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Author Topic: Extractor decisions  (Read 5060 times)

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2017, 10:13:34 pm »
Omni,
When a frame fails, usually it is the comb that fails. The comb drags against the wall and slows the drum way down. As long as you shut the extractor down to keep from burning up the motor, it will be okay. My drum dropped a few years ago and was dragging in the honey. It took several test to figure out what was slowing down the motor. Once I put the drum back where it was supposed to be it was fine. This is basically the same thing that happens when a comb blows out. My extractor is still in good working order.
When my wife and I extract, we pull about 10 or more Supers at a time so it does not matter how many frames the extractor can handle. You just have to have a balanced load. We have done as few as 2 or 3 frames at the end of an extraction.
Jim

Offline Acebird

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2017, 10:14:39 pm »
An extractor should not exert a lot of force on a frame.  The delicate part of the frame is the wax.  To be honest if a frame comes apart in an extractor it shouldn't have been put in it the first place.  By controlling the speed you control the force that the frame / comb is exposed to.  Some people like to rush things.  They usually end up taking the most time to get things done.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 09:17:36 am by Acebird »
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Offline beebad

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2017, 11:01:00 am »
I need to put in my 2 cents. At first I didnt know any better. Then I saw the amount of work and labor saving tools out there.

With that said this is what I use: MAxxant 9 frame motorized, LEGA uncapper...

cheers

Offline chorrylan

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2017, 11:51:52 am »
I am not sure what a manley frame
Our manley frame size is the same as your medium.
They're not all that commonly used here. The most common (I presume everywhere) is fulldepth. A size we call wsp, approximately 3/4 height; and ideal, 1/2 height get use a bit; with manley/medium a very distant fourth place.

@omnimirage  regarding frame supports this image is one I grabbed from one the pages you linked with some annotations added.
The red lines mark where there are two supporting rods that hold the frame up.
The blue line is where an ideal medium frame would reach to.
The green line is where a manley frame would reach to
The purple line is where a wsp frame would reach to.
https://www.ozbeegear.com.au/temp/typical-frame-support-bars.png

If you experiment with some pencils under your own frames in similar positions you will find the full-depth and wsp frames work ok but ideal and manley frames will tip forward as they are supported by a single bar about 1/3'rd of the way along.
That is ok if the extractor is spinning at sufficient speed but not when it is stationary, starting or slowing down.
The 12 frame or larger extractors I've had a look at (here in oz) all appear to handle smaller frames as do the small tangential units and the locally made/horridly-expensive units;  the ones you have to pay attention to are the 6 and 8 frame radials going around.

That's all about getting the frames to hold in pace while you're filling and starting it. Once it's up and running centrifugal support will hold them in place but.. eventually you will have a frame break in the extractor.
When it does your concern is not about supporting bars etc as frankly, you want the frame to be completely and quickly destroyed while you are you're hoping that the extractor is strong enough to survive the process without getting bits bent and distorted.


re" if I went and grabbed a super I'd have a spare frame after a spin"
I use 8, 9 and 10 frame boxes (and a mixture of full depth and medium/manley.. cos I can't help myself experimenting and I haven't really settled on what suits me). When I'm extracting I tend to have 2 or 3 boxes being processed not just one so I am extracting 8 frames at a time; not necessarily from the same super.
At the end of the process you will have a partially filled extractor to  operate; and along the way you will have differently weighted frames. That's just a matter of paying attention to their relative weights as you place them around the drum although in a mathematical sense there are more options available to partially fill a 12 frame extractor as it is balanced with 12, 6, 4, 3 or 2 frames versus 9, 8 or 6 frame that have only 2 or 3 fill options available each.

re: "It's not obvious to me that they're from different extractors they look the same"
On the beekeeping supplies site the first picture has the motor mounted directly on the shaft
whereas the second picture has a a motor mounted at right angles to the shaft, driving through a gearing mechanism.
You ideal option is to hope you're buying the second one for the price of the first one :-)
https://static.wixstatic.com/media/55e9f1_bc5af77486a44be2887c322253d38805~mv2.jpg/v1/fill/w_900,h_900,q_85,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/55e9f1_bc5af77486a44be2887c322253d38805~mv2.jpg
https://static.wixstatic.com/media/55e9f1_6a642415c0aa4f6c9c4174479d6b00de~mv2.jpg/v1/fill/w_759,h_759,q_85,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/55e9f1_6a642415c0aa4f6c9c4174479d6b00de~mv2.jpg


Offline Acebird

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2017, 09:16:52 am »
you want the frame to be completely and quickly destroyed while you are you're hoping that the extractor is strong enough to survive the process without getting bits bent and distorted.

Without a supporting wire on the end of each frame support tying them all together each frame support is on it's own and only as strong as the wires welded to the drive shaft.  For the cost of two wires tying all these frames supports together top and bottom the strength would be greatly improved.  As it is I see this arrangement as being weak.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2017, 05:57:37 am »
Thanks for the fantastic information guys chorrylan in particular.

So what I've gathered, the spinner is but one part of the extraction process, and as the drum is spinning I'll be preparing the next lot of frames by doing things such as uncapping. It seems that one person wouldn't practically be able to uncap and prepare twenty frames by the time they've finished spinning, and so it becomes a two person job. I wonder, is this the same with a 12 frame spinner? Can one person effectively mount it, or is that also more of a 2 person job? I assume the 8 frame spinner is fine as a 1 person job.

Offline chorrylan

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2017, 09:51:03 am »
I assume the 8 frame spinner is fine as a 1 person job.
I use an 8 frame version of this unit https://www.ozbeegear.com.au/12-frame-electric-radial-honey-extractor-1.html
 as a one (sometimes two) person  exercise (I could easily get by with something smaller but don't want/need to)

You mentioned 40-100 hives in your op; how many do you have now and how many  supers would you expect to handle in a single 'sitting'?
I don't time my cycles so the numbers are vague but.. if you spend say 10 minutes in a cycle and 2 minutes unloading and re-loading you're going to manage about 40 cycles in a long/busy day.
That's 32x10-frame supers with an 8 frame extractor or 48 supers with a 12-frame extractor.
At about that point an uncapper would be looking like a really tempting investment or ... befriend someone with serious equipment who is willing to come to some arrangement with you.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2017, 11:59:34 pm »
Not sure why I'm not being notified of a reply.

Currently, I have 25 hives. Honestly thinking about it 100 hives is a lot and I think that's the max I'll ever have in my lifetime and feel doubtful such will occur. Most I have on one site is 9 hives currently but that will increase with time. Not sure how many this one owner would be comfortable with

Can't I just use a hotknife or one of those heated steam knives for uncapping?

That sure sounds like it'll take a long time to process, I didn't realise it was so slow. So you're telling me that if I had a manual one I'd have to handspin it for 10 minutes per cycle? Sounds like I'd have a dead arm rather quickly.

I've been thinking more so about the logistics of honeyspinning. If I were to take empty frames up with me, to replace with full honey frames to take home and extract, I wouldn't be able to fit such in my station wagon. Taking back just 10 supers full of honey would be very difficult to manage. My car has been getting very full as is. I could strap my tool box and other tools on roof racks to my car, if I got tarps I could load some honey supers on my passenger seats. but it doesn't seem practical. I'd have to take a trailer with me to load with honey. I don't own a trailer nor do I have experience with driving one, but that can change I suppose. Maybe I'd need to get a more spacious vehicle, my station wagon has a gas tank in the back which restricts how many supers I can load up. Maybe a van or ute would be better for me.

Just really doesn't seem practical either way. How do you guys bring back large hauls of honey? It has me thinking again about doing my honey extraction whilst up there. If I got a van, I could maybe set up a honey processing unit inside the van, or get some sort of portable shelter thing to cover myself so that the bees won't swarm me as I'm working. If I did that though, I guess I'd need to buy a manual extractor, not sure how feasible it'd be to use solar panels or a generator to charge an electric one. Then it seems that, I'd be spending days on end manually extracting frames, I'm not sure if I could physically do it.

Bit lost as to how to proceed. Doesn't seem like I have any practical solution.

Offline chorrylan

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #48 on: December 15, 2017, 09:02:50 am »
How far are your apiary sites from your home?
when I was growing up (a good few years ago in West Oz) I remember some of the commercial folk having mobile setups; essential a truck or caravan kitted out as an extraction room but even they had a home setup they'd use if the bees were within 3 or 4 hours driving distance.

I'm not sure many if any do that any more??

In your case ... get a ute.  (If it's under $20k you'll even have it subsidised by the tax paying public)
and drag supers back and forth a uteload at a time.

re: " So you're telling me that if I had a manual one I'd have to handspin it for 10 minutes per cycle? "
I didn't really pay attention to how long the cycles were going so that was a really a wild guess and it will vary depending on how cold and dense the honey is and perhaps how quickly you are going to get the supers back on the hives (in a heavy flow for instance you might want to just get them back on quickly and not really care about how much honey you are leaving in the stickies)
When I've used manual extractors I most certainly didn't  and couldn't keep on spinning it for 10 minutes.

Thinking back to my childhood days; perhaps an option you could consider that would help you sort this out is to find some local commercial beekeepers and volunteer to help them with an extraction.
Knowing how a serious extraction setup works will be invaluable I'd suggest in working out your own one.
Local clubs usually have equipment you can borrow also but the ones I've seen have small/older equipment more suited to someone who has one or two hives than 25+



Offline omnimirage

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #49 on: December 15, 2017, 05:03:56 pm »
I think maybe part of the reason why I ponder on the logistics of spinning in the field, because I once worked with a commercial beekeeper who had a processing unit attached as a trailer to his truck, where one would uncap and spin the frames on site. I only worked with him for a few weeks, but the bees were never an issue. Maybe there was a strong flow on at the time.

3 or 4 hour driving distance? But I thought the bees only had a 5 kilometer flight path, meaning if one went outside 5 kilometers they wouldn't fly out to you? My bees are about an hour away from home.

The local club that I'm planning on joining offers a decent looking small electrical honey spinner to borrow.

Offline chorrylan

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2017, 11:03:10 am »
3 or 4 hour driving distance? But I thought the bees only had a 5 kilometer flight path, meaning if one went outside 5 kilometers they wouldn't fly out to you? My bees are about an hour away from home.
The decision factor was more about the trade-off between time spent driving supers back and forth vs the convenience of working in a better facility at home.
They occasionally had to deal with extremely heavy flows too. eg in a seriously heavy (and rare) Karri flow they'd be extracting too fast and too often and didn't have enough supers available to deal with a multi-hour trip to their home base.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2017, 06:08:38 pm »
I really want to minimise time driving back and fourth. Petrol is the biggest financial expenditure behind what I do. It's very expensive to run a car.

I guess I'm gonna get a trailer. Hand spinning out in the field seems like it wouldn't work too well, seems like it'd take way too long and create issues with bees and dust.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #52 on: December 19, 2017, 08:16:01 am »
My dad used to extract in his carport. If a flow is on it is not too bad. If not, I would not want to do it. Just removing Supers after the flow has stopped is really bad. I helped my father in law extract in his garage this year. Even with the doors closed the bees were finding their way in and then covering the windows trying to get out.
Jim

Offline Acebird

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #53 on: December 19, 2017, 08:25:22 am »
3 or 4 hour driving distance? But I thought the bees only had a 5 kilometer flight path, meaning if one went outside 5 kilometers they wouldn't fly out to you? My bees are about an hour away from home.

It is not just honey bees.  Many insects are attracted to the smell of honey and take part in the feast.  It doesn't have to be just your bees for it to be a problem.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #54 on: December 25, 2017, 11:13:59 pm »
I hear all of these issues with robbing and yet, I've never observed such. I've only had limited experience, but I do wonder if the bees are less desperate here for nectar due to perhaps lots of things flowering, which is the reason why I don't see this sort of thing happening.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #55 on: December 25, 2017, 11:28:13 pm »
Omni,
Bees will ignore honey during good flows. If you have flows developing one after another they have no reason to rob.
I have taken a part a hive, in a truck tool box, in my apiary without any bees trying to rob it and there was broken honey comb everywhere.
Jim

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2018, 09:52:32 pm »
That's basically been my experience with working with bees for a couple of years. I've never observed the sort of robbing behaviour that I see people talk about on the internet.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2018, 12:31:53 am »
It can get really bad. I have seen it several times when trying to remove honey Supers.
Jim

Offline Joe D

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Re: Extractor decisions
« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2018, 11:53:31 pm »
omnimirage, sorry I didn't see the questions you had about the extractor I build.  I got part of the guts from a fellow on here several years ago.  I got the drum from a local fellow that had some food grade drums for sale, I think I got 2 of them for $45 for both.  Used them for a couple of years using a drill to turn the frames.  Then I had a new center shaft made and put a treadmill motor on it, works great for me.  I got the tread mill at a local salvage store. The part you would run on was bent, talked to fellow there into $5. for it.  Took a few days to get everything hooked up and running good.  Split the lid and attached back together with a piano hinge, have the treadmill controls to adjust speed, put a bulk head fitting in the bottom for honey to drain out of with a valve.  I does 8 mediums or 8 shallows or 4 large, I use med and shallow honey supers.  Hope this may help.

Good luck,

Joe D