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  1. #21
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    Jun 2015
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    waretown nj
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    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    I bought the maxant 6/3 motorless and that lasted one extraction. The next year It was sporting a variable speed motor. Have lots of friends around to take turns on the manual spin. I love the extractor but the hand crank is a dog.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,592

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    A couple seasons back I finally retired my old dinosaur 55 gallon drum home made extractor and bought a Maxant 3100P. For 10 or less hives it's been a perfect fit. A great investment in my opinion, they hold their value very well if I would ever want to sell and upgrade to a higher capacity extractor. I love the machine.

    If you need to save up for a while longer, wait and get one that is motorized. While the frames are spinning you can be uncapping the next set and keep moving along. I can't imagine having to stand at the extractor and hand crank the whole time.

    Michael Bush makes some good points about crushing until you build up to the point where an extractor is almost a necessity. The flip side to that, which I ran into, is never having enough drawn empty comb ready in the spring to super the hives when the flow really kicked in. If you have intense short lived early major nectar flows the bees are spending too much time and resources drawing out new comb. If you don't have the storage space to stack up supers over the winter then crushing might make sense. But if you do, then you will want as much drawn comb as possible ready to go in the spring. Just my few thoughts.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #23
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    Jul 2008
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    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
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    1,716

    Smile Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanInNJ View Post
    Morning. I am in the market for an extractor. I have three colonies now, and I have about 10 frames to harvest now. I am hoping for a decent Spring 2020 flow so I can get a bigger harvest. Ideally I want to run 2 to 4 hives, no more than that.

    I know others have suggested that I can borrow or rent an extractor from someone local or from a local club, but I have not had a lot of success with that, so I am looking into buying my own. I have been watching Craigslist without much luck in my area.

    I assume I would get a manual extractor. Is there a make or model that someone could recommend that won't break the bank? How big should it be?

    Alan
    How big do you plan on getting; will help justify the one you need. If you plan on only having a couple more hives, you don't really need to buy a big one. Too many times people come into our Stores and want to buy one that is really larger than they need. It's their money, but it's my conscience; and I wouldn't feel right letting them buy without me telling them my views. This is somewhat how I put it, "Well I could sell you that, and you can if you want. But, I think it's a little over kill for how many hives you have, unless you intend to keep adding every year." I had a guy that had 2 hives and was going to buy an 18 frame extractor with a motor. I sell a lot of 2 frame, but he wanted a motor so I sold him a 4 frame electric. It was big enough for his 2 hives and then some.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,126

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Keep watching right here: https://www.kelleybees.com/2-frame-p...extractor.html It is fall, and if they do what they've done for the last couple of years that two frame extractor is going to go on clearance, and you'll find yourself buying two of them to get the free shipping because two is cheaper than one plus shipping. Then you can sell the other and make some other beekeeper's day. Kelley has changed ownership so they might not do the clearance sale, but you have plenty of time to wait for a good deal.
    Zone 6B

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    I guess I'm a bit different.
    I use a manual extractor and find it great, except for one factor. I'll get to that.
    I can go slow or fast, it's up to me, and it really does not take that long to extract the honey.
    Flipping helps me see what is happening, how strong the comb is, and what I might have missed in the uncapping.
    I am not familiar with other extractors, which might be 'a dog' to crank, but mine is not hard. I had the gear bracket remade by a machinist mate, who got the gears to mesh better, but that was only needed because mine was cheap to begin with and not perfectly aligned.

    So here is another thought: Get either a two or a four frame extractor.
    Many times I get full frames that total less than a multiple of three. I have to store them until I get the right number.
    It's rare to get only one, and multiples of two are easier to find.
    Two, four, or one with a 'balancing blank', works fine.

    I can extract half frames as well as full deep frames in mine. I use a slanted 1/2 frame with a plastic hair clip to keep it in place.

    I have 6 langstroth hives and two top bar. The top bar are easy to cut, crush and strain...if the comb is young. If it has hardened from having been used as brood, or taken a long time to fill, it is very hard on my arthritic hands to crush. So I have a press for that.
    If you intend to crush, be sure your hands are up to it.

    Just my $.02.
    Hope this adds to your thinking.
    Extractors are great, manual is fine. Buy a two frame.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,440

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    I would stay away from a two frame extractor. Unless frames are nearly equally balanced in weight, shaking and vibration of the whole unit is excessive. It is far better to have a minimum of three frame extractor and more frame is better when it comes to balance.

    There is minimal problem with balance if one partially extracts three frames and then replaces one frame. Go slow so that honey is just being slung out.

    Buy electric unless that is not in the budget.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  8. #27
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,830

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    >Michael Bush makes some good points about crushing until you build up to the point where an extractor is almost a necessity.

    The other thing is you can keep an eye out for a bargin on a used one or even a good sale markdown. I finally bought mine when it was on sale at the time with a significant markdown, but used you can often get them for less than half the new price.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
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    90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I load mine up with 6 frames radially. The frames are dry by the time I get the next six frames uncapped using my roller uncapper.

    MB makes a real good point about the cost effectiveness of even owning an extractor, but the same argument could be made for boats, airplanes, fast cars, and trophy wives. I made the decision to buy a Provap110 and the Maxant extractor when I got to 20 hives. Even still, the extractor only gets used a few times during the year. Kinda like the aforementioned items.
    MB does make a good point but what about all that comb you’re destroying every year. Why make the bees draw it out next year when they could be bringing in nectar instead. In the end wouldnt you yield more honey and be able to offset some of the cost of an extractor. Also, crush and strain takes lots of time. Not everyone has that time.

  10. #29
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    >MB does make a good point but what about all that comb you’re destroying every year. Why make the bees draw it out next year when they could be bringing in nectar instead.

    It wiol cost you honey, yes. But you are making the bees do anything they don't naturally do.

    > In the end wouldnt you yield more honey and be able to offset some of the cost of an extractor.

    Some yes. But it would take a lot of honey to offset a new extractor.

    >Also, crush and strain takes lots of time. Not everyone has that time.

    I can crush and strain faster than I can extract.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #30
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    Mar 2013
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    Seattle WA
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    1,172

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    I have to agree with MB on this as well. I have about 20 hives at any given time. 6 of those hives are top bar hives which have to be done by crush and strain. With the crush and strain, the temperature does not matter. I use 2 five gallon buckets stacked. The top bucket has a bunch of holes drilled to catch most of the wax with a finer filter below to catch smaller particles. I can do one bar in 20 seconds or so. Once the top bucket is full, I move it out of the way and let it drain and filter for a couple of days. There is no rush to finish and buckets are much easier to clean than an extractor.

    I also have a 2 frame extractor I got really cheap a few years ago. I only use it on days over 80 degrees otherwise the honey does not want to flow out of the cells very well. If I had to buy it at full price I would feel totally ripped off. IMO, a full sized extractor would cost way too much and take up way too much space for something I would use 1 day a year. Also on the subject of crush and strain, it is really fun to squish the comb with your fingers!

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Paltz, New York, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    I just did my first extraction with a little Lyson extractor, 2 deep frames at a time, spun tangentially. Ended up with about 12 gallons.

    No real complaints on the extractor. Sometimes it shook if I didn't have the frames balanced, but I can't imagine that's different in other extractors. And it squeaked, but no big deal, probably could be solved with a little oil. The basket can be spun freely without causing the hand crank to turn, and the hand crank can be reversed to brake the basket -- both handy features, but could live without them. The bottom is higher in the center than the edges so nearly all the honey drains out without having to tilt the machine.

    I haven't tried other extractors so I realize this "review" isn't very useful, but my conclusion is that either the Lyson extractor is a good one, or it just doesn't matter much which one you get. Maybe if you're dealing with 50+ gallons you'd want a bigger electric model, but otherwise I just don't see what problem a different extractor could solve.

    I did all the uncapping with a cold uncapping knife. I didn't find the scratching uncapper useful at all -- it just made a mess.

    I guess the biggest hassles were uncapping and bottling. The spinning part went pretty quick, even with the small manual extractor.

    You definitely need to extract in a garage or something -- the bees will be very interested in what you're doing.

    Even at my tiny scale I think crush and strain would've been a disaster -- way more work, and no drawn comb for swarm prevention next spring. Maybe that's practical if you have 5 or fewer gallons to extract, but even at 12 gallons, if you have the money to waste on your hobby, I recommend an extractor.

    I definitely recommend the 5 gallon buckets with a spigot on the bottom. Pretty much necessary equipment. Maybe more important than the extractor itself.

    If I change anything for next year, it might be to have two 5-gallon buckets instead of one, and maybe I'll use frame spacers in my supers to get more frames drawn to that perfect width for easy uncapping.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    > In the end wouldnt you yield more honey and be able to offset some of the cost of an extractor.


    Some yes. But it would take a lot of honey to offset a new extractor.
    Not really. When we bought our extractor, it was the Mann Lake 9/18. After exchange and shippiing cost us just under $1800 cdn. That's about 200lb of honey. Putting drawn supers onto 20 colonies we EASILY make that back in the first round of putting empty drawn supers on the colonies so they can just fill them up and not have to draw new comb.

    When we do a day of extracting, typically it's about a thousand pounds of honey by the end of the run, that's getting an average of 50lb over 20 colonies, and we'll have a spring and a fall extraction session most years. I just cant imagine doing that amount of crush and strain, and sure wouldn't want to wreck all the comb in 40 supers, it would decimate our honey yields.

  14. #33
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    >Putting drawn supers onto 20 colonies we EASILY make that back in the first round of putting empty drawn supers on the colonies so they can just fill them up and not have to draw new comb.

    Agreed. 20 hives is enough to be worth buying a NEW extractor. Any number of hives is probably worth keeping an eye out for a USED extractor.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
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    278

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanInNJ View Post
    Morning. I am in the market for an extractor. I have three colonies now, and I have about 10 frames to harvest now. I am hoping for a decent Spring 2020 flow so I can get a bigger harvest. Ideally I want to run 2 to 4 hives, no more than that.

    I know others have suggested that I can borrow or rent an extractor from someone local or from a local club, but I have not had a lot of success with that, so I am looking into buying my own. I have been watching Craigslist without much luck in my area.

    I assume I would get a manual extractor. Is there a make or model that someone could recommend that won't break the bank? How big should it be?

    Alan
    I purchased the plastic crank Mann Lake 2 frame extractor. For the price, it did everything I needed...

    At best, it's challenging to clean, and the handle can get loose...fall off - and the metal screws are not well secured to the plastic.

    After my first use, I had to go "diving" for the metal nuts because they fell off the handle fasteners and ended up in the honey at the bottom of the extractor.

    Can't say I recommend that product. Would gladly spend more $ to get something more reliable.

    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all...stic-extractor
    Last edited by username00101; 10-02-2019 at 08:41 AM.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by cfalls View Post
    I just did my first extraction with a little Lyson extractor, 2 deep frames at a time, spun tangentially. Ended up with about 12 gallons.

    No real complaints on the extractor. Sometimes it shook if I didn't have the frames balanced, but I can't imagine that's different in other extractors. And it squeaked, but no big deal, probably could be solved with a little oil. The basket can be spun freely without causing the hand crank to turn, and the hand crank can be reversed to brake the basket -- both handy features, but could live without them. The bottom is higher in the center than the edges so nearly all the honey drains out without having to tilt the machine.

    I haven't tried other extractors so I realize this "review" isn't very useful, but my conclusion is that either the Lyson extractor is a good one, or it just doesn't matter much which one you get. Maybe if you're dealing with 50+ gallons you'd want a bigger electric model, but otherwise I just don't see what problem a different extractor could solve.

    I did all the uncapping with a cold uncapping knife. I didn't find the scratching uncapper useful at all -- it just made a mess.

    I guess the biggest hassles were uncapping and bottling. The spinning part went pretty quick, even with the small manual extractor.

    You definitely need to extract in a garage or something -- the bees will be very interested in what you're doing.

    Even at my tiny scale I think crush and strain would've been a disaster -- way more work, and no drawn comb for swarm prevention next spring. Maybe that's practical if you have 5 or fewer gallons to extract, but even at 12 gallons, if you have the money to waste on your hobby, I recommend an extractor.

    I definitely recommend the 5 gallon buckets with a spigot on the bottom. Pretty much necessary equipment. Maybe more important than the extractor itself.

    If I change anything for next year, it might be to have two 5-gallon buckets instead of one, and maybe I'll use frame spacers in my supers to get more frames drawn to that perfect width for easy uncapping.
    Hi cfalls, Yes on the 5 gal bucket with Spigot, I have 3 this year, with the 400 mesh screens. As 1 filled the screen I shifted to the next and so on. Also quite fast to fill jars from. I did 25 supers in a couple days. the comb is way nice to start with. I uncap at the wood level and use the scratcher for the concave spots where the cold knife did not reach. for the "squeak" I have used olive oil, as if it happens to get into the honey at least it is editable. The first draw from foundation or foundation-less I put in 10 frames. Once extracted you can use 9 and the comb are fatter to help with extracting.
    GG

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,069

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by cfalls View Post
    Even at my tiny scale I think crush and strain would've been a disaster -- way more work, and no drawn comb for swarm prevention next spring. Maybe that's practical if you have 5 or fewer gallons to extract, but even at 12 gallons, if you have the money to waste on your hobby, I recommend an extractor.

    I definitely recommend the 5 gallon buckets with a spigot on the bottom. Pretty much necessary equipment. Maybe more important than the extractor itself.

    If I change anything for next year, it might be to have two 5-gallon buckets instead of one, and maybe I'll use frame spacers in my supers to get more frames drawn to that perfect width for easy uncapping.
    At my tiny scale I did the PVC bucket extractor this year and happy I did - works great for under $20 spent and one-time labor effort.
    If to go after 2-frame extractor, better to just make one from the 5-gallon buckets.
    This same device can be also used for C&S, any other food-related projects (e.g. press grapes and berries, storage for bee products like the combs) and itself stores conveniently in the basement corner.
    20190902_125054.jpg
    20190902_144316.jpg
    20190917_220049.jpg
    20190902_154517.jpg

    I also would not discount the C&S.
    People routinely melt the old brood comb so to replace it, anyway.
    I do too - but only after I load it with the honey first and then do C&S (that's the comb rotation process).
    The benefit - very small batch honeys for personal use that you don't get to taste otherwise.
    Like so:
    HoneyVarietiesSmall.jpg

    My extraction location - kitchen.
    Garage is for tools, cars, and a wood-working shop (i.e. dusty and dirty place; not for food handling).
    Last edited by GregV; 10-02-2019 at 10:18 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    At my tiny scale I did the PVC bucket extractor this year and happy I did - works great for under $20 spent and one-time labor effort.
    If to go after 2-frame extractor, better to just make one from the 5-gallon buckets.
    This same device can be also used for C&S, any other food-related projects (e.g. press grapes and berries, storage for bee products like the combs) and itself stores conveniently in the basement corner.
    20190902_125054.jpg
    20190902_144316.jpg
    20190917_220049.jpg
    20190902_154517.jpg

    I also would not discount the C&S.
    People routinely melt the old brood comb so to replace it, anyway.
    I do too - but only after I load it with the honey first and then do C&S (that's the comb rotation process).
    The benefit - very small batch honeys for personal use that you don't get to taste otherwise.
    Like so:
    HoneyVarietiesSmall.jpg

    My extraction location - kitchen.
    Garage is for tools, cars, and a wood-working shop (i.e. dusty and dirty place; not for food handling).
    Just to offer some real data, I did cut and strain for 5 or 6 years with 4-6 hives. I was not "aware" of extractors, this was in the 70's Also my dad and grand dad did cut and strain for 40 years prior to that. It is not that "rare". Also supplies beeswax to sell, use, etc. Time or money, one needs to invest one or the other or both.
    Interesting DYI Greg.
    GG

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Lake Forest Park, WA
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    586

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    I purchased the plastic crank Mann Lake 2 frame extractor. For the price, it did everything I needed...

    At best, it's challenging to clean, and the handle can get loose...fall off - and the metal screws are not well secured to the plastic.

    After my first use, I had to go "diving" for the metal nuts because they fell off the handle fasteners and ended up in the honey at the bottom of the extractor.

    Can't say I recommend that product. Would gladly spend more $ to get something more reliable.

    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all...stic-extractor
    I bought that one on sale and have used it for 4 seasons. The handle can get loose and sometimes gets bent (and I had to bend it back), but it has worked for me. I only keep two ‘production hives’ and extract 2-4 times a year, so usually <20 medium frames at a time. Next year, I might convert it like GregV’s extracter (post#36) .

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,069

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Just to offer some real data, I did cut and strain for 5 or 6 years with 4-6 hives. I was not "aware" of extractors, this was in the 70's Also my dad and grand dad did cut and strain for 40 years prior to that. It is not that "rare". Also supplies beeswax to sell, use, etc. Time or money, one needs to invest one or the other or both.
    Interesting DYI Greg.
    GG
    Yep, GG.
    This is the first year I extracted my July honey in the "proper" way.
    Been doing C&S - totally fine at my scale and you don't even need to do it at once.
    Pull a frame and crash it and it is enough for a while; then pull another frame from storage.

    One thing immediately with this batch extraction - I now have several gallons of the "same" honey (even though I tried to separate it into several different batches per the source hives).
    But it is largely the same and boring (jar after jar after jar).
    I will use some of it to "pay my rent".
    Pedestrian honey.
    I don't know how we will use all - boring.

    When I cut into the brood frames for some piece-meal C&S - now THAT is fun.
    Every little batch turns up different and unique.
    It is only 2-3 quarts max at a time.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Fox Lake Il
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Buying an Extractor....

    Maxant 3100 with motor. Will last forever. You will love it.

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