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I have searched the forums and still need help. I have had bees for one year exactly. (3 hives). I will never have more than four hives. There is at least 20 frames of unharvested honey now in the hives.
I am retired and financialy sound with no other hobbeys so price is not an issue. So what extractor should I buy? Radial or tangential? Power or crank? Storage is an issue, I dont have a lot of room. Any comments would be appreciated.

No Michael I am not going to squeeze and strain!
 

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No. comb honey never occurred to me! Ill have to find out more about it. The wax is kind of brown looking.
 

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LOL Bill...I'm adding two this year (we started with two last year). I originally said 4 hives would work...then I decided 10 would be max...I've already got enough places figured out for up to 20 hives!!!

LaRae

P.S. Hubby doesn't realize the 10 hive plan has expanded so mums the word! <G>
 

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Gabe--just crush and strain the honey combs, lots of plans and help to do that on this site. Maybe one of those new "swienty four frame radial extractor" will serve your needs, easier to store and light weight--Better Bee sells them for 229 dollars. I prefer the radial to the tangical extractor.
Hope this helps.
 

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Yes! That Swienty 4 frame looks very interesting, but from the catalog it looks like you have to add a motor or handcrank ? I am going to call BetterBee and find out more about it.
 

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I have 6 hives and I use a 3 frame extracor I bought from MannLake for around $300. It stores nicely in the water heater closet in my garage along with the rest of beekeeping equipment. I say 3 frame....it will do 6 frames if it is a shallow super but I only use deeps. You can also buy an aftermarket motor for it for about $100 through Mannlake if you later decide hand crank isn't for you. I don't mind it myself.

My Dad has used a little 2 frame hand crank extractor his whole life and had 25 hives at one time. It seemed to suit him just fine.

[ March 31, 2006, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: Propolis30 ]
 

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I called Betterbee about that Swienty 4 frame extractor. It has a hand crank, I just couldn't see it in the picture. I asked for the dimensions, but they said they didn't know because they didn't have any in stock yet.It certainly looks like it would be easy to store.

Must be a brand new product. It just might be what I am looking for. does any body have more information on this extractor?

GABE
 

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It's no messier and it's less work and it's quicker to crush and strain than it is to extract with a really small extractor. I'd by a 9/18 motorized radial or nothing, myself. It's FAR faster than a small extractor. But I think with three hives it's really not worth the cost of an extractor.
 

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Tangential extractors are sold to people who
did not do their homework by people who should
know better than to sell such junk. They have
near-zero resale value unless you wish to also
become someone who sells a piece of junk to a
neophyte. You want radial, fer sure.

Clearly, a motor is overkill for such a small
number of hives. Cranking is a good aerobic
workout as long as one does not go overboard.
That said, most extractors can be motorized,
so buy one that can be motorized in the future
for when you are 95.

So, you want a radial, and most any radial will
do. Might as well keep it cheap, as you are not
going to ever put enough mileage on it to need
the heavy-duty models. That said, stay away
from the cheap plastic deals. Those things
have a service life that can be measured in
hours. Stainless steel is your friend.

As far as "storage" goes, even a 9-frame radial
takes up no more room than a washing machine,
and the legs can be removed and stored inside
to result in a unit that takes no more room than
a largish garbage can.

Perhaps a local beekeeping association would
include someone near you who might split the
cost, share the unit, and store it for you.
The maximal crop from 4 hives will be easy to
uncap and extract in an afternoon, and if you
harvest 2 or 3 times a year, you can figure
just how seldom you'll need the unit.
 

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I have a 3 frame tangential and I (or my wife) is quite satisfied with it. IT does the job with hand power. I kind of like doing it by hand. With 4 hives I would concentrate on quality metal, not plastic. Tangential means you spin twice.

Having said this, I would buy radial on the next one.
 

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I'd get the motorized radial and size it to how fast you can uncap. That way if you can uncap 9-12 frames while a load spins, get the 9 frame radial and you'll be ready to reload and keep the process moving. Cranking is kind of fun for the first couple of loads but then the excitement fades for me. And flipping frames can be educational in evaluating how much centrifugal force a frame can take before it breaks. You're really deciding the differential cost between a tangential and radial extractor and only you know if that amount causes you any financial pain. If you're sure to be into beekeeping for the long haul, you won't regret buying quality.
 

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Check out the Italian made unit on the same Betterbee catalog page. Only 23" in diameter with a strainer and a removable 100 lb collection tank on the bottom. Only a few bucks more than the Swienty.

I just got the Italian one and am very pleased with it's construction. I did find it on the net about $25. cheaper AFTER I got it from Betterbee but can find it again now.

[ April 01, 2006, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: brent.roberts ]
 
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