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Hello - what size extractors are recommended based on supers or frames a year to extract?

thank you
 

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I borrow one of the 9 frames ones from the local bee club. It takes me about a day to get thru 4-6 supers, but I tend to end up with really thick honey that takes a long time to spin out. If it was hot it would probably go faster.

How many hives and supers do you have? I think that will help people give you better advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have about 30 medium frames to extract this year. i have one hive and 3 nucs. I plan on doing a fall split on the one hive. Eventually I plan to try to go into winter each year with 10 hives hoping for 6 to survive and produce. Hopefully better than tat some years.
 

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I have about 30 medium frames to extract this year. i have one hive and 3 nucs. I plan on doing a fall split on the one hive. Eventually I plan to try to go into winter each year with 10 hives hoping for 6 to survive and produce. Hopefully better than tat some years.
I would get an electric extractor. A three frame tangential extractor would be OK. Around $350.00. You can move up as your production increases. You can increase it to 70% speed and get frames spun out in ten minutes. You have to start doing one side slowly for about 5 minutes, then stop and switch the frames around, Then finish the frames at 70% speed.
If it holds you back you can go with a radial extractor but we are talking big bucks now. See if your honey income will justify an increased cost.
 

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We bought for the museum an old Root where the baskets flipped. I used it to get some feed out of some deadouts, and was suprized how much faster it was that a 4 frame WITHOUT hinged baskets. For the small numbers you have,it would be adequate.

Crazy Roiland
 

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We bought for the museum an old Root where the baskets flipped. I used it to get some feed out of some deadouts, and was suprized how much faster it was that a 4 frame WITHOUT hinged baskets. For the small numbers you have,it would be adequate.

Crazy Roiland
I started with the same one on a hinged basket. had 8-10 hives with it for a few years.
I also did cut and strain for a decade, prior to the 2 basket extractor, so the concept of need is not the same every where.
I do find the comb nice to have so I get the extractor.
in a weekend you can get a lot of frames thru it if you are of a mind to.

GG
 

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When I re entered beekeeping with six colonies and plans for more, I found a 32 frame dadant for about the same price as a motorized ten frame. So three loads was a years extraction. Other than the size penalty of the bigger unit, what is wrong with being done one afternoon? Every quality extractor can easily wear out several beekeepers! My third hand unit which I re bearringed will serve at least one more sideliner. Buy one you can grow into and if you don't grow into it, you will always get any reasonable purchase price back.
 

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Remember that your extractor size might not only dictate how quickly you can spin frames. If you do not have a pretty good uncapping tank that holds frames, it will also limit you on how quickly you can uncap. Uncapping 30 frames into a 6 frame extractor is miserable, especially if you cannot start the uncapping until the extractor is through spinning.

You got 30 frames from one hive this year and you want to go to 10 hives. The simple math puts you at 300 frames. (Granted, it never seems to work exactly that way, but we are spitballing here.) Just count your cycles. 300 frames/6 frame extractor or 300/10 or 300/20. A 20-frame extractor still has you making 15 cycles. A 10 frame is 30 cycles. And a 6 frame is sheer hell.

I would not buy less than an 18 or 20 frame extractor if I am in your situation. But maybe that is just me. I am 52 years old. I slung 517 frames over the last 4 days -- by myself. I can't raise my elbows above my nipples today. I am very willing to pay for speed and to ease my work load.
 

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Remember that your extractor size might not only dictate how quickly you can spin frames. If you do not have a pretty good uncapping tank that holds frames, it will also limit you on how quickly you can uncap. Uncapping 30 frames into a 6 frame extractor is miserable, especially if you cannot start the uncapping until the extractor is through spinning.

You got 30 frames from one hive this year and you want to go to 10 hives. The simple math puts you at 300 frames. (Granted, it never seems to work exactly that way, but we are spitballing here.) Just count your cycles. 300 frames/6 frame extractor or 300/10 or 300/20. A 20-frame extractor still has you making 15 cycles. A 10 frame is 30 cycles. And a 6 frame is sheer hell.

I would not buy less than an 18 or 20 frame extractor if I am in your situation. But maybe that is just me. I am 52 years old. I slung 517 frames over the last 4 days -- by myself. I can't raise my elbows above my nipples today. I am very willing to pay for speed and to ease my work load.
I can not agree more, we have expanded to 30 hives and I bought a 24 frame automated extractor, one puts the frames in, presses the start button and it runs automatically through its cycle. Start at 30% speed and increases to 70% over a period of time. Then stops and does the same thing in reverse.
In the meantime I can keep uncapping and don’t have to worry about watching the unit. Similar to a washing machine. Sure it cost me 4k but the time saving is enormous. We get big flows where we are here in Australia, so our supers are full again within 3 weeks for pretty much 4 month of the years.
We get our hives done in a day, why would one want to spend all weekend spinning? Especially if its a recurring event. For a 5 hive hobby keeper this would be overkill. So horses for causes .
 

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If you don't have a dozen hives or more I wouldn't be looking at new extractors. Keep an eye out for used ones. Get whatever you can get for half of what it would go for new or less. Ideally if you're not commercial get the largest extractor that will fit through your kitchen door.
 

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Michael raises a valid question.
Do you have room for a permenant extraction set up or,like most hobbyists,only extract once or twice per year and the equipment is in storage for the rest of the year.
Keep in mind that before you spin,you must uncap, and after you spin, there's straining or settling.
For 10 hives and med supers,I would go with a quality 9 fr motorized extractor and a 4 ft uncapping tank.You could easily do 10 - 20 supers per day(box to bucket) with a helper, depending on your stamina.
 

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I got a three frame manual tangential extractor used for $50. So far, it serves the purpose. I have extracted as many as 100 frames in one harvest with it, and wish I had an electric. But then, it sits in the corner 364 days a year, so I guess I will stick with what I have for right now.
 

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For a 5 hive hobby keeper this would be overkill. So horses for causes .
I didn't know what that term meant and had to google it-Brilliant!!! I'm at the point form the cross over from an electric motorized 6 frame radial and am looking at a few hundred frames this year. This will mostlikley be the last year with my now 18 year old daughter/ bee partner as she heads off to University in September. At least I have another year to figure it out - maybe she'll train her mother!
 

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Only if she wants to.... She's 5'-7". 105 lbs. and of Italian decent. I am scared to death of her, afraid I'll wake up dead one morning. We been together for 35 years and would have gotten divorced years ago but neither one of us wanted custody of the kids.
 
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