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Would like opinions/advice on extractors. I'm going to be purchasing for the first time. Currently have 6 hives with intention of expanding slowly through splits, etc. I'm thinking 6-9 frame size. Quality is most important attribute. Would like your thoughts on brand, tangential or radial, hand crank or power. Any other advice based on the info. above. Thanks
 

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maxant radial. if you dont like it they have great resale value. good luck,mike
 

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"Would like your thoughts on brand",American made radial, power. Any other advice

Buy larger than you think you will need
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The right "extractor" for six hives is a double bucket strainer:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm#crushandstrain

For my advice I will quote Richard Taylor's advice:

"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." --Richard Taylor,
The Comb Honey Book

But if you INSIST on a extractor I'd hold out for at least a 9/18 motorized. Anything less is just not enough to be worth it, in my opinion.
 

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Nine frame motorized radial was fine with 50 hives, it made a half day affair but that is the best day of beekeeping so we did not rush it either, all the neighborhood bees came to watch from the windows too or do you think they were looking for free samples?
 

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Obviously, opinions will vary. But don't go too small. Think long term and what you'll need in ten years.

I alternated between a two-frame, hand-cranked tangential (plastic tub, made by A. I. Root), and while that was draining, worked a four-frame, hand-cranked basket-style extractor.

This was workable while building slowly to 60 hives. But it was starting to affect my shoulder joint with all that cranking.

Then I bought a motorized, 20-frame extractor. Worked great. But I thought I could do better so I found a motorized, 12-frame extractor and thought I could extract with one while loading and unloading the other.

Wrong. The 20-frame spins/extracts while I uncap 20 more frames. And it's all I can do to keep up with it. I sold the 12-frame. I run around 150 hives. The 20-frame is perfect for me.

I like the previous advice to shop around and look for a used machine. Plan for expansion and go the next size larger than you need. It seems (when I was shopping for used) that the extractors in the highest demand are the 9/12 and the 20-frame extractor. I paid $700 for my 20-frame Dadant extractor. I had to replace the lower bearing and Dadant was GREAT about selling spare parts.

I can locate quite a number of 60-frame and 72-frames and they are cheap ($1,200) relatively speaking. Ironically, when a beekeeper retires, goes out of business or dies, the last piece of equipment sold is the extractor. I've known retirees who always hung on the dream that "someday" they would get bees again, and the hardest piece of equipment to part with is the extractor.

Ask around with those who kept bees twenty-five years ago. There's quite a few extractors tucked away in the back corners of old sheds and garages.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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Shop used is very sound advice I purchased one off this site last year which was a real good but it was a 12 frame power radial and lot of other supply for less than a 1000.00
 

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Dont be in a hurry. I have been working with a commercial beek and he has pointed me in the direction of alot of used equipment at bargain prices. I just brought home 2 stainless Maxant 20 frame extractors , one needs a new motor but I got them both for 300 dollars total. Look on craigs list and talk to people you can get some good buys if you arnt in a hurry. good luck George
 

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If you have 6 hives now and plan on expanding I would not look at anything smaller than 18-20 frames. Just my 2 cents. $$$$ spent now on something larger than what you need will pay big dividends in the future as you expand.
 

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I have a 12 frame Dadant. I like that size because I do a few supers a day on and off for a couple of weeks. With 12, I can balance the load with 12, 9, 8, 6, 4, 3, or 2 frames in it.
 
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