The weekend before last, we pulled off 7 frames of capped honey from Demeter. I have to say that harvesting the foundationless frames went as easily as I had planned.
Once the honey had strained through the wax would have some honey adhering. If I were to leave the wax out, the bees would clean most of it up but I found leaving wax outside was not a good idea because if it rained it got funky.
So I returned the wax to the crushing bucket, added some water and stirred it around. I filtered the wax and water through one of the used strainers into another clean bucket, attempting to rinse the strainer at the same time. This honey water was put into a quart jar, set outside along with the filter baskets and crushing bucket. Within one day everything was spic-and-span clean. But I’ll still wash them 🙂
One thing to note, the honey bucket came with 3 filters: 600, 400 and 200 micron. The honey drained very quickly through the 600 and 400 but the 200 took several days of periodic stirring to get most of it to go through. Though the honey was clearer, it was a pain in the heiny. I’ll post a picture of honey strained through 400 and 200 micron filters and you can judge for yourself if the 200 is worth it. Also, the filters have a tendency to stick together and form a vacuum of sorts thus preventing the honey from draining as quickly as it could. I’m sure I’m missing something about the set-up…
Once the honey comb was cut off, the frame went back into the hive for cleanup. When I went to check on the frames in a few days, they had started building out on them again.
The total yield was about 17lbs of honey. I’ll update the post with a picture of the jars with my label on it!