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Greetings,
The discussions on going foundation-less are interesting to me, but was wondering if there is a method used that would allow for extracting, aside from cutting and crushing. Just in my second year and drawn comb is scarce, so crushing seems so wasteful at the moment.
Thanks ahead for any insight.
 

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I won;t know how well it's going to work until the fall, btu i have a few things I'm planning to try. I have some foudnationless frames that are totally empty, some that are "wired" with monofilament fishing line, and some that are "reinforced" with bamboo skewers. I'll be trying all three out in an 8-frame radial extractor that I made. It's a motor driven machine, but i have made it to accept a hand crank as well, so i can spin very slowly at first and slowly bring it up to speed. I have a few router control units laying about, but only had capacitor start motors on hand, so thats what i used in the build.

Another thing that I have though about is a wire mesh cage that can be fitted onto the frames for extracting, then removed after extraction. This seems so simple, that others have surely thought of it, but i have never seen any pictures of something similar, so I suppose there must be some reason this doesn't work well. perhaps others can comment on it in that regard.
 

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I don't use an extractor, but what I have observed in the bee hive is that the bees attach honey comb for honey storage on all four sides of the frame. They don't attach brood comb at the bottom and sometimes not at the sides. Since they attach honey storage comb all the way around and there is a midrib just like you were using foundation, there should be no reason not to use foundationless frames in an extractor. However, crush and strain is very easy, assures that you won't be using old comb full of residue (including pesticides brought in by the bees), and you can use a frame of honey for liquid honey, cut comb honey or chunk honey without all the special manipulations beekeepers do to accomplish the last two.
 

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but was wondering if there is a method used that would allow for extracting, aside from cutting and crushing.
I extract foundationless frames. No big deal. If the comb is heavy, I will spin one side partially out, reverse it, spin the other side, then finish the first side. Usually, I just spin the first side all the way out.

Shane
 

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So, it appears you only extract one or two frames at a time and not tangentially.

Oops, I meant to write radially, not tangentially. Thanks Rader.
 

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I have a homemade two frame extractor that I run on a drill. I had to line the face with chicken wire to keep the foundationless from blowing out.

As has been said if a frame is heavy I'll spin one side very slowly until it lightens up a little.
 

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Another thing that I have though about is a wire mesh cage that can be fitted onto the frames for extracting,
I believe (I haven't tried this) that if you made a "U" channel out of aluminum flashing and slid it onto the bottom bar it would support the comb at the bottom. The problem with a cage is that the comb can still waggle back and forth between the limits of the cage and break off at the top. A tangential extractor is better suited because you extract one side at a time so the comb gets forced up against the basket and stays there. This assumes you limit the speed.
 

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I run all foundationless and own the Maxant 3100-P extractor. I mostly do 6 at a time radially - just start slow and build speed. If the comb is attached at the bottom, I've had very few issues. For the frames that are not attached across the bottom, I do them tangentially so the comb is supported, then flip them to do the other side. Have I had a blow out or two? Yes, but they are few and far between (usually to frames I should have done tangentially to begin with).

PAHunter62
 

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I run all foundationless and own the Maxant 3100-P extractor. I mostly do 6 at a time radially - just start slow and build speed. If the comb is attached at the bottom, I've had very few issues. For the frames that are not attached across the bottom, I do them tangentially so the comb is supported, then flip them to do the other side. Have I had a blow out or two? Yes, but they are few and far between (usually to frames I should have done tangentially to begin with).

PAHunter62

What he said, except mine is the manual version and I just to tangential since I had less troubles with it.
 

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So, it appears you only extract one or two frames at a time and not tangentially.

Oops, I meant to write radially, not tangentially. Thanks Rader.
Our extractor is not a radial. We are considering a conversion kit that would make it a radial extractor.
 

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Maxant 20 frame extractor. No issues. All foundationless. I've had blowouts, but I usually know which ones are going to pop. Getting the spinner balanced is also important.
 

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I have a homemade two frame extractor that I run on a drill. I had to line the face with chicken wire to keep the foundationless from blowing out.

As has been said if a frame is heavy I'll spin one side very slowly until it lightens up a little.
Would love to know how you built this. This new hobby of mine is costing a pretty penny & I do not even have the bees yet! Thanks...if it is a secret family recipe, I respect that!
 

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Certainly not a secret. Being a poor boy I just copied a design I saw on the Internet and built it with junk I already had.

I can't post pics from an I pad. As a matter of fact I'll have to take the pics. I think if you google homemade honey extractors you'll see several that all follow the same basic design. If that don't work PM me your e mail address and I'll take some pics and send you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Greetings,
Thanks for all the information, I think I am going to try some this year, doesn't sound very complicated. A follow-up question for those of you who are extracting foundation-less. Are you using anything to support the comb such as skewers, wire or fishing line? Or is it just comb in the frames as the bees drawn it?
Thanks again.
 

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Greetings,
Thanks for all the information, I think I am going to try some this year, doesn't sound very complicated. A follow-up question for those of you who are extracting foundation-less. Are you using anything to support the comb such as skewers, wire or fishing line? Or is it just comb in the frames as the bees drawn it?
Thanks again.
In our honey supers, we run mostly medium frames. We do have a few shallows as well. We do not wire our medium or shallow frames.

For deep frames, I will wire them.

Shane
 

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I do wire most of my deep frames. It won't help with extracting though, the wire will cut right thru the comb. Until the bees attach it at the bottom and sides the wire makes it a lot more stabil during inspections.
Woody Roberts
 

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>The discussions on going foundation-less are interesting to me, but was wondering if there is a method used that would allow for extracting

I run all mediums. I don't wire them. I extract most all of them in a radial extractor with no issues. I start slow and work my way up. If it's new soft wax and make it into cut comb.
 
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