When you speak of uncapping, this refers to the process of getting rid of the thin beeswax that covers off the honey frames for the honey to be exposed. Only once you expose the honey will you be able to extract it. Uncapping equipment and tools range from automatic uncappers, handheld uncapping knife or comb, and uncapping trays.
During uncapping, your goal is to cause minimal damage to all the frames as much as possible since it is possible to reuse the drawn comb so that your bees can get a head start when it comes to filling up the box again.
That wax layer that you cut or scrape off the honey frames is what is known as cappings. You will then need a tool for collecting these cappings. Uncapping trays are must-have tools for a beginner to hold honey cappings and frames.
See to it that you strain the honey from these cappings then add this to your overall honey harvest. After all, this still contains lots of hone. You can also use water to rinse the beeswax that you strain out and save it in the freezer or refrigerator so that you can melt them later on into beeswax cakes.
It is always highly recommended that you uncap and extract indoors in a food-safe and clean area. These two activities can attract not only a lot of bees but also other insects that may result to a large scale robbing.
The Process of Uncapping
The very first major step for uncapping is the removal of wax capping from the honey come. When it comes to commercial applications, an automatic uncapper is used to do this as this tool has the ability of removing caps from more than 600 frames per hour.
There are lots of differences when it comes to uncapping technology that can range from the manual use of plain knife to the electric handheld up to the completely automatic uncapper. As expected, the first option will involve more effort and time.
But, no matter what technology you choose, you still need to remove the wax capping for you to be able to get all the honey out of the honey combs. No damage will be incurred on the walls of the cells if you remove the thin wax layer, which means that the bees will be able to use the same cells all over again.
There are some instances when beekeepers proceed to removing the honey frames way before the cells are capped by the bees. Most of the time, the honey has not ripened just yet so its water content is still high. As a result, the beekeeper needs to dehumidify all the frames before the honey gets extracted.
The process of uncapping is an essential step in your beekeeping experience. Just like the rest of the steps involved in this activity, you also need quality equipment and tools that can simplify everything for you. Uncapping trays are must-have tools that any beekeeper should never do without.