I think I'm gonna reroute my trip!
I think I'm gonna reroute my trip!
That was a great song... Yes Im older than old enough...Quote:
I ain't even got a garage, you can call home and ask my wife!
I have simple theory. It's not worth buying, using, cleaning anything less that the largest extractor I can fit in my door... My first, and so far only extractor, is a 9/18 (9 deeps and 18 mediums) motorized, radial. I can extract more than two of my 8 frame supers in one shot. I have used (but not bought) a two frame non reversible tangential extractor, and I would never buy one. Way too much work and time. You have to uncap, put the frames in, spin 1/4 of the honey (half of that side) out and then flip them, then spin all the honey from the other side, then flip them then spin all the honey out of the first side... and now you have extracted only two frames...
I just did crush and strain for 26 years and then bought a motorized 9/18...
But here is my answer:
up to 4 hives crush and strain
up to 8 hives crush and strain
up to 18 hives marginal, but I'd crush and strain unless you have the excess cash available.
18 frame for up to 400 hives.
> up to 18 hives marginal, but I'd crush and strain unless you have the excess cash available.
Or join a local beekeeping club that offers free or nominal charge extractor rental/borrowing. :D
Davy Crockett Beekeepers Association
Meets: 4th Monday of each month except December - 7:30 p.m.
Contact: Sara Ledford: (423) 235-6577
The DCBA owns an extractor available for members' use, the rental fee is waived if you return the extractor clean. The club dues are $7 per year! :gh:
To find other clubs in TN click here:
I think the need for a motorized extractor for beginners is they find out the fun doesn't last too long when you are cranking. I don't see the sense in buying a tangential extractor. If you are going to buy or build one make it radial and spin the frames once. The simplest thing you can do it make a frame, wood or metal with at least a 1/2 metal rod between two frames and spin it with a hand drill in a barrel.
Obviously, crush and strain is the cheapest way to go but when you first start out you are trying to build up drawn comb so that is a conflict. Storing equipment can be a challenge, I agree.
I used a 9 med frame Italian 3 deep extractor until I got past 144 colonies. Then I found a really good deal on (2) 32 frame dadants and run that on 400 colonies now. I disagree with Mike. You need more than 1 18 frame extractor for 400, less you go back to how hard do you want to work as Ron pointed out, or in this case how long do you want to extract honey for during the winter months?
If I ever get past 20 hives again I will consider an radial extractor only. Tangentials are not worth the money or grief. Until then crush and strain will be just fine.
You can't truly speak for all hobbyist to list their hobby time as zero dollars. I know lots of hobby golfers and anglers who like to see paycheck for their invested time. However I understand hobbyist probably do not put a dollar figure on every hour invested.
Still how much does it cost to do crush and strain?
I can tell you it costs approx 7-8 lbs of honey per lbs of wax. So here is some basic math for someone who has 10 colonies as a hobbyist (which is probably hobby selling their honey). Lets say they render 2 lbs of wax per colony per year. Thats 160 lbs worth of honey to sell at well I charge $5.50 per lbs. That would be say $720.00 of valued honey when you consider the cost of labeling and bottling said honey.
How much does a small used extractor cost, along with the time and aggrevation of crushing and straining? You could be making wine or beer instead of crushing and straining!
>Still how much does it cost to do crush and strain?
I can tell you it costs approx 7-8 lbs of honey per lbs of wax.
It's not very many pounds of wax and the figures on converting honey to wax are irrelevant. Drawn comb makes more honey because there is room to store the honey. They draw comb pretty quickly in a strong flow and will amaze you.
>How much does a small used extractor cost, along with the time and aggrevation of crushing and straining?
I can crush and strain faster than I can extract. It's a lot less time and less work and no messier. I only extract so I can have drawn comb.
For me mixing vocation with avocation is a strange thing. I have been a professional photographer for over 4 decades on either a part time or full time basis. Years ago when it was more of a glorified hobby I felt completely justified spending ludicrous amounts of money on a lens just because I thought it was neat and had income from another job to support the whole thing. Now I look at any photographic purchase through different eyes. "How many 8x10's am I going to have to sell to pay for this thing" or "Are my clients going to care about what I can do with a fisheye lens or just think it's weird" or "Do I need this piece of equipment to better provide with I think a client deserves from me"
Beekeeping is a hobby and I have no intention of trying to make a living at it. If a person wants an extractor or any other processing equipment just because it's cool to have all that shiny stainless stuff then go for it. As long as it's not at the expense of life's necessities (including marital harmony) then have at it. The truth is if I ever buy another processing set up it will be because I want it…not because I need it.
As far as crush and strain being as fast as extracting I think that depends on how much extracting needs to be done. I for example can extract 4 (55 gallon) drums a day with my meager setup, which includes 2 other people helping me and we work consistentantly for 10 hours that day. Thats 30 man hours of labor spent extracting. Can you crush and strain 4 (55 gallon) drums of honey in 30 man hours?
Take into consideration of actually putting in drums, storing drums and empty supers. Maybe it can be done but I dont think its remotely reasonable way to extract honey. It would be better to just eat cut comb or sell cut comb than to crush and strain.
An 18 frame extractor for 400 hives? Do the math. How long would it take to extract 40,000 lbs of honey(100 lb average)? Oh, my stomach hurts......
It depends on whether you had two so one could spin while one was loaded. I came up with over 9 weeks, one shift for one and around 5 weeks for the dual set up. Going smaller and using the equipment for a longer period of time is better utilization of your capital investment. I understand that if you are paying somebody to do the task you what it done with the least amount of labor but if you are not paying somebody then capital investment takes front seat.