Instructions for the use and care of your honey strainer/bottler
These are the most important points to remember:
· This unit must be thoroughly washed with hot, soapy water and then also thoroughly dried before and after every use, including the first one.
· The buckets supplied are made from food safe HDPE 2 plastic, which has been approved by the USDA and FDA for use in food processing and storage. Honey can be stored in the bottom bucket indefinitely.
· The strainer assembly is to be installed in the lower bucket (the bucket with the gate valve).
· The cut-out lid is to be placed onto the top of the lower bucket after the strainer has been installed. It is not possible to snap the lid down onto the rim of the bucket; it simply rests on the strainer.
· The top bucket (the one with all of the small holes drilled into the bottom of it) is to be placed on top of the lower bucket and supported by the cut-out lid.
· Combs filled with capped honey should be placed into the upper bucket one or two at a time. Use a bread knife, plastic putty knife or other similar object to cut up the comb, pulverizing it until you achieve something with the basic consistency of oatmeal. Try to avoid forcing downward or crushing/mashing the combs, as this can force wax into the small holes in the bottom of the bucket, clogging them.
· Continue to add and cut combs in this manner until you have run out of combs, or until the upper bucket is 3/4 full. Do not overfill the unit, as it can become excessively top-heavy and unstable.
· Place the solid lid onto the top of the upper bucket without pressing it firmly onto the bucket. Securely installing the lid onto the upper bucket may cause a vacuum to be created which could prevent the honey from draining properly. If you want to snap the lid firmly onto the bucket for whatever reason, it will be necessary to put a small hole in the lid with a nail or similar object.
· Allow the honey to drain into the lower bucket for at least twenty-four hours before you begin bottling it. If the honey has a particularly low moisture content (making it thicker), it may take up to 72 hours for most of the honey to drain from the upper bucket. Placing the unit in the sun or gently warming it by some other means will speed up the process. Also, stir the wax every 12 hours to release any honey that becomes trapped in it.
If you wish to use the beeswax, the fastest, cleanest and easiest way to melt it down is with a solar wax melter.