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Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
Nov 10, 2008
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Maesteg South Wales
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Does anyone use them?
Can you reccomend one as the prices vary a hell of a lot. :cheers2:
I bought a Refractometer from Hong Kong and it cost me all in £20.00.
The same are sold by a reputable company at £60 plus.

I think the link is on E-Bay somewhere.

I would recommend them as to have piece of mind regarding the water content of your honey.

could you post a link to the one you bought as there are different % quoted and i dont know which is suitable. :cheers2:
Got mine on ebay from Hong Kong £12.50 (including postage) about 2 years ago.

Very useful wouldn't spend £60 as most of them seem to be in this country.

If they are coming into the country from outside the EU you may well have to pay the customer and exercise mob import duty and VAT and the post office about 8 quid to collect the due amount. Depends on value (including the postage). It used to be about 25USD limit. Don't know what that happens to be nowadays. I recently got clobbered for an extra 120 quid for an item recently. I thought I had been overcharged by a relatively small amount, so I politely asked customs to look at it again. Got a very nice surprise when the reply eventually came back - the best part of ninety pounds! Probably the age of the item made a difference, I don't know. I was over the moon as it made the item sooo much cheaper.

Sometimes the items are allowed through without any extras - a busy day or a happy customs person, so you can be lucky and not have to pay the extra, but just don't bank on it unless the total cost is below the allowable limit.

Regards, RAB
Thanks for the link bcrazy :cheers2:

Just bought one
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It can also depend how the seller marks the item on the green customs declaration. If you're lucky they'll mark it as a gift and no customs to be paid, at least that's what I've found. Whether it would still be the same for an expensive item, I don't know.

MMM forgot to get the calibration oil. Can i use anything else? if so what and what reading should it be?
MMM forgot to get the calibration oil. Can i use anything else? if so what and what reading should it be?

Olive oil

The zero you can check with distilled water, for a specific scale reading you can use olive oil. I checked mine when it was new against what I predicted it should read and it was spot on.

says virgin olive oil has a refractive index of 1.4677–1.4705

Shows that a refractive index of 1.4680 -1.470 should read 71.0 -71.8 Brix

Given the scale on my refractometer is marked every 0.5 Brix I took my reference point for olive oil as being 71.5 Brix or or 26.5% water
I was told by a very experienced bee keeper not to get involved with the refractometers sold on ebay as they are only good for jam and if I wanted one for the honey then I will be expecting to pay £200+ as the tolerances of ripe honey and unripe honey are quite close so the tool has to be precise. I tend to leave it to the bees the best way to test the ones on ebay is test unsealed and then sealed honey sorry if I have upset people who have bought them from ebay but its what I was told
Tom Bick never believe everything you are told :cheers2:

Many people have bought them off e-bay just because they are not £200+ doesnt mean they dont work.

Thanks for the info m100
I hate to upset you Tom,if you paid £200 for one,i bought one off e bay,and its spot on.
I stand to be corrected I have not got one myself and still prefer to rely on the bees they seem to be quite good at it in my book
Without appearing to be thick, what does the device do?!



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