Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
Great video Astro....we looked at the larger Lyson System this year, I think it runs about $11,000. We have been running Maxant since 1996 and frankly have been happy but our equipment is getting long in the tooth and we need to increase speed. Without pointing out an particular brand , We are always concerned about what we hear with plastic gears breaking and a general condition of lesser quality in newer equipment. I hear you say itís early but I wonder if this feels to you like decades of good use equipment and how was clean up? Iím a little slow so what powers the steam part of the unit?ís are grease fittings and maintenance items pretty easily accessible by design? Hereís what we do now which as you can see I see very manual for the number of hives we run.

Well, I certainly appreciate your concern. I also had similar concerns about build quality, performance, and maintainability. When I purchased this system, there was virtually no one in the USA providing feedback on these units. Even BetterBee (the retailer) didn't have a lot of information that they could share. It was definitely a gamble - probably still is today (at least in some small way).

Watching your video and comparing it to the performance of the Lyson uint, I would say they are close, but the Lyson may produce better uncapping (more complete) than what I saw from your Maxant chain uncapper. Keep in mind that I use 9-frame spacing in my supers. The Lyson may struggle to get low spots if you run 10-frame spacing. That said, your current operation looks pretty good.

Regarding your concern about plastic, well, there isn't any present with the exception of the housing of the on/off switch, and the casters used to move the unit. Also, there are several easily assessable grease fittings on the unit. Regarding cleanup, I'd say it's pretty easy. The bars that push the frames through the heated blades do get some wax buildup near the drive chain, but they are easy to clean. There is some melted wax that sticks to the trays, but not much. I just hose it down and don't worry about scraping it clean.

The steam system is extremely basic (ultra low tech). It is nothing more than a Wagner steam generator used for wallpaper removal. Very similar to the one in this link: https://www.wagnerspraytech.com/prod...power-steamer/

If you need long duration steam, you could easily just buy an additional wagner unit and time it such that it's ready when the other is running out. Alternately, you could just buy a commercial steam generator, but that would put you in a very difference price point. I'm a one man operation, so by the time the steam generator is dry, I need to attend to something else anyway, and in 15 minute its back generating steam.

Lastly, The Cowen Silver Queen seems to be a time-tested industry standard that might suit your needs well. I see that just the head unit can be purchased for about $6,500. You'd need a steam generator, but if you've got close to $11K to spend it seems possible to get a basic Cowan system configured. I simply couldn't afford that level of expense for my operation. I was looking for a used Silver Queen system, but very few come up for sale, and nothing locally, so I looked to the Lyson, which seems to leverage the same basic design principles as the Cowan unit. Overall, I believe that the Lyson unit is a solid piece of equipment, and of course is produced by a large company dedicated to making quality beekeeping equipment. This unit is NOT made in China, nor does it look, feel, or perform like the garbage coming out of China.

Hope this helps.