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Alastair

Honey Refractometers

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I’ve got one of those too. It works well. 

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Awesome, i've ordered.

 

Wonder how the $600 ones are justified?

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

Awesome, i've ordered.

 

 

Are you going to Conference, I will be there and if so I will tell you how to do the adjustment etc.

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Thanks for the offer Trevor but I won't be there. However I have used refractometers before, just not for honey.

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24 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Thanks for the offer Trevor but I won't be there. However I have used refractometers before, just not for honey.

All good.  Let me know if you have any difficulty. @Dave Black told me how to get mine running correctly.

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Making it sound complicated Trevor. 😳 I thought it was just a matter of putting the calibrating liquid on and turning the screw?

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19 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Making it sound complicated Trevor. 😳 I thought it was just a matter of putting the calibrating liquid on and turning the screw?

Sort of.

There is a small piece of glass with the kit.  One side is sandblasted.  Put a little (1 drop) of dioptic oil on that side. The put the glass oiled/sandblaster side down onto the plate.  Then you can check and adjust the reading to the graduation line.  That is the line off to the side and just above the 78 mark on the unit shown.

I only check mine at the start of each harvest season.

 

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Thanks Trevor. If i run into any problems I'll get back to you. 🙂

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One of the most important things is to wait until the refractometer, ambient, and honey temperature are all the same. The refractometer has ATC - automatic temperature correction, but having all three the same temp improves the accuracy.

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If you're ever wanting to cross-check the accuracy and calibration of your refractometer, we've got an accredited moisture method at the lab that you could use to make sure you're getting the same results.  Sending in one or two samples as a bit of a QC check would do the trick. We currently charge $20 +GST per sample and don't need much honey at all to run the test. 

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Thanks Alastair for bring this to our attention. 

I to, have recently thought about buying one, but have thought twice about the cost of buying one from a NZ supplier. Thanks to the feedback from your enquiry, I have just placed an order from the site you suggested. 👍

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Posted (edited)

LOL BeeGirl, I thought maybe i should import 50 and flog them for $150 each. But the secret's out now. 😄

And thanks for the great advice Sailabee and Kate R.

 

The primary thing i plan to use it for is testing uncapped honey before harvest. At the end of the flow last year there were uncapped frames that looked pretty low moisture to me, just the bees weren't bothered to cap them. But will be good to know for sure.

 

Which bring sup another thing / question, using the supplied eye dropper thingy, i guess it would have to be washed out and dried between each use to prevent different samples mixing. This is not going to work in a field situation where i may want to test many samples in a day. So i was thinking of taking a drop of honey out of the combs with a matchstick or twig and applying that to the refractometer, I'm guessing that would work if i'm quick and just use the hanging drop?

Edited by Alastair

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

Which bring sup another thing / question, using the supplied eye dropper thingy, i guess it would have to be washed out and dried between each use to prevent different samples mixing. This is not going to work in a field situation where i may want to test many samples in a day. So i was thinking of taking a drop of honey out of the combs with a matchstick or twig and applying that to the refractometer, I'm guessing that would work if i'm quick and just use the hanging drop?

I use a match stick or if no one is looking, then the hive tool or my finger works pretty well.

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

LOL BeeGirl, I thought maybe i should import 50 and flog them for $150 each. But the secret's out now. 😄

Don't do it. Trademe price is $45.00

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I wouldn't really do it. Karma and all that....

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Look after both the glass that the honey goes on and the plastic flap - I use soft tissues, clean water and gently dry as scratches will not improve the accuracy. if your using it at several locations in one day, I would only use the diotric oil the first time, and change to NZ extra virgin olive oil after that to help the diotric oil go further.

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Good advice. I'm thinking once it's calibrated I'll try some olive oil and see if it reads the same as the calibration fluid. If it does, good to go. 🙂

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Good advice. I'm thinking once it's calibrated I'll try some olive oil and see if it reads the same as the calibration fluid. If it does, good to go. 🙂

Extra virgin olive oil is 26.5% (As per Dr Karyn Rogers) at Wanganui conference.

You do not use the little glass thingy with the olive oil. Just do a normal moisture test.

 

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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Posted (edited)

Thanks that's handy. I only use extra virgin NZ olive oil, after reading about nearly 50% of olive oil on US supermarket shelves having some degree of adulteration, to no real olive oil at all. Bit like their honey.

 

So once calibrated I'll see if the olive oil gives 26.5, if so, all good. 🙂

Edited by Alastair
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7 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Thanks that's handy. I only use extra virgin NZ olive oil, after reading about nearly 50% of olive oil on US supermarket shelves having some degree of adulteration, to no real olive oil at all. Bit like their honey.

 

So once calibrated I'll see if the olive oil gives 26.5, if so, all good. 🙂

Yes.  That is about right.

You don't need 100% accuracy just as long as the results are consistent.  Then you have a pretty close idea on the maturity of the honey.

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So is this  doofer all about sciencing up the shake the frame on it's side thing ? 

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32 minutes ago, yesbut said:

So is this  doofer all about sciencing up the shake the frame on it's side thing ? 

Pretty much.

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Or, is it so you know exactly how much water you can add before jarring ?

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