The bees often never fully cap a frame. Honey from a non-capped cell, is from my understanding not complete honey, tends to have too high moisture content and can ferment.
When can I spin extract a frame that isn't fully capped? Someone told me that as long as 80% of the frame is capped then you're okay but I'm not sure if that's true.
80% is usually ok. If I pull supers but I’m not going to extract right away, I stack them up on a screened bottom board in my garage and put a box fan on top on low blowing down through the stack. Keeps air moving through them and helps to dry any uncapped honey until I can get to it. I feel like it also inhibits SHB from taking over, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
Mistakes are the best taechers
A good course bread knife works great. I gave up on one when my girls start helping extracting. An moved them to bread knifes.
Congratulations to that!I've recently purchased a good quality 20 frame radial honey extractor. I'm seeking to learn the most efficient way of using this thing.
I use a long serrated uncapping knife after trying just about any method on the market and I feel it works the best. We made a stainless rectangular hopper to fit on a five gallon square honey pail for uncapping, honey and capping run it to the pail and get looked after once all frames are done. I extract every 2 weeks in the season, June to early September and take our frames with +80% capped, normally the center frames and outward, push the rest to the center and set the wet frames two days later to the outside.I haven't got a hot knife yet. Is there anything I should be looking for when purchasing such?
35 - 37°C works fine, make sure your oil heater does not put any fumes in to the frames or you will spoil your honey. As mentioned by others, the frame top should point outward, but your unit should be made so you can not set the frames in any other way.I have an old fridge that I use as an insulation unit, it has an old small oil heater. I'm under the impression that, if I place my honey supers in there beforehand to warm up, that it'd make the spinning easier. Is there any temperature range I should be setting it to?
Well, you said it, you would not drive your car forward with an automatic trani and slam it in reverse before coming to a stop, just doesn't make sense. I see no reason why should should run it both ways, but if you have the time and get 50gram more honey from 20 frames, why not. I start slow and gently increase spinning speed to full throttle, normally takes 15 - 20 minutes.Since it's radial, I can spin it in either direction. I assume that, much like a car, it'd be bad for the gears if I have it going quickly in one direction, and then reverse the engine to get it to spin the other direction. When using it, I've been basically stopping the spinning before spinning it the other direction. I've noticed that, if I turn off the engine, it stops spinning faster than if I simply put the spinning at 0, neutral not spinning in either direction. I'm not sure how cautious I should be, how much I need to wait for it to stop.
Just start slow and increase speed as the honey comes out, the honey in the comb is the mass that would damage your comb if you go from 0-100% in a few seconds.I've learned that the comb can easily be damaged in these things. What are some practices that I can do to minimize comb damage when spinning?
As mentioned by others, with 20 frames you will have the screen plugged in no time, rather just catch it and look after your honey/wax separation later, with 20 frames in the unit, you have enough to do and honey on the floor is no fun.The extractor has a honey gate on the bottom. I figure it'd be best to then place a sieve, honey strainer underneath, sitting on top of a honeybucket with a honeygate on it, so that it goes straight from the extractor and strains into the bucket.
As I said above and others did too, put them back in the honey supers until your season comes to an end, than use a empty box between and the bees will work for you.I'm really unsure what I should do with the sticky frames after spinning. If I just leave them out in my shed, I'll have exposed honey constantly which will invite animals to feast upon it, like bugs and maybe even mouses. I read that it's common for people to store frames in freezers, but my freezer simply does not have the space to store such.
P.s.: buy a honey refractometer, I got less than 17% moisture, but some say <18% is okay. But mine never came in with higher than 17%.
Have fun extracting!
Last edited by Biermann; 03-16-2018 at 10:56 AM. Reason: added P.s.:
Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum
Thanks Biermann for the quality information!
So do you take frames out of your hives and leave them short of a couple frames, say maybe take 4 frames out of a 9 frame hive leaving just 5 frames in there, for just two days, and then you put those wet frames back in there? You don't refill your hive with frames straight away, but leave it a couple frames short for two days?
My beehives are just far away from my home and it wouldn't be practical to drive to them to refill the honey supers. I'm looking to establish some hives closer to my place though so that I can do this. I figure I'll just put an extra super ontop of an established hive with the sticky frames in it, and have it on top of a queen excluder(I have some lying around doing nothing).
I have no set standard, it depends very much on when and how many frames with honey I have.
Last year, I added my first super in May and pulled six drawn frames on May 16th. Two other hives had died and I used partially filled frames from them to replace the full frames with. The next day I extracted and added the wet frames in the second super. On June 17th, I removed 10 frames but added drawn frames I have as spare. The next day I added the wet (extracted) frames to the third super. It is always good to have some spare drawn frames for exchange, I would not leave the space empty. I feel the wet frames also can keep a high population busy when they may think to swarm because of very high population.
I don't use queen excluders and let the queen go up if she feels to do so, if brood is in the supers, just move them to the side, out of the center and they will be clean next time around. The queen goes down when she has room in the bottom boxes again.
Hope this helps.
Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum
I agree with you there. Feeding any honey back to bees, from whatever source, by whatever means, is a big No! No! Too much risk of spreading disease, especially AFB, even it is not known to be present. Not worth it.
We are experiencing the worst drought ever in eastern Australia, and particularly here in the southern half of Queensland. Consequently the bees are only too eager to rob at the slightest opportunity. Different matter when there's a honey flow on, which there was last year - went from March right through Winter to Christmas - best ever! Now it's the complete opposite.
Now I am feeding some of the weaker hives that weren't able to gather sufficient stores before the Winter. But I do it with sugar syrup to each individual hive.
Which refractometer would you recommend? I am looking at purchasing one on Ebay, but there seems to be a wide range of types and prices.
Refractometers come in different scales. The one I purchased through a bee supply is 38°-43° baume, 58%-90% brix, and 12%- 27% water. It is made by ATC.
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.
I leave the extractor outside away from the hives for a day or 2 for the bees to clean it. After this I take a pressure washer to it.How do you guys clean your extractor
I put a filter on top a 5 gallon bucket under the honey gate on the extractor. It took a while for my honey to flow thru the filter this year due to about 13% water content, but it worked reasonably well.