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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Deer River, MN
    Posts
    11

    Smile Extractors: Want vs. Need

    My conundrum is that I'm a first-year two-hive beek this year and I'm going to need an extractor. I've been stung by the hobby and I'm enjoying it immensely. Living out in the country on 40 acres of my own land, I'm making plans for a total of 10 hives next season. I really don't see myself going beyond that size. It's a hobby, not a business for me (is that a bad thing?) and it's so relaxing to have these little bugs to tend and enjoy.

    So here's my question: Given my plans, what should I buy for an extractor?

    I don't want a manual unit because it will become a chore.
    I don't want to buy a small unit only to replace it with a larger unit next year.
    I don't want anything but a radial extractor. (for medium frames)

    I've been looking at several powered units from King Honey (too small), Dadant and Maxant (my preference) but now I need real advice from those of you that have experience. Would a Maxant 3100P be sufficient for a 10 hive hobbyist?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    I think the 3100p would be fine for you. I really like Maxant's 1400p power extractor. It holds 20 medium frames, and does the job well. However, there is a big price difference between the 1400p ($1,350.00) and the 3100p ($745.00).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenville County, South Carolina
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    You sound a lot like me, as far as planning next year. i am going to Brushy Mountain in the morning to purchase my extractor.
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/806/
    The place where I take my honey to be extracted uses this unit. I love it. As long as it is a warm day, the honey is removed effortlessly. No way I am spending 500 more bucks on a powered unit. The 30 seconds of hand cranking per extraction just isnt enough to justify 500 dollars. Hope this helps. Good Luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ga,Madison county
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Quote Originally Posted by scrapiron View Post
    You sound a lot like me, as far as planning next year. i am going to Brushy Mountain in the morning to purchase my extractor.
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/806/
    The place where I take my honey to be extracted uses this unit. I love it. As long as it is a warm day, the honey is removed effortlessly. No way I am spending 500 more bucks on a powered unit. The 30 seconds of hand cranking per extraction just isnt enough to justify 500 dollars. Hope this helps. Good Luck.
    I do not think cranking is that big a deal either,I like the extractor recommended. If you are just working as a hobby, 10 hives , removing once or twice a year I would rather have a extractor with the strainer and holding tank included in the unit. It works great for me, I would recommend one that holds med supers or larger.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Deer River, MN
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Hmmm, Manual vs Powered huh? Well, I'm thinking that might be a good alternative to a higher-priced powered unit. 9 frame vs 6 frame is probably overkill but makes for 33% less cranking when the time comes to harvest. Thanks also for suggesting Brushy Mountain too, I've looked at lots of different sites in my search but that one eluded me. Their YouTube videos were quite helpful to see, it's always nice to have a closer look even if it's just video.

    I still haven't ruled out the Maxant 3100P or 3100M but you guys have given me some good points to think about. Both of these manufacturers offer a conversion to powered operation so that helps set aside a few of my concerns. Anything else to consider before the purchase?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Spartanburg South Carolina
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    I think about any extractor is ok as long as it is a radial but i would go with a power unit as you get older and stiffer with more joint pains you will like a power unit much better , with a power unit you can extract one load and uncap the next load, just my thought

  7. #7

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    I have a friend that bought a hand crank one his first year. We are now using Maxant power 20 frame unit. It get real old doing the crank plus I don't think you get them as spon out as well with a crank
    David

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebra
    Anything else to consider before the purchase?
    For some people, where it's made is important. Maxant is American-made. The Brushy Mountain SAF units are imported from Italy.

    For me, the gauge of the stainless steel is important for durability and stability. The Maxant 3100 is 20 gauge, while the SAF units are listed as 0.5mm, which translates to about 25 or 26 gauge - that's getting very thin (higher the gauge, the thinner the metal).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,176

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Have you considered yield, production cycle, and time for the job. The average yield per hive in MN or WI is about 80 pounds. 80x8=640 divided by about 30 pounds per medium super is 21 supers. Yesterday I processed 12 supers in about 6 hours.
    OK, I may be slow Here is my process. I use a cappings scratcher, because it reduces the amount of cappings I have to deal with. The first load goes into the extractor, the second load rests on the uncapping rack while the first load is spinning; I have read this is the issue with a manual extractor, your cycle is extended by the time it takes to spin out subsequent loads because you can't uncap and spin at the same time unless you are built like an octopus.
    So if you have 21 supers to deal with over the season you are talking, at my pedestrian production rates, of about 10-12 hours work. I don't like to process more than 12 at a time because then it becomes more of a chore than a profitable hobby. I think it would get very old very quickly with a manual extractor.
    Someone will say "use an uncapping plane, or a hot knife it goes quicker" This may be true, especially in subsequent years when all your frames are fully drawn out evenly and if you run 9 frames per super. At the beginning those devices are less useful because the comb is not drawn completely out.
    Also be warned, it is not easy to keep to a given number of hives. I started the season planning to run a dozen production colonies, but because of abnormal good luck overwintering I had bees I had to put to work. Buy or make a lot more boxes than you think you need. I thought I had a surplus, but this season every super I own was in use, and I had to buy more frames from Mann Lake twice. A guy I'm unofficially mentoring had to keep running off to the local bee supplier and buying boxes at the last minute and putting them on the hives with wet paint.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    I use a cappings scratcher, because it reduces the amount of cappings I have to deal with. ... this is the issue with a manual extractor, your cycle is extended by the time it takes to spin out subsequent loads because you can't uncap and spin at the same time
    So you invite a couple friends, take turns uncapping and cranking. Pay your friends with a jar of honey. Makes for a very pleasant day.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,512

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    I do like the "many hands make light work" approach as well.
    You'd be surprised how interested people get when you plan to extract.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,176

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Indy, my friends won't work so cheap.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,531

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    I used the brushy 9-frame radial hand crank for many years. A good machine and served its purpose. Now I'm using a 12-frame dadant motorized unit. Boy what a difference. I usually do everything myself, so uncapping while the unit is spinning was a huge improvement in my throughput.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Great thread with excellent inputs! I have looked at all of the listed units, but will not need one until the Spring (I think). My thoughts are this I do like the Maxant 3100 as my leading preference at this point (USA & thicker SS). Power vs. manual $$ at the time of purchase as you can always get the upgrade kit later when you "need" it or $$ is better. The big design item I think the Maxant has over the others is the conical bottom which should let more honey drain out faster. They all work, but due to the design items the Maxant 3100 has my eye currently.
    Warning the above is the opinion of a less than 1 year, 1 hive (just split so 2 more pending) newbeek.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    elkmont alabama
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmooretx View Post
    Great thread with excellent inputs! I have looked at all of the listed units, but will not need one until the Spring (I think). My thoughts are this I do like the Maxant 3100 as my leading preference at this point (USA & thicker SS). Power vs. manual $$ at the time of purchase as you can always get the upgrade kit later when you "need" it or $$ is better. The big design item I think the Maxant has over the others is the conical bottom which should let more honey drain out faster. They all work, but due to the design items the Maxant 3100 has my eye currently.
    Warning the above is the opinion of a less than 1 year, 1 hive (just split so 2 more pending) newbeek.
    maxant 1400 p worked great last weekend. did a great job

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,986

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    My mentor uses the SAF 9-frame powered. He bought it used from his best friend when his friend upgraded to a Dadant 6/12. My mentor has had 50+ hives in the past (down to around 35 now) and his friend has had about the same. The SAF is several years old now and several tons of honey have been through it (mentor made 2000+ pounds of honey just last year and has probably extracted 1500# so far this year). It still looks new and has not given a moments worth of trouble. Both men are seniors and both take care of their equipment. The metal may be thinner than the Maxant but I don't believe either of these guys planned on using it to carry firewood. The SAF's metal seems more than adequate at keeping the slung honey from bursting through the sides. Sure, if you bang it up against something (hard) then it will dent easier than a thicker metal (the thicker metal will dent, too), but that's where "care" comes in. My mentor has had blow-outs in the SAF that took out over half the frames...the extractor was none the worse off from that. It is a smooth machine that balances well, runs well, and does what it is supposed to do. Who knows...maybe I'm talking myself into one.

    Ed

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    If someone wants to stack a couple tons on top of their extractor during the off season then perhaps the thickness of the sidewall will become important. The sidewall could be made of plastic sheet as long as there is some firm support ring at the top and bottom. As for the SAF unit, the bottom is in fact conical on the machine that I have.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Addressing the "need".... You must first get some idea of how many supers you think that you will do per year. You can then define your personal need. As for me, I figure 5-6 supers per hive. And then I figure 2 supers per hour to process -- working alone. That defines my need.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,531

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmooretx View Post
    The big design item I think the Maxant has over the others is the conical bottom which should let more honey drain out faster.
    I can't say for sure, but I believe that the Maxant is an excellent product simply based upon the feedback here at beesource. However, the design feature of a "conical bottom" is certainly not unique to Maxant. Every modern extractor that I've seen uses a conical bottom, certainly the Bushy 9-frame, and the Dadants I've seen and used all use this design. Although the "conical" bottom is nice, you still must tilt the extractor to get out all of the honey. On level ground, any honey below the spout will not naturally drain.

    I once saw a REALLY old extractor that had a great drain feature. It was a middle bottom drain that permitted all the honey to drain without having to tilt the unit. I suspect that such a design to not cheap and I know of no hobbyist grade extractor with this feature.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Extractors: Want vs. Need

    Thanks for sharing, I learn something new every day. Either I did not make note of that or it was not hilighted in the descriptions.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

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