What's the best honey extractor for under $200?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Default What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Hi everyone!

    We are getting ready for our massive two year Eucalyptus bloom here. It has just begun. The pollen will be massive for about 4-6 weeks.

    I have never extracted honey in my entire life. I have no clue how to do it.

    Please help me out if you can.

    I have some questions...

    1. What's the best honey extractor for under $200?
    2. What other tools do you recommend we purchase?
    3. Have you any advice for a rookie?
    4. Where's some good reading to help me prepare and know how to do it?

    Thanks!

    Soar

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Not to be a smarta$$, but I think the best extractor under $200 is the one you borrow from your local beekeeper association or mentor. I really recommend doing at least one extraction before you spend a lot of money on harvesting and extraction stuff. Like a lot of things in beekeeping, what works for you can be just a matter of personal preference. Give yourself a chance to find out what works for you before plunking down a lot of cash. The one thing I think is really worth having now are five-gallon buckets with lids and really good honey gates.

    There are dozens of videos on youtube that show extracting. Look at as many as you can, you'll find some that really resonate with you and others that are just horrors. These are a few of the ones I really like.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y59pJfUX58c
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_n9cGHQbU0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5ST...&nohtml5=False
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxNk...&nohtml5=False

    Extraction can be hard, messy work. I watched a number of videos before my first extraction and I felt prepared to do it. What I wasn't prepared for was how amazing it all is - honey is just a miracle and I hope that I never lose that sense of amazement about it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,300

    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Re-read ritan1's reply about 3 more times.
    I used borrowed extractors for several years before purchasing one. The one big thing I learned was that if I was going to spend money on an extractor, it was going to be one that lasts. I also learned a lot about how much difference there is between an extractor made with 18 or 20 gauge steel versus ones made with 24 or 26 gauge. Ended up getting a Maxant 3100 series and know it's a tool which will last as long as I keep bees.

  5. #4

    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Good luck.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    I know this falls outside your $200. limit, but Maxant has a two frame unit (model 3100h-2) that sells for $300. It can be upgraded later to the 9 frame basket and/or the motor driven model. You end up spending a little more than you would by buying the 3100p to start with, but it helps with cash flow if that is your issue.

    I second the advice above. Try to borrow/rent an extractor first to gain some experience before you buy.

    I have bought many tools based on price and usually have been disappointed.... just saying.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
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    2,295

    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    remember you don't have to extract now if you have extra frames to put in the hive. you can save up to buy a better one. I think you're looking around 300. might want to wait and actually see how much nectar you get.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Soar, you can use mine, it's easier that way. It's a Mann Lake Radial 18/9 with a motor, no hand cranking needed!

  9. #8
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    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Soar, you can use mine
    Good on you, JRG13!

  10. #9
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Soar, you can use mine, it's easier that way. It's a Mann Lake Radial 18/9 with a motor, no hand cranking needed!
    Dang, JRG! You sure are nice to us over, and over, and over again. Thank you very, very, much!

    Ok, I will take you up on your offer, and remember: you can bring as many bee hives here as you like. The bloom is starting and thanks for showing us the beginning flowers at the top of the trees. We couldn't figure out why my wife was waking up and sneezing dozens of times...eyes watering, etc. Now we know. Two years ago we both had to wear the dust/pollen masks for weeks when we had a crazy bloom.

    Last and not least, we will also offer you lots of honey if you like.

    Soar

  11. #10
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    Jul 2014
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    Rutherford Co. NC
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Consider putting off your extractor purchase until you get an extractor worth having. I did this and am glad I did not buy a 200.00 dollar model.

    The first year I had suplusbhoney and did crush and squeeze. Since you are doing foundationless, this should fit in.

    I had alot of wonky combs from honey bound hive bodies I inherited. I gave then new deeps and cut out sections of honey filled comb and moved the core of the brood mess up to new deep. Waited intil they moved up then took the rest.

    I cut the sections and dropped them into 2 gallon ziplock bags. I then crushed it while keeping. My hands clean and cut corner of bag off and let it drain through a collendar into a bucket. Yes ther were bits of wax at this point. I did this until the majoritybof honey was out of the bags. I then squeezed the contents more and dumped it into collendar combining them all at this point. I would rearrange them with a large spoon and rresqueeze with a small baggie over my hand.

    This took some bits of time intermittantly butbadded up to little actually as gravity did the work. I kept a large thin pan over the top of it all and a clean cloth over all of it to keep dust out.

    I then strained the bucket through a honey strainer into a bucket with a gate and filled sterilized jars.

    The next year I got a 9 frame extractor with a ding in it for under 400.00 and ran 19 gallons through it. I cannot imaging doing only 2 or 4 frames at a time and am glad I did not start with a 200.00 extractor. And flipping frames.....I only have to do this for deep frames ...not cool. Its so much faster with radial instead of tangential.

    Most of my honey came from one strong hive last year, about11 or 12 gallons, the largest part of the rest from another, about 4 from the other established hive, and two or more frames from each of the five I started.

    I say this because I would not have thought I would or could get so much from just that one hive. I am upto 5 established hives and 5 new ones and am glad not to have settled.

    Lost a couple of hives theough winter, but not to a lack of honey, I have almost three supers to extract waiting for warmer weather.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Quote Originally Posted by soarwitheagles View Post
    Dang, JRG! You sure are nice to us over, and over, and over again. Thank you very, very, much!

    Ok, I will take you up on your offer, and remember: you can bring as many bee hives here as you like. The bloom is starting and thanks for showing us the beginning flowers at the top of the trees. We couldn't figure out why my wife was waking up and sneezing dozens of times...eyes watering, etc. Now we know. Two years ago we both had to wear the dust/pollen masks for weeks when we had a crazy bloom.

    Last and not least, we will also offer you lots of honey if you like.

    Soar
    Forgot to tell you, you can't get it sticky during the extraction process

  13. #12
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    May 2015
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    Sacramento County, CA
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    879

    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Quote Originally Posted by rolftonbees View Post
    Consider putting off your extractor purchase until you get an extractor worth having. I did this and am glad I did not buy a 200.00 dollar model.

    The first year I had suplusbhoney and did crush and squeeze. Since you are doing foundationless, this should fit in.

    I had alot of wonky combs from honey bound hive bodies I inherited. I gave then new deeps and cut out sections of honey filled comb and moved the core of the brood mess up to new deep. Waited intil they moved up then took the rest.

    I cut the sections and dropped them into 2 gallon ziplock bags. I then crushed it while keeping. My hands clean and cut corner of bag off and let it drain through a collendar into a bucket. Yes ther were bits of wax at this point. I did this until the majoritybof honey was out of the bags. I then squeezed the contents more and dumped it into collendar combining them all at this point. I would rearrange them with a large spoon and rresqueeze with a small baggie over my hand.

    This took some bits of time intermittantly butbadded up to little actually as gravity did the work. I kept a large thin pan over the top of it all and a clean cloth over all of it to keep dust out.

    I then strained the bucket through a honey strainer into a bucket with a gate and filled sterilized jars.

    The next year I got a 9 frame extractor with a ding in it for under 400.00 and ran 19 gallons through it. I cannot imaging doing only 2 or 4 frames at a time and am glad I did not start with a 200.00 extractor. And flipping frames.....I only have to do this for deep frames ...not cool. Its so much faster with radial instead of tangential.

    Most of my honey came from one strong hive last year, about11 or 12 gallons, the largest part of the rest from another, about 4 from the other established hive, and two or more frames from each of the five I started.

    I say this because I would not have thought I would or could get so much from just that one hive. I am upto 5 established hives and 5 new ones and am glad not to have settled.

    Lost a couple of hives theough winter, but not to a lack of honey, I have almost three supers to extract waiting for warmer weather.
    rolftonbees,

    Thanks for sharing your experience...wow, I would have never imagined the comb/honey can be crushed and strained...thanks for the knowledge. I suppose I am glad I did not rush and purchase the $200 Ebay special.

    You must have one heck of a nectar/pollen flow there to receive so much honey!

    Quote Originally Posted by ritan1 View Post
    Not to be a smarta$$, but I think the best extractor under $200 is the one you borrow from your local beekeeper association or mentor. I really recommend doing at least one extraction before you spend a lot of money on harvesting and extraction stuff. Like a lot of things in beekeeping, what works for you can be just a matter of personal preference. Give yourself a chance to find out what works for you before plunking down a lot of cash. The one thing I think is really worth having now are five-gallon buckets with lids and really good honey gates.

    There are dozens of videos on youtube that show extracting. Look at as many as you can, you'll find some that really resonate with you and others that are just horrors. These are a few of the ones I really like.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y59pJfUX58c
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_n9cGHQbU0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5ST...&nohtml5=False
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxNk...&nohtml5=False

    Extraction can be hard, messy work. I watched a number of videos before my first extraction and I felt prepared to do it. What I wasn't prepared for was how amazing it all is - honey is just a miracle and I hope that I never lose that sense of amazement about it.
    Thanks for sharing Ritan1! I will continue to check out those videos and learn more. Would the Home Depot 5 gallon bucket get the job done?

    Quote Originally Posted by My-smokepole View Post
    Good luck.
    Thanks, I am gonna need it!

    Quote Originally Posted by ralittlefield View Post
    I know this falls outside your $200. limit, but Maxant has a two frame unit (model 3100h-2) that sells for $300. It can be upgraded later to the 9 frame basket and/or the motor driven model. You end up spending a little more than you would by buying the 3100p to start with, but it helps with cash flow if that is your issue.

    I second the advice above. Try to borrow/rent an extractor first to gain some experience before you buy.

    I have bought many tools based on price and usually have been disappointed.... just saying.
    I will save up our pennies and hopefully one day be able to afford a Maxant!

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    remember you don't have to extract now if you have extra frames to put in the hive. you can save up to buy a better one. I think you're looking around 300. might want to wait and actually see how much nectar you get.
    I think we only have a radical flow every two years when the eucalyptus blooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Good on you, JRG13!
    He sure is nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Forgot to tell you, you can't get it sticky during the extraction process
    Oh my! That's gonna take a real miracle!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    And remember to clean up the sticky honey before
    returning it. Make it more shiny than before will make everybody
    a happy beekeeper. I'm jellow now!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Found a 4 frame extractor on ebay for $170 total.
    But it is a manual one. Can be converted to electric
    if you know how. It is worth it for the stainless drum already.
    Maybe you are looking for the electric one?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    ky
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    89

    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Would the Home Depot 5 gallon bucket get the job done?

    make sure it is a food grade bucket, I get mine from donut shops, icing comes in them. usually bucket and lid $1.00

    David

  17. #16
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    I have the Maxant 2 frame and am working toward a full upgrade, powered and 9 frames. I did not start with it. I started with crush and strain which is about what I think you can get for $200. I would second the suggestion of borrowing an extractor for the first harvest. DO the work to sell that honey locally and for much better prices per lb. I get $8 a lb for mine. use that money to buy your own extractor. that is how I did it anyway. 50 lbs of honey paid for what I have now. about 50 more will buy the full upgrade. That honey is already in bottles waiting on customers. I don't promote my honey sales in any way. word of mouth keeps all I can get selling.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  18. #17
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    I'm doing it in reverse.
    Buy the extractor, 4 frame hand crank for $235 dollars.
    Then use it to repay later from the extracted honey. The more
    honey you have the more it will sell. Many are waiting for them!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Ravenna, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Blue Sky Bee Supply
    Quality Bee Supplies, Bees and Containers!

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Your price is close but mine
    is better in term of the wide tank space,
    diameter and height and the 4 deep frames
    all at once. Worth it for the $4 dollars difference.
    And later on can be upgrade with the motor on too.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  21. #20
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    Default Re: What's the best honey extractor for under $200?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueskybeesupply View Post
    Just bought this. Looking forward to getting it!
    Owner of Honey Hound Farm. www.honeyhoundfarm.com

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