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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central Point, Oregon
    Posts
    75

    Default Extractor Size for number of hives.

    What are the recommendations as far as how many hives an extractor of a given size will handle? I realize that if one plans to grow you want to buy an extractor which is larger and also that the length of the harvest will vary in different parts of the country, but I am trying to get an idea. For ballpark figures can you say that an extractor of a given size can reasonably handle twice the number of hives as it's number of frames?

    2 frame for up to 4 hives.
    4 frame for up to 8 hives.
    9 frame for up to 18 hives.
    20 frame for up to 40 hives.

    What as been your experience?

    Thank you for any feedback.

    Larry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    My experience is that a 2 frame extractor is way too small for 6 hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    a. It should depend on how many supers that you think you will extract, not how many hives you have.

    b. It takes the same length of time to spin 2 frames as it does 9 or 18. So, how long do you want to be spinning honey ?

    Just my thoughts -- Fuzzy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    buying an extractor is like building a garage. It doesnt matter how big you build or buy it still wont be big enough

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lancaster , S.C.
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
    buying an extractor is like building a garage. It doesnt matter how big you build or buy it still wont be big enough
    Or a workshop.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Carbondale, IL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    Originally Posted by riverrat

    buying an extractor is like building a garage. It doesnt matter how big you build or buy it still wont be big enough
    Quote Originally Posted by wbell View Post
    Or a workshop.
    Does anyone really keep a car in their garage?
    Last edited by Hamp54; 03-07-2013 at 03:13 AM.
    Where are we and what's with this hand basket?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central Point, Oregon
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Thank you for the replies. Perhaps I should word this differently. How about:
    How many hives do you have?
    How large is your extractor?
    Is it motorized?
    Do you feel it is too small, too large or just right for your operation?

    I am just trying to get some ideas.

    Thank you.

    Larry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    franklinton,la.
    Posts
    169

    Default

    Hope someone answers this as I intend on buying an extractor .I only have 4 hives.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Macomb, Mo
    Posts
    45

    Default

    a decent 4 frame manual crank would be fine for such modest needs, imo. They are popular enough that if it proves too small in the future, it is easily and quickly sold. Buy a used one, and you can likely sell it for what you paid for it.

    Blaine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Glenmoore, PA
    Posts
    97

    Default

    I have an old Root 3 frame that my grandfather bought in the '40s. I saw one like it in a museum, but mine is in better shape, tho it did make me feel old. I have had up to 12 hives. No idea how many supers I did tho, since that was long ago when I was a kid.
    Since beekeeping is a hobby for me, I never worried out how long it took to extract.
    Howard

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    In the past we've extracted around 400 lbs with a 3 frame hand crank. It's work but gets the job done. I recently took apart a treadmill and hope to use the variable speed motor to power the extractor, but that might not happen until next year.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Altamont, NY
    Posts
    146

    Default Two frame extractor

    I have both an old electric extractor, 2 frame Root, and a Junior Dadant extractor, again 2 frame. We used the hand-crank extractor this past weekend on only a few frames. After uncapping we spun for 10 minutes per side before flipping the frames. We tried 6 minutes and 8 minutes per side but it didn't seem to get all of the honey out. Anyone else agree with the timing?

    In the future we are planning on 20 minutes for each pair of frames we extract. If you're extracting 60 frames that would be around 10 hours of spinning. I think my arm would get tired. I haven't used the electric extractor but I could see doing other things while it is extracting. It might make the 10 hours go a bit faster and not make one of my arms larger than the other.

    Oh, in case anyone is wondering, we bought the hand-crank extractor before we knew that we would be given a motorized extractor. Hey... can't hurt to have two, right?

    Keith

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    fuzzy writes:
    a. It should depend on how many supers that you think you will extract, not how many hives you have.

    tecumseh suggest: how many super and over what time frame you might wish to extract.

    as an example a hobbist might lean towards a bit bigger extractor if they knew they only had a short period of time (say a weekend) to extract.

    other variable:
    tangent vs radial.

    hand cranked vs motorized.

    my current history:
    I have an old 4 frame hand cranked tangential extractor that has been converted to a 10 frame motorized radial. when I had 10 to 12 hives the old tangential worked fine... although these old arms did get tired. at about 40 hives I motorized and had a new reel built. this seems to be adequate for the limited number of supers* I extract during a given day.

    at the current time I am likely more constrained by cappings than by extracting capacity.

    *the crop here is very limited and I only pull enough supers so that all the wets are set back out by the end of each day.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
    Posts
    1,725

    Default

    I have had a kelly 12-20 since I started with 6 hives, it save a lot on cranking a handle but now I am looking into uncappers and other thing to make extraction easier and faster and now that my hives have grown in numbers and when I get about 100 more hives to justify buying one I am looking like a kid in a toy store when I see this in the link below, probably my next venture http://www.cowenmfg.com/store_items_...p?itemid=19255
    Ted

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,665

    Default

    My second year, I borrowed a 2-frame tangential and (for me) this seemed WAY too slow. By my third year I had a 9-frame radial hand crank. I now have 20 hives and have floated up the idea to my wife about getting a motorized extractor. I agree with the statement that the uncapping is a real bottleneck, but if one has a motorized extractor, then uncapping can proceed while the extractor was running. I usually do everything myself, but last year I had a friend come over and spin the extractor and wow what a difference that made.

    My recommendation is go with a 9-frame radial, and if you can afford it get a motorized one. I may have a nice 9-frame hand-crank up for sale soon!!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lunenburg,N.S. Canada
    Posts
    281

    Default

    I had 3 hives and a 2 frame hand crank Maxant. This year I have 10 hives and have extracted most of it using the 2 frame but have recently bought a used 20 frame motorized Dadant. It may be overkill but I'm looking forward to using it next year!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stoweski View Post
    I have both an old electric extractor, 2 frame Root, and a Junior Dadant extractor, again 2 frame. We used the hand-crank extractor this past weekend on only a few frames. After uncapping we spun for 10 minutes per side before flipping the frames. We tried 6 minutes and 8 minutes per side but it didn't seem to get all of the honey out. Anyone else agree with the timing?
    ...
    Keith
    10 minutes per side?? Yikes!! Are you trying to get them completely dry?? That is 20 minutes for 2 frames, that would take an hour and a half to do one super! No, I don't agree with the timing!!!

    I've got a 2 frame dadant extractor, and I spin each side maybe a minute or so, giving it some speed. If I can't get it all in a minute or two then the bees can clean it out, not worth the bother. If I can get 95% + of the honey out then I'm satisfied. Some of the foundationless combs crack in the middle from the speed but the bees can fix that...

    Now if you are extracting in 40F temps, or if this is a new excersize plan (spinning??!!), then that is a different story...

    Rick

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    Fuzzy, It's funny you say that about the spatula.....

    I have noticed too much stick to the sides. I let it run down for an hour or two and so the residual honey is all in the bottom. I also set a book under one leg to get it tilted over toward the gate too.

    I've used the spatula too, but there is a lip between the bottom of my extractor and the gate tube and no matter how hard I try there is a fair amount of honey that gets lost right there.

    I suppose using the spatula I have minimized that waste and it is down to only about 4 to 6 ounces, but still - it is a waste.
    Troy

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Auburn and Tri-Cities Washington
    Posts
    334

    Default

    I also figure on 10 mins per side when extracting. I extract with the extracting room and honey at 85-90 degrees. I agree this may be overkill but I can still see honey being spun out up to about 8-9 mins. How long do others spin frames?

    Troy,

    When you are done extracting let the bees clean out the extractor. This way the honey is not wasted.
    \"The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.\" - Mark Twain

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lee County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScadsOBees View Post
    10 minutes per side?? Yikes!! Are you trying to get them completely dry?? That is 20 minutes for 2 frames, that would take an hour and a half to do one super! No, I don't agree with the timing!!!
    I agree with ScadsOBees. I have two hives & use a two-frame, hand-cranked extractor and spend a minute or so on each side of a frame. Usually takes most of an afternoon & evening working without a break. I don't get every drop but I let the bees clean the supers for a couple of days afterward. It's relaxing sitting in the back yard listening to the bees recoversome of their losses.

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