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> Plastic handle scratcher - bent needle
Plastic handle scratcher - bent needle
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Colour may vary. Whether you choose a bent needle scratcher or a straight needle scratcher, it probably is simply personal preference.
The most basic means to remove the caps from honey comb, is a knife. If you just have a box or two of frames to do, well a long clean-edged (either straight edged, or a coarse serrated edge) should be perfectly adequate. This would be further helped by heating the knife, by dipping it regularly in hot water. Some people like to use a cappings scratcher, which can be useful. However if you just use a cappings scratcher you will likely find that when you extract your honey you will have more small particles of wax to deal with in the honey. And I have found that lots of small pieces of wax clog the filter gauze much faster, slowing the whole honey processing operation. I only use a cappings scratcher to uncap the valleys or dimples that I can’t easily get at with my uncapping knife.
The next step up is an electric uncapping knife. If you have more than just a few boxes of honey to deal with I think this is an essential tool for a hobbyist beekeeper. The knife comfortably peels the wax caps off and if the comb is well drawn and proud of the frame it is a simple job. The honey when extracted is clean with very few small fragments of wax. It is important to recognise that these units are not hermetically sealed. That is if immersed in a liquid, the liquid can find its way in to the heating element. So please read the product use and safety information before using and cleaning the knife.
If you are a serious hobbyist, semi-commercial, or a beekeeping club, where there is significant demand in the honey processing season for the honey room, you will likely welcome an uncapping machine. This is a quantum step in cost, but for a hand operated unit like the HS1B that we sell at Ceracell, the time savings and effort involved in the uncapping operation may be worth the price. Other units we sell at Ceracell up from the HS1B are semi-automatic and automatic uncapping machines. These are the S1B (hand fed but automatic uncapper) the S3B (chain top fed, bottom out) or the S4B (chain top fed, top out) machines. Some have a few variations and we can advise you on the best one for your operation.
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