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How to process honeycomb from top bar hive at home

 
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luk_lak
Guard Bee


Joined: 06 Dec 2013
Posts: 85
Location: Isle of Dogs, London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:16 pm    Post subject: How to process honeycomb from top bar hive at home Reply with quote

Due to my colony dying out atm I have 4kg of pieces of honeycomb. Twice that much is in the hive and I guess I'll have to harvest it before (if) introducing new swarm/bees.

I've never processed honey from TBH before. Only once I assisted a beekeeper with centrifugal extraction from normal frames. Completely different process IMHO.

I need an easy solution to process that honey, I don't want to buy any fancy equipment, just want to use what I have at home. Maybe I need to buy some very fine sieve if such thing exists.

So right now I have a big ceramic bowl with lid full of pieces of honeycomb and some drippings.

I'm thinking of cutting some pieces and putting them in jars. The rest I'll mash into a pulp and then I need to filter somehow. For that I guess I'll need some sieve, probably better than the normal kitchen one as it may still let some tiny pieces of wax go through.

I'll keep the mash in the bowl and portion by portion pouring into the sieve and wait until it drips through to the big pot. Then I'm planning to pour honey from pot to the jars. I have lots of spare jars from store-bought honey that I was keeping for that purpose.

How long I can keep the honey in the bowl? Do I need to process it this weekend or can it wait week or two?

Any ideas or suggestions?
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've answered this question on your drones in January thread.
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luk_lak
Guard Bee


Joined: 06 Dec 2013
Posts: 85
Location: Isle of Dogs, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First batch of honey made 2 weeks ago, wasn't that bad.

First I cut some nice square comb. Then mashed everything together and filtered through fine sieve. Lastly pour it to the jars.

Yesterday I've removed remaining comb (colony died out) and will do the same this week.
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Merinos
Foraging Bee


Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 163
Location: Brussels, Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take the maximum of the honey manualy out of the wax... And after that I will make some honeywine.
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luk_lak
Guard Bee


Joined: 06 Dec 2013
Posts: 85
Location: Isle of Dogs, London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merinos, not sure what you mean manually. I hope not extracting honey one by one from each cell with some tiny spoon Wink

My 2nd batch of honey-wax pulp is sitting on the sieve atm. From the leftover wax from 1st batch I just poured some warm water to dilute all remaining honey, filtered it and will use the syrup to sweeten drinks (lemon with honey).

From wax will probably do some creams as it is white and clean.

I wished there is a easy way to extract the fine wax particles that go through the sieve. Now they are dripping into the large pot and floating on top. To much surface to scoop. My idea is to pour it to the tall, narrow jar after, leave for a bit and scoop the top then.
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what about straining it through muslin cloth. I use that for when I'm making wine. You should be able to get some from a haberdashery or where they sell material. very cheap and you can wash it for next time.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why large honey buckets have a tap at the bottom, so that after the honey has been left to settle, the clear stuff can be drawn off the bottom. Personally a fine layer of wax particles on the surface doen't bother me... it's all edible, but putting it through a clean pair of ladies tights will take most of those fine particles out and they can be easily tied from the handle of a kitchen cupboard and left to drain. But as Ollie says, muslin will work too. I pour the washings into empty pop bottles and it ferments ever so slightly to give it a pleasant fizz. I tried making mead but it wasn't a great success and made me ill. Just leaving the washings in a pop bottle and using them in hot or cold drinks, making porridge etc all works much better in my experience.
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