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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for looking over my question.

Today I did my first harvest and extracted two Med frames of honey just to run through things, and all went well. But I do have a couple of quick questions.

First, I left the other six frames of honey in the Super for the bees, and replaced the two empty ones after I extracted the honey and they were still messy. I understand the bees will clean them up, but I want to make sure that I'm correct and I'm not creating a bug nightmare for the bees.

Also, I'm doing the "crush & strain" method of extraction. What I did was to scrape the comb off of the foundation into a stainless steel bucket and used a potato masher to turn it into a honey gruel of sorts, then I poured that through a two-layer stainless steel strainer that sits on top of a food grade bucket with a honey gate.

Can somebody give me the general rule of thumb as to how much honey drains out over what amount of time? I thought I read something about 90% or so drains out over the first three days or something, and waiting any longer is somewhat a waste of time.

Lastly, the honey is a bit foggy compared to some of the others I've seen and I'm guessing that's purely due to how it was filtered and nothing to do with the bees?



Thanks again,
b1rd
 

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I do not crush and strain but when I extract and the bits of wax are mixed in the honey, it will take about 1 day for the honey to drain from my strainer at room temperature. Stir the wax periodically to get a complete draining. The "foggy" honey is probably due to the introduction of air bubbles when you were mashing it. Give it some time and the bubbles will float to the surface where they can be scooped off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The "foggy" honey is probably due to the introduction of air bubbles when you were mashing it
Thanks for the reply and your answer saved me some shopping for a better filter. I just checked and the honey looks clear and delicious! Much better.

b1rd
 

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I usually let the wax sit in the strainer for a few days. I cover it with plastic wrap to keep the bugs away.

After this I melt the was in the oven at 170ish for a few hours, the wax melts and floats to the top, and the remaining honey is below. This is usually called bakers honey because it looses some flavor getting baked, but it works well for bread and other stuff.

The bees will clean up or refill the frames that you returned depending on the flow. As long as the hive is in decent shape (10+ frames of bees) you should not have any problems with bugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After this I melt the was in the oven at 170ish for a few hours, the wax melts and floats to the top, and the remaining honey is below. This is usually called bakers honey because it looses some flavor getting baked, but it works well for bread and other stuff.
Thanks. I was going to research what to do with the leftovers, which leads me to another quick question-

Rather than trying to get as much honey as possible, I'm fine leaving some for the bees, but I'm not exactly sure how to deliver it back to them. I have a couple of much smaller hives and one is very weak that could use some honey.

In the past, I put chunks of wax (from a cut out) on top of the inner cover to a very weak hive, and they really did not clean it up, and when I removed it a week or so later, I created a robbing situation where I had to close the hive up for a while, so I'm hesitant on putting more comb on top of the inner covers on any hives that are close to other hives.

I do have frame feeders, as well as top round feeder on order, so I'm wondering if I can just put the honey wax goo into that for a while and see if they'll clean it up from there? I know sugar water is cheaper, but I'll have more than enough honey for my needs, and plenty to give away as it is, and the health of the bees is more of a priority for me.


Thanks again,
b1rd
 

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Rather than trying to get as much honey as possible, I'm fine leaving some for the bees, but I'm not exactly sure how to deliver it back to them. I have a couple of much smaller hives and one is very weak that could use some honey.
I think the easiest way may be to dissolve the honey about 2:1 honey : water and put it in a feeder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think the easiest way may be to dissolve the honey about 2:1 honey : water and put it in a feeder.
Didn't even think about dissolving it, thanks.
 

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This was a bad idea:
used a potato masher to turn it into a honey gruel of sorts,
By doing so you lock too much honey in the residue and also make the draining slower.
This is where the slow draining comes in.

Instead, do the dicing of the comb with a knife or some sharp gizmo.

Anyways, set the draining into your car for a sunny day.
That will do good enough draining.

After that, place the sticky residue into an active hive (under the lid).
The residue should be spread as thinly as possible - few plastic meat trays work well (or similar stuff).
Check back in a day; turn over the residue if needed.
Soon enough the wax will be dry and ready for melting.
Bees will do excellent job cleaning, better than you.

If not concerned of the robbing - just spread the residue outside and will get the same affect.

Don't bother with dissolving and such - extra messy work for you (unless really bored and have time).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
By doing so you lock too much honey in the residue
Initially, I thought this might be why the honey looked a bit foggy, but thankfully it was just the bubbles.

I'll look into dicing it up for the next time. That does sound quicker, easier and less messy.

Thanks,
b1rd
 

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B1rd, this year I had a lot of cappings mixed with honey that I mashed up into the same type of gruel that you described. I let it sit for a day to drain in my incubator set at 100 degrees. The back of an SUV sitting in the sun would do an even better job. After that, I mixed the cappings wax with about 2 gallons of water and rendered all the wax. The remaining liquid contained a fair amount of honey and this solution was put into a feeder and given back to the bees. Somewhere on this site is a picture I posted of the bees have a grand time helping themselves to the treat. I have 20 hives and it took less than an hour for the entire two gallons to disappear from my back porch. Found the picture.
 

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