Any tricks for getting honey moving?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tyro, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Tyro

    Tyro Member

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I will be harvesting in the next few weeks (end of August/first of September). Here in the north, temperatures are likely to only be in the mid-70's to low-80s during the day at that time. I extract in my unheated garage and my question is: does anyone have any ideas about how to get the extracted honey to flow faster than it normally will at these lower temperatures?

    At temperatures in the mid-70's, I have noticed that honey barely moves through gravity filter! That won't work, as I am likely to have between 7 and 12 supers of honey. Thanks.

    Mike
     
  2. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's a lot of supers. With the temps we are experiencing here lately, I'm surprised your garage could be so wonderfully cool.

    Without firing up a heater in the garage, or putting a heater on the draining bucket, I'm not sure what else to do. I think it's just one of those "laws of physics" things that can't be circumvented. Think of it as sort of Zen exercise in patience.
     

  3. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tyro, I have extracted more than that in the A/C,d back room of my house this year.
    It runs and filters as fast as I want to work. The only thing I know of to speed it up is a band heater.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    what kind of honey are you extracting? canola I am told and sunflower I know can be a problem... even short temperature drops can cause very rapid crystalization.

    the honey house we use to utilize in western North Dakota had a heating room (essentially a grated floor with hot heated air forced up thru stacks of super) was a large help.
     
  5. Tyro

    Tyro Member

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    By the time I pull, it will be a mix of sweet clover, alfalfa and sunflower (mostly). Trouble is, by the time I pull, evenings will be getting into the low 50's and high 40's.

    I have a kerosene shop heater, but I am concerned about using it. The heater produces a pretty good kerosene smell and I don't know if it will taint the honey.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would be concerned about a kerosene heater also. Beyond the grate (a tight lattice grate) and a fan to move the air the heat we used was a hot water coil in the floor and a boiler for heat.

    Once you notice granulation in the frames there is not much you do without a lot of effort and expense.
     
  7. Tyro

    Tyro Member

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ok, so I may have answered my own question, and I thought that I would share the potential solution.

    About 40 miles from my home is an Abbey (Assumption Abbey). I have become friends with the monk who keeps the Abbey bees. I asked him what he does to move honey when it is cold and he has to extract. He has the following solution:

    He has a metal frame - just a box shaped frame made of metal bars. He stacks his supers in the frame and throws a canvas tarp over the frame - so the tarp does not touch the supers.

    Then he takes a thermometer and places it on the topmost super. He puts a regular ceramic space heater (with the cutoff switch if it overheats, tips over, etc.) under the tarp and turns it on.

    He monitors the temperature under the tarp. He cautioned me to never let the temperature get higher than 100F (above that temperature and the wax in the supers starts to melt) - however, if you can keep the temperature under the tarp right around 100F for several hours, the temperature of the honey (particularly in the top supers) gets to be about 90F - which he says allows it to flow readily. That is when he extracts.

    He calls the process 'tenting' and apparently the Abbey beekeepers have been doing it for decades as they have to extract in late September/October every year.

    I have one of those aluminum folding ladders that can be positioned 1000 different ways, I was going to use it to make a 'frame' by positioning it like an 'n'.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0