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Hey guys! So I'm a first year beekeeper so won't even have honey this year, but I keep coming across this term -- honey house-- which makes me think sooner or later I gotta figure out the space issue of where I'm gonna harvest.

The thing is, I keep my bees at my mom's place (she has a yard and garden and I don't) and while she likes having the hives there, I don't think she'll be so hot about me getting her garage or kitchen all messy. But I also don't think she'll feel great about me building any sort of permanent shed or whatever on her property.

Anyway, so I was wondering if there was any solution that's sort of temporary -- like, maybe a big tent or something that can be erected and then taken down and stored? Do any of y'all do something like that?

Or should I just lay down a bunch of sheets or something in mom's garage to help manage the mess? (I'm sorta picturing honey EVERYWHERE, but I'm not sure if I'm overestimating the potential mess.) And if I DO use her garage, do y'all have any suggestions of products that will clean up the wax/honey I might spill?

I have two hives and will be doing a crush/strain method of harvesting and also some cut comb honey.
 

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When we were doing crush and strain, we just just used the kitchen, and washed all the containers in the yard with a garden hose. If you use enough containers, and are careful, it's not much of a mess at all. We covered the counters with newspaper, and the little bit that spilled on the floor we tried to wipe it up immediately. We had two hives at the time too, so it wasn't much at all. Maybe 10 gallons total. I think you'll invite every bee within 3 miles of you trying to process and bottle outside.
 

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Our kitchen.

capped supers are pulled and set on the screened in back porch. supers are brought one at a time into the kitchen. Set on the table over large commercial "full sheet" pans. Uncapping tub sits next to it on the table. Pull a frame out, uncap it, walk it to the extractor sitting in the middle of the kitchen.

the empties are put back in the super and moved back to the back porch ontop of another full sheet pan. once all the supers are done the supers are put back on the hives the next day.
 

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2nd on cervus advice, be careful to do it somewhere local bees can't smelll or get to where you are.
I like a canvas drop cloth on the floor of my "honey house". Throw it into the wash when I'm done. Mine is a room converted to use only for honey work. I pull into my back yard and open the back window, put supers on low table inside.
When I had only a few hives I used the kitchen, no problem.
 

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Our kitchen.

Set on the table over large commercial "full sheet" pans. Uncapping tub sits next to it on the table. Pull a frame out, uncap it, walk it to the extractor sitting in the middle of the kitchen.

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I have those pans too, they are great!
 

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I use our kitchen, set up the extractor, leave it until we are done for the season.
 

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I've used my "mud room". I put a tarp down, and lots of news paper on top of the tarp, that way if honey drips, I can just crumple up that piece of paper and not track honey all over the place.
 

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My basement daylights to the outside with French doors. There is a second full kitchen there for canning, dinner parties art, homeschooling and honey. I set the extractor up there and put the supers on the island and off we go. I wash the extractor outside on the pavered patio. Then bring it in the door after it dries. Dies not take long on a hot day. I only bring up a super or two at a time spine them then trade frames out and bring up more.

I have heard of people buying a tent and setting it up in a garage to control the bees from getting to the supers and extractors. Just put a table, chair etc in the tent to work and when the season is over remove the paper or plastic floor cover you put down and fold tent back up.

They make tents that are all screen as well.
 

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I use my garage/shop/apt here in AZ
I converted the Apt into a wet room, sink benches with linoleum covering.

In Oregon it's a family thing we extract in the kitchen.
 

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I suggest at least three (3) wash clothes with fresh water buckets close at hand, but different places within grasp. The moment you sense stickiness, wash your fingers and any surfaces you know were touched, and more. Clean-up is rarely difficult if you maintain anti-sticky attitude, along with an organized process with limited need for movement from de-capping to extractor to bottling tank.
 

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This year we got a Coleman tent hex shape with insect screen. Set it up in the gravel with a tarp underneath. Had enough room for Maxant 20 frame extracxtor supers and uncapping inside. Lots of bee's outside but none inside. found it on Amazon about 160.00 straight sided hexagon shape plenty of head room.
 

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We used a small portable greenhouse (5x7) to keep the supers warm while we prepared the site for the days activities. It was a sunny day in the low 80s. The extractor and capping tank (a wash tub) were in a screen dining tent. It worked well for the 10 supers we had. As far as clean up, just water is all it takes. Helps to have a bucket partly filled with warm water and a hose took care of the rest.
 

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I just use my kitchen of coarse it's a big space. But if your worried about not doing it at your mom's place. Why not just take the supers home to harvest?
 

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Laundry room. Boxes and stuff is stored outside in a separate house.

We buy sheets of cardboard thay we place on the floor to reduce the mess.
Honey and wax is easy to remove but propolis is a pain. I have found rubbing alcohol is ok for cleaning up propolis and water for cleaning up honey.
 

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We use the back porch but it does have a screened pool enclosure. Make a mess and just have to hose it down. Also the benefit of jumping in the pool to cool off.
 

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It will be messy. If you are in the house, use plastic drop cloths and toss them. Warm, soapy water cleans up honey.
This is what I did. Get 1 or 2 cheap plastic drop cloths, set up in the kitchen. I had my uncapping tub on the kitchen island, and the extractor next too it. Brought in 1 super at a time, uncapped, extracted, then placed on a bottom board and taken back to the garage. rinse and repeat. once done, the extractor was wheeled outside (I put castors on my Maxant 3100), cleaned and left to dry. Came in, wadded the drop clothes up, and out to the dumpster. Went surprisingly well.
 
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