Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spring Flow.

 I spent the morning collecting honey from one of the hives. When the supers are full of capped honey they are ready for extraction but before I could can take the honey up to the pole barn I've got to remove the bees from them. 

This can be done in a number of ways

* Using a bee escape of some sort - Porter, Canadian etc.

* Using a 'fume' board' to drive the bees down into the brood nest

 but I use a combo of :

* Brushing the bees from each individual comb 

* Using my leaf blower to blow the bees off the frames.


There are two main types of extractors - the tangential and the radial.  I use a hand crank "Mann Lake"  stainless steel tangential extractor which holds three frames of honey upright, at right angles to the radii and the honey is extracted from only one side at a time.

Some of these extractors have a double sided cage and this swings through 90 degrees if the direction of the motor is reversed. But with my set up the  frames have to be turned by hand. I extract half the honey from the first side, turn and extract all the honey from the second, turn again and fully extract the first side. It gets to bee a little sticky.  I've also got an old tin extractors that was in the old school house when we bought the on the place.
 After extracting the spring flow I replace the supers on the hives for the bees to clean and refill.

 I strain the honey directly from the extractor and
 store it in honey buckets a HONEY GATE set into the side of a bucket at its lower edge. It is no fun to try pouring honey into jars or ladling it with a soup ladle!!   


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