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Discussion Starter #1
I have looked far and wide for a bee processing area layout. Anybody - for just a small number of hives - say 20?
 

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Kim Flottum does a great talk on honey houses. His first rule is to think "flow of material." You're going to have supers coming in, empty supers leaving, honey and cappings left behind. How does this material flow from super, to uncapper, to extractor, to filter, to storage? How will you uncap? What size containers will you store your honey in? Will you bottle in this room? Where are your jars and bottles stored? How about clean up? Will you benefit by a floor drain?

Think about the room lay-out. Should it be in a straight line or is it better to have a U-shaped room? How many doors do you need and will they be wide enough?

How many people will be working with you? Is there enough room to move around or will you be bumping into one another?

How about expansion plans? Can the area be expanded to accomodate more production? More storage? Will you use this space for storage of equipment as well as honey? DO NOT underestimate your need for storage.

Kim's best rule is to double everything. Think about how much room you need, then double it. Think about how much money it will cost, then double it. You will be surprised how nothing will fit into the original plans. Double the budget!

I can fully attest to the FACT that plans on paper, even well thought out plans, get really cramped when you actually build the area for honey processing. I measured how much space my extractor took. I imagined stacks of supers waiting to be uncapped. I measured plastic, five-gallon buckets for my storage. I extensively laid out the floor plan on paper and it was too small the day I moved in. But then I was also trying to save money by being economical. In the long-run, I was too short-sighted.

Sadly, after I built my building, I heard Kim's talk. I should have doubled everything.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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Mine measures 12X28 and is only big enough to support the extracting needs for two beekeepers of over 100 hives. Little room to store empty containers, full containers, extra tanks, extra extracting equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to all of you who have responded.

It looks like a very individual thing. Size does matter!

It will take me some time to get the $'s and plan organised but I do plan to start this year. I will keep watching this space in the hope that a few more ideas will turn up.

many thanks

max 2
 

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You should first have an idea of how large your harvest will be ( on average ). Are you averaging 1 super per hive, 3 supers per hive, or 5 supers per hive ? This defines a critical area -- storage for supers waiting for extraction and possible warming. It also defines the size of storage tanks -- ETC.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You should first have an idea of how large your harvest will be ( on average ). Are you averaging 1 super per hive, 3 supers per hive, or 5 supers per hive ? This defines a critical area -- storage for supers waiting for extraction and possible warming. It also defines the size of storage tanks -- ETC.

Beekeeping is a,little different here in subtropical Australia.

I may take honey off 8 to 10 times a year and each time take 6 to 10 frames per hive. I only keep one honey super per hive.We don't store suppers before extraction ( problems with the Hive Beatle and we put them back within 2 hrs) We do no warming. It is a very simple operation with ( at this stage) only 8 hives ( hope to gro a little) and producing about 1250 kg of honey last year.

As you can see it is a small set-up I'm loooking for and I do have some storage space for empty/spare boxes if I need it.

I'm interested to see how others work the bees, where they have the windows, bee escapes... - a bit of a time and motion study. Learning from what others are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry, I found the MAXANT catalogue but no relevant info ( lovely loking gear)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This link does not work for me ( not by clicking and not by cut and paste.

thanks

max2
 

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Here is a picture of mine. Not shown past extractor is Cowen uncapper, and to left of capping spinner is stainless table holding settling tanks. This is the 30th anniversary of this setup, equipment was mostly already that old when we set it up. Amazingly, I only own the tanks, my buddy owns the extractor and uncapper, another friend abandoned the filter sump, pump and spinner with me way back then. Oldie but goodie, we run about two or three tons a year.
We can fit in about half of the supers at a time, the room has a floor drain that was there when I bought the property.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi OdFrank,

love it!
I'm getting some good ideas and by the number of people visiting the theme others are too.
thanks
max2
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not shown past extractor is Cowen uncapper......and uncapper, another friend abandoned the filter sump, pump and spinner with me way back then. Oldie but goodie, we run about two or three tons a year.
We can fit in about half of the supers at a time, the room has a floor drain that was there when I bought the property.

[/QUOTE]

Odfrank - just wondering. Do you thinl it is worthwhile to have an uncapper for this quantity? Or to put it another way - I got 1250 kg last year and un-capped by hand. When is an uncapper a worthwhile timesaver? ( considering the cost)
thanks
max2
 

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Your arm will tell you when you need a power uncapper. I did fine without one for decades, but when my buddy brought one into my extracting room for free I didn't complain. A hand knife does a better job cleaning the top and bottom of the frames. Power uncapping requires careful inspection for scratching low spots if necessary.
 
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