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What is a Honey Extractor?
Honey extractors are rugged and simple mechanical devices used for extracting honey from honeycomb. It works in a simple but ingenious process that relies on centrifugal force, to help draw the honey out from the honeycombs, capturing it within the tank or reservoir for it to then be extracted via the in-built tap.
Honey extractors are designed to keep the process simple for new hobbyists while still satisfying the needs of professional beekeepers.
Why is a Honey Extractor important to have?
Extracting honey safely without causing damage to the hive is the main reason to use a honey extractor. A honey extractor will ensure that you keep the comb intact and undamaged at the end of the harvest and can be reused by the bees to make more honey.
When you use a honey extractor, you can extract honey really fast and with ease. The extractor ensures that you use the right effort when uncapping the combs to produce clean and clear honey.
How to Choose the Best Honey Extractor
Types of Honey Extractors
There are 2 types of honey extractors, a manually operated extractor, and an electric extractor.
Electric Honey Extractor
This type of honey extractor is powered by electricity when spinning the bee frames placed at the central shaft of the extractor’s drum. This unit uses an electric motor that is linked to an electric current supply which generates the power required for spinning the frames within set speed. Electric honey extractors are usually more expensive, but the main benefit of using one is that you don’t have to do the manual work. This is the more ideal solution, particularly for a commercial honey extraction setup, where several extractors are required to be run at once.
Manual Honey Extractor
The manual honey extractor is operated using your hands or through use of physical effort. Manual extractors generally have the same internal components as its electric counterparts except the electric motor. The process of releasing honey from the honeycombs usually takes around 10-15 minutes, depending on the speed to which you’re spinning the frames at. The main benefit of using a manual extractor is that you aren’t limited to operating the device near a plug socket. The only downside to using a manually operated honey extractor is that it requires some effort when turning the cranking handle, especially if the drum contains 4 or more frames.
Key Considerations for Honey Extractors
To help you narrow down on exactly what kind of honey extractor would suit your requirements, it would be important to consider the basics below.
Tangential or Radial Extractors
Tangential extractors have baskets that hold the frame with one side of the comb facing outwards. After the first side is spun out, you stop the extractor and turn the frame around to spin the honey out of the reverse side. This is an effective method of extracting the honey for the hobby beekeeper that manages only a few colonies.
Radial extractors are designed to hold the top bar of the beehive frame so that both the frames are facing outwards and are spun at the same time. This means the honey extraction is faster and you do not have to manually reverse the frames. . With radial extractors, the outward pressure is against the top bar, not against the comb surface as in small, non-radial models, eliminating much of the breakage of the combs.
Honey extractors can hold up to 2, 4, or more shallow, medium, and deep beehive frames. It’s important to use the same size frames during the extraction process, though, because using different sizes could unbalance the extractor and affect its operation.
Choosing the right honey extractor depends on how much honey your hives produce. Beekeepers with one or two hives who are only extracting honey for personal consumption will be happy with a smaller model that holds a couple frames. More experienced or professional beekeepers will want a larger honey extractor that holds four or more frames.
Most extractors have a drum that is constructed from polished stainless steel which is the most durable and easy to clean material. More importantly, stainless steel does not transfer any chemical smells or flavors to the honey.
The Honey Spinner is a top-loaded two frame tangential centrifugal force honey extractor with bottom reservoir. If you only have a few beehives, these extractors are just right. These honey extractors are predominantly plastic and wood and conveniently compact and storable.
Honey extractors usually come with an integrated 3-legged tripod stand that keeps the machine stable on the floor or ground throughout the extraction process. The stand keeps the drum elevated so that you can place a bottle underneath to catch the honey as it flows out of the honey gate.
Flat or Conical Bottom
Honey extractors are designed with a flat bottom or a conical shaped bottom. A flat bottom is fine for occasional honey extraction, but a conical-shaped bottom allows for maximum honey extraction and minimizes the amount of honey that can be left on the bottom of the drum.
Once you have uncapped and removed the honey from the frames, be sure to strain the honey from the cappings and add to your honey harvest. Use Strainers Cloths, Capping Bags, Steel Filters, bucket filters and Separator Pails to collect as much as possible.
A honey extractor may come with a single or double-sided clear plastic lid. Having a lid protects your beautiful fresh honey from contamination and the clear material lets you watch your honey as it is extracted.
Honey Extractors for Sale
There is a list of our high-quality honey extractors for sale that are available in various types and materials, different price points, and even honey extractor kits. Explore our exclusive honey extractors for sale or used extractors for sale to find your new go-to beekeeping equipment.
We recommend The Mann Lake Stainless Steel honey extractor because it comes with a plethora of amazing features. It is a 26 gauge stainless steel unit specifically built for the savvy beekeeper. One thing that’s special about this unit is that you can buy and forget about buying any other for years.
Honey Extraction Equipment
We have reliable honey extraction equipment made from quality materials that are available in various types, sizes, and styles. Explore our high-quality honey extraction equipment and find the perfect addition to your extraction tools.
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