A couple of questions from my first proper end of season extraction.

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Martimart

House Bee
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
200
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171
Location
Derby
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
I took some spring honey, but not much, this was my first year of extracting 4 supers.

If I explain what I do any advice on it being better would be great.

Saturday evening I put porter bee escapes into the crown boards, moved the boards to above the QE. I taped up the airflow vents in the roof to stop robbing and other bees getting in and out.
On Sunday I Hive by Hive I removed the supers to about 5 meters from the hive, checked them frame by frame and brushed off any remaining bee's then placed them another 3 or 4 meters away into a wheelbarrow and under a cotton sheet. Supers found not to be ready for extracting I left near the hives. The hives after checking now have no supers on, QE off and Apivar strips on.

I guess everyone extracts the same, I have a budget Unimel 3 frame extractor, bought as a kit of everything you'd need from Thorne's. In their infinite wisdom the to go the bucket with the stainless steel sieve on his higher than the gate on the extractor which is bonkers.

The 2 problems I had is the sieve kept clogging up with capping's which I've kept in a separate bucket. What do I now do with these do you throw them away?

The other crazy thing with the unimel extractor is that the gate the that honey comes out of, sits about 2inches higher than the bottom of the extractor basin, so at the end to get all the honey out, you need to tip it forward.....one of my little ones fell over during this, I ran to get her, the extractor fell over. My extractor is now no longer round at the top... the cage inside won't spin as it now is not circular at the top, can this be fixed or is it a new extractor?

My last question, it took my forever the clean down the sieves, what method do you use.
 
I taped up the airflow vents in the roof to stop robbing and other bees getting in and out.
keep them taped up - they serve no purpose - same as the holes in the crown board, only open them for feeding or clearing.
In future you might think of investigating rhombus escapes or similar and consign the porters to the bin where they belong 😁
Supers found not to be ready for extracting I left near the hives.
what did you do with them then? put them back on the hives I hope?
the sieve kept clogging up with capping's which I've kept in a separate bucket. What do I now do with these do you throw them away?
You usually cut the cappings off into a separate container before putting the frames in the extractor.#
Afterwards you can clean the cappings and melt the wax down and use for a variety of things
My last question, it took my forever the clean down the sieves, what method do you use.
hosepipe set on jet
 
JBM has covered it, as an addition, you need to get something to stand the extractor on to let the honey strain into the settling tank. It is worth designing something that you can tip the extractor forwards to get the rest of the honey out ensuring that it doesn't tip over with the weight. I am afraid an extractor isn't an extractor if it won't spin!
You get what you pay for. Usually! The cappings can be placed in a rapid feeder without the cup over a feed hole in a crown board to let the bees suck them dry. I too am worried about where you have left you half filled frames! Get them back to the bees asap.
 
keep them taped up - they serve no purpose - same as the holes in the crown board, only open them for feeding or clearing.
In future you might think of investigating rhombus escapes or similar and consign the porters to the bin where they belong 😁

what did you do with them then? put them back on the hives I hope?

You usually cut the cappings off into a separate container before putting the frames in the extractor.#
Afterwards you can clean the cappings and melt the wax down and use for a variety of things

hosepipe set on jet

Thank You JMB,

So for next year I'll get the rhombus escapes.

The uncapped supers last year when they were few in number I put them under the brood box, I saw a video on YouTube by Simon the Beekeeper and he left his just open outside the hive, which is what I did this year.

I use a capping fork to scrape off the capping, I've got most of them in a small bucket. I can keep these sealed and feed them back in the rapid feeder as suggested by Enrico.

when your running your extractor into the sieve is your honey running out pretty clear already then?
 
I saw a video on YouTube by Simon the Beekeeper and he left his just open outside the hive
we discussed that here at the time - he was wrong - very wrong, and a real poor bit of 'advi e' to give to anyone.
when your running your extractor into the sieve is your honey running out pretty clear already then?
yes.
I use a double strainer, the first one is a coarse strainer which picks up the bigger fragment and does need cleaning every forty frames or so but it means there's only the finest stuff left to clog the second strainer.
 
we discussed that here at the time - he was wrong - very wrong, and a real poor bit of 'advi e' to give to anyone.

yes.
I use a double strainer, the first one is a coarse strainer which picks up the bigger fragment and does need cleaning every forty frames or so but it means there's only the finest stuff left to clog the second strainer.

I'll go back to doing what I thought was right in the first place which is spring honey, put 1 super back on and store them wet ready for the summer, and the august extraction nadir under the brood box for 3 days.
 
Thank You JMB,

So for next year I'll get the rhombus escapes.

The uncapped supers last year when they were few in number I put them under the brood box, I saw a video on YouTube by Simon the Beekeeper and he left his just open outside the hive, which is what I did this year.

I use a capping fork to scrape off the capping, I've got most of them in a small bucket. I can keep these sealed and feed them back in the rapid feeder as suggested by Enrico.

when your running your extractor into the sieve is your honey running out pretty clear already then?
As @jenkinsbrynmair above; I remember that STBK video and I think a lot of people who discussed it were quite shocked.
For what it's worth, here's some of my spring honey flowing out. You get some chunks of wax, but the sieve doesn't get blocked enough to stop the flow until a lot of frames have been emptied.
View attachment 20220525_095543.mp4
 
I use a metal sieve first into a 30lb bucket and then when that's through it goes through this filter into a bucket with a tap which holds about 60lb - probably more but I need to be able to lift it !! Try to keep the honey warm. These filters can be a bit slow as the honey level goes downnas there are always a few crystals which slows it down. I keep the crystal stuff for myself and collect it in bulk and then give a final long filteerr - amazing how much you can get out of it. I use a plywood square with a hole cut through it to suppot the cone.


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/204062509663?hash=item2f8312ca5f:g:deMAAOSwz~he6W70
 
capping fork to scrape off the capping
That works but the cappings are like grains of sand and clog any filter easily.

Slower method (but not by much) is to slide the fork under the cappings and flip them off. Work in rows and make sure to get every cell, otherwise the machine will wobble if too many capped cells try to empty.

Use only cold water to wash equipment, or melted wax will cover everything.

Nadiring empties in August is risky as wasps and robber bees will pick up on the smell.

More effective to wait until bees contract - maybe late September - and put them over a crownboard with a two-beespace hole.
 
As @jenkinsbrynmair above; I remember that STBK video and I think a lot of people who discussed it were quite shocked.
For what it's worth, here's some of my spring honey flowing out. You get some chunks of wax, but the sieve doesn't get blocked enough to stop the flow until a lot of frames have been emptied.
View attachment 33446
That’s brilliant as a visual of what it looks like thank you, mine has a bit more wax that that. I’ll cut off rather than use a capping fork next year.
 
That works but the cappings are like grains of sand and clog any filter easily.

Slower method (but not by much) is to slide the fork under the cappings and flip them off. Work in rows and make sure to get every cell, otherwise the machine will wobble if too many capped cells try to empty.

Use only cold water to wash equipment, or melted wax will cover everything.

Nadiring empties in August is risky as wasps and robber bees will pick up on the smell.

More effective to wait until bees contract - maybe late September - and put them over a crownboard with a two-beespace hole
 
Thank you Eric, sound advice.
 
You can try lying the extractor down with the pointy ends of its now elliptical shape upwards and gently pressing down on it even sitting on it.
The worst that can happen is the spot welding will crack but without doing something you're looking at a new one anyway.
It doesn't need to be perfect just enough to get the rotor turning freely
.It will then live to fight another day so you can save up for a decent one.
Just ask which one ,sit back and enjoy the punch up
Most of us construct a wheeled stand for the machine so we can sieve straight into big settling tanks.

Whatever you do don't chuck any wax- brood comb,honey cappings bracecomb whatever- save it freeze it store it

Segregate dark white and intermediate shades
Not sure I should be saying that in public any more.

By the time you've accumulated a big old box full you will know what to do with it.
 
If you can use a jigsaw or bandsaw to trim two stout pieces of timber to the original curvature of the drum, you could use a small scissor or bottle jack horizontally in between them as they are placed on the walls at opposite sides. With a bit of luck and care, you may get back to somewhere near the right shape. Sort of like this...the bracket is the timber, the dotted line the jack. (l ---- l)
 
I have MINIMAL cappings. And minimal filter blockages.
I use a hot air gun and - in the event of it not working well on cappings which are dark with no air gap , a pin adorned roller.

But I am a lazy beekeeper
 
I have MINIMAL cappings. And minimal filter blockages.
I use a hot air gun and - in the event of it not working well on cappings which are dark with no air gap , a pin adorned roller.

But I am a lazy beekeeper
I have taken to the hot air gun but after I let the cappings I immediately drag my uncapping folk across the top of the frame rather than the spike roller. It stops any wax reforming.
 
1. The 2 problems I had is the sieve kept clogging up with capping's which I've kept in a separate bucket. What do I now do with these do you throw them away?

2. My last question, it took my forever the clean down the sieves, what method do you use.
1. Cappings and the inevitable honey that comes off with them are valuable. Make one of these for next year so that you can drain the honey off as part of your crop (nothing wrong with it if you uncap above a decent stainless or food safe tray.

Use the same seive to wash the cappings. Then melt them down in a Bain Marie and cast them into blocks (plastic box with a bit of rainwater in the bottom). There's plenty of threads on here about what to do with wax.

2. Scrape the wax out as much as you can and add to the cappings to be processed - the small amount remaining... just wash with cold water and it will become crumbs of dry wax which can be added to the bain marie for processing.

https://www.thorne.co.uk/candlemaking/bain-marie-1-5kg.html
 

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After filtering, I put the my sticky filters, complete with wax and honey residues, back on top of the hive in an empty box above a crown board. By morning the filters are clean and dry and instead of sticky capping a you have beautiful dry flakes of wax ready for storage of melting. You do need to spread the capping out as evenly as possible, otherwise they can’t get to the honey in the middle.

Same with uncapping fork - just put it back in the hive for the bees to clean rather than washing precious honey away.
 
The 2 problems I had is the sieve kept clogging up with capping's which I've kept in a separate bucket. What do I now do with these do you throw them away?
I've found that the uncapping tool of choice impacts the amount of sieve clogging, an uncapping fork scrapes the surface but leaves a lot of the wax in place which then extracts with the honey, blocking the sieve. An uncapping knife removes most of the wax so doesn't block the sieve as quickly. Experiment and find what works for you, there are plenty of options.
As for the extractor, can the dent be pushed out? 🤔
 

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