Old Extractor

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House Bee
May 8, 2009
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Southampton Hampshire
Hive Type
Number of Hives
I have been given an old extractor and settling tank along with a few other bits and pieces. It is a bit rusty and the chap that gave it to me reckons he has had it 30 years and it was given to him in a similar state.
Do you think its worth trying to clean it up?
The old boy seemed quite offended when i mentioned cleaning it and said "dont worry about that boy just give it a rinse under the hosepipe, the honey wont mind a bit of dirt"
Should i bin it,clean it or ebay it for a tenner?
If it isn't food grade plastic or stainless steel it will probably be illegal to sell any honey extracted from it. In which case plant some bee friendly flowers in it and place it in the garden.
I think, bless him, he also sounds like some other old bee keepers - varroa, what varroa, - we have moved on- and raising standards in every possible area:). As said - adapt it, and plant flowers in it.
I daresay you could clean it up and use a suitable epoxy resin to coat it completely. Might even be able to obtain food grade quality if you tried hard enough. Might just do, even as it is, for home consumption only (it was OK over 30 years ago, after all).

But with 4 hives (and colonies, presumably) you might just get a third of a ton of honey, or more, if you had a good season so could be a bit too much for home use only unless your family is large!

Personally, I would think the others are right. It would probably cost far more than a good food-grade extractor and still be inadequate for your requirements. I recently bought an old extactor just for the electrics. The drum is now a water butt and the cage was reduced in size using my bolt cropper. Certainly, it was not worth fitting my old parts and putting it in epay!

Sorry, but it made me think you were spelling your handle wrong - it should be Steve salvage!

Of your three options - bin it.

Regards, RAB
I invested in a new- £270, but willing to hire out - and plenty of new beekeepers around here
As said above if you are selling OR giving it away it still has to be food grade stainless or food grade plastic. I would not consider a water butt to be food safe unless marked so.:cheers2:
repaint it with white hammerite and flog it on ebay you will get more money than it will worth. i have a metal tin plate extractor that has been painted with white epoxy which is what i use to help people to extract thier own honey from a single hive as its small and easy to use.

dont belive every thing people print here because food grade stainles does not exsist as a metal grade and there are so many grades of food plastic its obseen, also why if these are the only things on the plant that are allowed inside a commercial kitchen, that the kitchens i build have white roc plastic walls and tiled surfaces and the last time i went to a butchers did he not have a massive lump of tree in side his shop as a cutting board, i know most trees but where does a food grade stainless tree with food safe plastic leaves grow ??

common sence rather than dumb blind ignorances is a wonderfull thing very thing has to be thought of yes , but sometimes i do wonder where people get these ideas

below this notes will now be a long list of people now spouting off about the wonders of modern stainless steel tree growing and someone will blindly also paste a section from the local food hygine codes. trying hopelessly to justify thier ignorance about the fact only stainless and plastics are allowed, yes they are easy to clean and as such good for kitchens but no they are not the only two items allowed in a kitchen

Not so long ago, wooden chopping blocks were deemed unhygienic for butchers and plastic blocks pushed for replacement, but then H & H changed their minds.................so wood is now back in favour.

Having worked in commercial kitchens where the "new style" plastics chopping boards are in use............green for salads & veg, red for raw meat..... etc. What a load of tosh. In a busy kitchen the first board to hand gets used and those plastic ones always felt greasy............didn't matter how you washed them :puke:


It would probably cost far more than a good food-grade extractor and still be inadequate for your requirements.

Poster has 4 hives. Most (other than you?) only have space for one extractor. That's what I said (above) only I was, perhaps, too subtle. But I do agree with most you say.

Referring to food grade plastic - some items can be made with recycled plastic which might contain all sorts of things - other chemicals, bits of paper or cardboard, for eg.

Would you want your food stored for several weeks or months in, effectively, someone else's cardboard box?

Food grade plastic has to be tested for purity and minimum leaching into the contents.

Nobody is going to care one jot if you use a rusty tin can to prepare your own honey for yourself. A little different if you then give away or sell that food product.


OR giving it away

Offering for sale must be allowed. Offering for sale as a food processor is probably not, but may be for 'personal use only'.

Electrical goods offerred for sale must have a current test certificate of electrical safety? Cut off the plug and sell 'as is' circumvents that (or just ignore the rules on epay?). How would items get to a museum if one could not donate?

Regards, RAB
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In my post above I am refering to the honey extracted from the old extractor. Nothing wrong with selling the extractor though.
Honey extractor materials

Hi All, I was going to make a honey extractor from a sheet of aluminium but discovered that aluminium is no permited for the food industry because it causes alzheimer's disease, So then I thought what about the humble coke can which is also made from aluminium, after a bit of reaserch I found that these cans are coated with a lacquer on the inside. I have yet to find the supplier of such a lacquer or the type but I am sure this will be ok for a honey extractor
Although Coke (other brands are available!) is quite a corrosive substance, and yes the lacquer does protect the aluminium for the time required i.e the shelf life, it is also intended as a one use item.

so I suspect the lacquer will quickly peal off with general use as a honey extractor i.e washing, mechanical abrasion from honey extraction, bashing with frames etc.
Hi, Yes I can see what you mean about the shelf life so stainless is about the only thing to use for honey production or find a plastic jam container that is big enough and only use stainless for the basket bits inside. I have also thought about an old wooden barrel, what do you think?
Rather than a wooded barrel a plastic one is more the ideal.

The stainless steel cage. I have even seen an electric drill (mains or cordless) on the end of the shaft to save hand cranking

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Is that your extractor, James?

Looks like it was knocked up on a building site. They would have been better using flat steel rather than some of that rebar.

I like the safety guards!

Other than that, and a few other things, it looks good!!

Think I will stick to my S/S, now 'electificated', radial/tangential!

Regards, RAB
Thanks for the compliment Oliver, but no it is not mine!

I have a 12 frame SS electric.