Roller Pin

Many members have asked about the differences between using a ‘roller pin’, a ‘scratcher’, and of course a ‘hot knife’ Vs ‘cold knife’ methods.

  • These photos were taken from a previous extraction at Oatland where Read Nichols used the ‘roller’ method to uncap the honey cells.  Honey was extracted and we then photographed the surface of the comb.
  • Next, we returned the wet honey comb to the hive.  After 2 weeks, we then went back to see how well the bees have repaired the comb.  Let’s take a look.

 

 

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First, let’s take a close look at the surface of the comb after the honey has been extracted.  This allows us to see exactly what is going back into the hive for the bees to repair.  You can see that the roller pin had pushed through the cappings and appears to of left a very uneven surface in this photo.  This is normally not due to the roller but the condition and shape of the capped frame of honey.

 

 

 

 

 

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TWO WEEKS LATER:  Here is a detail view of the same comb from the previous  extracting event, after the bees have repaired it.

Beautiful !!

Now, it doesn’t take them 2 weeks, as they go to work right away cleaning, removing loose wax, and repairing the comb.  In many cases, the bees will have this done in just a few days.

 

 

There are clearly pro’s and con’s between all the methods of uncapping.  We will be extracting honey again at Oatland Island on Saturday, August 13th, from 10 AM to 12 NOON.  Mr. Read Nicols will be talking about legal extracting methods and bottling honey.

As always, it is worth trying each method at least once to have the hands on experience so you can talk about why you like your choice of uncapping.

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