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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,995

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    I think I'm gonna reroute my trip!

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Seneca Falls, NY
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    I ain't even got a garage, you can call home and ask my wife!
    That was a great song... Yes Im older than old enough...

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    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.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,995

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of 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.



    Davy Crockett Beekeepers Association
    Greeneville TN
    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!

    To find other clubs in TN click here:
    http://www.tnbeekeepers.org/bee-clubs/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,442

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    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.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,326

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    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?

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,326

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    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.
    Building comb is expensive, and time is also expensive.

    How much does it really cost for crush and strain? Set aside you dont have to buy an extractor?

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Carbondale, IL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    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.
    One of my previous posts lists the elaborate processing equipment I used to own for 20 hives. All I can say in response to Micheal Bush's post is "Amen".
    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.
    Where are we and what's with this hand basket?

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,442

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    How much does it really cost for crush and strain?
    A hobbyist is going to equate their time as zero dollars. A small operation may do the same if they don't have payroll to contend with. Need could come into the picture if they feel they can't get the job done in the time that they have available.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,326

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    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!

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    >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.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,442

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    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.
    In all seriousness you could mechanize the crushing and straining to were it is no mess at all and speed would not be an issue because it would be 3 or 4 times faster. It really is about saving the comb.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Carbondale, IL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    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.
    Where are we and what's with this hand basket?

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,326

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >
    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.

    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.
    I respectfully disagree. I know bees will draw wax on a flow, and the point is it uses honey to make wax and making wax is going to happen in every operation every year but more so when the bees have to draw same boxes year after year after year. I find it a relevant point. I can also see hobbyist not much caring about this nominal amount of wax or honey as they probably dont care about running out of honey or maximizing profits on labor spent.

    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.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,471

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    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......

    Crazy Roland

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,442

    Default Re: Extractor Size for number of hives.

    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.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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