Dunham Kids Get Their HoneyBees

Today we made the trip to get some Honeybee NUCs for a couple of our children.  Leaving our home at 3:45 am, we arrived at our destination around 6 am.  Riley and Daisy both bought a NUC for themselves.  I am very proud of their decision to take a risk on honeybees.  They paid for the bees and are using extra equipment that I had hanging out in the barn.  If you are asking yourself what a NUC is, here is a link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuc.   Rosey is sharing a hive with her dad.  She is calling it the Daddy-Daughter Hive.  She will be decorating our hive for installation tomorrow.

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Then we got all suited up.

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Lit the smoker

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Played with the bees

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Here is Royalty from one of the NUCs The Queen

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Finished loading the NUCs and headed back to the car.

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Installed in their permanent home.  I will let you guess which one if Daisy’s Hive.

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Homemade 12 Frame Honey Extractor

This has been a long time coming.  I started out in a 55 gallon drum as a two frame spinner.  As you would guess, moving from a 2 frame to a 12 frame cuts down on a lot of time.  There have been a few issues along the way, but this extractor worked great.

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Here is my uncapping bucket.  The frame rests on the screw that is on the top bar allowing it to spin around freely as I uncap the frames.  The screen catches the caps and allows the honey to continue to the bottom with the valve.

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Here are the guts of the extractor.  I cut the bottom and top plates out of 3/4 inch plywood with a CNC router.  After all the bugs are worked out, I will re-cut out of 3/4 inch HDPE.  I drew the patterns in Adobe Illustrator then exported them to BobCad to generate the toolpaths.  Notice the pulley at the top is out of an old drill press.  I used the drill press motor with the same belt and pulley system.

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There is the completed unit with stand and steps.  The drill press motor and pulley system.  Also, you can see the 40 frames that I am getting ready to extract.

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A look down into the extractor where the frames get loaded.

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View from the other side where the honey exits the extractor and goes into a bucket.

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Let the honey flow.  Sweet gold pouring from the extractor.