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Hello all, Is it just me or does anyone else find extracting tedious, I mean, I like to see the honey buckets filling up and I get a sense that I must be doing something right but I find the uncapping and spinning a real pain, the first few supers, great, but after half a day I've had enough.

I love keeping bees but the extraction is the worst part of beekeeping for me,

So guess what I have been doing all day!! Rant Over

Enzo
 

Ely 

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I did it for the first time last week. I quite enjoyed it and I loved the smell. It was on a course and I just had to lick my fingers when my turn was over.
 

ENZO 

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I do a bit was cut comb already as it's my favorite form of honey also this year I have started using Ross Rounds sections with mixed success, so far about 800lbs with a couple of supers left on each of the larger hives, I've got 4 hives on the coast where the heather/ling is so I hope to get some cut comb/sections from there later on.

Demand seems very high at the moment in Jersey due to winter loss well above average and for the first time, an AFB outbreak which has left the islands bees in short supply but the hives that are doing well are doing VERY well.

Enzo
 

Midland Beek 

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Hello all, Is it just me or does anyone else find extracting tedious, I mean, I like to see the honey buckets filling up and I get a sense that I must be doing something right but I find the uncapping and spinning a real pain, the first few supers, great, but after half a day I've had enough.
Been there. Now looking at alternatives to uncapping and spinning. I got better things to do with my life than mess around with honey.
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
care to mention what your possible alternatives are? could be benificial to others......

Been there. Now looking at alternatives to uncapping and spinning. I got better things to do with my life than mess around with honey.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I got better things to do with my life than mess around with honey.
Me too.

I have taken off the last of my honey, but put them to work drawing brood frames for next year and any frames that they do fill I use and rediistribute around the hives as stores.

I would rather sell 10 or so nucs than mess about with a few jars of honey.
 

Midland Beek 

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It's difficult, isn't it?

Cut out combs and crush, or cut out and melt. Both options would be a better idea if the beekeeper wanted the wax.
 

m100 

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The two biggest improvements I made to uncapping were to abandon the concept of the uncapping knife, using a uncapping fork instead and secondly to use a radial rather than tangential extractor, the latter are cheap and compact, but the time spent turning frames and loading and unloading... :banghead::banghead:

By getting rid of the uncapping knife I might occasionally end up with more uneven combs and they will need trimming eventually, but I don't need a tray to catch the masses of wax and honey that is chopped off.

The uncapping is done directly over the extractor. Make sure all cell cappings are broken and then extract, dump it straight into a bucket with a honey tap and then filter it later.

It was less than an hour start to finish to uncap two supers including removing them from the hive, setting up the kitchen, hand cranking the extractor, putting the supers back on the hive and clearing up.

I take longer than that to inspect half a dozen colonies.
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
It's difficult, isn't it?

Cut out combs and crush, or cut out and melt. Both options would be a better idea if the beekeeper wanted the wax.
sometimes you can't do anything except cut and melt, i noticed one frame in a super i inspected this evening has granulated, concerns I have regard overheating the honey, as has been mentioned in other threads.....

I suppose the use of an uncapping tray into a bucket, then the wax cap removed, cleaned of residue in the apiary, then its available for either beek use of the wax or sending to thornes for exchange.....?
 

beebreeder 

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Trouble is Jimbeekeper to make 10 nucs you need lots of bees and lots of bees make lots of honey, sorry the two go hand in hand.
kev
 

Rosti 

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The two biggest improvements I made to uncapping were to abandon the concept of the uncapping knife ....

By getting rid of the uncapping knife ....
By getting rid of the uncapping knife ...I know I have posted this in a previous thread, but it's relevant here I think. The pain and time is in uncapping not spinning. (I agree with the radial point as well m100)

Hot air gun, no mess, no wax fragments in your honey and if I say it takes 10 secs a side I may have done the method a diservice (depends whether you are fast and confident with your air gun set on 'high'). Wax just bubbles back to the cell side walls and collects there. Black & Decker Hot air gun (2 heat version not variable) was £12 I think.

Bottling is well, botttling and you can't speed that up easily without purpose built premises can you.
 

oliver90owner 

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dump it straight into a bucket with a honey tap and then filter it later.

Like you, I tend to scratch with the uncapping fork, but I always seive the honey as it goes into the bucket (to recover the cappings). Getting those cappings out takes time and patience as my large kitchen seive is only about 250mm diameter (nicely fits a 10l plastic bucket). I sometimes dump those honey laden) cappings in another bowl/bucket, to keep things moving along a little quicker, and seive them again after the bulk of the honey is extracted.

I would never send cappings wax to Thornes (I have never yet done a wax 'swap' anyway). They are too good a quality of wax for that!

Regards, RAB
 

admin 

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So you make candles o9o ?
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Trouble is Jimbeekeper to make 10 nucs you need lots of bees and lots of bees make lots of honey, sorry the two go hand in hand.
kev
Not when all the energy goes into drawing wax. and then nucs spilt, nucs gone, therefore as now my stocks are down by 200%, so I am not dealing with all them bees and honey.


Yes I still got off about 200lbs of honey, but nothing compared to if I had keep all the hives/nucs.


PS Dont tell the BBKA/media that I am down 200% they will declare the end of the world! I am actualy back to where I started this time last year, and at the start of this year. But then that is what beekeepers do? I am sure others are the same (i.e through spilts and re-combines)
 
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oliver90owner 

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Admin,

So you make candles o9o ?

No, not really. A few wax ornaments, could put a wick in some of them but they would make lousy candles.

I make a the odd 32mm candle for my wife's antique lace-making lamp (if that was its original use).

The cappings wax is super for making a wax moulding for my local BKA annual bee products competition (never done it yet, but it is so light in colour, and without any great hassle).

Wax polish - just the odd bit. Will treat hives with it too, I think.

A small amount goes for thread-coating of yarns by spinners, for sock making and other crafts.

I will have to market some shortly as the plastic bucketfulls will start to build up quickly unless I use a lot more than I am doing.

Regards, RAB
 

m100 

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People are asking themselves: Why piddle around with honey when nucs can fetch £130?
Because:

a) we missed the boat
b) the weather can soon turn and then you end up with weak colonies going into winter and no bees for next year
c) some bees such as late swarms captured the previous year and not fully evaluated are not the type where it is desirable to propagate their genes
d) we didn't have enough nuc boxes
e) our eyesight is so crap so we can't graft
f) after three really crap years the prospect of a good one was unexpected, hence a) above
 

OXFORDBEE 

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... our eyesight is so crap so we can't graft
Feel for you on that one. I've got double vision which gets worse when I get tired. It can make finding queens quickly that little bit more interesting and I've had to get a cupkit to make queen rearing viable(!)
 

m100 

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Like you, I tend to scratch with the uncapping fork, but I always seive the honey as it goes into the bucket (to recover the cappings).
So do I, but not simultaneously with extraction as I find the usual two stage sieves tend to get clogged with wax (made worse by my uncapping method but compared to a huge bucket of honey and wax sliced off by an uncapping knife its infinitely preferable)

I've recently acquired a very tall settling tank with a pair of much coarser two stage stainless filters that should be better in this regard, but I'd need to locate the extractor right up in the air to be able to dump it straight to the tank...or build a pump :D

Hence my current solution, a honey bucket with a tap, the extractor gets emptied in one operation and moved out of the room, nothing is unattended as the honey flows fast enough that you aren't tempted to wander off to do something else in the meantime.

Honey then gets filtered using a two stage (nylon) sieve in another separate operation. If I leave the honey for a few hours the majority of the wax is at the top of the bucket and with the tap being at the bottom the honey goes through the filters quickly and the filters don't get clogged.

I've made a stand to hold the rectangular tanks at a suitable angle so that they drain almost completely. It's nearly impossible to have a bucket overflowing because one bucket is the same size as the next.

All my cappings I will dump in an ashforth feeder with the separators removed giving the bees full access to clean off any honey, suitably cleaned they will be washed and then melted into blocks.
 

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