Alternative extraction methods- Honey presses, etc

I have some hives at an apiary in the hills and I used all foundationless frames in the honey supers (jeff: I used wired foundation for my brood boxes :wink: ) . This has worked out very well_ I inspected a few days ago and my supers are all full of the most superb beautiful snow white (dry capped) virgin honeycomb. I plan to harvest it in the next week or two.

The plan is to harvest quite a bit as cut comb- but there is a little bit of cross combing- and some uneven sections- and I want to extract the honey from these bits. I have a honey spinner but these combs are going to be very delicate and I have a feeling they will bow and break in the spinner- plus I want to cut out most of it- so I am looking into alternate ways of extracting the honey from the parts that don’t end up as cut comb.

I am thinking of using a honey press- (or a grape press they are a bit cheaper). I am wondering if anyone has any experience using these and how well they have gone with it?

failing that- does anyone have any suggestions about simple extraction methods to separate the honey from the wax?

lastly: if anyone in Adelaide reads this and they have a press- I would love to borrow/rent for honey it.

Hey Jack,
Many beekeeping clubs have small presses these days to loan out to members with Warre’ hives. For those chunks of honey (and I get a fair bit in the lids from time to time) they go into decorative jars as ‘Chunk Honey’ and fly off the shelves (so to speak).

thanks Rodderick, I know our bee society has a spinner you can use- but I don’t think they have a press. I will check. Last meeting they demonstrated a top bar hive and have just installed one at the club apiary so maybe they will consider buying a press.

yes- I have also been making some chunk honey and will do again- but I would like to give some plain clear honey to the people who’s farm my hives are on- I think that’s what they would most like. otherwise I am happy to just go with cut comb and chunk honey: so easy and so good!

Crush and strain? I have a set for it, but you can do it with simple kitchen equipment. Put a colander over a large bowl. Put the comb into the colander. Mash it to bits with a potato masher. Let the honey drain out for a day or three. Pour the honey through a fine sieve into another bowl/jug/jar. Done.

I have a double bucket system, pretty similar to this guy, except my buckets are 3.5 gallons, coz I am just a girlie. Five gallons of honey is pretty heavy for me. :blush:

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Interesting as I got my first order for comb honey yesterday, I only seem to sell clear liquid honey in this part of the city. Lucky I have a couple of honeycomb frames ready to go… I haven’t managed to get around to eating honeycomb as yet… can’t get my head around the “chew & spit” … :anguished: its a bit tragic!

You will make Rusty Burlew cry! :smile: Spitting not required!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Comb honey with instructions attached - Honey Bee Suite

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Yep… sorry Dawn, its just not me… a drizzle over ice cream and creamed honey on a nice blue cheese or camembert is more my style… hehe! … :nerd_face:

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I generally agree with you, but when the comb is very fine (i.e. foundationless), it is very good on a thick piece of toast with some good cheese. :blush:

I think our Flow hives actually give us the complexity of comb honey flavor, without the wax. I will be interested to compare it directly this year with my traditional frames of honey, if we get a harvest. :thinking:

hello there,

yes- as dawn says- just eat the wax! I came up with my own theory: that eating wax cleanses the body- as the wax ‘draws’ toxins out of the body through an osmosis like arrangement. I have absolutely no data, research or evidence of any kind that it is true: **but I believe it! ** The more I believe it the more it will work (placebo affect). If you say it doesn’t work I will say: FAKE NEWS. SAD. :wink: My brother really took to my theory and now eats comb honey in his cereal every day- and has decided he prefers it to plain honey. Last time he harvested it was only comb honey. He sent me these picture- with the text, “Now that’s what I call an extractor”:

I can also reccomend using it on toast- and with cheese- but with cheese I reccomend you try and find the stinkiest strongest one you can- as the honey is so sweat- you want soemthing really potent to complement it with a nice contrast. Gorgonzola would be a good choice.

@Dawn_SD thanks for those links- I’ve seen similar methods before- but I want something that maybe I can do relatively quickly and possibly on site. I don’t want to have to leave it to drain for days. A few months ago I harvested soem honey by putting the cut comb in a large mesh bag and manually squeezing/squashing it with my hands. It worked quite well- but afterwards there was a reaosnable amount of honey left in the wax and it took forever to drip out. Even after a few days there was still quite a bit of honey in the wax.


Time for me to chime in, as we’ve been eating cutcomb honey for 12years (on our peanut butter toast every morning). It is SO delicious.

Jack, we also do crush and strain on occasion- this weekend actually- as we like to have a jar of liquid honey available for tea and cooking. We use a potato masher, a silver mixing bowl, and a 600 micron (coarse) strainer. The white bucket set we use came with three filters, coarse, medium, and fine.

We get 1.5 liters of honey from 2 medium frames, and it’s easier to use the mixing bowl for small batches. That’s enough to keep us going for quite a while. Today’s batch is late summer herbal and loaded with pollen. It smells amazing.

If we were planing to crush more, we would use the white bucket to drain into as it comes with a lid and a spigot. Ideal for on site, I think.

That is beautiful comb honey you’ve got there! Yum :yum:

Here’s a few photos for you:


Hi Jack, I have a potato ricer. I’ve been using that to press the jellybush honey out of the comb.

With your woodworking skills, I’m sure you could make up a wooden honey press. I’m thinking of making one myself. I spent some time on the net yesterday looking at designs I could copy.

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my woodworking seems better than it actually is- it was more down to the laser cutting… and my genius design :wink: I couldn’t help myself and ended up grabbing this:

hopefully it works out :wink: I plan to use it at my friends orchard- so it can double as a cider press. I figure it will also be good for dealing with cappings. My main worry is that the outlet tube will get blocked with wax- I may have to get a friend to weld up a larger one… Anyhow we’ll see how it goes.

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Well done Jack, I think it will work out like a beauty. I don’t think that anything that fits through the cage will block the outlet. Also it looks plenty strong enough.

The cost of postage to my post code is nearly as dear as the item.

actually- the seller amended the ship cost to just $30 to SA. I called on the number that’s listed on the ebay ad before I paid for it. I think if you wanted one he’d do the same for you- maybe even less as I think your maybe closer? It;s a bit of an ugly bit of kit- there are some much nicer looking italian ones- but they cost twice as much and have turn handles for the pressing- I think the pneumatic jack might actually make it a lot easier and quicker. It’s got 3 tonne of pressure potentially! I looked aorund and this was by far the cheapest I saw that could handle a reasonable amount per pressing.

can’t wait to get it to that orchard.

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Hi Jack - can you please post again once you have tried it? I am looking for one to use on crushed olives to get the oil out ( the pit will already be crushed), so I would be interested if you think it might work for that purpose. Thanks.

sure- but it looks like that guy has sold a few just today- there’s only one left I think now? he’ll probably order more in but who can say- I looked around a bit and for this capacity this was by far the best deal I have seen. I hope that isn’t because it’s woefully made. It looks to be pretty robust though… By the looks of it it should handle your task well- especially if the olive pit is already squished. I have an olive tree in my yard in full fruit just now: what do you use for the initial squashing stage? Maybe I can make olive oil with this thing too?

suddenly I am looking around for things to crush!

-thanks…something like this… just warning, we haven’t ordered it yet, so I can’t say if it works…I believe it will make a paste ok, but not sure regarding the oil being removed in the process, hence perhaps the need for a press. It is complicated as apparently there needs also to be a malaxation process as well. :worried:

it mentions that it can handle ‘dehydrated olives’ but not fresh ones? I wonder if I could get some olive oil just by squishing in my press? One thing at a time- honey first- cider second- maybe olives after that…

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thanks for pointing that out…hadn’t noticed.

Guess if olives aren’t dehydrated, you can only get a water/oil mix out, when you only want the oil.
Bit like nectar and honey.