Long ago, bee farmers and other hobbyists would harvest honey from honeycombs by slicing the honeycomb open and letting the golden liquid flow. What this meant was the cut honeycomb was destroyed and had to be discarded. However, a Polish priest, Johann Dzierzon, discovered a way to extract honey from the hive without destroying the wax frame. This way, the bees can use the frame again. A honey extractor was finally assembled in later years, which resembled the most improved round tub extractor we see today.
- What is a honey extractor?
- The Best Honey Extractor
- Types of Extractors
- Tangential Extractors
- Radial Extractors
- Electric Extractors
- Manual Extractors
- 7 Best-Selling Honey Extractors
- 1. VIVO Electric 4 Frame Stainless Steel Honey Extractor
- 2. Hardin Professional 3 Frame Manual Honey Extractor
- 3. Goodland Bee Supply Hardin Professional Frame Manual Honey Extractor
- 4. VINGLI Electric 4 Frame Honey Extractor Separator
- 5. VINGLI 2 Frames Manual Honey Extractor
- 6. Happy Buy Electric Honey Extractor
- 7. CO-Z Manual Honey Extractor
- Buyers Guide
- Size of the colony
- Mechanism of operation
- Nature of honey
What is a honey extractor?
A honey extractor is an assembly of mechanical parts that extracts honey from honeycombs. The purpose of the extractor is to extract honey without destroying the combs. During extraction, the frames may be squeezed and broken a little but not entirely that the bees cannot fix and refill them.
Honey extractors work by centrifugal force, which pulls the honey from combs as the device is spinning. A honey extractor contains a cylindrical drum that holds the frames; this is the part that spins to extract the honey from the combs.
The Best Honey Extractor
The traditional extraction methods like squeezing with the hand may be cheap for a small-scale honey tapper or hobbyist with less than ten frames, but it is not hygienic. Other traditional methods like melting the honey out by burning the combs over a pile of fire destroys the golden liquid’s integrity and dilutes its taste. Honey extractors may be a considerable investment but worth saving time and energy used to extract honey manually.
Whether you are just starting in bee-keeping or have been in the business for a longer time, understanding the extractor’s importance is essential to prepare you for picking a suitable one for your colony and environment. The idea is that your colony will grow from the few hives you have to a number; thus, a faster extraction method will be beneficial.
Besides, you want to keep your bees busy filling honeycombs and not rebuilding them. Before we dive into the best selling extractors in the market, let us look at the types available and what makes them different from each other.
Types of Extractors
There are two types of honey extractors:
Both types come as electrical and manual extractors and rely on centrifugal force to fling honey out of the cells. These extractors vary in size depending on the number of frames they can hold. An individual look at each type of extractor will reveal more information.
Tangential honey extractors have baskets that hold the frames facing outwards. This design allows you to remove honey from one side of the frame at a time. Once you remove honey from one side of the frame, you can reinsert the remaining site and repeat the process to ensure all honey is drained. Many beekeepers use these types of extractors.
The best method of extracting honey from tangential extractors is the 50-100-50 method. This method involves removing 50% of the honey from one side of the frame, then switching to remove 100% from the alternative side of the frame, and finally completing the process by draining the remaining 50% from the frame’s initial side.
Radial Honey extractors are designed to have the beehive frames sitting on the top bar facing outwards. The extractor uses centrifugal force but applies it in the opposite direction of gravity acting on the frames. With radial extractors, users do not need to turn the frame during extraction; the draining process will work on both sides no matter where they are facing.
Radial honey extractors are wider and excellent for use in small scale and large-scale bee-keeping. They take less time in extraction compared to tangential extractors. Radial extractors carry between 4 frames to 100 frames in industrial honey extraction processes.
For both extractors, usage requires a complete balance of the frames and avoiding the overflow of honey. The spinning process is restricted when honey flows close to the turning levers. Like any mechanical component, after extraction, you are required to clean the devices and lubricate the moving parts to keep them in perfect shape before storage.
Both radial and tangential types have electric versions. The electric extractors use electricity to spin the frames at a certain speed. This version allows you to control the speed because fast movements can damage the honeycombs. The electric extractors are the best honey extractor for large scale extraction because of the less time and energy it takes for them to complete an extraction cycle.
Just as the name suggests, manual extractors work manually using the hands. The first discoveries of honey extractors were manual extractors. You can even make a honey extractor yourself using simple physics. This type is mostly used by hobbyists and small-scale beekeepers operating an extraction of between 2-4 frames at a go. The advantages of the manual extractors are the ability to use them without electricity and the affordability. You can also easily control spinning speed to avoid damaging the honeycombs because your hands are the force of movement.
7 Best-Selling Honey Extractors
1. VIVO Electric 4 Frame Stainless Steel Honey Extractor
This extractor is a radial electric 4-frame device with a robust 201 stainless steel body perfect for all your bee-keeping needs. The motors run silently with a built-in cooling fan, so you don’t have to worry about overheating. Despite being a 4-frame, this extractor can fit up to 8 small to medium frames, allowing you to extract more honey at once.
Consider the VIVO Frame Stainless Steel Honey Extractor for a casual beekeeper. Both sizes have well-functioning honey gates, located much lower, so you don’t have to tip the barrel to drain the honey.
2. Hardin Professional 3 Frame Manual Honey Extractor
This extractor is one of the best honey extractors for beginners, built in a 16-gauge stainless steel tank. For cheap price $, the Hardin Professional 3 Frame Honey extractor gives value for your money with a full experience of viewing the extraction process. The plexiglass on top of the barrel allows you to watch the extraction proves as it happens. Other features include an optional leg and steal gear construction with sealed bearings. The lifetime warranty allows you to return the extractor if you find its performance unsatisfactory.
3. Goodland Bee Supply Hardin Professional Frame Manual Honey Extractor
The Goodland name is synonymous with good quality honey extractor devices. It is a name that is common among beekeepers, and the 2-frame manual extractor is not an exception. This extractor’s features guarantee the efficiency of use and include optional legs, a 16-gauge stainless steel tank, clear plexus glass top for viewing, and steel construction with a sealed bearing. This Goodland Bee Supply Professional Extractor allows you to extract two frames simultaneously, therefore perfect for the hobbyist with 1-10 hives.
4. VINGLI Electric 4 Frame Honey Extractor Separator
There is a lot to say about this multioperation honey extractor, in its features and convenience. VINGLI Electric 4 Frame Honey Extractor is made from stainless steel that is built to last. It is also the only extractor that has adopted a stainless-steel honey gate, not plastic as the other counterparts in the market.
It is the best bee honey extractor for users looking for a lifetime quality investment since they provide free replacements for the lids and the honey gate. With the best honey extractor reviews on this product online, we can safely say it a must-have for every small-scale beekeeper.
5. VINGLI 2 Frames Manual Honey Extractor
From the good reviews on the electric VINGLI Electric 4 Frame, we can expect the VINGLI Manual 2 Frame to be no exception to the quality honey extractor. Its features include a stainless-steel body, large frame holder with the capability of holding three deep, medium, or shallow frames at once.
The handles have a screw dent for installations and fast cranking. With the adjustable legs, the extractors allow you to have different bucket sizes to sit underneath it. The rust-resistant stainless-steel material is perfect for outdoor usage, for both commercial and domestic extractions.
6. Happy Buy Electric Honey Extractor
This device is a 3-Frame stainless steel body honey extractor with additional features such as a 1300 rpm motor with variable speeds. It also has a heavy-duty hive holder handling three standard deep, medium, and shallow frames enclosed gear to ensure it does not contaminate the honey. It also includes clear lids to allow viewing during extraction and a honey gate that delivers free-flowing honey. Happy buy Electric Honey Extractor is easy to operate, making it among the best honey extractor for a hobbyist.
7. CO-Z Manual Honey Extractor
The stainless-steel body guarantees you years of excellent working condition for this extractor while keeping your hives free of damage. It also boasts of a food-grade stainless steel honey dispenser at the bottom for the controlled release of pure honey. Stainless steel is easy to clean and resists the build-up of debris.
The extractor also has manual bearing and gears that maintain momentum and speed at every turn, such that the next requires less effort than the last. It has a set of acrylic glass lids that allow you to observe the extraction with each turn. The elevated steel legs give you room for an excellent tilt to drain your honey. CO-Z Manual Honey Extractor is an excellent choice for a new apiarist or even a seasoned one because the device comes with easy-to-follow installation instructions.
With many honey extractors in the market, deciding which one is suitable for your use is vital. It is an investment that you do not want to waste by buying an extractor that does not serve you well. Here are a few factors to consider when going for an extractor.
Size of the colony
For a buyer, consider your colony’s size and the number of hives you have. If you are a beginner apiarist, you may be dealing with less than ten hives. In this case, a small extractor with the capability of holding two frames is the right choice. However, small scale beekeepers with up to 50 colonies can use an extractor that holds 4-8 deep frames. Additionally, this should be an electric extractor to ensure efficiency and save on energy.
Commercial bee farmers with over 100 colonies require radial electric extractors with a capacity of up to 60 frames. These extractors save time, promote extracting efficiency and minimizing human labor.
Mechanism of operation
As we had seen previously, there are two types of honey extractors based on operations’ mechanism; these are manual and electric. Ensure that you choose the extractor with a mechanism that will best suit your operation knowledge and get the work done. The manual extractor is easy to operate and efficient when you are extracting little honey. But for large-scale extraction, you may need an electric extractor to save on time and get the work done.
Nature of honey
The type of honey you are looking to collect will determine if you choose a radial or tangential extractor. In this case, a wax melter will make the process of making your honey more liquid or thick easier. A single strainer will make more liquid honey, while a double strainer gives a thicker result.
When choosing a honey extractor, you can go with one that is made from plastic, steel, or metal. Plastic extractors are suitable for hobbyists but not for someone trying to develop a franchise. They are also more affordable compared to steel and metal. Steel extractors are perfect for apiarists looking to go commercial because they are durable and highly efficient.
Cost is a significant contributing factor to choosing a honey extractor. It largely depends on the size of the extractor and the mechanism of operation. If you are starting on bee-keeping with a maximum of 5 hives as the goal, a small manual extractor is the right choice as you save money. The extraction process is not heavy at this point.
For beekeepers looking at more than ten hives, it is better to invest in an electric hive early on. Go for one with a lifetime warranty and quality at its sleeves because it is a lifetime investment.
The choice of a honey extractor is highly dependent on your volumes and the efficiency you are looking to get from the process. A good number of manufactures offer extended warranties, so you are welcome to try out different options. We advise that you do your research extensively and compare the best reviews on honey extractors to determine what matches your colony. Remember, the best part of bee-keeping is harvesting the golden liquid; make it worthwhile.