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Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filters?

I have a handfull of frames with plastic foundation from which I would like to extract the honey. For this small number of frames it seems the crush and strain method is the obvious choice. My plan is to use the white plastic 5 gallon buckets and filters.

I see that filters that people use for C&S include the nylon cheesecloth available in the paint department at the hardware store, or the 200/400/600 micron plastic mesh filters or the 200/400/600 micron stainless steel filters available from the big bee equipment suppliers.

Can anyone comment on which ones work the best? How necessary is the fine 200 mesh filter? How durable are the plastic mesh filtes, generally?

TIA

--shinbone
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Shinbone, This is my third year as well and I have only used the crush and strain method. I used the paint filter the first year and bought nice filters after that. The ones I used are the plastic ones that fit on a bucket (HH-444 at Mann Lake). After two years of use I can barely tell it is not still new. It cleans up very easily. I have only used the 600 micron filter. However, you can really see the pollen suspended in the honey and it is not nearly as clear as what you would get in a store. If I was selling honey, I would use a finer filter. The friends and family that do get the honey from me appreciate that it is not totally clear but I don't think most consumers would want to buy it like that.
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

I crush from cutouts occasionally and sometimes have to filter m extracted honey. I used to paint strainer thing... didn't get everything I wanted out (a little smoker ash dang top entrances). I put it through a flour sack cotton dish towel, the white things you can buy at BB&B for drying dishes. Worked perfect. Took out the junk left the pollen. Nice and cheap =)
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Go with the 200/400/600 micron plastic mesh filters and 5 gal. bucket works great and will clean up easy and last for years.
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Shinbone, This is my third year as well and I have only used the crush and strain method. I used the paint filter the first year and bought nice filters after that. The ones I used are the plastic ones that fit on a bucket (HH-444 at Mann Lake). After two years of use I can barely tell it is not still new. It cleans up very easily. I have only used the 600 micron filter. However, you can really see the pollen suspended in the honey and it is not nearly as clear as what you would get in a store. If I was selling honey, I would use a finer filter. The friends and family that do get the honey from me appreciate that it is not totally clear but I don't think most consumers would want to buy it like that.
Keep in mind that the pollen in your honey is a GOOD thing that differentiates it from the stuff at the store. If you want to get all the pollen out and I don't know why you would, you'd have to filter down to like a 50 micron sieve with heat and pressure to get it thru. WHY would you do that to this marvelous product that the bees give us?

BTW I use the 200 micron sieve on my honey and it's crystal clear. No heat no pressure. The smallest pollen grains are 6 microns and the largest (wind pollenated and less likely to be in honey) is 90 to 100 microns, well below my 200 micron sieve.
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Shin, I'm just up the road from you. So far I've just used the crush and strain with the Home Depot paint bags. They work well and last for years. I just bought a second bucket and lids. I drilled holes in one bucket's bottom that holds my filter bag, then traced and cut a bottom of bucket sized hole in the lid to support the "strainer" bucket over the intact bucket. This way I can just place my filter bag into the strainer bucket and let it drain into the lower bucket overnight.
The next thing I want to add to the bottom bucket is the honey valve because pouring honey out of the bucket mixes in the surface bubbles back into the honey which takes a while to re float out of my jars.
Fabian
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

I have a handfull of frames with plastic foundation...

TIA

--shinbone
Shinbone asked about crush and strain, and filters, so everybody answered that question. Now I ask Shinbone, how do you crush plastic foundation?
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Shinbone asked about crush and strain, and filters, so everybody answered that question. Now I ask Shinbone, how do you crush plastic foundation?
take a spatula and scrape off the wax on one side and scrape off the other side. seems easy enough.
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Hammer....

I have used the cheese cloth. It is food grade, cheap, and replaceable. I like it because it seems cleaner.
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Several points:

People want "raw" honey. Raw honey has pollen. They want local raw honey to help with allergies. Don't remove all of the pollen. Paint strainer or 600 is good enough.

Comb is the most valuable assest that you can have as a beekeeper. The comb is more valuable than the bees. Comb saves time and energy for the bees during the nectar flow. You can alway checkerboard some foundation between the comb frames to double the amount of supers you have to produce honey. 50% will be filled and capped. The other 50% will be drawn out, filled and capped. If I get a swarm, cutout or even a package or nuc I am fairly content if they don't make it but give me comb. This comb can also be used to allow a swarm or package develop much more quickly as the queen can start laying eggs within a few days and the bees can stay ahead of her drawing out more comb.

I only crush cutout honey comb. I usally can save the brood comb and use it again in another hive if it dies out.

Surely, you can find someone near you or in your club that will extract your honey. I do it for some fellow beeks. I don't charge anything but I do keep the cappings to melt down for beeswax. Some local bee clubs have an extractor that can be rented for a small fee. We have one. I believe it's $25 or $30 but you get some of it back if the extractor is brought back clean.

Just food for thought....
 

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Re: Crush & strain-nylon cheesecloth, plastic mesh filter, stainless steel mesh filte

Surely, you can find someone near you or in your club that will extract your honey.
Ken -- Thanks for your reply. You make some good point. The issue is that I have only a handful of frames to extract. I belong to a bee club and have access to their 20 frame extractor. Problem is neither I nor anyone else wants to wants to committ to cleaning up an extractor for just 5 frames worth of honey.

I should also add, that my goal is to run all medium frames, and I am 90% of the way there with my 9 hives. These frames I want to extract are deeps, and will not go back into my hives. Drawn deep frames do have re-sale value over a deep frame with just foundation, but, again, not enough to make me want to have to clean up the club's extractor and related euipment.

For those who commented on mesh size and pollen size and the advantage of having pollen in the honey. I am in agreement. If the remaining debris are not too bad after filtering at 600 mesh, I will stop there.
 
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