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Hi All:
I was wondering if anyone has DIY instructions for crush and strain - and where I can buy the parts from. I know the main part is the 5 gallon buckets I can get from home depot but what other supplies/tools would I need. I just have a few hives and didn't want to spend a lot of money. Thanks in advance!
 

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The only things that you will need are three buckets, two lids for the buckets, a 5 gallon paint strainer mesh that I bought at Lowes, a potato masher and a honey gate for the bottom bucket. Take one lid and cut out the middle but leave enough as a shelf for the second bucket to sit on. Then take your second bucket and drill holes in the bottom but keep them more toward the center. Now take this bucket and put it on top of your first bucket with the honey gate and with the lid cut into a shelf. Put your paint strainer into the second bucket . I use an inverted plastic colander to give more surface area for draining. Use your third bucket to crush the honey comb with your potato masher. And if none of this makes sense just look up on You Tube crush and strain.
 

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I see the Lowes near me has the food grade 5 gal. buckets for $4 each. I thought they were more expensive than that, so good.

So are potato mashers the best thing to crush with?
 

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Thanks all.....does anyone know if Home Depot or Lowes sells the gate valves that you can use?
 

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Not the valve you see in beekeeping supplies. I imagine they have something you could rig but don't think it would be considered food grade if that matters....
 

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Do you really need a gate valve? Or can you just pour it into a funnel somehow?
You do not need a gate valve, but it makes things easier. You could ladle it in with a ladle and a canning funnel as long as you skimmed the junk off the top first, if your filter missed anything.
 

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Sally if your honey is on wired foundation you can simple scrap the honey with the right angled end of the hive tool down close to the foundation. Do a little at a time to see what I mean. Hang the frames over a bin and let it all drip down. Let the honey in the bin stand for a day or so and then skim the top surface. Now slowly pour the honey in jars. The only honey that needs straining is the skimming.

Skimming is easier if the container is full so if you use pots and pans of different sizes you can achieve this. When you are ready to skim clear a small area so you can drop glass marbles into the pan enough to from a meniscus. Then just scrap it off with a steel blade that will span the pot.

Some people might make mead from the skimmings and bottom of the pots with the marbles. Straining is much easier when you add water.
 

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My introduction to honey harvesting was the crush and strain method. I showed up after the honey had been removed to find these folks equipped with large pans,a knife, and several new pairs of panty hose. As I recall about as low dollar as could be.

Cut the comb out,insert it into the panty hose,and begin squeezing. Once you've done this for awhile the value of an extractor becomes crystal clear.
 

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If you are going to ladle from the top and want to get the layer of gunk of the top use a sheet of plastic wrap. The stuff sticks to it and you will get just about all of it.
 

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I started with plastic foundation. I scraped the comb of with a plasti spatula into a roasting pan. Mashed it up with a potato masher and strained thru a colander into another pan. Poured it into jars.

When I started using foundationless I cut the comb out leaving a couple cells where it attached to the frame. Processed as above.
This is fine with one hive, maybe two. I eventually had to go with the two bucket method. I did and still use a piece of window screen as my first filter. Often my only filter.
I've since built a homemade two frame extractor that lets me extract deep foundationless frames.
 

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Wolfer,

Did you design your home-made extractor or did you follow a design from someone else? I'm a "make-it-your-self" kind of guy and would like to make an extractor over the coming winter. I'm currently looking for a good, but inexpensive, design to make that will work for a small number of hives.

Thanks
 

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You can get a Honey Gate Valve from Maxant.Phone: (978) 772-0576 • (978) 772-BEES (2337) Less than ten dollars (2 years ago) and worth it ! A honey gate valve is different from a gate valve for plumbing. It is designed for controlling honey flow.
 

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I tried rigging a valve from "the depot". Could not make it not leak. Bought a honey-gate from Mann Lake for very cheap at the NC Beek meeting. Works great.
 
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