You did a good job with that heat gun. It must be the angle you had it on. I tried it once, but I wasn’t impressed. After seeing your photo, I realize now that I held the wrong angle. Anyway the steam knife squares everything up again, plus I use it to scrape the top & bottom bars clean.
If you ever try it again, be aware the air flow from the heat gun sends wax caps flying. Next time I’ll set up a little differently, and there will be newspaper to catch that.
At my scale, I kind of had to choose between a hot knife and a cheap extractor. It felt like I would get more bang for my buck out of the extractor for now. Beekeeping isn’t exactly fantastically expensive, but it’s probably on par with scuba diving the first year, and I still need to get a vaporizer… and a power source… and more boxes and frames…
@JeffH I have tried a heat gun as well as a hot knife and to be honest they are both about equal with similar results, even to the amount of wax to clean up off my kitchen floor
I found everything a bit daunting for the first time and a learning curve with some mistakes, but really, there is no way to do a practice trial run, just make sure you know what the end result should be and go for it, next time will be easier.
I have 4 Flow Hives but I still get a buzz out of extracting conventional frames, it is more satisfying than watching honey run down a tube.
I should probably mention that with two frames, even though I got a little over 9 cups of honey, there wasn’t enough honey to actually use the honey valve on the extractor.
So you need to picture turning the extractor upside down and pouring the honey out the top, while not overflowing whatever bowl/receptacle you are pouring into, and then leaving the extractor propped for a while to finish draining.
I also scraped the sides of the extractor with a spatula.
I’m pretty sure many people operating at a larger scale might not have bothered with all that, but wanted anyone coming behind reading this post to realize the limitations of a cheap extractor.
A funny thing about extractors, I have yet to see one with the honey gate at the very bottom of the drum. A real bugger to try to drain all the honey out. Sooner or later someone will make an extractor that all the honey can be drained out, it just needs a guy who can think on an improvement to it…
Limitation of how they are constructed.
I can think of improvements to the design. I am less certain of how to make those changes cheaply, particularly when you need to use relatively durable food grade materials.
I suspect that the extractor I use is just a modified version of a hand crank ice cream maker, it shares many design elements. That’s fine, it’s better than scraping off all the comb and squishing it (I don’t have a vast surplus of drawn comb, being new), more efficient than just hoping the honey drips out, and much less onerous than other ways I can think of to generate centrifugal force (don’t ask, I considered plenty of things when contemplating this task, some of them ridiculous). It just hasn’t been properly optimized for this task.
Nuh-uh. It needs a girl
I’m an engineer, and I can sure think of improvements, but I need time and facilities.
So many projects
Interesting, you are not as concrete and inflexible as most engineers.
Lol. Probably true…
That’s because she’s a she
Ain’t that the truth? Flexibility doesn’t apply to all "she"s though. I have had some really ornery, single-minded queens… They didn’t last long in my hives though, there is only one real leader in my apiary, and it isn’t my husband!
Ahhhh the pain and suffering. You have stabbed me in the heart.
concrete mmm love the stuff,… inflexible welllll…maybe, …concrete…inflexible,… concrete,…
I think I need to lie down for a while.
Ah, alas poor Wilf, you aren’t typical either! No type-casting ever truly fits. However, one can use the concept to adjust expectations sometimes. For @busso and @JcBeeez, the preconception is totally inaccurate. That makes the people far more interesting. Those who break the mold are always more interesting. Not that I am a mold-breaker or anything…