Thanks for the link Ed , what did you end up with .
Thanks for the link Ed , what did you end up with .
>I'm kinda looking at extractors myself and brushy mountain sells an 18 frame motorized radial for just $100 more than the nine frame. So by the way I see it for just $100.00 more I can get twice the extractor
My point exactly.
So what about the hobbyist who doesn't particularly care about making a profit (or even their money back) on hives, nor do they ever intend to have enough hives to justify an 18-frame extractor, but does want to maximize the amount of honey they can pull out of a couple hives and minimize the amount of work the bees have to do to rebuild their honey stores (I.E. - doesn't want to destroy nice drawn comb with crush and drain)? I think that's your market for the small extractors.
Buy used. Small extractors (less than 30 frames) virtually never wear out. For most people, they are used maybe 5 days a year. Don't get caught up in the "what gauge stainless is this" argument. You won't ever wear a hole in the stainless. It's not going to protect you in a car crash, it simply holds the honey and a top and bottom bearing. The motors and bearings are the only wear items.
>Don't get caught up in the "what gauge stainless is this" argument. You won't ever wear a hole in the stainless. It's not going to protect you in a car crash, it simply holds the honey and a top and bottom bearing.
>So what about the hobbyist who doesn't particularly care about making a profit (or even their money back) on hives, nor do they ever intend to have enough hives to justify an 18-frame extractor...
It is, of course, just my opinion, but if you want to extract and don't care if it's profitable, why wouldn't you spend another $100 and extract two supers at a time? I think if you can justify a 9 frame extractor you can justify another $100 for an 18 frame extractor.
This is my 3rd year beekeeping. Decided right from the start to save a little money each paycheck for an extractor. First year, no harvest. Last year only had a couple of supers to extract (lousy spring and swarms), so I borrowed my neighbor's Little Wonder hand crank, 4 frame Tang. What a workout just for that small amount...but it did the job. It was however hard to balance the load and keep the unit from walking off into the next room!
This year promises to be a good harvest and I have more hives. I've decided on the BM programmable 21 frame. I'm not concerned about the metal thickness and I like the idea of the controller starting the cycle slow and ramping up speed through the cycle. I'm pretty sure I will have more hives in the future and I will have an extractor that will handle the load.
Your time is worth something. I have used 2, 3 and 6 frame extractors. The 2 and 3 framers are an old Kelley and a Root. With the Root you have to take the frames out and flip them. But, with 50% greater capacity it goes much quicker than the 2 frame extractor.
When I buy one it will 18-20 frame capacity. I use mediums and deeps for supers so I'm leaning towards the Dadant. Will I have the hive number to justify it? Probably not. But, the time savings will make up for it.
Alot of good points , with six hives what size extractor would be the most practical , would 4 honey supers for each be a good max figure ,so at 24 supers max which would probably never happen more likely 15 , what size extractor would do a comfortable job with only one guy decapping .Out of the bunch the brushy mt. 18 frame is the easy pick price wise at 995.00 but there not dadant or maxant quality .But they are using 22 gauge stainless which is thicker than the dadant ranger ! which surprised me .
If I had only six hives I would go with the six frame from maxant or the nine frame from Brushy. I use a nine frame that i made and i like the fact that I can extract one super at a time. Also with the nine frame I can separate honey from different areas. I harvest 500lbs a year average with the nine frame.
Get a Maxant 1400 it rocks and will do what you want just fine.
I'm undecided as of now...at times I say the 9-frame SAF, then it's the 18-frame one...then I start to wondering about that Dadant 6/12 frame one. I've got all summer to mull over it...at least that will be something to do this summer.
You have used the 9 frame saf before is there anything at all that would make you not buy one of your own , anything that wasn't good quality .
I can't really say that I recall anything that would say "Don't buy it!". I will say this, though...
The SAF uses a "different" way of installing the frames to be extracted than what the 6/9 frame Maxant does. Down below are two links that I'm including for the purpose of showing the different frame installation methods employed.
In the first Maxant video notice the metal fingers of the Maxant that hold one side of the frames and the steel radial arm that supports the basket and also one side of each frame installed. The fingers are tight and squeeze off some comb/honey as the frame is placed in the holder. Maxant became aware of the issue and redesigned (shortened) the "ears" of the frame holder as seen in the second Maxant video. My two major concerns with the Maxant in their "nine" frame version are how close each pair frames appear to be to one another...could this impair extraction? There are many owners who state that that close proximity of frames causes no problems...it is probably just my perception and me imagining worse case situations. The other concern is that the nine frame Maxant is actually a 6-frame radial ...the other 3 frames would have to be extracted tangentially by flipping them over.
Here is a Youtube video of the Maxant 3100P which appears to be before the mods were made to the "ears". About 2:00 minutes you can see the frame mounting arrangement. Notice the close proximity of the tops of the frames to one another in the pairs: http://youtu.be/KbXlDJnTGQ0
Basket mod for the 3100P: http://youtu.be/7XuaMcRIQ7s
Here is a Youtube video of what appears to be a SAF 18-frame unit. This video is in a foreign language but if you'll fastforward to about 1:45 minutes into the video you will get a good shot of the slotted rings that the frames are mounted in. The notched rings are nylon(?) and are durable and are deep enough to hold the wood of the frames. I will say that sometimes you have to work with a frame to make sure it is positioned in the notches properly: http://youtu.be/GOkMVJwF1Tg
I believe that the SAF extractor would last me a lifetime. I'm not figuring on using the drum for a burn barrel or to store kerosene in so it should be ok. The motor is stated as being a good one by several people. The one my mentor has is pushing 10 years old by now. It hasn't seen commercial use but it's hasn't sat idle through those years. The metal seems durable. As for as I know neither my mentor or the friend he purchased it from has had any problems with it. The only thing I see that is non-standard to the 9-frame SAF is that my mentor has a small bungee cord attached to the lid so he can leave it open and watch the spinning of the frames to judge when to turn the speed up. Speaking of that, someone mentioned a "programmable" control...that would be good for a large production setup, but for 50 hives or so it's easy enough to turn the knob two or three times during each extraction to increase the speed.
The Maxant would last me a lifetime, too...no doubt,...maybe two lifetimes (but maybe the SAF would, too?). Heavier metal, but do I need heavier metal? Excellent quality of hardware and electronics. Some reduced capacity. (My) concerns about the proximity of the frames to one another (probably not an issue, though). Without checking, I think that by the time you get the stand for the Maxant it will cost about the same as the SAF 9-framer. It seems that everyone that owns a Maxant speaks glowingly of it's "fit and finish".
Customer service... Reading people's posts and reviews it looks like Maxant takes top, top honors for this. Response time and customer satisfaction appears to be very high with Maxant products. I think you will get more personable customer service from Maxant whereas you will most likely be dealing with a vendor (not manufacturer) if you have a problem with a SAF. But, considering my mentor's extractor's age and the lack of problems with it, I wouldn't be afraid of a SAF. To be honest, between the two brands I haven't heard of a whole lot of problems with them. With Maxant, it's a heavier duty extractor (I think) and you also get a bonus of better(?) customer service...but there's that gap between 6 frame and 21(?) frame...sure would be nice if there was a Maxant in the 9 to 12 frame range to further complicate decision making. With the SAF, the capacities are more "mainstream" and the cost is less.
And therein lies some reasons I haven't bought one yet...lots of thinks to decided on. You think you've settled on the features, cost, quality of one and then you go "But,...".
If I can make it over to my mentors in the next week or so I'll take some pictures of his SAF...they should be better quality than what is found on the net but they also will be of a machine that is almost a decade old, so things might be a little different in the models now.
Ah well, autumn is coming and the beekeeper meeting...I hope those ladies make some honey so I can afford the other half of an extractor!!
Pretty much eveyone with less than 10 colonies doesn't need an 18-frame extractor, but would it be nice, sure. Particularly if its only $100 more, assuming you've got the room to store it, and the muscle to move a bigger piece, then sure - makes perfect sense. Would an 18 dramatically reduce the extraction time for the 10 colony beekeeper? Probably not much, unless they have several people uncapping. The amount of time it takes for 1 person to uncap 18 frames is going to far exceed the required spin time of the extractor, which will then sit idle for a longer duration.
BTW, The Brushy extractors are perfectly fine and hold up well. My previous extractor was the 9-frame version and served me very well. I bought it used and got a good deal. That machine has spun a lot of honey and now is being used by another beekeeper - many years of service and still works perfectly.
Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/
We went thru this process of choosing last fall. I was initially looking very carefully at the BM 9 frame radial. I liked it because it actually does 9 radial frames at a time, whereas the other 6/9 types only do 6, and you get the last 3 tangential if you want. Then my wife asked a dumb question. Thinking not of this year, but in 2 or 3 years, when you go out to the bee yard to pull honey supers, how many do you expect to be bringing in at once. My answer to that question was 30 or 40. Part two of the question, how long to extract a single super ? How long do you want to be in the garage extracting honey ?
I immediately stopped looking at 9 frame units, and started looking at 18 and 20 frame units. Initially I was getting concerned about things like metal size, etc etc, but then I got a serious reality check. I can pick up the Mann Lake stuff from a local supplier, at what amounts to the Mann Lake catalog price. For any other brand, I have to shop online at a place in another province, who has a list price 50% higher than what I see at the dadant and/or maxant websites, then an extremely high shipping bill to get an extractor from Alberta to BC.
We bought the Mann Lake 9/18, and I'm glad we did. When using mediums, I can put 2 supers at a time into that unit, and I can do a full super of deeps. It cost about half what a similar option from another brand would have cost me, simply because of the pricing from a local dealer, and no big shipping charges.
Prior to our move, we were the hosts for a club extractor, a Maxant 2 frame setup which had been motorized. Yes, it was somewhat heavier gauge metal, probably a good thing for the club unit that got dragged around a lot from place to place. But the one we got is 'heavy enough' for our use, it'll sit in the corner of the garage for the rest of it's life (or mine, whichever comes first). I haven't extracted honey with it yet, but we have loaded up a set of empty frames to take it for a spin. Our original plan was to bolt it down on a piece of plywood, but turns out we didn't have to do that. It was shipped already bolted to a piece of ply in the shipping carton, so we just pulled the cardboard off and set it in the garage. My only minor complaint is that the honey gate is not quite high enough to put a 5 gallon bucket under it, so we will use a 3 gallon bucket under the extractor spout, then pour into larger containers as we extract.
For us, capacity was the driving issue that made me look away from the 9 frame stuff, and into larger extractors. Once we had decided firmly to go larger, then cost was the deciding factor choosing the Mann Lake 9/18. I did like the looks of the others, but, it was really hard to justify them at twice the price (by the time it landed on our doorstep) when compared to this unit.
Thanks for all the detailed reports guys , its a tough decision , thought I would have run across a good used one by now !!!
Was at Mann Lake yesterday picking up a few items and checked out there extractors was surprised to see they had them marked 26 ga. stainless , thought mann lake could do better than that, even Brushy is 22 ga !!
I've heard several times that small beekeepers don't need extractors. How does a crush and strain beekeeper builds up an inventory of drawn comb? I don't know whether or not honey bees spend a significant amount of resources building comb, I've read conflicting thoughts on this. It seems that it has to free up *some* time and energy for them. Having drawn comb on hand also is handy for hiving swarms, installing packages. It just seems "right" to have drawn comb on hand. I hope to increase the size of my tiny bee yard, but destroying the honey comb each year seems like it would be counterproductive to "increase".
I've been looking at the Italian extractors at Brushy Mountain and at Rossmans. I was thinking that they were the same extractors on both vendors' website but they appear to have different motor setups. Those on the Rossman website are depicted as having a vertical motor whereas the online catalog at Brushy Mountain shows a horizontal motor, though an associated video shows a vertical motor. I've emailed BM asking to clarify motor orientation on the 9 and 18 framers and also to verify the brand. As a side note, my mentor's extractor is a 9-frame SAF with the vertical motor and has served (and is still serving) him well for several years...and his best friend before him. He's been extracting more or less a ton of honey with it each year.