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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hope to harvest 2 bars of foundationless Acer maple honey in the next week (not quite capped all the way). This will be my first honey harvest from my bees. With a top bar hive, I don't plan to have huge amounts to harvest all at once. Probably 2-4 bars at a time. I've watched you-tube videos on the actual process. But does anyone want to share their easiest, least messy way of doing this for just a couple of bars/frames?

I guess the one I like the best is to chop the honeycomb up in a bowl into very fine pieces and then load it into a 1/2 gallon mason jar that has a screen over the lid. Tip that up over another 1/2 gallon mason jar and let it drain into that one. Seems simple enough, until the top jar tips over... Has anyone tried this?
 

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I just did this myself a week ago.

Get a 5 gal bucket or 2 gal if you like. dump the comb in there, mash it up. Then get it warm (i had mine up to 85 degrees by sitting next to a space heater for the day) - it help it flow better. I poured it into a kitchen strainer (screen) with a Home Depot Paint strainer (for 5 gal bucket) under it. The screen catches the major wax, and the paint strainer catches a bit finer. It flowed real well.

I basically bottled it from the second pail after the one straining operation. I used a rubber spatula to get the honey off the sides so i wasn't wasting alot in the bucket. I left the wax to strain for another whole day and got several more ounces of honey out of it.

Easy Peasy!
 

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I did the jar to jar thing too...the wax formed a plug and kept the honey from flowing down.
 

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I tried the jar thing and had the clog thing happen too. I've upgraded to double 2 gallon bucket rig. My top bucket has a bunch of holes drilled in the bottom and it fits into the lower bucket's lid. I cut out the center of that lid to accept the bottom of a bucket. I crush a couple of combs at a time in a 9x13? Pyrex baking dish then pour/spatula into the top bucket which has a paint strainer bag in it. Each of my 18" bars yields about a quart, more if they're filled to the bottom or really fat. Therefore I'll harvest honey in stages no more than 6 bars at a time (from 2 hives).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the ideas. I bumped a bar of comb off the top of the hive this morning when I was releasing my queen, so I'm trying the sieve method over a measuring cup. I was hoping to avoid the mess in the paint strainer bag, but I think that's where I'm headed to next. This way seems really slow, unless I put it in a warm oven. I think this comb is probably capped syrup water anyway, so it's nothing lost if I mess it up. I really don't want to get into the big 5 gal bucket stuff. Maybe I'll check with the bakery to see if their frosting tubs come in 2 gal pails.
 

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Set in outside in the sun until it drains completely. That's what I do. Works quite well. Just remember to have everything sealed up good or it will be back in your hives. If you need smaller buckets try one of the wine supply places. They have any size you want.
 
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