Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric power h
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  1. #1
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    Default Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric power h

    Your point of view is important.

    Today, almost all agricultural work is mechanized, and manual labor is replaced by machines in other industries, except for the beekeeping industry.
    We have efficient extractors, uncappers and pumps for extracting honey. We have forklifts, bobcats and cranes for loading beehives and supers. But, the hardest work is pulling honey and carrying heavy supers which many of us are doing by hands. As a result, productivity decreases and beekeepers experience back pain and injured knees and shoulders.
    Nowadays, more and more beekeepers use Bee Escapes for pulling honey. This is the most efficient way to pull honey and is friendly for both bees and beekeepers. However, using Bee Escapes requires a crane or another device for lifting stacks of supers. I know that some beekeepers have a good experience with a crane, but some find it very pricey. We also have efficient and affordable electric Hive Lifter available, but for some reason, it is not popular among beekeepers in North America.
    Why do some beekeepers choose not to use devices that make their work easier, quicker, and most importantly, safer for their health?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by borisf View Post
    Why do some beekeepers choose not to use devices that make their work easier, quicker, and most importantly, safer for their health?
    Mostly because they are "frugal." There is another word..... Every dollar spent for equipment such as HL that can be performed by hand is a dollar out of their pocket. Also, it is another piece of equipment needed to hauled around in a the truck or ??? They you have to lift the Hive Lifter in and out of the truck or have ramps (that you now have buy and carry) to run the lifter into the truck.....
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Why do some beekeepers choose not to use devices that make their work easier, quicker, and most importantly, safer for their health?
    Too much of a niche market given the $1200usd price tag.
    Its market would seem to be those who are big enuff to see the roi in labor savings in 2-3 years and don't have drive up access to thier hives to use a $300 truck mounted set up https://www.beeculture.com/ohhh-aching-back/


    or a simple and cheap mono rail Contraption 2018 007.jpgContraption 2018 006.jpg


    They also need to have enuff hives per yard to make it worth dragging the 7o pound hive lift in and out of their pickup truck and down to the hives, but be small eunff they aren't in flatbed trailer and skid steer world, and it helps if they manage in all deeps.

    For most either they are big enough to drive up and used truck mounted/towed gear, or they are small enuff its just far easier to toss some shallows/mediums around, and they will be close to 1/2 way done before they could have gotten the lift out the truck and down the trail to the hives

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    I think a big role here is played by stereotypes. I was ran a commercial apiary in 2 countries and everywhere different stereotypes. Most beeks does a same like his neighbor beek. And i did a same,
    as a result - back surgery and meniscus on knees.Almost all beeks after 60 complain about their backs. Heavy lifting destroyed our body. You can buy a crane or Hive Lifter ,if it broke's you can fix it, but if your back broke's you can lose all business.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    I just purchased an Apijuneda 2006-H crane and really like it. I am an American beekeeper. I've had many commercial beekeepers here opine that it's "slow" or "inefficient", etc. Sure, it's slower than a forklift loader, but there are benefits too. Each beekeeper should logically think what can serve them best. For me, I was tired of having hired help flake out during critical times. I wanted to be self sufficient. When purchased, I did not have nor want to spend the $50K buy-in for a hummer bee type machine. Nor did/do I want to buy the extra trailer to cart around, or the weight for that matter.

    My outyards can all handle my truck loaded with 60 colonies. My almond placements all accommodate the crane. I can pull honey with escape boards and not destroy my body. Amortized over time, the crane is a very small expense and well worth the price. And if one day I find that I require a loader, I'll look for a good deal on a used, well maintained forklift - maybe a new one - and buy it.

    Just my 2 cents

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by borisf View Post
    Nowadays, more and more beekeepers use Bee Escapes for pulling honey. This is the most efficient way to pull honey and is friendly for both bees and beekeepers.
    Neither of these are the case. Young/foreign labour with fume boards (or maybe tip up) is the solution. A crane costs as much as a forklift in some cases and requires a lot more maintenance while taking up deck space on a truck and is only useable on 2 way pallets.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    [QUOTE=Beetastic;1699171]I just purchased an Apijuneda 2006-H crane and really like it.[QUOTE
    The Crane is a good solution for moving hives and pulling honey.I built my first one at 1992. It was a simple construction but i loaded pallets of 4 doubles hives on the trailer and pulled honey supers.Attachment 46167Attachment 46169 I know that in Australia and New Zealand 80 % beeks are using a Bee Cranes or Hive Lifters for pulling honey -local stereotype .
    Of course if you are young and strong you can do this job by hands, or you can hire people to carry boxes,but you will use an old method -blowing bees,grab and go,one box by one, walking back and forth,
    bees are stinging, confusing, fly off, after that 10% hives are queen less, disease may spreading because of it and the work is goes slow. Have you got any new idea to ease the pulling honey? I'll be ready to build any new device if it helps as.
    By the way , many years i use a Hive Lifter, a mush cheaper and easier solution to pulling honey than a crane. Work is proceed faster and easier no disturbing the bees. It takes 30 min for 30 bee hives with minimum efforts if you do it alone. As to me, it's work's perfectly well. You can see my videos ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQKpplSwS3A.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by pleasantvalley View Post
    Neither of these are the case. Young/foreign labour with fume boards (or maybe tip up) is the solution. A crane costs as much as a forklift in some cases and requires a lot more maintenance while taking up deck space on a truck and is only useable on 2 way pallets.
    Everyone runs their operation differently. I would rather use a machine than hire foreign labor that is most likely here without papers. Regarding your assertions regarding the crane, my new crane was half the price of a loader. Do you have first hand experience with cranes breaking down? I would disagree that they are a lot of maintenance. Much less so than a loader with many more moving parts, a diesel engine, tranny, wheels, etc in my opinion.

    These arguments are like saying "blue is the best color." Loaders are great. Cranes are great. Hired help and fume boards are great. For me, I like my crane. It works great. And when and if my business grows that i require a loader, I'll get one. Then I'll be able to pull honey with my crane and move 600 colonies with my loader into almonds. I placed 100 colonies last week in one day. Wasn't that bad.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    The original question was why NA commercial beekeepers don't use cranes or other 40 year old tools, I was offering an answer. Of course everyone runs their operation differently, including sideliners such as yourself. Your point on hiring illegal immigrants is a red herring.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Ooooh, somebody went to debate class! Also love the subtle (or not) passive aggressive "40 year old tool" idea.

    Per the immigrant labor… it's actually a real issue here. I don't know if you have 100 hispanic laborers in your Home Depot parking lot every day, but we do.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by borisf View Post
    Why do some beekeepers choose not to use devices that make their work easier, quicker, and most importantly, safer for their health?
    Mexicans
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by Beetastic View Post
    Per the immigrant labor… it's actually a real issue here. I don't know if you have 100 hispanic laborers in your Home Depot parking lot every day, but we do.
    Are you somehow forced to hire them??? Arguing over a machine vs. properly hiring staff is pointless. If they don't show up as expected or work as trained, that's a failure of the business owner.

    Back to the original question. It seems like the OP is wondering why his device is not selling in the NA market. A crew of guys and a forklift are more efficient for large scale beekeepers. I can see how this unit would be useful for a sideliner or hobbyist. I wonder how long that battery lasts?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by Beetastic View Post
    Ooooh, somebody went to debate class! Also love the subtle (or not) passive aggressive "40 year old tool" idea.

    Per the immigrant labor… it's actually a real issue here. I don't know if you have 100 hispanic laborers in your Home Depot parking lot every day, but we do.
    I do the same, I use a crane and it's hand cranked to boot! Move what I have to by myself.
    Yup, about the labor force here too.
    I don't believe for one NY second that any of it is the fault of the business owner if laborers-legal or otherwise- fail to show or perform poorly.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    I don't believe for one NY second that any of it is the fault of the business owner if laborers-legal or otherwise- fail to show or perform poorly.
    Well, there's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again. Do you, NYer or otherwise, actually retain employees who perpetually don't show up or aren't up to the task?

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by pleasantvalley View Post
    Well, there's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again. Do you, NYer or otherwise, actually retain employees who perpetually don't show up or aren't up to the task?
    Do you actually have to ask that question?

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    [QUOT I wonder how long that battery lasts?[/QUOTE]
    The battery run's no stop all season without charging from charger ,because H.Lifter has small solar panel and battery recharging continuously . I do sell them , but not enough. Actually i shipped one unit to Alberta just a few weeks ago. Everyone who's tried one's told me that "i am very pleased with my device, so useful and handy''

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    I really liked that gadget that helped separate the boxes.......... neat!
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  19. #18
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    I really liked that gadget that helped separate the boxes.......... neat!
    Thanks for the compliment.It is a good tool for dividing 2 boxes. It's necessary when we use a plastic queen excluder , because bees glue it with wax and hard to open it. The breaker only works with supers
    that have handles with straight cut, not ''half moon.''

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Migrant workers are a lot more efficient than a crane or lift. Pulling honey is a small part of beekeeping for us. Splitting, treating, feeding, is a lot more labour intensive.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Are you ready to replace carrying heavy honey supers by hand with an electric pow

    Quote Originally Posted by borisf View Post
    Your point of view is important.

    Today, almost all agricultural work is mechanized, and manual labor is replaced by machines in other industries, except for the beekeeping industry.
    We have efficient extractors, uncappers and pumps for extracting honey. We have forklifts, bobcats and cranes for loading beehives and supers. But, the hardest work is pulling honey and carrying heavy supers which many of us are doing by hands. As a result, productivity decreases and beekeepers experience back pain and injured knees and shoulders.
    Nowadays, more and more beekeepers use Bee Escapes for pulling honey. This is the most efficient way to pull honey and is friendly for both bees and beekeepers. However, using Bee Escapes requires a crane or another device for lifting stacks of supers. I know that some beekeepers have a good experience with a crane, but some find it very pricey. We also have efficient and affordable electric Hive Lifter available, but for some reason, it is not popular among beekeepers in North America.
    Why do some beekeepers choose not to use devices that make their work easier, quicker, and most importantly, safer for their health?
    I agree with the first sentence and after that a lot of assumptions are being made. Bee escapes are good for many beekeepers IF their hives are close to their honey house for the second trip required, IF your crop is large and IF your equipment is good and robbing isnt anticipated to be a big problem.
    Cost isnt the issue here, as most commercials have already made a large investment in a forklift or 2 or more. We space our bee pallets strategically in the yard so we can place a custom honey pallet directly between the pallets on the ground and set all our boxes down onto the pallet which is ideally just a step or 2 away, then use a forklift to load the pallet (42 mediums or 30 deeps) directly on the truck. A typical day for us is for 2 men to pull 12 such pallets which usually takes 4 to 5 hours. Adding in morning prep work, driving time (many locations are nearly an hour away) and unloading time and it usually shoots the heck out of a day.
    Hard work? Yes but imminently doable for those with any degree of fitness. We have actually experimented with the bee escape system and found it difficult to fashion a way to stack 6 in a block and advantageous only in certain scenarios and it was always unpopular with the person running the uncapper who was then expected to break the boxes apart at line speed in the extracting room. Given that this person was already having to lift over every box by hand, making his work more difficult was a deal breaker when those boxes are more easily broken apart in the bee yard where the box could be tipped back as it was pried loose.
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