) recognizes this and does not allow it. There are applicable fines and fees for those found breaking the law in Texas.
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  16. #15
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by mike17l View Post
    How did you kill the bees???
    They just died. Mostly I think from the cold. San Antonio got snow last night for the first time in over a decade. As soon as I opened that TV set up they started dying. Many of them died from trying to sting me through the suit also. Today there are still a few dozen buzzing around. Still mad as hell. One stung me from 10 feet away from the junked TV set. I'll wait until dark and spray the whole thing down with a garden hose. That should disrupt them enough to either go away or die. It looks like the only reason why they are still alive is that they are bunching up together.

    It started to rain and so I put one of the bowls of honeycomb inside the barbeque just to get it out of the rain. Then put two bowls in the garage. The bees in in the garage are all dead, but the bees in the BBQ survived. Stupid bees. My wife is allergic. We have two 10 year old shots of "ephedrine" (whatever it's called), so they're expired.

    They cost $500 each now. Thanks, Obama.

    If she gets stung it's a trip to the ER, so she's walking around today all terrified and looking at me with accusing eyes. But, she has a hella sweet tooth and loves honey, so it's this weird mix. Her father (she tells me for the first time this morning) raised bees for about 5 years, harvested them once and never again. Let the honey crystallize in the hive and they moved away at some point. He's dead now so I can't ask about it, but I assume he didn't like the extraction process or didn't want to spend the money on the tools, etc... Not sure. But she remembers eating honeycomb as a child, wax and all. So we're in a weird state in my house right now. Christmas snow, trip down memory lane with the bees and the honeycomb, and the fear of getting stung and maybe dying.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Mike
    Like I said, I am glad that I live in MO. I hope they never start a bunch of rules that are a good ideal in somebodys mind. Luckily here they seem to be going the other way by freeing up rules rather then make more rules and more waste from those rules.

    I do wonder if anyone has ever been cited in texas? I understand your arguement just like I understand the arguement for registration and/or inspectors in some states and the push for record keeping of treatments and a whole bunch of other things that might "help" the bee industery. I am just glad I live in Mo and would also say that all of these supposed issues don't seem to be causeing problims where those types of regulations are not around. I have not heard of one law suite or health problim here or other places that don't have this or lots of other rules. I think the push for classes and a certificate before you can keep bees is a good Ideal in some peoples minds but am glad we are not there yet. There are lots of things that could serve some purpose in some way but the question of need is a differrent story. There do not seem to be any more or maby even as many problims where all this regulation is not around.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  18. #17
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    mike 171
    It is still stupid. You have to use common sense when you do anything.
    If you are making the call for you or your family fine, use your common sense.
    But, if you are making the call that all is right for other people using your common sense it is not fine.

    Frankly, there are not very many people who's common sense I trust with most matters. No offense, I wouldn't trust yours in this matter.
    The food product safety rules set standards that are developed over a period of time and to address needs of inferior and possibly dangerous food stuffs, not by one guy using his common sense when he finds something that may have value.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Boy, you really are on a roll today....

    They cost $500 each now. Thanks, Obama.
    The extortionate increase in Epi-Pens had nothing whatever to do with the former President, nor the Affordable Care Act.

    The manufacturer realized they could jack up the price for this essential, life-saving, drug-treatment because they saw an opportunity to price gouge. So they did.

    See: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/b...a-generic.html

    There was an outcry, and they somewhat lowered the price, but not back to where it was. There are some start-ups which are offering slightly different delivery devices that are much cheaper. The drug itself is dirt cheap - you are paying for the convenience of it. You could also get a script so you could keep a small vial of epinephrine in your refrigerator and the necessary syringes and needles and that would much, much less expensive. I did that for decades before the invention of Epi-pens.

    But if your wife is truly allergic, in the sense of having anaphylactic reactions, the Epi-pen just buys you time to get the ER. It is not a complete treatment. Fortunately the ACA covers ER visits as part of the Essential Benefits, without exclusions for pre-existing conditions such as known allergies.

    Nancy

  20. #19
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    I have seen bees in rancid trash cans, on dog turds and drinking from open raw sewage wicking up from an overflowing septic tank. Matter of fact, I think they prefer rancid, smelly water. Couldn't tell if those bees were managed or feral. I have done cut outs of exterior combs that have had pristine capped honey and I have seen "managed" hive boxes with a family of mice crapping all over. Personally, I would rather eat honey out of the eave of a house than I would out of a managed box that was treated with coumaphos or fluvalinate -- or even amitraz.

    I did a cut out of a hive that was 20 feet up in an oak tree before a tornado blew the tree down. Under Texas law, apparently that honey cannot be marketed. I am much more worried about what the beekeeper was putting in his box than I am about what the bees were taking to that tree.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: How to Harvest/Process "Wild" Honey

    Clydroad
    The food product safety rules set standards that are developed over a period of time and to address needs of inferior and possibly dangerous food stuffs, not by one guy using his common sense when he finds something that may have value.
    The whole point is that common sense has to be what rules when keeping hives or doing cut outs.
    It is not one persons common sense either way on this food product safty that as you say is "developed over a period of time".

    It is what are the rules that gov make. It is not me that decides that. If "over time" Mo did not make the same rule as texas made, then who gets to decide which of those decisions are common sense?
    You have to use common sense on what you take out of your hives for sale. If you know you fed fifty gal of sugar water and treated with talkic and the hive dies, you use common sense to know you can not harvest and sale that honey regaurdless of the law or shouldn't anyway.

    Legal or illegal does not take those decisions away.

    It would not be my common sense that laws from one state might be differrent from laws of a differrent state. Does the whole state of MO have no common sense or is it the state of texas? This is a bee law and has nothing to do with and does not relieve the responcibility to still use common sense regaurdless of the laws. It does not relieve my responcibility that even technically legal, I would still have decisions to make.

    I don't take the position that texans are so evil and dumb that they need a law to do it for them. I don't say Mo are so smart that they don't need such a law to be safe. I just say that Mo does not seem to be having the dire results that this law is made to stop and so I question that it is a good thing. I have no qualms with the honey I have. It is made with nothing added to the hive (including mice, knock on wood).

    The thing about laws is that sometimes they don't make sense and can be changed. Take our honey selling laws. For up to $50,000 we can sale honey. Unlike many states, we don't have to do it from only our front door of our house. We can sale on the internet. Before this change, it was easier for somebody to buy honey from some other state then it was to buy from a missouri beekeeper. Now it is not against the law to send some with my daughter to work for her to sale. Other states are differrent. Now I can send my honey to your state maby eisier then you can get people to come to you house and buy it. That is the point of my, "it is a stupid law". There do not seem to be big problims where it is not a law. If you buy my honey or not, I stand by my position that cut out honey is not all bad. In my grandpas day who was a log cutter and not a bee keeper, cut out honey is the only honey he got.

    I bet one thing. Give full discloser on two bottles of honey for sale with a picture of a big hive in an oak tree cut open with one bottle and a picture of your hive with the other bottle and see which one sales first.

    Cheers
    gww
    ps Nice post nancy
    zone 5b

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