Before we know it, extracting season (usually in late July, August, and September) will be upon us. This can be a satisfying and fulfilling time for beekeepers, but it can also be stressful if you don’t know what type of extractor works best for you.
Fortunately, that’s what we’re here for! Though there is a multitude of ways you can extract your honey, some are simply more efficient and popular.
Extractors generally come in two different styles:
- Tangential Extractors
- Radial Extractors
Beyond this, the extractor (whether it’s tangential or radial) can be manual or motorized. This means you can decide whether you want to do it by hand or let the machine do the work for you.
Choosing an extractor depends solely on your beekeeping needs. Let’s discuss some of the differences between the types of extractors before you decide. Regardless of the style, all extractors work best if you are using one of Dadant & Sons’ top-tier frames!
A tangential extractor spins out the honey on only one side of the frame at a time; half way through the process, it needs to be turned to spin out the other side. This can be a hassle for some beekeepers, but others prefer this type of extractor because it extracts the honey in a more thorough way.
One popular style of tangential extractor is the basket style extractor, which requires the beekeeper to flip the frames for it to extract honey from both sides.
Tangential extractors can come in both styles; motorized or manual. For beekeepers who only manage a few colonies at a time, this type of extractor is the most effective method!
At Dadant & Sons, we generally prefer radial extractors, because they are the most efficient, quickest, and easiest way to get honey from the comb. They situate your frames as if they were the spokes of a wheel, which allows both sides of the frame to be extracted at the same time.
Just like tangential extractors, radial extractors come in both manual and motorized styles. For beekeepers looking to extract a large amount of honey from a lot of frames, this is the best bet due to its ease of use and efficiency.
Radial extractors come in a variety of sizes and styles, from a 6-frame extractor with removable legs to a 20-frame radial extractor with attached legs. This means that no matter how large your colony is, radial extractors can get the job done!
Manual extractors might be the best choice for beekeepers just starting their journey due to its lower price point and relatively easy operation. Additionally, some beekeepers prefer this style because it is the most rewarding way to extract honey – it makes you use a little elbow grease!
Manual extractors come in a variety of forms:
- Side of top crank
- Stainless steel or plastic construction
- High and low frame capacities
Generally, this style of extractor comes with removable legs (like what we sell here) to make it easier to set up and begin use.
If you’re the type of person who wants your honey as soon as it’s ready with minimal legwork, you’ll want to choose a motorized extractor (just like the one found here) because it does all the work for you. While the motorized extractor gets the job done, you can focus on other extracting duties, like uncapping the next set of frames.
As well, motorized extractors might be preferable because you can control the speed; this allows you to extract different types of foundations (for example, a plastic foundation is more durable than wax, so it can be extracted at a quicker speed.)
Don’t Be Afraid to Contact Dadant & Sons, Your Local Beekeeping Experts, with Any Questions About Radial and Hand Extractors!
No matter what you decide works best, you’ll want to get an extractor that comes with a kit (like the ones found here) – it will definitely make your job easier.
Please don’t be afraid to contact us at Dadant & Sons any time you have questions or concerns about the care of your bees – that’s why we’re here.