extracting honey from 10-frame supers
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Upperco, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default extracting honey from 10-frame supers

    I set up my honey supers with 9 frame spacing, always have. Do to all sorts of catastrophes late last year, I had a 10 frame medium brood box that was so full of half-capped nectar that I set it above the queen excluder. I have tried several methods of uncapping these 10 frame supers when I have the misfortune to remove some and nothing seems to work clean. When you have capped honey in 10-frame supers, how do you uncap them? Using a knife isn't as productive since there is little capping above the frame edge. Thanks

    I came close to giving up beekeeping last year. The landowner where I keep my hives sold a tract of land where the bees were and I had two weeks to move them in late June. 2 were preparing to swarm and one seemed to be in superseding process. I moved them 200 yards away! I did not have the time to inspect weekly and requeen after the move. Between that debacle setting up weak hives, and the harshest winter temps in years, I lost 4 of 6 hives. After 10 years, I'm used to losing 1 or maybe 2 in a horrible winter but this was bad. " move hives less than 3 feet or more than 3 miles" The warning may not be critical with winter moves but from this experience, a 200 yard move in June can be difficult to manage unless you make time to inspect weekly afterward. Somehow in the process I also ended up with a nasty hive--the most aggressive I've seen. But they seem to be bullet proof.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,172

    Default Re: extracting honey from 10-frame supers

    I run 10 frame supers and I usually (but not always) get enough cappings over the edge to run the hot knife across the tops. When I don't, I usually have just enough over the edge of the bottom bar even if the cappings don't rise above the top bar. When that happens, I run the hot knife from bottom to top, stopping when the knife edge hits the top bar. That will get most of the comb uncapped. In cases where the comb is sunken I usually punch or scratch the cappings before extracting. You get a little more wax in the strainer but you get the honey. I don't have a planer but wonder whether that would work in this situation.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: extracting honey from 10-frame supers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ode1891 View Post
    When you have capped honey in 10-frame supers, how do you uncap them?
    I use a heat gun. The cappings fly right off most of the time.
    The question is what to do, and the answer, as always, is complicated by a muddle of reason, emotion, and doubt.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    674

    Default Re: extracting honey from 10-frame supers

    rake the low areas with a fork then extract. Set them out for the bees to clean before putting them back in a hive or they will fill them with honey again.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,600

    Default Re: extracting honey from 10-frame supers

    I used an uncapping fork last year. Slow, but it got the job done. This year I am going to use the spikey roller thing to uncap. I don't have a lot of frames to do so the hands on approach won't be too bad. Next year, the Simple Harmony uncapper.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Upperco, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: extracting honey from 10-frame supers

    The fork thing comes in handy getting at corners, but the roller spiked tool and the fork leave tons of cappings that clog even the course strainer. I guess I just deal with the mess. Every now and again I pull capped frames in 10 frame brood medium boxes, if they are obvious under the honey super and swap them out with empty built-out extracted frames. While the extractor is set up, I go over to the hives while the strainers are doing their thing. Its usually worth an extractor load of medium capped honey frames.

    I guess I should have mentioned that our tool of preference is an electric hot knife. Great on 9 frame supers.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: extracting honey from 10-frame supers

    For a few supers worth of honey, I had a great outcome last year with a capping fork. The one I used was round small-diameter rods mounted in plastic and pointed on the ends. (Looked a lot like a dog comb.) I used it as a "cappings lifter" rather than as a "cappings scratcher." Push the points under the cappings, and lift them off. The honey came extremely cleanly out of the comb in the extractor, and when allowed to settle for a couple of days ended up crystal clear with only a few pounds of honey draining out of the cappings. Then I melted them in a bag in a double-boiler to separate the wax from the final honey. All in all, a great experience. Not a lot of honey....60# in my at-home operation and another 20# at a friend's in cotton country later in the fall. But crystal-clear both times with only settling and no filtering.

    And all from 10-frame setups, a mix of mediums/deeps, with 10 frames per box. Hope this helps.

    Michael
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

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