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Extracting honey from Langstroth frames


#1

I have three Flow Hives but also have a few standard Langstroth hives in various areas on the Sunshine Coast. So having bought the Flow Hives I didn’t need the paraphernalia that comes with the standard hive but of course I need it now. Question is what are the different/efficient/cost effective ways people have found to drop frame honey?

The frame came from a swarm I caught three weeks ago. Don’t you just love Sunshine Coast weather. Soo many flowering trees around atm.


#2

that is a lovely, lovely frame of honey. Possibly the easiest way for just a single frame is to cut all the honey out and then crush and strain it. You can put a sieve over a bucket and use a potato masher to mash/crush everything- then let it drain for a day or two. Afterwards you can wrap up the remaining honey in cheesecloth and squash it further to get out whatever honey remains. It’s all quite sticky.

If you plan to do this often you could invest in a honey press.

I think I can see the wire and nail at the lower left- so that’s frame has foundation? If so you can pull out the foundation wires with a pair of pliers- one row at a time- and then cut of the comb as cut honeycomb pieces. Or you can cut between the wires.

If you wanted to retain the comb you can uncap it with an uncapping fork or knife- turn the frame upside down and let the honey drip out by gravity- but it takes FOREVER.


#3

Thanks @Semaphore. (Jack) It’s all foundation (wired) except for a couple of brood frames in various boxes. I have 6 standard boxes (last count:grinning:) but by the end of spring I’m sure that’ll grow. (Cannot stand to see swarms go to waste if they get that far) Think the press sounds like a good idea. I have seen some cheap presses and centrifuges on EBay so I’m wondering if they’re worth it or how the quality stands up. Right at this very moment I have about 10 frames to extract (not counting the Flow Hives) so I will probably have to bite the bullet and spend a little cash. Could probably start selling some too, just to fund my hobby. Family/friends and work mates just don’t eat enough of the stuff. (Something wrong with them. Free is free right?) Alan.


#4

I found myself a few weeks ago needing room for the queen to lay and as fast as they were building comb they were filling it with nectar.
So I bought a two frame extractor off gumtree for $220. It’s from a bee supply joint on the south side (can’t remember the name).
It’s a Chinese made item, but seems pretty well made.
Freight to Caboolture was $50


#5

You can use @ spoon to scrape the comb off the foundation then seive it through some fly wire. Put the stripped foundation back in the hive and they will build it out again.

Cheers
Rob.


#6

Hello there,

I didn’t realise you had quite a few frames to do. If that’s the case a spinner sounds like it will be worth it. I bought a cheap one off ebay and it works OK- in fact it’s perfectly adequate. but if I planned to do a lot I would have spent a little more and got a better one. As for presses- it’s the same story- the cheap ones are OK- the more pricey ones are better. It sounds to me like a spinner will be the ideal way for you as you save the frames and can re-use them. I use the press for foundation-less combs I cut out to make comb honey- the less than perfect bits I squish in the press.

If you search on this forum I have a few threads about my presses and cheap spinner…


#7

Do you need the loan of a 2 frame extractor etc,?? I’m at Coolum beach. 0456710016


#8

Thanks Jack. I now have to think about how many hives I’m willing to service properly and really purchase a spinner accordingly.


#9

Thanks for your kind offer Peter. I think I’m going to buy a spinner off Ebay/somewhere so I don’t have to borrow and rely on others. That’ll take a little while so I’ll probably scrape n scratch and make a mess of the kitchen till then. Always popular at my place!
I know Bee Clubs do have community equipment if you’re a member but that takes up my limited time to take my frames there and back again. Poor excuse I know. It’d be great to meet you anyway. It’s amazing I haven’t seen you at @Jeff’s place as I usually pester him with questions and hang around watching him working.


#10

Just a thought on spinners:

The one I bought is two frame. It was about as cheap as can be found. I had to fix it up by adding 2 cake racks to better support the frames. Now it works quite well. But it is very deep maybe 90 cm tall and a bit awkward to reach into the clean out. It cal also get unbalanced easily.

Today I saw a much better made two frame a spinner- it had a more simple cog with the handle on the top rather than on the side and it was quite a bit more shallow but wider. The cage inside was FAR better. It was a much better spinner and I wish I had one like that. It looked old maybe Australian made?

I think @JeffH has an old one like that.


#11

Jeff is a wealth of information that you can bank on. I don’t get the spare time I would like to chat with Jeff but we are good mates. He makes me smile every time I see him working on his hives in thongs(foot wear to those in the U.S.) Steady girls :grin:
I think I have about 10 hives now at my apiary and look after a couple more, and with my time at the Men’s Shed, well, I thought I had retired :thinking:
The offer stands and I can loan you everything to do conventional frame extraction. I would love to catch up with you also and compare notes.
Regards


#12

Done. We will catch up then. Coolum is one of my favourite surfing spots. (Ever since I bought my first block of land there for $6,750. Yes I’m that old!) I’ll call you soon to meet up sometime. Alan.


#13

Hi Alan, that’s a great frame of honey there. Yes I do love the Sunshine Coast with all the flowering trees at the moment.

I think the most cost effective way to harvest the honey is with a good quality hand extractor. I don’t have & need anything else. I don’t have a great deal of associated paraphernalia either.

I have 9 boxes to extract tomorrow.

That frame you’re showing is the perfect frame to harvest the honey gently, without breaking the comb, then placing into a brood box.


#14

Gidday Jeff, I bit the bullet and ordered a two frame hand extractor after other comments. Only time will tell if it’s good quality. I’m fairly sceptical when seeing products online. They look good on screen but never end up living up to expectations in the light of day.
What actually prompted me to buy was you saying that the gentle extraction from the combs would enable the frames to go straight back into the brood ready for filling. And the sticky mess that someone else wasn’t happy with. (And I have a few more frames to do. Nothing like the 9 boxes though. Wow!) Thanks for everyone’s’ thoughts on the subject. Alan.