Roller type uncapping punches - any good?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Baltimore County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    88

    Question Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    I need to uncap and extract some honey from my brood chambers this spring to open up space for brood. I'm thinking that using an uncapping punch would do less damage to the comb than cutting the cappings off with a knife. The plan is to extract and place the frames directly back into the hive.

    Like this:Uncapping Punch

    Using an uncapping punch seems to be a far better approach. If this were the case everyone would just be using these instead of dealing with all of the other uncapping equipment (hot knives, uncapping tanks, etc.). I'm figuring that there must be some problems when using these.

    Why would I not want to uncap using one of these? What are the problems with them?

    TIA
    Glen

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,494

    Default Re: Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    I bought that exact item. The first time worked very well when the honey frames and the extracting area were quite hot. The next time with everything a bit cooler was a no go. The spikes picked up wax and plugged themselves despite repeated dipping in very hot water. On frames with low spots or in the corners you still have to use uncapping fork or you will leave uncapped cells. Their honey will crystallize and not extract next year either.
    Frank

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chicago, ILL. USA
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    Everything crofter said plus the first time I used the roller I was mislead by it's results. The roller punctures the cappings and I was looking for open cells ( based on experience of uncapping with a knife/scratcher ) and I would roll over the same area a few times to enlarge the punctures. I caught on after a few frames were extracted that there's no need to roll multiple times over the same area of comb. In the end it worked but I consider the roller to be an addition to the extracting tools, and not a replacement for any.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    5,015

    Default Re: Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    I use one and it does a much better job than an uncapping fork, but it is still work. The tines do pick up wax so it is a pain to clean when done, but probably not any worse than the Simple Harmony Farms uncapper I plan to buy later this year. The uncapping roller leaves the comb in good shape so the bees do not have a lot of repair to do. The downside of that is you won't be harvesting a lot of beeswax.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,475

    Default Re: Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    Our bee club used one for a demo. I was not impressed. Fat combs and a good knife works well
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    I bought this exact roller last fall and tried it out during my fall extraction. Thought it would be a great tool for extracting honey from brood combs. Usually they are a real chore to uncap with a hot knife due to the shallow depth of the cells and this looked like it might be a lot easier for those low areas than using a fork. The idea of a lot less cappings honey to deal with also sounded attractive.

    Not sure if I'll use it again, as I experienced all of the same issues described above. The temperatures were low when I extracted in the fall, so I might give it one more shot during hot weather and see if it works any better.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,494

    Default Re: Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    You will have a lower over all volume of capping wax with the woodpecker roller but it puts a lot of fine wax particles in the extracted honey. If you are using fine tray type filters they will plug quickly.
    Frank

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    5,015

    Default Re: Roller type uncapping punches - any good?

    Frank, that is good to know. I only did three supers last year so did not have a lot of clogging. Hate to think what 20 supers would do to the filter screen. SHF slit uncapper, can't wait.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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