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Author Topic: Honey spinning method  (Read 909 times)

Offline omnimirage

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Honey spinning method
« on: January 17, 2018, 07:23:02 pm »
I've recently purchased a good quality 20 frame radial honey extractor. I'm seeking to learn the most efficient way of using this thing.

I haven't got a hot knife yet. Is there anything I should be looking for when purchasing such?

I have an old fridge that I use as an insulation unit, it has an old small oil heater. I'm under the impression that, if I place my honey supers in there beforehand to warm up, that it'd make the spinning easier. Is there any temperature range I should be setting it to?

Since it's radial, I can spin it in either direction. I assume that, much like a car, it'd be bad for the gears if I have it going quickly in one direction, and then reverse the engine to get it to spin the other direction. When using it, I've been basically stopping the spinning before spinning it the other direction. I've noticed that, if I turn off the engine, it stops spinning faster than if I simply put the spinning at 0, neutral not spinning in either direction. I'm not sure how cautious I should be, how much I need to wait for it to stop.

I've learned that the comb can easily be damaged in these things. What are some practices that I can do to minimise comb damage when spinning?

The extractor has a honey gate on the bottom. I figure it'd be best to then place a sieve, honey strainer underneath, sitting on top of a honeybucket with a honeygate on it, so that it goes straight from the extractor and strains into the bucket.

I'm really unsure what I should do with the sticky frames after spinning. If I just leave them out in my shed, I'll have exposed honey constantly which will invite animals to feast upon it, like bugs and maybe even mouses. I read that it's common for people to store frames in freezers, but my freezer simply does not have the space to store such.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 09:42:44 am »
I've noticed that, if I turn off the engine, it stops spinning faster than if I simply put the spinning at 0,

I am assuming this engine is an electric motor with a speed controller.  Speed controllers have acceleration and de-acceleration curves in their design.  On some drives there are potentiameters to control the ramp.  Cheap ones no.
The stopping quick when turned off leads me to believe the gearing is a worm gear not a spur gear reduction.  If the frames were nearly full of honey and you shut off the motor it would not be good for the basket or the gearing, assuming a worm gear drive.  Let the control do the accel and decel.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 09:44:15 am »
I'm really unsure what I should do with the sticky frames after spinning. If I just leave them out in my shed, I'll have exposed honey constantly which will invite animals to feast upon it, like bugs and maybe even mouses. I read that it's common for people to store frames in freezers, but my freezer simply does not have the space to store such.

A lot of people put them back in the hive for the bees to dry them up or refill them.
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Offline chux

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 12:49:59 pm »
Start spinning slowly, and gradually build up speed. Go too fast, too soon, and the weight of the honey in the combs will cause blow out. When nearly empty, you can spin fast to "dry" the frames. If you are using foundationless, or thin wax foundation, this might be risky. Put the empty frames back on hives for the bees to clean them up.

Offline mikecva

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 01:24:09 pm »
Depending on the weight and design of your extractor, you may want to mount it on a base to keep it steady and to keep it from "walking."  I have mine mounted on a 1/2" piece of plywood with a 1/4" piece under that so the bolt heads do not sit on the floor. My base is wider then the feet so the honey catch bucket can sit on the floor and I can stand on the wood beside the extractor.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 11:47:53 pm »
The person I bought it off actually suggested to mount down the extractor for that reason mikecva.

Thanks for the tip cnux.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2018, 12:23:41 am »
I recommend you get a serated decapping knife instead of a heated knife. Much cheaper, works well and does not burn the honey.
A radial extractor is much safer than a tangiel (so) extractor.
Very few blowouts with mine.
There is no real advantage in reversing the extractor. It works on centrifugal force. I never care what direction it goes and never try to reverse it.
Jim
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 01:29:28 am »
I actually already have access to one of those. I also have some scratch uncapping tools; are they effective as well? They both came in a package I bought ages ago but have never known what to do with them.

I thought that the advantage to a radial extractor was that, it can spin both ways, which is needed to empty both sides of the frame. Is this mistaken?

Offline Acebird

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2018, 08:35:53 am »
I thought that the advantage to a radial extractor was that, it can spin both ways, which is needed to empty both sides of the frame. Is this mistaken?

Any extractor can spin both ways if the control is made to do so.  There is a very slight advantage for a radial to do this if the honey is extremely thick.  In most cases honey at room temperature will spin out completely even if only going in one direction.
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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2018, 08:47:35 am »
I actually already have access to one of those. I also have some scratch uncapping tools; are they effective as well? They both came in a package I bought ages ago but have never known what to do with them.

I thought that the advantage to a radial extractor was that, it can spin both ways, which is needed to empty both sides of the frame. Is this mistaken?
In a radial extractor the top of the frames are on the outside of the ring. All of the honey leaves the frame towards the top. Direction of spin does not matter.
On the other extractors the flat side of the frame is facing out. You have to reverse the frames, usually several times to get all the honey out from both sides.
Jim
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Offline chux

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2018, 03:59:36 pm »
I actually already have access to one of those. I also have some scratch uncapping tools; are they effective as well? They both came in a package I bought ages ago but have never known what to do with them.

I thought that the advantage to a radial extractor was that, it can spin both ways, which is needed to empty both sides of the frame. Is this mistaken?

Capping scratchers...Very useful tool. If you are running 10-frame langstroth boxes, with the nine-frame spacers, then the honeycomb will be built out thicker and you can cut nearly all of the cappings off easily with a knife. Here and there you will find cells that do not come out as far, and the knife misses them. You can set the knife aside and use the capping scratcher to lift off those few caps, without doing more damage with the knife by digging deeper into cells that are already opened.

I strongly encourage you to run 9 frames in the ten-frame super. If you run 10 frames in the box, the cells will not be built out as far. You will most certainly have to use the capping scratcher, or one of the spiked roller tools, to get in there and open cells. I have extracted many supers in both 9-frame, and 10-frame forms. Hands down, the 9-frame super is much easier to uncap, and holds just as much, if not more honey than the 10-frame super. Either way, you will need the capping scratcher.

Some folks use the scratcher like a rake, clawing at the cappings from the top. To me, this looks like it rips cell walls and also leaves wax cappings loose on the frame, which will clog my filter when I spin it out. I prefer to slide the tips of the scratcher just underneath the caps, much like a shovel, and lift the caps off the the comb. The cells are now open with minimal damage to the cell walls, and fewer loose caps left to clog my filter.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 05:32:14 pm »

I strongly encourage you to run 9 frames in the ten-frame super. If you run 10 frames in the box, the cells will not be built out as far. You will most certainly have to use the capping scratcher, or one of the spiked roller tools, to get in there and open cells. I have extracted many supers in both 9-frame, and 10-frame forms. Hands down, the 9-frame super is much easier to uncap, and holds just as much, if not more honey than the 10-frame super. Either way, you will need the capping scratcher.

I try to use one less frame then the box will hold but there is a disadvantage.  You still use the wooden parts as a guide and this makes more honey go in the capping tank which you will have to filter out.  I use a hot knife and the hot knife is much easier to uncap low spots then a cold knife.  The tip of the knife is pointed  so you can just shimmy it forward and back to get the low spots.  Also with just using the tip the knife gets warmer and melts off the caps pretty easy.
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Offline chux

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2018, 05:46:03 pm »
Great point, Acebird. I usually use a "cold" knife for uncapping, and it does send a little more honey into the capping tank. But...I reclaim most of this as it drains out of the cappings. My reluctance to use the hot knife comes from a perception that the hot knife changes the flavor of the honey. I'm sure it's just my imagination, but it seems like my hot knife almost melts the wax away and scalds the honey. I imagine the melting wax leaving some residue behind to mix with the honey. Surely, it's just my imagination. But still, I don't like the hot knife. It costs more, and it's...hot!!! A small operation could do without, in my opinion. But you are correct. The tip of a hot knife will work too. So maybe it's quicker than switching over to the scratcher for those low places. Hmmm   

Offline Acebird

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 08:49:02 am »

The knife will get too hot if it is not in contact with honey so just set up a switch like I have where you can turn it off when not in use.  Look at how clean my knife is.  Watch other videos on the web and their knife will be brown or black with scalded honey.  Absolutely, you do not want to over heat or burn the honey.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 09:57:22 pm »
How do you guys clean your extractor? Best I can think of is pouring boiling water from my kettle, but that'd be quite slow because my kettle only holds a litre of water.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 07:22:01 am »
I used to just take it out side and turn it on its side and let the bees clean it then use the hose to wash it out. Most of the time now, I just use the hose and wash it out.
Jim
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 04:25:21 pm »
The system you use for extracting honey is totally dependant on how many super of honey you deal with at an extraction.
If your extraction system and bees are not in the same place, you need to put the stickies back into supers with a bottom and lid. Ours are stacked in 3's to allow handling with the trolley. The lid is just a 40mm frame with 6mm ply given a couple of coats of paint, they spend 90% on their time indoors.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2018, 08:02:09 am »
The bees often never fully cap a frame. Honey from a non-capped cell, is from my understanding not complete honey, tends to have too high moisture content and can ferment.

When can I spin extract a frame that isn't fully capped? Someone told me that as long as 80% of the frame is capped then you're okay but I'm not sure if that's true.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2018, 08:40:46 am »
The bees often never fully cap a frame.

I would guess you are taking it early or it is fall where they have no nectar to make wax.  In the spring add more boxes and wait until the flow is over.  During a heavy flow they are going to spend more time gathering the nectar then drying it.  Once the flow tapers off they will have more time to dry it.  You could also try nadiring it but it is more work, not for me.  That keeps the oldest honey on top.
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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2018, 12:41:22 am »
Just because it is not capped, it does not mean that it is not dried properly. If I find a lot of uncapped honey on a frame, I give the frame a good shake to see it it comes out. If it is ready, it will stay in the frame.
I have tested in capped honey and found it at 16.5%.
Jim
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Offline chorrylan

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2018, 10:08:15 am »
re: uncapping
I've used steam knives which were nice but hard to get and expensive these days, and electric knives which are less nice but bought a Maxant uncapping plane the other weekend and am super happy with it; even people who have never uncapped a frame in their lives before can uncap like a boss with this toy.

https://bindaree.com.au/product/uncapping-plane-2/


Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2018, 07:44:43 am »
Looks pretty nice and fast, maybe fast enough to. It burn the honey. Do you smell any burned honey?
Jim
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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2018, 07:50:02 am »
Just looked it up, it has an adjustable copper heater element and is just $125. Not bad.
http://www.maxantindustries.com/uncapping.html
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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2018, 07:51:38 am »
Just looked it up, it has an adjustable copper heater element and is just $125. Not bad. If you can keep it from over heating it would be great.
http://www.maxantindustries.com/uncapping.html
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Offline chorrylan

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Re: Honey spinning method
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2018, 11:42:54 am »
It burn the honey. Do you smell any burned honey?
The one I have has an on/off switch and was switched off whenever there was a break of more than say 60 seconds.  When it was in use it was close to continuous cutting so no there was no issue with burning. Not quite as narrow a temperature range as a good steam knife but easier to use and better than any electric knife I've used.