A friend and I were talking the other day of the subject of extracting for hobbyists. He lives in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan where beekeepers are far and few in between.
He has a novel idea of having their club by a small 6-12 frame extractor and placing it in a covered trailer along with all the other extracting needs. That way it could be moved from one club member to the next. I think it would be a great idea even for clubs or associations to solve the uncapping problem. Does anyone else use this practice? And what do you see as the pros and cons of this practice?
Bill: Some friends and I kicked this idea around once with a slightely different slant. We had received a gift of a 24 frame radial extractor, one person volunteered to set it up in a building on his property with 24 - 7 access , he would charge two cents a frame for the use of the water and electric. You would have the option of cleaning up the equipment or leaving the cappings and someone else would do the clean up. A survay of the beekeepers found this not to be a good idea, most of the hobbist never took any surplus honey and even those that were squeezing honey from comb through a stocking resented the charge and the cappings for the clean up. We dropped the idea and my wife is forever relegated to the position of chief extractor handle twister.
I think your idea of a mobile extracting system has a lot of merit. Taking into consideration the frugal nature of the average beekeeper I would suggest that all agreements dealing with finances be made in writing and all participants make a up front financial commitment. I used to belong to a flying club that one could buy into and sell out of, but could not just quit , even if you quit flying you was still obligated for monthly dues.
Les in SC
I offered the use of my extractor for what I thought was a lot less the the trouble was worth. Only one person took me up on it and I don't think he plans on doing it again. Of course I made suggestions on how he could process the honey himself without the extractor also.
It sounds nice, if enough people would be interested enough.
I hadn't thought of putting it on a trailer.
Our beekeeping association owns a 2 frame extactor, heated knife and all of the other things needed to extract their honey. We charge our association members $5 a day with a $5 deposit and it is used all summer. It is so nice to know we don't have to buy this equipment but have ready access to something we really need. They take this money and buy the necessary drugs that we need for our bees and distribute it free to the members of our association.
I finally bought a 9/18 radial. I would think it would be worth the difference in price if the club was sharing it to not have to reverse them and be able to put two full 9 frame supers in at once?
This is something I have also thought about. We are in the prosess of starting out apiaries with 20 to 50 hives each. They will be from 5mi. to 80mi. from our home location.I hope to set up extraction in an 8 x 16 inclosed truck or trailer with 55 gal. drum honey storage .I do not know if this will work , any thoughts ?
sounds like you can make a go of it. I knew a man in fla. yrs ago that traveled with a old school bus and did that. he seem to have it going on.
he had 20 frame radial and 55 gal drums and a barrel for bottleing he was sorta liveing in the bus and just followed the flows.
The most difficult thing to rig is the water, but that is available for RV's. To be really convienint it would be nice to have hot and cold running water. But Probably not necessary. A couple of 5 gallon buckets of water might do until you can get to some water to do a better cleanup.