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Equipment for first harvest

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Hi guys. I'm excitedly looking forward to my first honey harvest. I've put some pennies aside and this is my shopping list.... I'd appreciate any feedback. Have I thought of everything I need??

Thanks in advance.

 

Sharp knife

Extractor

Bucket with a tap on the bottom

Strainer

Jars

 

I'm thinking about getting a 4 frame extractor.... I assume metal is best??

 

I'm going to watch some YouTube videos too!

Excited :dance:

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I use a multi pronged fork think to remove the cappings, whilst holding the frame over a washing up bowl to catch the drips. Then put the frames in the extractor (I have a hand cranked three frame extractor) after extracting I put the honey through a double sieve (one layer is course mesh then a fine mesh) over a honey bucket. It needs to stand for a day or so before bottling it.

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Firstly, congratulations - your first crop is very exciting!

 

Newspaper. Lots of newspaper.

 

When you drip some honey on the floor, chuck a clean piece of newspaper over it, and then another sheet over the next drip and so on. If you don't do this you (or someone else in the household) will tread in the honey no matter how careful you are, and you'll have sticky feet throughout the house.

 

I use an uncapping knife over a large glass casserole dish, and just strain it once through a cloth filter. Make sure the valve on the honey bucket is firmly closed - honey flows silently and if it's undone you won't realise until too late.

 

Does your local association have an extractor that you could borrow? It's a lot of outlay otherwise. Metal will last longer but the cheaper polythene ones can do an adequate job.

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I second the newspaper tip, we did the extracting in the conservatory with a hard floor and close to the outside door, but inevitably there are drips. We used a palette knife for the uncapping, and only filtered the honey once, over a beer making bucket. We used a 4 frame ancient galvanised manual extractor which still worked very well, and after that borrowed our extractor from the local BBKA - really there was no difference in performance. I understood that a 4 frame was better as the frames are balanced across from each other. I bought 100 1lb jars with metal lids, if I did it again I'd look for less metallic lids, lids with more plastic coating on the inside. We used an almond flavoured spray to subdue the bees, sorry I can't remember the name of it, but it worked well. Take great care taking the frames into the extracting room, you don't want angry bees following you, and take great care when you disrobe, there is often a stray angry bee. Lastly, be careful using the extractor, I extremely stupidly tried to slow down the handle to reverse crank it, and got a cut which took me off to A&E for stitches. It's really not dangerous, but just be careful :D

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Thank you very mich for your replys. Ive been thinking and watching you tube videos and ive decided to miss out using an extractor this year and just do the s"Ooops, word censored!"e and sieve method... just s"Ooops, word censored!"e all honey and wax intk a big strainer amd then crush it all uo and wsit for hiney to strain through.

Will get armed with newspaper and planning to go this sunday!!!

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that will leave you with quite a bit of wax to clean up, better have a plan for that! You can s"Ooops, word censored!"e the frames down without destroying the foundation - I use a triangular shave-hook (intended for paint stripping) for this, obviously it's one I keep just for this purpose, not one used on paint.

 

The other tip, which I am sure you already know, is to wash everything in cold water, not hot - it feels counter-intuitive but if you use hot water it will melt the wax and everything will get very sticky. I usually put everything outside and turn the hose on them to start with.

 

Let us know how you get on.

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Thanks guys .... I didn't know about washing with cold water.... Sounds like a very good idea. Thank you. My son loves using the hose so that can be his job (3year old!)

Yes ...I understand that ill have a big waxy mess....I've read that you can put the wax by the hive and the bees will clean the last of the honey off it?

It sounds like you think this isn't a great idea doing it without an extractor??

I just thought it was a low tech easy way for our first batch.

Please say if I'm being daft! :lol:

I'm happy for any advice.

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Not daft - it's definitely low-tech - but you'll get a better result and less mess (in my opinion) doing it with an extractor. Others may think differently, of course! Did you say whether you can borrow an extractor?

 

There's no right or wrong way - after all, until removable frames were invented, the only way to extract honey was to s"Ooops, word censored!"e the entire comb out and filter it. You'll get more honey out, and destroy less wax, with the more traditional method.

 

Yes, you can put the wax back in the hive for the bees to clean up - I usually put cappings etc inside the hive in a feeder, as if you put it outside it can encourage robbing.

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I havent had hardly any contact with my local bee keepers associstion so i dont feel comfortable borrowing from them this year but Im hoping to jave more.contact over the year and then borrow next year. (If i dont get one for christmas!!)

 

We have 2 hives ... but only one is occupied ...

 

At the moment!

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