The amount of time spent keeping bees varies widely, depending on how many hives you have, how experienced you are and how you collect your honey. The first two factors depend on you, but Tapcomb® has worked hard to revolutionize the third. Thanks to our patented frames, beekeepers at all levels can invest a lot less time harvesting the tasty stuff, which means more time to enjoy it.
Thanks to Tapcomb®, your hive doesn't need to be opened up during the harvest. Simply attach Tapcomb's® honey collection tubes, turn our high-torque key and watch the good stuff flow. Harvesting honey from a frame that’s at least 80% complete takes about 30 minutes. Once a jar is full, what you see is ready to eat. No need for straining.
"I used to use a manual extractor, which took me about 4 hours to harvest 10 frames, including cleaning the extractor (which I kept it in a warehouse and cleaned everytime before and after using), and all the steps to complete the harvest. With Tapcomb®, I don't need to prepare more than getting a jar and hose to connect to the Tapcomb® tube. The hose helps keep away those hungry bees and then I can leave and come back later with my jars of honey ready and waiting"
- Veteran Beekeeper
The amount of time a beekeeper invests with Tapcomb® is dramatically different than the time invested with a typical Langstroth hive, and it’s easy to see why.
When working with Langstroth frames, the beekeeper calms the bees with a smoker before sending them on a short vacation using a bee brush or blower. Once the bees are gone, the frames are taken into a workshop or garage for honey extraction. This involves uncapping the wax-sealed comb using a special knife, then spinning the frames in a centrifuge. This forces the honey onto the walls of the centrifuge's drum, but it still needs to be filtered through cheesecloth to remove small bits of wax and other debris before jarring.
You can eat your honey at this point, but don’t spend too much time savoring what you’ve collected. The first part of the process is over, but second part can take even longer. If you’ve ever spilled honey on a kitchen counter, you know how hard cleaning it up can be. Now, imagine that applied to your tools, centrifuge and sticky work surfaces.
Tapcomb® cuts the time beekeepers invest so significantly, the harvest isn’t actually work. It’s the reward for work you put in to get the bees to this point. Even with our patented frames, you’ll still have to check on your brood and make sure your colony stays healthy. With CCD and other factors – like Varroa mites – this can be a challenge, but learning through trial and error is part of the joy of beekeeping. Veteran beekeepers love sharing their expertise and “newbees” love moving up the ranks.
Though you need to prepare your hive for winter — which can include mouse-proofing it, checking for proper ventilation to prevent rot, and even wrapping the hive with blankets in particularly cold climates — once the hive is winterized, very little needs to be done until spring. But as every beekeeper knows, when the weather starts to warm up, bees get active. Weekly inspections are needed to make sure egg production is healthy, the colony hasn't outgrown its hive, and pests and predators haven't invaded. Beekeepers except to invest a little time doing their weekly rounds until the honey is harvested in the fall.