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It's definiteley an "out of the box" way of getting to the honey. Faster, less mess, BUT, I often think of my uncappping process as a means of harvesting bees wax too. I have a screen under my uncapping board which filters the honey from the cappings. The frames go to the extractor, the roughly filtered honey goes through another filtration joining up with the extracted honey) and the filtered bees wax is melted it down in my solar wax extractor. The heated honey that was stuck to the cappings) is usually saved for feeding back to the hives while the wax can be used for anything desired. One last item, the cutting open of the frames also gives an opportunity to clean and "reshape" uneven frames an important stage before they are reused. But, the idea of heat-uncapping is an interesting one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe quicker but don't know about cleaner (honey). Don't you think the melted cappings get blown / melted into the cells with the honey?
That's what I thought aswell. However can it be that if left for a couple of minutes, before starting the extraction, the melted wax would have solidified and then not be extracted in the process?
 

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That's what I thought aswell. However can it be that if left for a couple of minutes, before starting the extraction, the melted wax would have solidified and then not be extracted in the process?
Yes that may be what happens. I haven't tried so I won't say it wouldn't work but I have my doubts the wax stays separate with this heating melting process. I guess it's worth a try.
 

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You'll notice that none of his frames were fully capped. I tried this with fully capped frames and the wax cooled, solidified and re-capped the comb before I could even get it in the extractor. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but it didn't work for me.
 

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I tried this method last year.

I've picked out one or two things from the video. The presenter talks of Oil Seed Rape (OSR) honey. OSR is related to Canola. It is grown as a farm crop in many parts of the UK. It flowers in Spring and many beekeepers take their hives to this crop. Hives on OSR build up well and can produce a good yield of honey. The honey has to be extracted very quickly when removed from the crop. Left in the supers it soon hard granulates. If you look carefully at the video, it seems that the comb is new. I suspect that the hive was fitted out with just foundation in the supers. The bees have drawn out the comb, stored the honey and capped it. The cappings will be fresh and possibly only 2 weeks or less old.

The hot air blower is the type sold for paint stripping. I "borrowed" Lady B's hand hair drier. It did melt some of the cappings but I was not happy with the technique and reverted to a cappings scratcher (un-capping fork). I was not un-capping OSR. The comb was not new. It had been used previously for other crops. I was extracting at the end of Summer and some of the supers would have been on for at least 3 months.

The heat from these hot air blowers can be fierce. I was concerned that some of the honey might be caramelized and have an un-honey taste.

Hope this helps. After all this detective work and explanation it is time for my afternoon nap. .:grin::eek:ldtimer:
 

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I would stay away from the heat guns. Even at low settings there is enough heat to kill all the enzimes in the honey
 

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What about an electric hot knife? If that doesn't over heat the enzimes in the honey, I'm not sure why just hot air would. I'd want to know at what temperature does wax melt and at what temperature do honey enzimes get destroyed.
 

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Dr. Buzz asks: "I'd want to know at what temperature does wax melt and at what temperature do honey enzimes get destroyed."

Well Doc, I did a bit of internet searching on your questions. The answers are not exact--impurities in beeswax will lower its melting point and different enzymes will be destroyed at different temperatures since not all of them are equally resistant to heat.
That having been said, the generally agreed upon melting temperature of bees wax is about 64-66 degrees Centigrade (144-147 degrees Farenheit).
Enzyme deactivation begins at about body temperature (37 C., 98.6 F.) for the most sensitive and going up for the more hardy enzymes. At 50 C (122 F) honey begins to carmelize.
 

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Thanks efmesch, and because of those facts I never used hot knife or any hot uncapping method on my frames.
Uncapping fork and cold bread knife in the beginning, and Maxant chain uncapper later.
 
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