Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the recommendations as far as how many hives an extractor of a given size will handle? I realize that if one plans to grow you want to buy an extractor which is larger and also that the length of the harvest will vary in different parts of the country, but I am trying to get an idea. For ballpark figures can you say that an extractor of a given size can reasonably handle twice the number of hives as it's number of frames?

2 frame for up to 4 hives.
4 frame for up to 8 hives.
9 frame for up to 18 hives.
20 frame for up to 40 hives.

What as been your experience?

Thank you for any feedback.

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
a. It should depend on how many supers that you think you will extract, not how many hives you have.

b. It takes the same length of time to spin 2 frames as it does 9 or 18. So, how long do you want to be spinning honey ?

Just my thoughts -- Fuzzy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the replies. Perhaps I should word this differently. How about:
How many hives do you have?
How large is your extractor?
Is it motorized?
Do you feel it is too small, too large or just right for your operation?

I am just trying to get some ideas.

Thank you.

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
a decent 4 frame manual crank would be fine for such modest needs, imo. They are popular enough that if it proves too small in the future, it is easily and quickly sold. Buy a used one, and you can likely sell it for what you paid for it.

Blaine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
I have an old Root 3 frame that my grandfather bought in the '40s. I saw one like it in a museum, but mine is in better shape, tho it did make me feel old. I have had up to 12 hives. No idea how many supers I did tho, since that was long ago when I was a kid.
Since beekeeping is a hobby for me, I never worried out how long it took to extract.
Howard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Two frame extractor

I have both an old electric extractor, 2 frame Root, and a Junior Dadant extractor, again 2 frame. We used the hand-crank extractor this past weekend on only a few frames. After uncapping we spun for 10 minutes per side before flipping the frames. We tried 6 minutes and 8 minutes per side but it didn't seem to get all of the honey out. Anyone else agree with the timing?

In the future we are planning on 20 minutes for each pair of frames we extract. If you're extracting 60 frames that would be around 10 hours of spinning. I think my arm would get tired. I haven't used the electric extractor but I could see doing other things while it is extracting. It might make the 10 hours go a bit faster and not make one of my arms larger than the other.

Oh, in case anyone is wondering, we bought the hand-crank extractor before we knew that we would be given a motorized extractor. Hey... can't hurt to have two, right? :)

Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,965 Posts
fuzzy writes:
a. It should depend on how many supers that you think you will extract, not how many hives you have.

tecumseh suggest: how many super and over what time frame you might wish to extract.

as an example a hobbist might lean towards a bit bigger extractor if they knew they only had a short period of time (say a weekend) to extract.

other variable:
tangent vs radial.

hand cranked vs motorized.

my current history:
I have an old 4 frame hand cranked tangential extractor that has been converted to a 10 frame motorized radial. when I had 10 to 12 hives the old tangential worked fine... although these old arms did get tired. at about 40 hives I motorized and had a new reel built. this seems to be adequate for the limited number of supers* I extract during a given day.

at the current time I am likely more constrained by cappings than by extracting capacity.

*the crop here is very limited and I only pull enough supers so that all the wets are set back out by the end of each day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,695 Posts
I have had a kelly 12-20 since I started with 6 hives, it save a lot on cranking a handle but now I am looking into uncappers and other thing to make extraction easier and faster and now that my hives have grown in numbers and when I get about 100 more hives to justify buying one I am looking like a kid in a toy store when I see this in the link below, probably my next venture http://www.cowenmfg.com/store_items_view.asp?itemid=19255
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,231 Posts
My second year, I borrowed a 2-frame tangential and (for me) this seemed WAY too slow. By my third year I had a 9-frame radial hand crank. I now have 20 hives and have floated up the idea to my wife about getting a motorized extractor. I agree with the statement that the uncapping is a real bottleneck, but if one has a motorized extractor, then uncapping can proceed while the extractor was running. I usually do everything myself, but last year I had a friend come over and spin the extractor and wow what a difference that made.

My recommendation is go with a 9-frame radial, and if you can afford it get a motorized one. I may have a nice 9-frame hand-crank up for sale soon!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
I had 3 hives and a 2 frame hand crank Maxant. This year I have 10 hives and have extracted most of it using the 2 frame but have recently bought a used 20 frame motorized Dadant. It may be overkill but I'm looking forward to using it next year!:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
My first full season I had 4 hives only and I hand cranked everything with a older borrowed 4 frame tangential extractor.

I hated doing that so much, that I decided it was either buy a good extractor or give up beekeeping - because I was never going to do that again.

I bought a 9 frame radial motorized extractor, and have had no regrets.

Others have suggested bigger is better, but there is one downside of the bigger ones that I have found. The bigger the extractor is, the more honey is caught up in the machine and wasted when you go to clean up. The old 4 frame one wasted only 4-6 oz of honey. My larger 9 frame leaves at least a pound of honey in the bottom that I can't get out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
Troy, as I posted in another thread...

There is no reason to leave a couple of quarts in the bottom of the extractor.
When I am done for the day, I pull the reel out and set it aside. I take a clean stiff window squeege and wipe the sides of the extractor. Voila, no honey on the sides. Then I take a smaller 6inch squeege, tilt the extractor and scrape the bottom to the honey gate. Then a stiff plastic kitchen spatula gets most of whats left through the gate.

When all is said and done, it takes 5 minutes and there is less than 2 oz left in the extractor (bottom and sides). I get $6-7 per lb for honey. So I just got an extra $20 for very little effort.

Fuzzy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,513 Posts
I have both an old electric extractor, 2 frame Root, and a Junior Dadant extractor, again 2 frame. We used the hand-crank extractor this past weekend on only a few frames. After uncapping we spun for 10 minutes per side before flipping the frames. We tried 6 minutes and 8 minutes per side but it didn't seem to get all of the honey out. Anyone else agree with the timing?
...
Keith
10 minutes per side?? Yikes!! Are you trying to get them completely dry?? That is 20 minutes for 2 frames, that would take an hour and a half to do one super! No, I don't agree with the timing!!!

I've got a 2 frame dadant extractor, and I spin each side maybe a minute or so, giving it some speed. If I can't get it all in a minute or two then the bees can clean it out, not worth the bother. If I can get 95% + of the honey out then I'm satisfied. Some of the foundationless combs crack in the middle from the speed but the bees can fix that...

Now if you are extracting in 40F temps, or if this is a new excersize plan (spinning??!!), then that is a different story...:rolleyes:

Rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
Fuzzy, It's funny you say that about the spatula.....

I have noticed too much stick to the sides. I let it run down for an hour or two and so the residual honey is all in the bottom. I also set a book under one leg to get it tilted over toward the gate too.

I've used the spatula too, but there is a lip between the bottom of my extractor and the gate tube and no matter how hard I try there is a fair amount of honey that gets lost right there.

I suppose using the spatula I have minimized that waste and it is down to only about 4 to 6 ounces, but still - it is a waste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
I also figure on 10 mins per side when extracting. I extract with the extracting room and honey at 85-90 degrees. I agree this may be overkill but I can still see honey being spun out up to about 8-9 mins. How long do others spin frames?

Troy,

When you are done extracting let the bees clean out the extractor. This way the honey is not wasted.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top