Is it important to heat frames before extraction?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    21

    Default Is it important to heat frames before extraction?

    I have a 12 frame honey spinning extractor. Usually, I go to my bees, and take honey frames back home with me, put the frames in a heating room, then put the warmed frames in the spinner. I then have sticky frames on hand at home.

    I want to take my 12 frame honey extractor with me, and set it up in a room next to the beehives. I won't have my heating room if I do this. The advantage is, I don't need to take the sticky frames back home with me, as soon as they're spinned, I can put them back in the beehive.

    I'm fine with potentially not extracting as much honey, because I'll be giving it all back to the bees anyway. I'm concerned though, is it possible for me to have lower quality honey by doing it this way? I ask because, I'm under the impression that different components of honey is more inclined to go hard and not spin out easier, whereas some components are more likely to become a liquid (fructose?) and are more likely to pour out.

    If it is important to heat the honey frames before extraction, could I make some sort of portable frame heater? I'm thinking of getting some bee boxs, a bottom and a lid, and stack them up with a heating light globe inside the boxs, perhaps attached to the lid. I could put the honey frames inside, and the light globe could heat it up. Could this be worth setting up?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,546

    Default

    Take the extractor to the bees. You'll be fine. No need to heat the frames. Just don't wait until cold weather.
    Honey does not separate into its component parts at room temperature.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,293

    Default Re: Is it important to heat frames before extraction?

    Hi Fuzz. I am a little unclear about "I'm fine with potentially not extracting as much honey, because I'll be giving it all back to the bees anyway". I assume you are not actually giving all the extracted honey back to the bees and by "all the honey" you mean the honey on the wet frames correct?
    How far away is your apiary from your home? If close enough, you could always set the wet frames outside and let them (or neighborhood bees) find them and clean them up. Sounds like a hassle to move a 12 frame extractor to the apiary, set up a room, deal with electric, the weather etc. I would also be very concerned about extracting right next to the apiary. You will have thousands of bees trying to get at the honey and potentially inviting robbing. Heating may not be necessary, but you get more honey faster. J

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Is it important to heat frames before extraction?

    What you are proposing is illegal where TheFuzz lives.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,267

    Default Re: Is it important to heat frames before extraction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brub58 View Post
    What you are proposing is illegal where TheFuzz lives.
    I assume you are referring to allowing the neighborhood bees to clean up the frames? Probably not a good idea here in the States or anywhere else either. Wet supers should be put back on your hives for cleanup. A few folks like to make sure they go back on the same hives. I have noticed that when putting the supers back on a hive, the comb is left in better shape than when they are left out and a robbing frenzy ensues.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,293

    Default Re: Is it important to heat frames before extraction?

    Not illegal here, but not the best practice for sure. OP didn't say how far the apiary is from his heating room, so it could be his bees or neighborhood bees cleaning the frames JW. I put my wet frames back on the hives but I am considering leaving them out because they keep filling them instead of cleaning them. This is in the fall during goldenrod. I tried an empty super underneath the wet frames, but that didn't help. J

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Is it important to heat frames before extraction?

    Fuzz, Solar heating? I assume no electrics but propane also? I heat a room to 80-90F and use a dehumidifier as I extract in cooler fall weather. It gets my frames really dry, so to speak.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,267

    Default Re: Is it important to heat frames before extraction?

    You mean those pesky bees keeping filling your supers with nectar? The horror of it all! I wish we had a fall flow so I did not have to feed so much.
    As far as heating though, my 9 frame extractor gets the frames pretty dry without additional heat. I typically extract between mid June and the 4th of July here in Richmond. OAT is 85-95, kitchen is about 75. Isn't it like 100F in Oz about now?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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