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Author Topic: Extractor bundles  (Read 2945 times)
Shawn
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« on: February 22, 2009, 07:05:39 PM »

I was wondering if the extractor bundle would be ok from Mann Lake. I only have two hives so I was wondering if the price was ok or should I just crush and strain. Here is the link to the extractor I was looking at. I did check out Betterbee and Dandant but they were more expensive.

http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ProductDetail.asp?idproduct=962&idCategory=
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 04:13:37 PM »

Of course it is Ok.  Crush and strain is ok too. 

This of the cost of your honey when paying $500 for that set.  The price is fine for what you get but many people start out with much less.  Let me give you some examples.

Extractor:  I borrowed one from a friend for the 1st year.  Then through a relative, a friend had a old 4 frame extractor that he gave me.  I got lucku there but many buy used ones..

Knife:  I just use a kitching bread knife.

Cappings Scratcher:  This has been useful.  There is a paint brush comb that has the same pointed tongs.  That is probably just a few $ at home depot.

Decapping tank:  I use a plastic container similar to what is shown and a piece of wood with a nail all the way through it.  I then just set this on top the the container or tape it to the container.  The two containers would be nice but not required.  When done the the capping, just put them in your strainer overnight and most of the honey will be drained out.    You would build a decapping tank as well from a few purchased containers and some ingenuity.  There is a good thread on this somewhere. 

Bottling bucket:  You will need a clean bucket for this.  You don't have to have the honey gate but it is nice.  So you could buy the honey gate and bucket. 

Filters:  I believe some use cheese cloth.  I have a set from Dadant of 3 filters.  I have only used one.  I wish I had the metal version.  A kitchen sifter would work too.

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Shawn
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 06:30:21 PM »

Cool, thanks for the info.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 07:08:47 PM »

In a pinch a Colander lined with a few layer of box muslin (cheese cloth) or panty hose works great as filter.

Use a frech knife or a bread knife of as an uncapping knife, the wider blade works better.

If you choose crush and strain look into using a cider or fruit press.  The compression factor will force 99% of the honey out of the wax leaving llittle to filter out later.  You get more honey per frame because less stays in the comb.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 07:17:01 PM »

pantyhose are great.  they belong on the list of things you can't do without, along with duct tape, baling twine, etc.

i sent both my sons off to the military with pantyhose.  one to boot camp and one to OCS.  they had the best shined boots in the least time, and they kept the secret of how they did it  grin

for honey, i think they work better than cheese cloth unless you want more chunky stuff in there.  i like the pollen bits and wax bits in mine, so i use the cheese cloth.
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 07:50:00 PM »

I have an extractor similar to that one and it will work you to death. It takes a lot of turns to extract a box of honey.

Steve
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malabarchillin
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 08:59:59 PM »

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 09:54:29 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm

"All this seems obvious enough, and yet time after time I have seen novice beekeepers, as soon as they had built their apiaries up to a half dozen or so hives, begin to look around for an extractor. It is as if one were to establish a small garden by the kitchen door, and then at once begin looking for a tractor to till it with. Unless then, you have, or plan eventually to have, perhaps fifty or more colonies of bees, you should try to resist looking in bee catalogs at the extractors and other enchanting and tempting tools that are offered and instead look with renewed fondness at your little pocket knife, so symbolic of the simplicity that is the mark of every truly good life." --Richard Taylor, The Comb Honey Book
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 10:27:40 PM »

i would not have purchased one if i had not gotten it in a bulk buy of used stuff.  still have not used it  smiley you can wait.  you may not have a year that justifies the expense.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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Shawn
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 10:54:27 PM »

So if I do the crush and strain I can just get two clean buckets, cheese cloth, maybe a stainless strainer for fine particles that should be all. My question now is, will I have to cut all teh comb off of the frames, plastic frames from betterbee. Would that not cause more work for the bees in the following year? I read some post where people try to keep the comb for about 3 to 4 years and then scrape away and have new made. I asked the wife about getting the extractor and she said NO  Cry.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2009, 06:22:35 AM »

>So if I do the crush and strain I can just get two clean buckets, cheese cloth, maybe a stainless strainer for fine particles that should be all.

Cheese cloth isn't the best as it has a lot of fibers that will act as seed to cause the honey to crystallize.  Nylon taffeta is better.

> My question now is, will I have to cut all teh comb off of the frames, plastic frames from betterbee.

You will need to use a rubber spatula or whatever tool you find convenient to cut the comb from the frames, yes.  Then let them drain some, probably, then give the messy frames back to the bees to clean up.  But even if you extract you have these same issues.

> Would that not cause more work for the bees in the following year?

Bees work.  It's what they do.  They love it.  Building comb is a natural process.

> I read some post where people try to keep the comb for about 3 to 4 years and then scrape away and have new made.

Generally that's only in the brood nest.  Generally they keep the ones from the supers for as long as they last and as long as the bees keep fixing them that's probably forever.

> I asked the wife about getting the extractor and she said NO

I would too.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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BjornBee
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 10:23:08 AM »

Shawn,
One of the county clubs I belong too, bought a small extractor with club funds. They then rent it out to members at 10 dollars a day or something like that, until the thing is paid for. After that, I think the plan is to then not charge anything more, but just let others use it.

Just something to consider for a club.
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Shawn
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 11:55:15 AM »

Bjornbee, that is a good idea but we dont have any clubs down here. Michael, thanks for the info. I had to scrub my computer and lost your website, but I got it back.
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2009, 12:00:38 PM »

I've contimplated getting an extractor on an off for a couple of years now.  But after reading a book about making things easier by using "machines" less, I've come to the conclusion....for myself...that despite cost and space issues, I prefer to crush and strain.

I use a 5 gallon bucket with a 6 micron filter insert from a beekeeping supplier.  I scrape the comb off plastic foundation (or cut out if natural...which I'm converting to), crush it in a large baking dish with potato masher.  Then dump it into the filter.  After it is filtered I open the gate (made with spiggott from Lowe's) and jar it up.  

I figure, if I had an extractor, I'd still have a mess to clean up and wouldn't get the satisfaction of the sound and intense scent of crushing the comb.  Then again, I might be biased since I've only done the crush/strain method...just my 2 cents.

Anyone here done both.  Which do you prefer?


Derrick
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Shawn
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2009, 12:12:37 PM »

Derrick, good question. I did a search on "crush and strain" and found there is at least 6 pages on the forums. I think Ill do the crush and strain by using Michael's two bucket method and add in a micron stainless steal filter and a bucket with a honey gate. I really want to make sure the comb is out for the first time so people will come back and get more. I did have a guy say he would like some honey still in the comb or with some comb because he use to eat comb and all on toast.
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malabarchillin
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2009, 04:17:52 PM »

The biggest reason that I bought a extractor was to have drawn comb available the next year.
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2009, 04:24:29 PM »

The biggest reason that I bought a extractor was to have drawn comb available the next year.

Thanks for making this point. I was thinking about this but forgot to post.  If this is just a hobby, then fine but if in it to make honey and you want as much as you can get from your hives, then an extractors helps alot.  It takes alot of extra time and nector each year for the bees to rebuild the comb. 

I 1st started out thinking we would just do crush and strain but then I started looking to an extractor since building the comb takes alot of resources.  I was fortunate though as I was able to borrow a extractor and now was given one.  I doubt I could justify the expense of a new extractor yet.  I only have 3 hives now but hoping to go to 7-10 by this time next year.
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cundald
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2009, 11:48:38 AM »

The biggest reason that I bought a extractor was to have drawn comb available the next year.

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones!  I’m getting my dad’s extractor and other equipment.  He was under the impression he was getting to old to do beekeeping (I should let him get onto this forum, and let him talk to some of you that have had bees for most of your lives).

If I remember correctly it’s a three frame extractor, an electric hot knife, and bottling tank, a small fry compared to what’s in the catalogs.

I like the idea of loaning the extractor out to club members, there is a lot of hobbyist beekeepers out there that have 2 – 3 hives that are facing the same problem that this thread is about.

cundald
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2009, 12:08:58 PM »

Free bakery buckets with lids and 5 gallon paint strainers make really easy to use fairly high capacity strainers.  Cheap too ! Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2009, 10:56:01 PM »

I bought an extractor this year but have some top bar hives and will still do some crush and strain. Bought the extractor because I plan on expanding till I almost can't handle any more {just love them bees}. But I still plan on running some TBHS so the buckets and 5 gallon nylon paint strainers work just fine for that. I crush it all up in a 5 gallon bucket with what looks like a giant potatoe masher also from the paint store then pour it in the straining buckets put the lid on loosely till it drains and in a day or two I have fairly dry wax and a bucket full of honey.The bucket full of honey has a bottling valve on bottom and you can bottle right away and have a little pollen still in the honey or let it sit a few days and the pollen rises to the top and then bottle. Both methods are messy The only thing that extracting affords is the bees have less wax to replace when they start storing honey. But if you want comb honey you will need new wax every time anyway. Hope this gives some answers.
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