Well we finally got a Sunday free where we could extract our honey.
Not a big harvest this year but I aggressively split the one hive that made it through the 2011-2012 winter a couple of times and ended up with three active hives. I probably took honey on two hives that I shouldn’t have so if I loose two it may be to starvation or mites. Next spring we will see and learn.
Extractor improvements:
I changed the mounting of the 3 inch PVC center pipe using a toilet flange that was machined down and drilled to accept screws on the ceiling fan. This worked great. It uses a O-ring (normally for sealing) to drive the center tube which carries the frames on metal clips. A lexan plate covers the motor ventilation holes and acts as a slinger for any honey that drips on it.
The wooden top bearing brace was painted and a section was cut out to facilitate loading of the frames without removing the brace. Cabinet drawer ball bearings were added (4) to prevent chafing of the PVC on wood that happened in the prototype. The brace was also screwed to the plastic barrel so I did not have to hold it in like last year. It is now a hands off extractor. Some of you thought that was a big issue.
The wiring was run through the center of the PVC tube to eliminate the wire being in the path of the wet honey.
Four stainless angles were added to the bottom of the barrel as feet to lift the barrel so as not to touch in the center and give the system more stability. Of course shimmy is to be expected if frames of different weight are added in an unsymmetrical pattern. As you can see in the video these frames were pretty well matched.