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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Extracting without extractor?

    I'm planning to build an extractor at some point, but still growing into the need. Still, after every crush/strain harvest they have to redraw the frames, slowing them. Are there any other methods to extract that I'm missing? How about a super cheap diy method like strapping frames to a paint mixer? I'm looking for real world experience here as I've already done the googling but that gets ideas more than experienced opinion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rutherford Co. NC
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    148

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    It seems spinning to sling it out is the only way to preserve the comb. A lot of folks use drill motors to spin all manner of devices. There are many youtube videos showing innumerable possible contraptions made of wood, plastic, metal and combinations in plastic drumbs, tubs and barrels.

    I spent good money last year on a full ventilated suit, and woodware, and this year on an extractor. I am in this for the long term and always see the best tools as a reasonable investment. I am glad I did not half step on the extractor.

    I would have made a 2 frame in a bucket model had I not the resources to buy one this year. I knew I did not want to pay hundreds for a 2 or 4 frame tangential then move up for hundreds more.

    I went cheap on my honey gate and my bottling bucket leaks. I hate bad tools and money poorly spent. I have to keep it on a cake pan to catch the drips when the gate is closed. U@$#!#@

    It seems that the guys in our local association enjoy gathering to rework their homemade extractors and show off the latest tweaks and improvments. It is fun for them I get it. I am not convinced they saved any money over buying one.

    If you like making stuff and engineering, make an extractor, threaded rod is a great place to start.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    I'm certinly not against building something that will last, and most of my creations thus far are made to suit my needs, not the masses, so often a better fit for me. That's not a concern for me, just don't have the time yet to get that done.

    Any other ideas out there? I'm wondering if I could spoon out the comb/honey somewhat, but not so far that I loose the "foundation" layer of the comb, making less rework for the bees. I can't see this going to well, but maybe...? I know spinning forces the honey out. Will they drain in any orientation on their own, even if slowly? How slowly? I understand the labor intensity here, but I'd like to save the work on the bees mostly as I can take my time to extract where they're limited to a strict set of good days per year to work. I wonder if a syringe could be used to draw the honey out per cell?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    If you don't want to build a home made model, there is one other option I'm aware of.......let us know how it goes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0tbPhWWrFo



    This one took me about an hour to make. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln5INwGOidE

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    Is that a paint mixer with some attachments in a trash can? Looks efficient enough for a start. My next issue, with crush/strain the support wires were a big pain so most frames have none. I'll have to do a round of crush then add wire for next time unless anyone knows how to add wire to drawn frames.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rutherford Co. NC
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    If your combs are well attached all around or mostly at top and bottoms of frame, they will likely make it through extraxting with out wire, or you can our rubber bands in place for extra support. The speed of extracting is a variable you control. Just go slow and stready with a week comb until mostly empty, them speed up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    I hadn't thought of that point... or the fact that if one explodes it's no worse than if I cut it myself, so no 'loss' If they blow, I'll add wire then, otherwise use them while I can. Thanks for that point!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    It's slotted angle bolted together the top piece heavy wire welded to a washer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    Out of desperation, I tried something. I wanted to save as much comb as possible but don't yet have the time to build the extractor. I decided to try scraping the frame with a spoon. I wasn't sure how that might end up, but thought it would be worth a shot. I was stunned to see the result. The cells scraped off the base layer easily, leaving what appears to be foundation below... though I had only a 1" strip of starter foundation at the top of the frame. The natural comb was roughly as rigid as the foundation. I did tear a few spots when the spoon hit pollen, but otherwise, no major damage to the base layer of comb. The bees will still need to pull the cells back out, as if I had used foundation, but this is quite a bit less work than rebuilding all of the wax. Also, it's already straight and full-frame. I don't want to do this technique too often, but for a single frame extraction, it went well I think.

    SpoonExtractor.jpg
    Last edited by DrJeseuss; 06-11-2015 at 10:45 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Oyster Bay, NY, USA
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    Wow, that is fascinating!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    I was surprised how well the natural comb held together while scraping. I was applying more pressure than I would have ever guessed possible. This was first year comb even, fresh this spring. I call my new device, SPOON EXTRACTOR. I'll be selling them for $25. Who wants one?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    FWIW, I saw this awhile back and it seemed of interest. FBM has has a lot of videos and runs a school, sells nucs, queens, has quite the little empire so would seem to be credible.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuO_BdmvJsg

    I'm fortunate in that my mentor has extractors, strainers, etc. so haven't had to travel this road yet.

    Something I've wondered about "gravity extraction" is that it seems like something you would not want to do in your kitchen, or anywhere in the living quarters of your home. It would seem you'd need a "bee proof" environment to let it drip for a day or so? While I have a barn and sheds, etc. here on the farm, none of them are bee proof. Considering the cost of creating that environment, a small extractor may be the way to go. Perhaps a tight fitting cover on the "drip tub?"

    Very interesting topic, BTW, good luck,

    Ev

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    So far, so good. I pulled the frame for a peek and they cleaned 100% of the wet frame and wax, then started drawing it, having pulled both sides out evenly by about 2mm. Not too bad for a 4 frame nuc.

    IMAG2317-1.jpg

    I looked for spoon extraction today and saw the video you mention. He used foundation, while I got nearly as good a result with natural comb. This was something I didn't expect. Also worth mention, I got moist of the honey off with the spoon, leaving only a light layer for the bees. I did not let it drip but returned it to the bees to clean.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    I saw all those ingenious/cheap ways people were making homemade extractors. Thought about it; also looked at some extractors from Kelley, Mann Lake, Maxant, etc. and thought someday - but even the hand crank ones seem to be over $500.00. Then I found this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._detailpages00 (it was only $233.00 + $23.00 postage when I bought it). I don't think I could have made a homemade one cheaper, not to mention time involved. Works fine (for me), though I don't know how much better an expensive one could be. I did notice that it wasn't as smooth as a hand crank one from Kelley (but the Kelley one was over $600.00 and was tangenial). This one does hold 8 medium frames radially. The tub seemed of similar thickness. To me, this seemed like a very cheap solution (for now).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    The one at AMazon seems nice for the $$, I've filed the link, JIC, I'm amazed at the number of really "cheep" extractors out there? This one seems viable.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Extracting without extractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by exmar View Post
    The one at AMazon seems nice for the $$, I've filed the link, JIC, I'm amazed at the number of really "cheep" extractors out there? This one seems viable.
    This would be nice but at my current state my wife controls the finances of this venture, and she's not willing yet to expense such an item. In time... but until then, it's all about finding options that work for LITTLE (actual, not comparative) or no cost. After doing a frame with the spoon I think this was quick, fairly efficient, and the bees recovered the frame in very short time. I'm happy with it for now. Next up will be a DIY extractor. I know I can fabricate a $500 model for under $100 using 'scrap' I already have on hand. Once I'm nice and rich, or overly frustrated I may move to phase three, buying an off the shelf unit.

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