Honey extractors are vital tools for New Zealand beekeepers, whether they are new to the craft of beekeeping or have been practicing it for years. These machines are used to remove honey from the combs without damaging the wax, making the process of harvesting honey much more efficient and effortless. However, with the wide range of types and models of honey extractors available in the market, it can be challenging for beginner beekeepers to determine which one is the most suitable for their needs. In this article, we will discuss some of the key factors to consider when purchasing a honey extractor, such as whether to go for a manual or electric model, the size of the extractor required, and the possibility of extracting honey without an extractor.
Should I get a manual or electric honey extractor?
The first decision you must make when purchasing a honey extractor is whether to go with a manual or an electric model. Manual honey extractors are typically smaller and less expensive than electric models, making them an excellent choice for new beekeepers on a tight budget. They are also more durable and require less upkeep than electric models. Manual honey extractors, on the other hand, can be exhausting to use, especially if you intend to extract a large amount of honey.
On the other hand, electric honey extractors are typically larger and more expensive than manual models. They are also much easier to use and can extract honey much faster. However, they are more complex and require more maintenance and care than manual models. Electric honey extractors also tend to be louder and produce more vibration, which can be unsettling to bees.
Finally, whether you choose a manual or electric honey extractor will be determined by your budget, the size of your apiary, and the amount of honey you intend to extract each year. A manual honey extractor may be the best option if you are just starting out and have a small apiary. However, if you intend to expand your apiary and extract a large amount of honey each year, an electric honey extractor may be a better long-term investment.
How big of a honey extractor do I need?
The size of the honey extractor you need will depend on the size of your apiary and how much honey you plan to extract each year. For a small apiary with just a few hives, a 2-frame honey extractor may be sufficient. However, if you plan to expand your apiary and extract more honey, a larger extractor with 4 or more frames may be necessary.
It’s important to note that there are two types of honey extractors, tangential and radial. Tangential extractors spin the frames horizontally, while radial extractors spin them vertically. Radial extractors are more efficient and can extract more honey at once but they tend to be more expensive.
Can you extract honey without an extractor?
Yes, honey can be extracted without the use of an extractor, but it is not recommended. The “crush and strain” method of extracting honey involves crushing the comb by hand and then straining the honey through a fine mesh to remove the wax. This is a time-consuming, messy, and potentially damaging process. Furthermore, removing all of the wax can be difficult, resulting in lower-quality honey.
Honey extractors are an essential tool for any beekeeper, regardless of experience level. Beginner beekeepers have many options to choose from, from manual models to electric ones. It’s important to consider the size of your apiary, how much honey you plan to extract each year and whether you want a tangential or radial extractor.
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