Uncapping Honey Frames with Heat Gun

Some people say honey frames can’t be uncapped with a heat gun. They’re wrong. It doesn’t work on wet cappings, but it works fine with dry cappings. Here’s proof. (This video is an excerpt from my Garage Honey Extraction video.)

If you didn’t watch the video, here’s the deal: The heat gun works on dry cappings, but not wet cappings. (If you don’t know the difference, see my What’s Capped Honey? post from 2011.) The gun doesn’t heat the honey. It just slightly kisses the thin wax cappings enough to partially open the cappings by melting them a bit. Most of the wax melts, drips a bit and hardens immediately. Even if it hardens over the cells, it’s still usually loose enough to open from the centrifugal force of the extractor. Scraping over the comb with a fork will easily uncap any cells that are still sealed.

Honey frame uncapped with heat gun (after extraction).

I do this because the normal method of decapping is too messy for me and produces more wax than I want to deal with.

Messy cappings (and honey) that’s left over from standard decapping methods.

I wouldn’t expect commercial beekeepers to do this kind of thing.