Same here; looking for an extractor, however, for me there are a couple of different things,
First, I won't be buying it :)! My Uncle went in with his son in-law on 2 hives, but they died over the winter. He originally said he would buy the extractor and has re-affirmed to me that he will still do so because he plans on having bee's in the future; up to 10 hives himself...I have only 4 ATM but might expand to six but no more.
Second, he doesn't mind spending money for a better product, i.e. if one extractor has a better motor but costs $100 more, he'd get the better one.
So with that in mind, which extractor would fit better in that criteria? From my limited knowledge, looks like the Maxant Power 9F is the one.
Depends on how big you want to go. The 20 frame Dadant will do 20 deeps or 32 mediums.
Thanks..I will look them up. Given this is our first year I am thinking we may not need an extractor at all for a bit. As a newbie I was thinking OMG much be ready for all that honey but now in reality I wondering if I shouldn't leave it for he bees their first winter putting up with someone so inexperienced! ..but then next year...another story:) Thanks for pointing me to local folks.
I have the Mann lake 18/9 and it works great. A lot of people say it is not strong (as opposed too a thicker walled maxant). WELL just today (5-13-13) I was driving down the road in my pickup, minding my own business, when at around 58 miles per hour, I noticed my extractor doing a triple Lindy in the rear view mirror. When I got out of the truck and looked at her I was surprised to find that it only had one bent leg and One dent in the upper rim of the tank. I went to the shop and took the leg off and bent it back and then I took out the basket and used a hammer and a couple blocks of wood to take out the dent in the rim... Works good as new. it seems pretty strong to me... :)
Bottles or jars should be on the list in the first post, but I'd also throw in a recommendation on a couple of food-grade plastic buckets. Even with only five hives, you can still end up with a sizable amount of honey. If you don't have the time or the space to bottle hundreds of jars of honey, you can go ahead and store it safely in the buckets, and quickly return the wet supers to the hive, so the bees can clean them up and get a little more stores for the winter. I'd rather fill six or eight buckets, and fill the jars as needed, rather than trying to bottle four hundred jars of honey in one night.
If I were the thread starter, I would get what I wanted that would suit my current needs and expansion plans, but I wouldn't spend a fortune on an extractor with that number of hives. We generally run around twenty hives, but winter deaths (and the passing of our beekeeping patriarch) has forced us to scale down to six. We do fine with an ancient nine-frame radial; even though there are two of us, we really don't uncap the frames that much faster than the third man can load it, flip the switch to spin them out, and unload the empties. I'd leave the cappings scratcher off the list...the one we have never gets used, and a kitchen fork will do just fine. The tip of the heated knife will easily get the corners, in any case.
A large sheet of plastic from a home improvement center spread across the floor will eliminate mopping in the event of a spill. If you are going to be standing on a cement garage floor the entire day, throw a few sheets of cardboard under it, and your feet will thank you.
We keep a few wet washcloths laying around to cool the knife, because the knife gets too hot in our opinion.
You said your storage area is limited. If you plan on storing the jars in a different location than your extracting room, build a few crates and get a cheap hand-truck, so you won't have to make dozens of trips carrying the honey. Make sure everything fits through the doorway before doing any major work or spending money.
I give every frame a nudge the day before I rob the supers from the bees to help eliminate dripping, but it's a good idea to keep a hive tool in the extraction area, anyways...no matter how soon it's been since you pulled the frame, propolis is the glue that always sticks.
Speaking of propolis, if you save it, remember to bring something in which to store it. Also, remember a bucket for wet cappings, after they have drained.
Our honey house is plumbed, but in years past we took a supply of clean water to wash the jars off after they were filled. Put the labels on last, and make sure you wash your hands first or wear latex gloves, so you don't get fingerprints on the paper.
The most important thing in our extraction area is a box of plastic spoons. None of us has the willpower to hold out for very long, without sampling the goods. :)
They have ...they're called grandkids.....cheaper than a motor on my handcranked maxant...