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Bee Hive building & a place to share howto's on equipment
 #11247  by AdamD
 17 Jun 2021, 16:33
One of the problems with OSR honey is that it sets in the frames far too readily, however if you extract it too early, the water content is too high. With this in mind I have (been playing and) adapted an ultrasonic tank for the purpose.


The tank has a built in temperature monitor and heater controlled by a membrane panel. The heating element underneath was a bit too harsh, so I replaced it with a lower powered one. I also replaced the outlet tap with stainless steel for obvious reasons. The 1/2 inch bore is a bit slow, but functional. Within the tank I fitted a stainless steel shaft with a number of disks so as the disks rotate the (warm) honey evaporates. The original bearing for the shaft was plywood but has been replaced by U shaped pieces of (food grade) chopping board. The shaft can be lifted out for cleaning. I was envisaging having to blow air over the disks although that has not proven necessary as a 15 kg bucket of honey will drop its water content by 4 percent in 24 hours. (In a small room with a dehumidifier). The next phase is to use a smaller motor and put the power supply for it under the tank and use the front panel membrane switch for controlling the motor rather than controlling the ultrasonics.
 #11249  by Steve 1972
 17 Jun 2021, 16:50
That looks handy if you have loads of hives..I only ever have a maximum of Ten which often drops through the swarm season..up to date I have extracted rape honey for the past severel years..half of which are capped and the other half open and the moisture content has never been above 18.5% most is hovering around the 16% Mark..
 #11269  by AdamD
 20 Jun 2021, 17:11
I often find that there's crystallising OSR honey in the comb and the remainder is 21-22% or so, so if I leave it any longer it will all have crystallised and I have tried to get it out of the frames by warming but that doesn't work in any sensible fashion, hence this contraption. To buy them, they are £4500 from Abelo for a small one. It works out quite easy to dry one lot to 16% and then pour that and a bucket of 22% back in the extractor and then run off the 19% mix into two buckets.
The dryer should pay for itself after 'saving' just a few supers worth of OSR honey that I can't get out.
 #11553  by JoJo36
 23 Jul 2021, 15:41
I know somebody that uses a dehumidifier only in a small room for a couple of days and they say it reduces the moisture content perfectly, handy if you don't have many hives!
 #11565  by AdamD
 24 Jul 2021, 10:06
You are correct that a dehumidifier does work but it is relatively slow as the surface area to dry is relatively small. The reason for the rotating discs is to have a massive surface area to evaporate of the moisture much more quickly. And the heater also helps by bringing the temperature up.
 #11566  by JoJo36
 24 Jul 2021, 10:39
Fair enough and much quicker if you have lots of hives and more importantly honey! :)
 #11568  by NigelP
 24 Jul 2021, 12:54
I usually check frames before starting to uncap and remove honey. Particularly with heather honey it can have a high water content. Then I use a supers drier and "dry off" the honey in the frames. It will take honey at 28% water down to 23% (legal limit for heather honey) overnight. I usually take it down to around 20% as I've had batches ferment in the past at 23%.
But blimy its gone up in price since I bought mine. I paid £220 inc VAT about 5 years ago. Seems leaving EU has forced beekeeping prices up.

 #11573  by Alfred
 25 Jul 2021, 13:06
So the super sits on top and it fans air down through to a condenser?
 #11574  by NigelP
 25 Jul 2021, 16:32
Nope, it simply blows warm air over the frames upwards. I usually sit a crown board with a hole on it on top of 2 or 3 supers. No condenser just fans that gently blow the heated air through. There is moveable thermometer coupled to the heater output so it's quite adjustable.
 #11575  by Alfred
 25 Jul 2021, 17:18
So in the absence of Adams ultrasound scanner, someone like the mad inventor here 8-) (or Steve) could quite feasably constuct their own.....
Put in a small room with a domestic dehumidifier perhaps?

My raging apathy towards honey production has somewhat diminished over the weekend after extracting just shy of three litres using just a breadknife,seive and muslin.
Watch out world. :lol: