"Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,070

    Default "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    I apologize in advance for asking about this because I know it has been discussed, but I can't find it.
    I am going to need to extract some honey from frames I have stored in the freezer and the way this "Spring" has been going, I expect it will be cool when I do it.
    I am looking for ideas for building a "hot box" to warm the frames prior to extraction. I have read where others have just stacked the supers with a light bulb inserted. I have also read about using a box fan for drying out uncapped honey. So I would like to try this. Couple of questions:
    Does the light bulb go at the top or bottom, or doesn't it matter?
    Use a regular old light bulb or something hotter like a floodlight or heat lamp? Maybe the heat lamp would be too much?
    If I remember correctly, place a box fan on top with the "hot box" raised up a bit to allow the air to escape. Correct?
    Right now, I may be short on enough supers so am thinking of making a box out of 2" foamboard and using some scrap wood to act as hangers for the frames.
    Any ideas are appreciated. J

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,786

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    Go on line and look for a thermostatically controlled power strip that will carry 1500 watts minimum. I paid under forty for such a couple years ago. A 100 watt light bulb in an old freezer or a closet sized space will warm up your boxes in a couple days. I would set it about ninety and I would have a fan circulating the air in the space to avoid individual supers being over heated.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    2,232

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    I have a clunky old base of a box-style bee vac. I stick a small hair dryer in the hose hole, and turn it on to the lowest temp setting. Fan and heat in one unit. stack up about 6 boxes on top and a lid with a feeder hole opening.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    I use a thermostatically controlled pair of light bulbs and existing equipment to warm honey when it crystalizes in the jars; specifically boxes with QEs as shelves and an inner cover. The medium box is empty except for a small cookie sheet that helps defuse the heat and protect the lightbulbs if any spillage would occur. If you're only looking to warm a few supers you could modify this set up. The brains is an STC-1000 temperature controller frequently use by brewers, something like $15 on Amazon. The link provides instructions for assembling the best looking "thermostat package" I've found.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrdOpk10MkE

    Honey Warmer Front.jpgHoney Warmer lid w controller.jpg
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,833

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    The STC-1000 units are great little devices. Here is my version ...

    STC_IMG_20180413_085220997.jpg STC_IMG_20180413_085524831.jpg
    I made this version in two separate sections to make it more flexible. The controller plugs into a wall socket, and the 'heater' plugs into the controller.

    As shown, I have a "night light" also plugged into one of the outlets to provide a visual indicator when the (hidden) heater is getting power. (I wrapped some electrical tape aroung the night light "sensor" so that the night light always thinks its night-time. The nightlight now light up whenever the heat bulbs get power.

    The STC-1000 comes with a wired "remote" temperature sensor. I cut the sensor wire and added a male-female plug pair so that the sensor tip could be attached to the heater section, and the other end attached to the controller end, and still have the heater separate (when desired) from the controller.

    Also, those "bulbs" are ceramic infra-red heaters with their base the same as a regular old lightbulb. All those components are easily found on Ebay, although the mounting boxes came from Lowes.

    I used a "decora" style receptacle cover plate, but I had to customize the opening to get the STC-1000 to fit. In hindsight, using a different mounting box might have been less work.

    I find the heater assembly very useful. I often use it to turn my regular oven into a bread dough 'rising box' as the normal oven controller won't go low enough in temperature to rise bread dough, and the built-in oven 'light' itself doesn't put out enough heat to rise bread efficiently.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    What about an electric blanket wrapped around a large rubbermaid, wrap that with reflectix... The blankets are cheap and adjustable and would think plenty hot.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    Thank you for your ideas. Love the creativity of minds on this site. My wheels are turning thanks to your ideas. I will let you know what I come up with, but it will be a slap together/cheapo thing I am sure. J

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    816

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    I have a dadant 20 frame extractor, I replaced half the top with thin wood and added a hole for a compact ceramic heater, I turn it on low and let it warm the frames and the stainless steel of the extractor.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    Hmmmm. Two birds, one stone. I like it but my extractor isnt that big. J

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,494

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    I use my sauna to extract honey (crush/strain).
    Just setting it to appropriate temperature (90-95F) for few hours.
    The same as pre-warming frames for traditional spin extraction.

    Two birds; one stone.
    Sauna smells great after honey extraction session too.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ardnamurchan and Fife, Scotland
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: "Hot Box" Ideas For Warming Frames Pre-extraction

    I built a honey warming cabinet that was the right dimensions to stack side-by-side supers on top. When I want to extract I simply stack 'em up, cover them with some bubblewrap insulation and leave them warming for 24-48 hours. You can get 10-12 on at once. Works very well.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

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