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I am 3 years into beekeeping. I Am looking for a way to lift and move colonies around. I will be running about 100 honey production colonies and making 200-300 nucleus colonies each year...lots of lifting and moving of hives.
I know of three options. 1. Is the Ezy loader, which is definitely overkill for this size operation. 2. Is some sort of little tractor/fork lift that would be hauled from yard to yard, because of the hauling I think that is overkill also. 3. Is a hive lifter like the Kaptarlift, They make a nice one with power wheels and power lift for somewhere around $4000. This is the option that I am thinking of going with but before I did it I just want to see if I am missing some other good solution , all ideas will be appreciated.
 

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I have played around of makings small forklift using a ATV. I am somewhat in the same boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for posting...sounds like I am probably on the right path with Kaptarlift.
 

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One of the reason I am thinking ATV is. I have some mud yards that are a pain in the spring. But I could on a ATV.
 

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I have a crane that fits in the receiver for pulling a trailer.
It came with a hand crank winch but I have a 12v winch to mount on it.
I also have a receiver mounted on the side of my trailer it fit's in.
Harbor Freight items.
 

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Depending how your yards are laid out,a hand truck and liftgate may be all you need,especially if you don't do pollination.
Are you using deeps or mediums for supers?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Jack, I run deeps only. I can get right to my yards with a truck. I never thought of this combination, this is really something to consider thank you so much for the brain spark.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Hoot Owl,
I like the idea of this system also but was wondering how efficient it was and if you have it installed at the trailer hitch will it's set colonies all the way to the front of the truck bed or do you need to get up there and slide it back the rest the way?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess now after thinking about it for a while After thinking for a bit I realize what I like about the Kaptarlift is that you could use it for other lifting jobs like lifting a stack of honey supers to insert an escape board, kind a like they do with the Ezy Loader. Or even lifting the 2nd brood chamber off during inspections, could leave it hang there in mid air whilst you have a look in the lower chamber...if it is really that practical I don't know. I will link the video I have been watching https://youtu.be/pcSbmudGrwM
 

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calkal

I only have a 6' bed so yes it will reach the front.
The trailer is 10' so it won't reach all the way to the back.
Sorry for the delay I had a removal this morning.
 

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I use a trailer with a fold down ramp and a hand truck. Cheaper than a lift gate and fairly easy to roll hives or supers on and off the trailer.
I use medium supers and stack them 4 high on a migratory cover turned upside down as a pallet. Allows the hand truck to slide under the stack easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use a trailer with a fold down ramp and a hand truck. Cheaper than a lift gate and fairly easy to roll hives or supers on and off the trailer.
I use medium supers and stack them 4 high on a migratory cover turned upside down as a pallet. Allows the hand truck to slide under the stack easily.
Great to hear how you all are getting it done...Thank you.
Cal
 

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I am 3 years into beekeeping. I Am looking for a way to lift and move colonies around. I will be running about 100 honey production colonies and making 200-300 nucleus colonies each year...lots of lifting and moving of hives.
I know of three options. 1. Is the Ezy loader, which is definitely overkill for this size operation. 2. Is some sort of little tractor/fork lift that would be hauled from yard to yard, because of the hauling I think that is overkill also. 3. Is a hive lifter like the Kaptarlift, They make a nice one with power wheels and power lift for somewhere around $4000. This is the option that I am thinking of going with but before I did it I just want to see if I am missing some other good solution , all ideas will be appreciated.
I own 2 of the Kaptarlifts. Both are the extended (high) versions but are the manual type.

The first one I purchased used the cable and spool type mechanism to raise and lower the lift. This works well provided you store the lift with the clamp basket in the full down position with a bungee cord hold down pressure to force the cable to remain straight. If you don't do this the cable will take on a wavy appearance due to the small size of the cable spool that the cable wraps around when lifting.

The 2nd Kaptarlift is the new updated design using a recirculating chain very similar to a bicycle chain in place of the older version's cable. This design works MUCH MUCH better and is simple to maintain as well as pretty much bullet proof.

Using these lifts makes chores in the apiary sooooooooooo much nicer and easier on both me and my bees, especially for chores like inspecting brood boxes, treating for mites, removing honey supers (deep honey supers are a breeze to lift and remove now), and moving hives to different locations. Just make sure you have the entire hive firmly strapped together so it remains one solid piece when lifting.

I thought about the electric lift versions but they at least then were not available in the extended (tall) versions and I was not so sure a battery powered lift would be dependable enough since these lifts depending upon your location's seasonal weather may sit for long periods of time (months) without use. A spare battery would be a must and I believe these batteries are not cheap but depending upon your needs are a great solution. I am not sure how readily available batteries and spare parts are but I think spare hardware parts would not be an issue as they appear to be standard type hardware. I would think a suitable replacement battery could be sourced here in the states.

Dealing with Lajos Orban, the owner was a pleasure and he was very helpful with getting my Kaptarlifts shipped to the United States. At the time, there was no North America Kaptarlift distributor but there appears to be one in Canada and ordering from them may be cheaper (including shipping) vs shipping from Hungary.

https://www.countryfields.ca/products/kaptar-lift-electric

The quality of the components, parts, and workmanship on my Kaptarlifts was excellent. As far as I can tell, Lajos did not cut corners on anything manufacturing these lifts. Properly maintained and cared for I think they will last a life time and probably longer with the exception of the rubber tires but no tire made that I am aware of will last forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I own 2 of the Kaptarlifts. Both are the extended (high) versions but are the manual type.

The first one I purchased used the cable and spool type mechanism to raise and lower the lift. This works well provided you store the lift with the clamp basket in the full down position with a bungee cord hold down pressure to force the cable to remain straight. If you don't do this the cable will take on a wavy appearance due to the small size of the cable spool that the cable wraps around when lifting.

The 2nd Kaptarlift is the new updated design using a recirculating chain very similar to a bicycle chain in place of the older version's cable. This design works MUCH MUCH better and is simple to maintain as well as pretty much bullet proof.

Using these lifts makes chores in the apiary sooooooooooo much nicer and easier on both me and my bees, especially for chores like inspecting brood boxes, treating for mites, removing honey supers (deep honey supers are a breeze to lift and remove now), and moving hives to different locations. Just make sure you have the entire hive firmly strapped together so it remains one solid piece when lifting.

I thought about the electric lift versions but they at least then were not available in the extended (tall) versions and I was not so sure a battery powered lift would be dependable enough since these lifts depending upon your location's seasonal weather may sit for long periods of time (months) without use. A spare battery would be a must and I believe these batteries are not cheap but depending upon your needs are a great solution. I am not sure how readily available batteries and spare parts are but I think spare hardware parts would not be an issue as they appear to be standard type hardware. I would think a suitable replacement battery could be sourced here in the states.

Dealing with Lajos Orban, the owner was a pleasure and he was very helpful with getting my Kaptarlifts shipped to the United States. At the time, there was no North America Kaptarlift distributor but there appears to be one in Canada and ordering from them may be cheaper (including shipping) vs shipping from Hungary.

https://www.countryfields.ca/products/kaptar-lift-electric

The quality of the components, parts, and workmanship on my Kaptarlifts was excellent. As far as I can tell, Lajos did not cut corners on anything manufacturing these lifts. Properly maintained and cared for I think they will last a life time and probably longer with the exception of the rubber tires but no tire made that I am aware of will last forever.
Thanks much...seems like it is practical to use since you use it for many jobs, that is just what I am planning. I was also thinking about the extended version because I keep my colonies up so high to keep them out of the skunks reach. Why do you like the extended version?
Cal
 

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You could try Apijuneda as well. I currently run about 350 colonies and have their AJ-2006. It will lift 400lbs. They make smaller units if you are only pulling honey. Almost all their units are cheaper than the EZ-Loader.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You could try Apijuneda as well. I currently run about 350 colonies and have their AJ-2006. It will lift 400lbs. They make smaller units if you are only pulling honey. Almost all their units are cheaper than the EZ-Loader.
Thanks for this, I never heard of them before. Here is the link in case others are interested http://www.apijuneda.com/en/gruas.htm
 

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I am 3 years into beekeeping. I Am looking for a way to lift and move colonies around. I will be running about 100 honey production colonies and making 200-300 nucleus colonies each year...lots of lifting and moving of hives.
I know of three options. 1. Is the Ezy loader, which is definitely overkill for this size operation. 2. Is some sort of little tractor/fork lift that would be hauled from yard to yard, because of the hauling I think that is overkill also. 3. Is a hive lifter like the Kaptarlift, They make a nice one with power wheels and power lift for somewhere around $4000. This is the option that I am thinking of going with but before I did it I just want to see if I am missing some other good solution , all ideas will be appreciated.
Have lots of kids
 
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