My first shallow is close to harvest time-- this is my first year. Can anyone recommend an extractor that is economical and does a good job (for 15-20 colonies)? I don't want to be cheap, but I don't want to spend a lot more than I need...
I think I would prefer stainless steel?
All of the new extractors are Stainless. Some of the old ones are galvanized. I would buy either, but I would pay less for the galvanized. You'll need to make sure it's been coated with Camcote or you'll need to to meet FDA food grade standards.
If you can buy one used for a good price it's one thing, but if I were buying a new one I would get a 9/18 radial. Last I checked Mann Lake had the best price.
If you run 9 frames in your supers, you can put two whole supers of frames in the extractor at once and extract them without having to remove and turn them over etc. If you try to handle 15 to 20 colonies with anything less you will regret it.