Every hobby beekeeper either has access to a honey extractor or would love to have one of their own but is it really necessary to own one?
Honey extractors certainly are the best way to extract your honey. Some clubs hire them out. Maybe get a group together and share the cost if you cannot afford one. However, the advantage of owning one means you can extract your honey whenever you like.
We look at the different types and advantages of each:
Tangential extractors –
- This style holds the frames around the perimeter of the bowl and handles usually 2, 3 or 4 frames at a time. It is possible to get larger ones but these are not common.
- Are great for all types of honey including manuka and kanuka as the centrifugal force acts directly to throw the honey out of the cells. These are
- the most common type purchased by hobby beekeepers.
- Care needs to be taken when extracting frames with wax foundation as you can blow out the comb – turn frames before one side is completely extracted then go back and finish the first side later.
- Available in both manual and electric – see products available: Manual – https://www.hiveworld.co.nz/product/4-frame-manual-extractor/ and https://www.hiveworld.co.nz/product/two-frame-extractor/
- Electric – https://www.hiveworld.co.nz/product/electric-4-frame-extractor/
Radial Extractors –
- Not normally used by hobby beekeepers as they are larger, 8 or more frames.
- Usually electric.
- It is difficult to extract Manuka or Kanuka with the radial type as there is not so much radial force, but fine for all other types.
- Frames do not require turning, just reverse the direction to extract the other side.
Cassette or Self-Turning Extractors –
- Professional Type extractor.
- The frames sit in individual baskets or cassettes that are in a radial configuration and hinged at the outer edge. Inner edge of the baskets are held in place with springs. This means the baskets swing depending on the direction of rotation to present the frames tangentially either way.
- Ideal for Manuka extraction.
- Frames do not require turning.
- Can be 4 frame or larger.
- Are electric and reversible, some have electronic programs to make them fully automatic.