Crush and Strain

When adding my foundationless frames some time ago, I had to remove some of Peter’s frames to make room. I put them in the freezer to kill any potential eggs but I wasn’t thinking about the thawing. Well, needless to say condensation built up on the outside of the wax because I didn’t wrap each individual frame and leave it wrapped during thawing. By leaving it wrapped you allow the condensation to build up on the wrapping and not the wax. If water is left on the wax during crush and strain, the water will mix with the honey and lead to fermentation. Normally, honey extracted correctly and kept with a lid on (to prevent the honey from absorbing moisture from the air), is good forever. Even if it crystallizes, which pretty much all honey will do at some point, it is still good honey! DO NOT THROW AWAY CRYSTALLIZED HONEY! Just set it in a pot of warm water and the honey will become liquid again.

To dry off the condensation, I set the frames up in the basement and put a fan on them for about 2 days. Worked like a charm.

Peter’s frames all have plastic foundation. It was actually very easy to scrape off the honey comb:

Three frames waiting to be extracted via crush and strain.
Honey comb scraped off, frames are sitting and draining. I set the cookie sheet out for the bees, it rained and diluted the honey. Only once the honey was diluted did I see any bees on the cookie sheet, very interesting.

The frames above I put over Demeter and when people say the bees will clean out the remainder, they weren’t kidding! In one day both frames where completely cleaned of any honey and I just pulled them out. Incredible. I even left the spoon out!

This is a double strainer that my husband uses for his beer-making. It worked for the initial strain but the honey needs another one. So I bought a filtering/bottling kit from Brushy Mountain.
I had to leave it like this for over a day to make sure all of the honey drained out of the wax. You can set the wax out by the hives and the bees will clean off any remaining honey, this actually drained quite well because I let it sit in a warm room so I just took the wax and put it in the freezer until I decide to render it.
That white box is my extra deep (the wonky one), I set the extracted frames in there and the bees cleaned them up. I took it off the next day—very convenient.
Ants are also a big help when it comes to cleaning up honey.

 

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2 comments

    • Thank you. The honey is actually from last year and it’s from Baltimore City (the location of the parent hive my bees came from). That hive is the source of my Demeter hive via a nuc last summer. Demeter, now it’s second year with me, has 4 supers on it… The other hive, Melissa, is still quite small.

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