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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ardmore, Alabama
    Posts
    16

    Default Honey Extraction Equipment

    I am looking to set up a honey processing / bottling room in my metal pole barn. I have seen several different electric extractors on the market and am looking to purchase one that can process around twenty frames radially along with a camping tank and a bottling tank. I have seen a wide variety of prices and several brands.

    does anyone have any insight or suggestions. I am looking to set things up so I can harvest my honey out of medium frames in the August timeframe. Currently I have four hives but plan to keep expanding from year to year.

    Thanks,

    Big Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Posts
    549

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Have you looked at prices for the setup you are thinking about? Seems like a lot for the number of hives you have, even if you doubled or tripled what you have now.
    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ardmore, Alabama
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Agis Apiaries View Post
    Have you looked at prices for the setup you are thinking about? Seems like a lot for the number of hives you have, even if you doubled or tripled what you have now.
    I appreciate the quick reply. I understand. from what I have seen I would be investing somewhere around $3,500 to $5,000. I was figuring on a setup with a twenty frame radial extractor. I plan to setup a honey extraction and bottling system in my barn so I can use it and have it available for other bee keepers in our area to use as well. A lot of bee keepers around our area really can't afford the equipment and I figure it was a good way to help out the folks in our area of Northern Alabama. I figure they could throw in a small fee with each super they process through the equipment and with the bottling and selling of my own honey I would eventually recoup the equipment cost. I am not really interested in making a large enterprise. eventually I would like to get up to about fifty hives.

    Big Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,281

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    If you're wanting a brand-name recommendation, I'll recommend Maxant:
    http://www.maxantindustries.com/

    But I'll also say that I usually recommend that new beekeepers wait a few years before buying extracting equipment. Your generosity in wanting to provide services for other local beekeepers in noteworthy, but that's a lot of $ to spend in anticipation of what may happen. (Two weeks ago we had a local auction where a guy sold over 400 hives - equipment, not bees. He had planned on becoming a major sideliner, then life threw him a curveball and he had to sell it all at a fraction of what he paid.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    The others make a good point about this being a very large investment for so uncertain a future. Since you only have four hives, but plan on expanding, why not start with just the extractor, a really good one? That's really the critical piece of equipment and all you'd need in a first year. That would help you gauge the potential. You certainly could not go wrong with the Maxant Power20F which could accommodate a lot of growth. Then, as things progressed, you could add on the uncapping tank and bottling tank and additional equipment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ardmore, Alabama
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by indypartridge View Post
    If you're wanting a brand-name recommendation, I'll recommend Maxant:
    http://www.maxantindustries.com/

    But I'll also say that I usually recommend that new beekeepers wait a few years before buying extracting equipment. Your generosity in wanting to provide services for other local beekeepers in noteworthy, but that's a lot of $ to spend in anticipation of what may happen. (Two weeks ago we had a local auction where a guy sold over 400 hives - equipment, not bees. He had planned on becoming a major sideliner, then life threw him a curveball and he had to sell it all at a fraction of what he paid.)
    Thanks for the guidance and insight. I understand. 400 hives is quite a workload. So would you suggest going with just an extractor and them filter the honey in five gallon buckets and bottle it? I am not sure would be the best way to process the honey once it is extracted economically. You look in the catalogs and it seems the least labor intensive is to go with a clarifier and then pump it into a bottling tank. I understand what your saying about how it might go from year to year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ardmore, Alabama
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by ritan1 View Post
    The others make a good point about this being a very large investment for so uncertain a future. Since you only have four hives, but plan on expanding, why not start with just the extractor, a really good one? That's really the critical piece of equipment and all you'd need in a first year. That would help you gauge the potential. You certainly could not go wrong with the Maxant Power20F which could accommodate a lot of growth. Then, as things progressed, you could add on the uncapping tank and bottling tank and additional equipment.
    Thanks for the reply. The Maxant Power20F was the one I was leaning towards. I saw some other units out there in the various catalogs but that one seemed to be the highest quality. I called the Maxant sales rep and asked if they gave package deals if you bout a capping tank, extruder, bottling tank, etc. and the answer was no. the prices are what they are and there are no sales discounts. that is when I started looking at other equipment to see what was out there. I think I will take your approach and just invest in the Maxant Power20F this year and see how it goes adding to the processing line from year to year for the various other components.

    Thanks again for your time, guidance, and insight.

    Big Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Guthrie, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    I too, am in the same boat as you. I'm at 6 hives now, and would like to keep growing. I purchased a Maxant P9 3100 extractor, that is still in the box in my garage. My line of thought was this: I could get a hand crank, but know I would want a powered one after a couple hours of that business , and if I bought a Maxant, if the hobby faded or i outgrew it, I know I could get close to what I paid for it. I don't see quitting my day job anytime soon, but would like to get my daughters involved in the process.

    Good luck!
    I keep track of my hives using http://www.mybeekeeper.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Rulison, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkape71 View Post
    I too, am in the same boat as you. I'm at 6 hives now, and would like to keep growing. I purchased a Maxant P9 3100 extractor, that is still in the box in my garage. My line of thought was this: I could get a hand crank, but know I would want a powered one after a couple hours of that business , and if I bought a Maxant, if the hobby faded or i outgrew it, I know I could get close to what I paid for it. I don't see quitting my day job anytime soon, but would like to get my daughters involved in the process.

    Good luck!
    I bought a MAXANT 3100P last fall, and LOVE it!! So will you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ardmore, Alabama
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkape71 View Post
    I too, am in the same boat as you. I'm at 6 hives now, and would like to keep growing. I purchased a Maxant P9 3100 extractor, that is still in the box in my garage. My line of thought was this: I could get a hand crank, but know I would want a powered one after a couple hours of that business , and if I bought a Maxant, if the hobby faded or i outgrew it, I know I could get close to what I paid for it. I don't see quitting my day job anytime soon, but would like to get my daughters involved in the process.

    Good luck!
    The Maxant sales rep said to empty a 20 frames using their 20 frame unit takes 15 to 20 minutes depending on honey temp and what it was made from by the bees. Sounds like the electric unit is the way yo go. I have a lot of friends that are very interested in what beekeeping is all about and they all want to buy some honey so I feel pretty optimistic but this going into my second year. I think it is great that you want to get your daughters involved in the whole bee keeping operation as well. I have a 30' X 72' metal building with plenty of space to set up a good operation as I add more hives. I also have a wood shop in there as well to make supers and various other things. Still working full time so free time is limited. I figured setting up the operation and helping other beekeeper a out with extracting their honey for a small fee per super plus bottling and selling my honey should eventually cover the cost of the equipment.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    I am running between 30 to 60 hives. The key pieces in order. Is your exstrator. Then something to uncap in. It could be as simple as a cooler, with a board and a nail . To a stainless steel tank. From there you have some options. Some food grade buckets. With five gallon paint strainer to just a stainless steel tank with a bottom valve. A lot depends on how much you want to spend. And how resourceful you are. My bottling tank I made for a couple qt's of honey and a couple case of beer. Plus $200. Most of that was in a valve. I am cheep I bought out a beekeeper and have up grade as I go along. Some of his Equipment I still haven't used. Like the clarifier. Or honey pump. One day when I have time.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Deerfield, Illinois
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    How do you maintain a clean area in your pole barn. I would like to do the same thing but can't get rid of the critters that seem to find their way in. I assume you could build an interior room and seal it off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    I am looking to set up a honey processing / bottling room in my metal pole barn. I have seen several different electric extractors on the market and am looking to purchase one that can process around twenty frames radially along with a camping tank and a bottling tank. I have seen a wide variety of prices and several brands.

    does anyone have any insight or suggestions. I am looking to set things up so I can harvest my honey out of medium frames in the August timeframe. Currently I have four hives but plan to keep expanding from year to year.

    Thanks,

    Big Mike

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    6,131

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Most good quality extractor wears out several beekeepers. I paid 1600 for a 32 frame dadant that will use me up and be good yet for someone else since I just replaced the bearings. Point is, look for used equipment. Lots of it around. I didn't and don't really need that big amachine but it sure speeds things up and the price is better than or some lightly built smaller machine new.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    I bought an electric 20 frame extractor from Dadant when I started beekeeping and I feel like that is one of the best decisions I made. My next purchase is going to be a bottling tank.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Edgemont, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    I have two 9 frame extractors and a heated vibrating knife over a heated tank.....It works well for one person. I can load an extractor uncap more frames then load the second one. It is way more efficient if I have a helper.....but sometimes we must work alone.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ardmore, Alabama
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Planner View Post
    How do you maintain a clean area in your pole barn. I would like to do the same thing but can't get rid of the critters that seem to find their way in. I assume you could build an interior room and seal it off.
    I plan to build out a separate room in the barn to keep all critters out and climate controlled as well. it is a metal building that I get occasional cob webs in but nothing else unless a bird flies in through an open garage door.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ardmore, Alabama
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by My-smokepole View Post
    I am running between 30 to 60 hives. The key pieces in order. Is your exstrator. Then something to uncap in. It could be as simple as a cooler, with a board and a nail . To a stainless steel tank. From there you have some options. Some food grade buckets. With five gallon paint strainer to just a stainless steel tank with a bottom valve. A lot depends on how much you want to spend. And how resourceful you are. My bottling tank I made for a couple qt's of honey and a couple case of beer. Plus $200. Most of that was in a valve. I am cheep I bought out a beekeeper and have up grade as I go along. Some of his Equipment I still haven't used. Like the clarifier. Or honey pump. One day when I have time.
    That is great. I like to repurpose items and improvise as needed. how much production are you getting out of 30 to 60 hives? I plan to purchase my extractor first like you suggested and then obtain a capping tank next.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, Kentucky
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    If you are going to build a honey room make it out of stuff that you can hit with steam to clean. And remember, health regulations. In my area you must have a 3 bowl sink and a separate mop sink. Check your local regulations and get it right the first time.
    I enjoy the bees as a hobby, no desire to make a business out of it. I just retired after 50 years of working.
    All the best.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    And if you are going to spend the $$ in the building. put in a hot room.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Honey Extraction Equipment

    I have a couple of Maxant 20 frame extractors. The design is simple and works. They have very good support. The 1-1/4" outlet is a bit small - it doesn't take much or a blockage for the honey to back up into the extractor. I tried filtering directly from the clarifier but found that the filter plugged up too quickly. The honey needs to settle before filtering.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

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