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Discussion Starter #1
Today, yes today it was my turn! took advantage of the nice warm day! All together from 2 hives, 25 mostly all capped frames, [new pierco deep]

I had a stainless tub, laying around for years and it became handy to fill it with frames, one by one after brushing the bees off. I had the tub in the back seat of the 86 Volkswagen jetta, [nice and warm]

The first hive went pretty smooth, the second, a totally different story, the bees attacked me as soon as I brushed them off, so what I had to do was, I walked around the shed, then into the shed to loose some bees, then put the frame into the car, but at the end it was almost unbearable. I took the bee suit off in the shed, [dark] some bees managed to get in and got me!
After about 5 minutes, I dashed out to the car and one got me there.

[When I put the suppers back at night, [It was too dark] some more got me!]

At home, my son and me, just barely dragged the tub into the house, Kitchen, and the mess began! I cut some capping, some I scrapped with the needle scrapper, I find, its just smearing the Capps all over. When I cut it, [ Bred Knife] sometimes the force of the cutting would gauge out too much honey.

All in all it worked and I have to say, for the small home honey business, the honey is earned every penny, I can see now, the honey is way tooo cheap out there!

Anyway,..... Did I do OK?

Something I like to ask, how do you clean the wax off the wire strainer?
Konrad
 

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Wow Konrad, I'm really interested to hear what the "experts" say because I'll be in the same boat as you at the end of the month! I think this will be a good thread for us newbees.

Mabe
Enchanted Forest Gardens-Native Plants
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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First you need the equipment to seal up the frames as you get the bees off so they can't get back on them. In other words a "drip board" (a solid bottom board with no exit) or a telescopic cover for the bottom and antelescopic cover on top. You have to keep the bees off of the combs as you get them off otherwise it's a hopeless undertaking.

One big unmanagable tub is not very useful. It's much easier to move a box at a time. Even eaiser to move one eight frame medium box at a time.


Never put wet supers back on in the dark. Wait for daylight.

I've never really found a good way to get the wax out of a double sieve. I've pretty much decided to just use nylon window screen in the bottom of my double buckets for a strainer. I can clean it a few times and when it's too clogged with wax I can throw it away.

There have been several threads on how to get wax off with ideas I haven't tried yet. One is to use vegatable oil to make the wax more liquid. Hot (as in 200 F or so) would disolve the wax pretty quickly I would think.
 

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Konrad, I took a wheelbarrel out to the hives with me with an empty deep (that's because my supers were deeps) and a large towel. I put the deep in the wheelbarrel covered by the towel. I would remove a frame at a time, brush off the bees, and place it quickly in the deep in the wheelbarrel and recover the towel. Repeat until full. Roll wheelbarrel off to where you are extracting. That way, the bees stay off (mostly) and you have avoided carrying all that weight around.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all!

It seems, we all learn by our mistakes!
I was actually reading about taking empty supper ....but figured, I will try this way first. There where only about 5 bees inside the 25 frames, it worked, but a bit too slow, I did plan for a different approach, I had my handy trailer with me, nice and low, I should have used it, that way, I wouldn't have to open the car door at every frame!

I think next time, I will do it differently, like taking the supper off and having it sit on the ground on its side a few hours, or over night....what do you think of that?
Someone told me about this method he is using.

I just find, taking the frames one by one and brushing the bees off is toooo intruding!

I also have to find a better way getting the wax off!
A friend of mine was giving me an Idea, when I told him the misery I had, he was thinking about something of a knife, [very old fashion] what was used to peal the bark off branches, or shaping wood, a pulling knife with two handles, I might try to fabricate one, slightly modified.[I used to love this tool when I was a Kid.]

That scratching was the shhits...way too much wax left on the comb! I sure don't know, why they keep selling rubbish like that!

I think, the comb can not be too warm for cutting Capps off with a knife??

Experts, please fill in!

Konrad
 

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Not really an expert but it sure is easier for me than what you did. I use the little bee excape that fits in the hole in the inner cover. Leave it overnight and the super is empty. By the way, if you leave the super off the hive over night make sure you get back to it the next day before flying time. Talk about a robbing frenzy.

I also use a hot plug in uncapping knife. It works great but remember I extract in a 95 degree room with the heater on. How many frames in a super? I don't see why you had problems.

Hawk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you Hawk!

Inner cover bee escape?
You have to lift the supper, for me 10 frame deep, to put under the supper...correct? if so, too much of a task!

Hot knife, people told me, it only works good when the comb is above the frame, [older frames]

Konrad
 

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A large knive with a serated edge works good for me. It needs to be serated to saw the caps off, heating is unnecssary. It works best where the comb is above the frame but still works well when it dosent. It takes some getting used to this way. The shape of the knife may be important, some tapering at the end. Mine cost $3 at big lots.

Maybe read about the fume boards, "bee quick" and the like and see if you want to try that next time. I wonder if your hot car got the honey smell really going? Maybe it was just the larger space for the smell to diffuse.
 

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Hi Konrad, your honey harvest story is interesting. We use an electric knife but if I did not have one I would use a regular large knife that I would heat in a pot with hot water or even put the pot on a hot plate and heat the water. Better yet, use two knives and alternate.
Take care and have fun.
 

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If you can't lift a super to place trhe escape below it, maybe you should try using smaller supers next year. If your knife for uncapping only works when the combs sticks out from the frame, maybe you should use only nine or eight frames per super.

Plenty of time to condsider changes.

Hawk
 

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Konrad...congrats on your harvest! I still only have about 30% of my honey super filled. It is a shallow super with new piercos. Not quite sure why my bees are taking this long. perhaps my Queen isn't the best? Anyway, maybe by the middle of september I will have enough in the super to do some extracting. Maybe I missed it, but how did you extract Konrad? Did you buy an extractor?

John
 

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<<knife, [very old fashion] what was used to peal the bark off branches, or shaping wood, a pulling knife with two handles>>

What you are describing is a drawknife - like these:
http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/search.exe?search=drawknife&go=2034

They are great for peeling bark, shaping wood, rounding sharp edges, etc. but I don't think they would be very effective for uncapping. They have a heavy blade - lots of surface to get sticky and hang up. And they are heavy. A light, thin-bladed, serrated knife would serve you better. It needs to be sharp, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all!

Is the hot knife, [electric] still usable, when the comb is below the frame?

>>If your knife for uncapping only works when
>>the combs sticks out from the frame, maybe, you should use only nine >or eight frames per super.

When you start on new foundation, I have learned here on the forum, that you should be using 10 frames.


I did use a nice German made Bread Knife, at times it worked great, at times it didn't?
I think the comb was too warm?

Thank you John!
nice to see you back here!
I think, I was fortunate, for a package to do this well, when you consider, starting on empty foundation and harvesting 100 lb of honey this early. We could have another 2 more good weeks to go?
Don't give up hope, I'm sure next year, with all drawn comb you are doing much better!

I was going to restore a very, very old extractor, but I just found out not long ago, that somebody here in Beaumont had one for sale, [he wanted to go into bees at one time] for a very good price, 2 frame, you can swing the frames to extract the other side, without taking it out, old too, but everything was kept in good shape and ready to go for $ 100.00 including 10 supers with frames, also good shape but need some comb replacement. It was stored for many years, I think, it was only used for 2 or 3 seasons

TX
Yes, that's the one!
I never knew they still exist..
I'm thinking of a modified version, like a Bread knife with two handles, I think you can do a nice "controlled" cut!
Konrad
 

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I pulled twenty mediums last weekend by pulling one frame at a time and brushing. Brutal work and you can really get the bees PO'ed with a brush!

You want a tip? Try this. Start with an empty box the size of your frames you are going to remove. I use old baking pans that are the right size for the box to set on and another for a lid. Or like Mike suggested top covers above and below. I also have a manipulation cloth that is very handy too for a cover.

Before you pull your first frame, spritz the bottom of your box and the top of your lid (or cloth) with Bee-Quick. Pull your first frame and shake hard to dislodge most of the bees. A good rap on the hive entrance will also dislodge most of them and they will go right back inside the entrance. I normally shake hard then start walking to the box located about fifteen feet away and brush the remaining bees off with a light flicking motion and put the frame into the box and cover quickly. The Bee-Quick will keep the area around the collection box fairly free of bees.

If you are going to use the scraper remember that it is for dislodging the caps. It is to damage or puncture the caps with a light scraping. The cap does not have to be completly removed for the honey to flow out in the extractor. I use a Hackler Honey Punch and a plastic pie server for uncaping my PC, no other tools are needed.

In the past I have used a knife and found that the thinner the blade the better. Keep it warm in a crock pot of water.

If your wax is not pressed into the screen, it will come off quickly with cold water from the hydrant. I take mine outside and hose them off from the underside of the filter.
 

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Konrad, you're right. for drawing out combs they need to be ten. But after they're drawn you can remove one. and yes the hot knife still works if the comb doesn't stick out. It works differently, but it works. Just use the front tip.

Reading your post I was thinking about the price for the extractor when you mentioned he's throwing in ten supers with frames. Great purchase. I need to find a few like that.

Did you say you got 100 pounds of honey from packages you hived this year?

Hawk
 

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Konrad...do you have any interest in selling that old extractor? I am restoring old farm implements right now for my own use on our farm...which is why you haven't seen me here for a while. An old extractor would be right up my alley! It sure doesn't need to be fancy for the amount of honey I will extract. Please let me know if you want to sell it or if you come across anymore small extractors. I need one. Thanks.

Robert...from what I am being told by established beekeepers around here it is not unusual to extract over 200 lbs per hive per year. If I had been on the ball with some drawn comb and/or placed my honey super earlier, I would have had quite a load of honey from my package too. Konrad seems to be doing very well though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you all!

Bill
Thank you for your great tips!

>>Did you say you got 100 pounds of honey from packages you hived this year?

Actually...we weighted again and it turned out 120 pounds, between the two hives.


John
A friend of mine said, I can have the extractor for some labor exchange, so this summer I went to see it and took home the internal guts only, like crank and frame basket, [holder], which is very rusted up and I was going to make it new with stainless steel, or having it plated again.
After I found the other, much better extractor, I told him, that I will bring it back because it wasn't worth for me to fix it up.
The drum is still at his place, but if you are still interested, I can talk to him, I'm sure, it should be very very cheap!...if not for free?
This up to him now, because I have told him already that I will bring it back. He told me, his dad used to extract with it, they bought is used many years ago for 100 $
I know, every little plating cost a fair amount, [same with fabricating new parts] I build a apple Juicer and had a old spindryer plated and it was over a hundred $. Sometimes, you really have to think, is it worth it to put money into something, while you still have a old and outdated piece of equipment and at the end
not happy with it!
Sometimes, it is better to wait and buy something better.
Konrad
 
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