Faulty honey gate wastes honey

Posted in Bee Tools on October 12th, 2011

Broken Dadant Honey Gate

After extracting honey I sometimes find it more convenient to store honey in 5 gallon buckets rather than bottling it right away.  Most of the time I will store it in a bucket with a honey gate to make bottling easier.  After leaving for the long weekend, I returned to find a partially filled honey bucket had dumped all over the floor and carpet.  As I was scooping up honey from the floor, I tried to determine what  had happened. The bucket had been on the shelf untouched for at least 3 weeks and I was sure the spill had happened over the last 3 days.  I found the thumb screw on the ground in a puddle of honey and the gate in the closed position.  I inspected the gate and found 1/2 of the screw still in the gate. Apparently the pressure of the honey pushing from the inside of the gate had broken the screw. In the photo above you can see the round circle where the screw was broken off.

The most frustrating part of this is Dadant seems to know screw is faultily. The sell a 65 cent metal replacement thumb screw. I have lost over $150 worth of honey because a they were trying to save costs on a screw. From now on I will use the other style of honey gate with a metal pivot and screw.


Mouse guard traps mouse inside

Posted in Bee Tools, Bees on April 13th, 2011

Now is time for spring cleaning. This hive has been plagued by field mice since last fall. The day I installed the mouse guard was cold and rainy, so I couldn’t get into the hive. I guess I should have checked it closer because I found a mouse trapped inside by the mouse guard. Once I unwrap the hive, I will be able to determine just how much damage has been done over the winter.

Dead mouse on bottom board

Making a Solar Melter

Posted in Bee Tools, Neat Idea on April 5th, 2011

I have almost completed making my solar melter for cleaning out bees wax and old comb. Once I get the time, I will be posting the plans and more photos for those who want to make one.

Solar melter for melting bees wax.