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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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
 

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The three frame Maxant is a very good extractor. Can start with purchasing manual and have the option of upgrading to electric if you get tired of the hand crank.

It is tangential for deeps and need to reverse frames. I'm a big fan of tangential for hobbiest and including those that use foundationless. With the electric tangential, I can spin 3 frames near bone dry in around three minutes of spinning time. Radial will take 8-10 minutes of spinning time.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I really like my Maxant extractor, especially after I fixed my mistake of not buying with a motor to begin with. Maybe you could rent yours out to recoup some of the expense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. I think I will order the manual one and then add the motor in the Spring just to keep the cost down a bit.

Good idea on renting it out as a way to offset the cost!
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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There is no point in getting an extractor unless it's cheap (like used) or you have a lot of hives.

"A comb honey beekeeper really needs, in addition to his bees and the usual apiary equipment and tools, only one other thing, and that is a pocket knife. The day you go into producing extracted honey, on the other hand, you must begin to think not only of an extractor, which is a costly machine used only a relatively minute part of the year, but also of uncapping equipment, strainers, settling tanks, wax melters, bottle filling equipment, pails and utensils galore and endless things. Besides this you must have a place to store supers of combs, subject to damage by moths and rodents and, given the nature of beeswax, very subject to destruction by fire. And still more: You must begin to think in terms of a whole new building, namely, a honey house, suitably constructed, supplied with power, and equipped....

"All this seems obvious enough, and yet time after time I have seen novice beekeepers, as soon as they had built their apiaries up to a half dozen or so hives, begin to look around for an extractor. It is as if one were to establish a small garden by the kitchen door, and then at once begin looking for a tractor to till it with. Unless then, you have, or plan eventually to have, perhaps fifty or more colonies of bees, you should try to resist looking in bee catalogs at the extractors and other enchanting and tempting tools that are offered and instead look with renewed fondness at your little pocket knife, so symbolic of the simplicity that is the mark of every truly good life."

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm

Comb honey or crush and strain are both alternatives to buying an expensive extractor.
 

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Thanks for the replies. Are you talking about the Maxant 6/3 - 3100H model?
Yes, Maxant calls it 9 frame. Technically one can put in 6 medium frames radial and 3 mediums tangential and call it 9 frame. I have never operated in this mode. Tend to do 3 frames, medium for deeps in tangential position. It extracts fast and comb and wood frame is very clean of honey. There is little worry about drum speed. I do start slow, partially extract one side, flip frames starting slow speed, fully extract other side, and then flip again and spin first side on fast speed.
 

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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.
 

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We recently got a smokin deal on a used extractor 4 frame tangental extractor. Not sure of the brand but it was $150. Stainless to boot. I need to build a stand for it over the winter and possibly modify it for medium frames to go radially. I will document it and post it on here when I'm done. I'm gonna have to get some stainless rod, maybe. We only got it because it was cheap and we don't want to hassle with the bee club to use theirs. Maybe we could have extractor parties. Do a pot luck thing. Wine. Make it fun. So east Nebraska and western Iowa guys keep an eye out for that next year!
 

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I bought a cheap ($280. Canadian) eBay 2 frame extractor with a variable speed motor.. I have been extracting from my 5-6 hives for a couple of years and I’m super happy with it.. it is small and the opening for the frames doesn’t have a lot of extra clearance but it has performed flawlessly so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again for all the comments.

Agreed, the extractor is a bit of a luxury. I know there are some who beekeep to supplement income, and that changes the game considerably. For me this is a hobby which I am really enjoying. High end fishing rods/reels outfits can run upwards of $1000. Golf clubs, shotguns, camping/backpacking gear, etc, etc, are similar. To me it's something that will make the hobby more enjoyable, so I am going to buy one.

And hey, if it all fails miserably someone on this board might get a great deal on a barely used extractor on craigslist.....from me! :D
 

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Dont buy manual!!! By the powered one and never have the regret of having purchased a hand crank.Converting to power is really expensive.
 

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I waited until I could afford a 9/18 radial. I've never regretted waiting nor did I regret getting the 9/18... it is as big as I can get through my kitchen door. I would buy motorized. Make sure the motor is variable speed.
 

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I really like my Maxant extractor, especially after I fixed my mistake of not buying with a motor to begin with. Maybe you could rent yours out to recoup some of the expense?
Hey John, I am thinking of buying one too. Much prefer the radial to tangential. What model did you end up buying?
 

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I ended up with the 3100P 9 frame. Of course it started out as an H model. Buying the motor at a later date added an extra $100 plus shipping to the overall cost of the extractor vs buying it with the motor from the get go. So like those of us that been there, done that, buy the motorized version from the beginning and save yourself some money and headaches.
 

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I ended up with the 3100P 9 frame. Of course it started out as an H model. Buying the motor at a later date added an extra $100 plus shipping to the overall cost of the extractor vs buying it with the motor from the get go. So like those of us that been there, done that, buy the motorized version from the beginning and save yourself some money and headaches.
Thanks for the feedback. That is the one that I am considering too. I started out using 3 three frame manual tangential which I borrowed from the local bee club. That was ok, but involved a lot of sweat and too many frame blowouts for my liking. I currently borrow a friends 6 frame ancient Dadant tangential. I works great, however it is probably time to step out and get my own. Thanks again.
 

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Ok so you are getting an extractor. good decision. the empty comb is a very valuable resource, for splits etc so this is a good way to get some. Now think the process thru the "next" bottle neck is filtering/straining. I got 3 5 gal buckets with the gates and straining screens. appx. each super, you will need to shift buckets as the strainer hold like 4 inches or honey. to start 1 bucket is enough, in time add another. Keep in mind you need a place to store all this stuff for 360 days of the year. Good idea above to rent out the extractor. Or hook up with a bee buddy or 2 and "share" one. each pay 1/3 or the cost and use it on different weeks. Good luck with your new one.
GG
 
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