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Hello all, has anyone had experience with using a honey extraction service or currently does use one? Im wondering how popular this service is? My extracting equipment is hammered and I'm looking into taking my honey to someone to extract it for me next year instead of doing it myself. Anyone have some insight to this?
 

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How much honey would you have to extract and what would you expect to pay? This was several years ago but there was guy around here that would extract honey for hobby and sideline beekeepers and his fee was 50% of all honey extracted. I couldn't see myself ever paying someone 50% of my hard work for what is essentially the last mile of service.
 

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How much honey would you have to extract and what would you expect to pay? This was several years ago but there was guy around here that would extract honey for hobby and sideline beekeepers and his fee was 50% of all honey extracted. I couldn't see myself ever paying someone 50% of my hard work for what is essentially the last mile of service.
I'm sure the bees deserve a bit of credit also, huh? :D

A question for the OP......... How many hives or frames of honey are you talking about?
 

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I'm sure the bees deserve a bit of credit also, huh? :D
I don't know, I don't give the cow credit for a tasty steak or burger, I credit the rancher that raised them.
 

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There used to be a shop near me that extracted for 1$ per frame. Never tried it. Was a nice small beekeeping shop but the prices were almost double mannlake and they went out of business.
 

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It's difficult to put an exact number on this because of the variables. Is the producer going to help? How full are the boxes? How many total boxes? What is the age and condition of the frames and are they standard size? The last one being quite critical if an automated system is being used. I don't know of anyone that custom extracts as a business but I've heard of individual arrangements being worked out between beekeepers. Personally I wouldn't consider it unless I had the time, the boxes were fairly full, the equipment was standard and the honey was of the same or better quality than what is already in the system and storage tank. With those conditions I wouldn't do anything for less than .20 per lb. or 10% of the crop.
 

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As Jim said, "It's difficult to put an exact number on this because of the variables."

I just did 512 pounds (8 deeps, nine mediums all ten frame spacing) for a neighbor. We harvested nearby, extracted and set his wets on our hives. We set them on our hives because we stacked his remaining hives high with dead brood chambers from the 50% dead hives. I charged 50% of crop plus cappings. I made the same money as if we had gone out on our main day job, landscaping. So on this small scale, I can not see doing it for much less. Two thirds of our time was the extracting and bucketing, one third harvesting and dealing with the wets. So I guess I could have done the extracting for 33% of the crop. But of course I will only make money when I have sold it for a decent price. Everyone else's fees suggested here would have made me a big loser. I did an even smaller job a few years ago for 70% and came out OK also. I have to work on data for by the box and by the frame.
 

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As Jim said, "It's difficult to put an exact number on this because of the variables."

I just did 512 pounds (8 deeps, nine mediums all ten frame spacing) for a neighbor. We harvested nearby, extracted and set his wets on our hives. We set them on our hives because we stacked his remaining hives high with dead brood chambers from the 50% dead hives. I charged 50% of crop plus cappings. I made the same money as if we had gone out on our main day job, landscaping. So on this small scale, I can not see doing it for much less. Two thirds of our time was the extracting and bucketing, one third harvesting and dealing with the wets. So I guess I could have done the extracting for 33% of the crop. But of course I will only make money when I have sold it for a decent price. Everyone else's fees suggested here would have made me a big loser. I did an even smaller job a few years ago for 70% and came out OK also. I have to work on data for by the box and by the frame.
I totally agree. The .20 per lb. or 10% would be the least I would consider doing it for and that would assume it met the best case criteria. Probably a better way to charge would be on a per hour basis and given the fact that the capacity of a commercial extracting line maxes out at around 2,000 lbs. per hour with 3 hard working people running good quality equipment and full boxes I could come out pretty good at the end of the day. Realistically I probably wouldn't consider firing things up for less than $300 per hour. So if a customer would show up with a lot of fairly empty boxes, it could make for some pretty expensive honey at the end of the day.
 

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We do extracting for others, mostly small batches. I charge by the frame. If you bring me 20 or 30 frames it'll cost you $2.50 a frame. The more you bring, the better the price. We'll also bottle it for you in your choice of bottle. (Bottles extra)
We are currently building a certified commercial kitchen so we can do custom packing for retail sales and creamed honey.
Honestly, the operation is costing us an arm and a leg. Like the little shop mentioned earlier in this thread we're going to try not to price ourselves out of business, but you can't do it for free. So far nobody has complained about the price for extraction and packaging. It saves them time and money plus they're still making a good profit when they sell it.
 

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As Jim said, "It's difficult to put an exact number on this because of the variables."

I just did 512 pounds (8 deeps, nine mediums all ten frame spacing) for a neighbor. We harvested nearby, extracted and set his wets on our hives. We set them on our hives because we stacked his remaining hives high with dead brood chambers from the 50% dead hives. I charged 50% of crop plus cappings. I made the same money as if we had gone out on our main day job, landscaping. So on this small scale, I can not see doing it for much less. Two thirds of our time was the extracting and bucketing, one third harvesting and dealing with the wets. So I guess I could have done the extracting for 33% of the crop. But of course I will only make money when I have sold it for a decent price. Everyone else's fees suggested here would have made me a big loser. I did an even smaller job a few years ago for 70% and came out OK also. I have to work on data for by the box and by the frame.
Aren’t you afraid of possible AFB spores in the extracted honey frames that you put on your hives from another’s apiary? Deb
 

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Aren’t you afraid of possible AFB spores in the extracted honey frames that you put on your hives from another’s apiary? Deb
No. Very little AFB around these parts for decades. We harvested this crop ourselves from strong hives, didn't see any AFB.
 

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You have much more experience with beekeeping than I do so just my experience with AFB and burning 11 healthy hives with 3-4 supers on each in 2016. Spores are present in honey without the hive actually having AFB. I believe Roger Morse? of Cornell (I’m not sure which professor did this) would buy honey from different sources and test for AFB spores, which he found in most of the honey samples he bought. I try not to leave wet supers out for the bees to clean up for this reason alone. As for not having AFB in your area is great news. In NY no one is notified if there is an outbreak of AFB, even if you register your hive voluntarily and they have your contact info, it’s up to the beekeeper to notify the State to have an Inspector look at your hives. Even then, I know of people who have had it and NOT notified anyone at all, so numbers are skewed as to how many occurrences truly happen within the State or the area where you live.
 

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You have much more experience with beekeeping than I do so just my experience with AFB and burning 11 healthy hives with 3-4 supers on each in 2016. Spores are present in honey without the hive actually having AFB. I believe Roger Morse? of Cornell (I’m not sure which professor did this) would buy honey from different sources and test for AFB spores, which he found in most of the honey samples he bought. I try not to leave wet supers out for the bees to clean up for this reason alone. As for not having AFB in your area is great news. In NY no one is notified if there is an outbreak of AFB, even if you register your hive voluntarily and they have your contact info, it’s up to the beekeeper to notify the State to have an Inspector look at your hives. Even then, I know of people who have had it and NOT notified anyone at all, so numbers are skewed as to how many occurrences truly happen within the State or the area where you live.

What is the worry about AFB if everyone has it??????

Sounds like it was the professor that had a contaminate labor. I wouldn't have that professor extracting my honey.

It's really best to have all the information before posting all the bogyman statements. Next thing you know people will be quoting you as another professor without a name.
 

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I am of the thought that extracting honey from supers above an excluder from hives healthy enough to fill supers above an excluder, makes for minimal AFB exposure. Now extracting honey from dead hive brood chambers would certainly increase the chances of AFB exposure. I have been extracting multiple persons honey on my same equipment since 1976 with no extracting attributable AFB in that 48 year period.
I have in that time frame had hives in the field get AFB. Was it due to extracting contamination? I doubt it.
 

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What is the worry about AFB if everyone has it??????

Sounds like it was the professor that had a contaminate labor. I wouldn't have that professor extracting my honey.
Dr. Eric C. Mussen of University of California Davis is generally considered by beekeepers to be knowledgeable about beekeeping issues. And here is Dr. Mussen saying that AFB can be transmitted in honey:
American foulbrood (AFB) is a highly contagious bacterial disease of honey bee larvae. Diseased colonies usually die. The unprotected, spore-contaminated nectar,[highlight] honey,[/highlight] and pollen stores of the diseased colony are robbed by healthy colonies within flight distance, bringing inoculum to the next colonies.

See the full document here:
http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/files/147615.pdf
If AFB is present in capped honey, there is nothing about the extraction process that removes those AFB spores from extracted honey.
 

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Quote from Honey Householder: Sounds like it was the professor that had a contaminate labor. I wouldn't have that professor extracting my honey.

It's really best to have all the information before posting all the bogyman statements. Next thing you know people will be quoting you as another professor without a name.

Look up Dr. Roger Morse, Entomologist from Cornell U. Being as smart as he is and as “boogey-like” you are, he would never do or even intimate what you spouted. I’m astounded you have kept bees since 2008 and don’t seem to know much. Deb
 
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