Sunday 10 February 2013

burcos and topbars

extracting honey from free formed comb is a challenge... a long process, sticky, waiting game

but, there is another way
recommended to the group
the burco boiler and BBQ trivet

tried and tested by sue
here's sue's account of a job well done

Honey extraction from wild comb
Using the group’s Burco boiler, I have successfully extracted a bit of honey from comb on Warre bars. The comb, very thin and delicate, emerged mostly intact and can be re-used by the bees, so that’s a result.
I put water in the boiler to just above the tap level, set the knob to one and a bit and stood the first bar upside down in a lidded bucket which I put in the water. With the Burco lid kept on, it took about 3 days for the uncapped comb to completely empty of honey and the comb itself softened and bent over and broke in half. The second bar, I enclosed in a hinged BBQ wire griddle inside the bucket to give extra support to the comb – this worked well and at the end the emptied comb quickly cooled and firmed up again. I rinsed the combs to remove the last stickiness and hope to make them available to the bees again this year.
I would think that comb which is not so new, would stand up to the process without extra support. It was quite a painless process and not messy. I would suggest for future extractions standing the upside down bars on something like a wire microwave trivet so the bars don’t end up sitting in the honey.