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Thread: Large extractor

  1. #1


    I extracted about 50 supers last fall and expect at least double that much this coming fall after maybe 50 in the spring. Currently using a 3 frame tangential. Takes all day when I have help. Expect to grow my number of hives each year and think larger extractor will come soon.

    I have read with interest the reviews on extractors but nobody really comments on anything larger than 20 frames. Does anyone use larger extractors and what do you think of them?

    Joe Miller

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    Since I only use it once a year I need to be able to move it out to the garage and into the house and since I may have to do that myself it's important that it be small enough to get through the door and small enough I can lift it. If you have a permanant honey house and a permanantly mounted extractor I'm sure the larger ones are fine. But I've only seen pictures of them.

  3. #3
    jfischer Guest


    I don’t know why vendors persist in offering tangental extractors.

    For your operation, a 40-frame or larger extractor would be used only
    few hours a year. Overkill. Once one has an extractor capable of
    handling at least a single super in one load, the extractor is no
    longer the bottleneck, uncapping is.

    Any uncapper can uncap any number of frames faster than they can be
    loaded into an extractor, spun, and then removed.

    The next biggest bottleneck after uncapping is “handling” the frames.
    Take a stopwatch to your efforts, and see for yourself.

    For a total of 50-100 supers, if you use nothing but mediums for honey
    supers, you might want to look at a 9-frame hand-crank radial extractor
    to which you add your own belt-drive motor. (Beekeeping supply houses
    don’t make motors, and sell motors at very high prices. You can do
    better yourself, even if you must hire someone to adapt it.)

    No one except the very largest beekeepers need a fancy electronic
    speed controls to “spin up” and then “slow down” the extractor - a
    simple rheostat (heavy duty fan speed control) with a manual knob
    works fine.

    I use and like the (Italian Made) Brushy Mountain “9 Frame Radial Hand
    Extractor” (Item 802) as it is well-made, costs only $379.00, and has
    an easy-to deal with horizontal “axle” to attach a pulley for your

    If I were foolish enough to expand, I would buy a second extractor of
    the exact same type, as I really don’t want to own any capital equipment
    that I can’t lift.

    My motor is a salvaged motor from a large greenhouse fan, and while it
    is capable of enough RPMs to turn frames into a shower of splinters and
    wax, I have a screw that stops the rotation of he speed control knob at
    about 25% of full range. Belt drive is your friend, as a loose belt
    allows the motor to continue turning even if the extractor jams on a
    frame that self-destructs. One hears the belt slipping, and can kill
    the power before the belt starts smoking from the friction.

    My extractor is also bolted into the concrete floor, and on legs that
    have been reenforced with cross-bracing. I also have a 100-lb sandbag
    suspended by braided wire from the 3 legs to damp vibrations from
    uneven loads. When you motorize, you cannot simply have the extractor
    sitting on the floor - it can and will “walk across the room” until it
    pulls its own power plug out the the socket.

    But even motorized extractors are something that simply allow one person
    to handle the entire processing operation. An uncapper is a much better
    investment than an extractor motor. The problem is that uncappers are
    not cheap - here’s two of the less expensive models:

    From there, the prices go up and up...


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