Our new video shows a closeup step by step instructional how to for young beekeepers where we show the beeswax decapping process we follow to clean the frames, remove the cappings, and prepare the frame for extraction in a centrifugal frame extractor.
There are many ways beekeepers choose to remove the cappings from their honey frames. None of them can be considered the best or the ultimate, nor can any other methods be considered flawed. It is a very individual matter. Some hobby beekeepers use a hot know, some a steam knife, others use only the decapping fork or a simple kitchen serrated knife. And those beekeepers operating in larger beekeeping farms and apiaries with 20 or more hives tend to have automated machines that have spinning rotary blades or spikes that as the frames pass through, remove the top beeswax cappings. Some things to consider when starting out, is the volume of frames you are going to be processing. That will definitely have an impact on how you choose to remove the cappings. Other considerations may include your opinion and thoughts on say a hot gun may have on the quality of honey you produce. Another consideration is what to do with the cappings? Do you want beeswax? The work it takes to clean it, melt it, filter it and process it? Many don't want the hassle and opt to scratch the cappings or use the heat gun.
As you get more familiar with your beehive and the honey frames you extract, you will find that the bees also produce varying shapes on the honey frame, and that too can be a problem and may alter your choice of beeswax decapping process you choose to try or adopt. In this video, we had a perfect frame, where the cappings were built outward by the bees and the cappings were ABOVE the actual timber frame. This makes it perfect for use of a hot knife, as the knife can be rested on the frames and simply slice off the wax cappings. Many frames however are not that way and the bees build them just below the full depth or height of the timber frames. In this scenario, a hot knife can do very little, and the only way to get the cappings off is to either scratch them or pull them off bit by bot using the decapping fork. This often leads to another debate we will cover in one of our future videos - should you use 10 frames or 9 frames in a full deep honey super? What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment below. Will the honey yield be higher or lower? Or the same? Will the hot knife cut through a much thicker overhang of honey comb? Will the running honey cool it too quickly slowing the whole process down? We are keen to hear your thoughts.
So as you can see, you will need to equip yourself with tools and skills to use them to accommodate several scenarios, each requiring a different method. Each honey frame will be different and may require use of two to three different styles even within the single honey frame.
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We thank you for your support and hope you visit us again for our next video, where we will examine the use of a heat gun. Is this the method for you? Many say it is fantastically easy, fast and more efficient! We are keen to learn your thoughts on the matter after seeing our brief study.
Have an enjoyable day.
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