Wednesday, August 3, 2011

crush and strain honey

Each deep frame of capped honey comb was wrapped in a large plastic bag and put in the freezer a few weeks ago.  Freezing allowed me to postpone the crush and strain and kill any trace of small hive beetle larva.  The day before the crush and strain, frames were removed from the freezer and left to thaw inside their plastic bag. 

Comb was cut away from the frame in 3 parts and dropped into a 5 gallon bucket.  Nearly 6 deep frames of capped honey comb filled the bucket to the top.  Last year, instead of using a complete sheet of wax foundation, each frame was started with a narrow strip of  wax foundation.   What a pleasure that none of frames were wired.  So, I did not have to hassle with cutting away wire.   

I reused the cardboard and packing paper from Brushy Mountain before sending both to recycling.   The cardboard was reused twice, first to catch glue and paint drops (from assembly of deep hive body) and then to cover the kitchen floor during crush and strain.  Packing paper was used to cover the cabinet doors which sped up the kitchen clean-up too.  Including preparation and clean-up, the entire crush portion took just two hours--seems a lot easier than last year.

After straining and settling, nearly 6 deep frames of capped honey fills 40 x 8oz bottles of honey.

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