Which Inexpensive Extractor?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


House Bee
Jul 25, 2009
Reaction score
Hive Type
Number of Hives
sadly, no more!
Being an optimist, my mind is turning towards the purchase of an extractor. Not being a starry-eyed optimist, I am not anticipating having to extract thousands of gallons from my two hives. Being firmly under the scrutiny of the domestic goddess who doubles as my Chancellor of the Exchequer, I am restricted to as inexpensive a machine as I can reasonably expect to do the job.

I have looked at the Thornes Tabletop (but have heard mixed reports of it)
I have looked at Swienty's 2-frame economy radial extractor
I have looked at Park's 3 frame tangential and 4 frame radial, and
I have looked at Beechwood's 3 frame tangential - which is easily the cheapest.

I have also looked at the previous entries on this forum for help. I am now completely confused, and don't know which way to go. Or even if I ought to be looking further afield!:eek:

Can anyone take pity on a sad dead old diplomat, and offer some (polite) advice?
why don't you hire an extractor?
You can then save up and get a 9 frame an extractor.
With 3 or 4 frames, you are looking at hours and hours of hand spinning and arm aching.
Two of you have mentioned renting one.

Do you know who does rent?

Never heard of it myself but there is aye something new.

Two of you have mentioned renting one.

Do you know who does rent?

Never heard of it myself but there is aye something new.


Me sees a business opportunity!!! :sifone::sifone::sifone:

12 frame all stainless steel radial extractor for hire, pm me for details
The Ormskirk and Croston beekeepers have 2 or three for hire plus honey ripeners, (settling tanks in plain speak).

John Wilkinson
Dont buy a small extractor if you are going to have more than 2 hives. I did this and still have trouble a year later with torn ligaments in my shoulder. They are really hard work. Save your money and buy an electric one when you have the funds.
Ah well you see my old assoc didn't charge so hence my ignorance. ;)

A second hand one is a good answer. We got a 4 frame tangential from a Beek's widow - in lovely condition, it should give many years more service. She included a lot of other "small items" - filters and the like that add up to quite an expense if you are buying new. By the looks of it, we are going to give it a go next week end.

The problem with borrowing ones is that presumably everyone will be wanting them at the same time!
Many thanks for these responses. Sadly, my local group neither rents nor loans...
Morning Mr DD

which group are you with? bee-smillie


John D
Our association also loans out extractors to members for free

Our association has three extractors of various sizes to hire (for a £5) and also my local bee farmers (who double up as a supplier) offer them for rent.

Much easier and cheaper upto a point, after which I bought a 15 frame radial....

I wrote earlier and it disappeared, so here goes again.

My take on it.

I bought a 9 frame manual radial (with tangential screens) from Th*rne (winter special) many years ago. After about 3 seasons I was looking at electrification. The kits had risen in price, but not by so much, and I expected that, but was in no hurry.

It was only last year that I located a good deal - an old, low priced electric extractor.

The motor is an Early (?) Th*rne, or similar, but it works fine. The parts are a doddle to change over.

I was expecting to buy a second hand extractor and either swap parts and sell it on, or simply move my manual one on, but this tin-plate (with no tin left!) machine was ideal. Good deal and the rest has been recycled elsewhere.

Sooo, buying a manual radial now, that could be electrified (if one decides to go for more colonies later) is a good move. They seem to retain a good residual value if in good condition, anyway. Better to get the tangential screens if possible but they can be purchased later if required. But again, you may need a larger diameter extractor for those, if wanting to extract anything bigger than standard frame sizes.

Another thing to consider is that they need storing for 50 weeks of the year and are bulky and possibly fragile. I use mine about three times a year.

Borrowing, renting, or sharing is a good idea if at all possible. At least until you have a better idea of the direction you are going (increasing or not, for instance). A good resaleable item is better than a cheap one with little second hand value. Remember to think/plan ahead. Choice is yours. You are the payee, after all.

Regards, RAB
A good resaleable item is better than a cheap one with little second hand value.

That was exactly our thinking. If we find that we have a lot of colonies in the future, we can get an n frame electric radial, and sell the 4 frame tangential - we wouldn't lose any money on a decent stainless extractor.

Latest posts