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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm harvesting honey this weekend, and had to scrape/tear the comb to get it to flow -- yep, I'm using the gravity method of "extraction".

That said ..... once the honey's [mostly] out of the comb, can I just put the frame back into a hive where it can be used for whatever? It's kinda messed up in certain areas, and the bees would have to do a lot to reconfigure the wax into usable cells. Some frames have plastic foundation, and others, all wax.

Any recommendations/advice/anecdotes? Thx for any input ......

Mitch
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Recommendation #1. Buy an inexpensive extractor!
Recommendation #2. If you dont want to buy one, borrow one.

Treat the combs like any other wet comb and place it in the super on top of the inner cover and under the top. The bees will clean them up and put the considerable amount of honey leftover in other comb. Store them using appropriate measures to prevent wax moth damage, and give them back to the bees next year to repair. They are pretty good at it after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Recommendation #1. Buy an inexpensive extractor!
Recommendation #2. If you dont want to buy one, borrow one.

Treat the combs like any other wet comb and place it in the super on top of the inner cover and under the top. The bees will clean them up and put the considerable amount of honey leftover in other comb. Store them using appropriate measures to prevent wax moth damage, and give them back to the bees next year to repair. They are pretty good at it after all.
Howdy, JW; OK -- I can borrow an extractor from the local association if I really wanna, or an assoc. pal would loan me hers. But .... after using one last month (borrowed, with the friend guiding me -- my 1st time), I sorta felt gravity was a less messy, less labor-intensive way to go. Not-to-mention, being able to avoid asking for favors. Re: buying 1 - nope; I'm practically living off the land as it is [personal economics being what they are].

What reasons would you have for not using gravity? Is it a matter of wasted/inaccessible honey? Takes too long? If time's the issue, I have plenty of it. My harvest this year is already lots more than I wanted personally (or can reasonably give away to people I know), so having a pint or 2 here or there going back to the bees ain' no thang.

I've never heard anybody say I should place the frame(s) between inner and outer covers. If I do that, should I place the frame horizontally atop the inner cover, or maybe prop it up at a slight angle? Would it matter? I'm thinking in terms of making sure all comb's easy for The Girls to reach.

Much obliged for the input ....

Mitch
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Mitch, you put the whole super up there with the frames hanging in it. The bees do not consider part of the hive because of the inner cover below. They essentially are having a private robbing party with their own honey.

To give you an idea why I think gravity is a poor way of getting the honey out, take an empty frame of drawn comb and fill both sides with water. Turn it upside down. Not much water comes out. While holding it upside down, give it a good shake. All the cells will dump. Surface tension holds the liquid back and shaking, like using an extractor, adds the necessary force to overcome it.
 

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If you are harvesting a few frames at a time there is a lot of cleanup involved with extraction.
You could go with thin surplus foundation or none at all in your honey supers. That way you could cut out however much you want. You wouldn't even have to strain it. If you only cut out a few chunks at a time the bees will quickly repair the damage. The larger chunk you cut out the greater the likelihood of them drawing some wonky comb, so you may need to check on them.
I put a thin slice of comb on a hot buttered biscuit and eat the wax, too. It is so thin it melts, you don't even notice the wax.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mitch, you put the whole super up there with the frames hanging in it. The bees do not consider part of the hive because of the inner cover below. They essentially are having a private robbing party with their own honey.

To give you an idea why I think gravity is a poor way of getting the honey out, take an empty frame of drawn comb and fill both sides with water. Turn it upside down. Not much water comes out. While holding it upside down, give it a good shake. All the cells will dump. Surface tension holds the liquid back and shaking, like using an extractor, adds the necessary force to overcome it.
OK JW; sounds reasonable. I only have 5 more medium frames to get the goods from, so .... next time. with greater #s of frames, I'll dredge up an extractor from somewhere. Thx much ....

Mitch
 
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