A honey extractor is typically one of the last pieces of equipment acquired by a beekeeper after learning how to raise bees. Starting a beekeeping business can be costly, but there are some ways to save money, one of which is to make your own DIY honey extractor. How to make a homemade honey extractor?
The type of extractor you require is determined by your beehive plans for raising honey bees. If you use foundation-less frames or top bar hives, you will need an extractor that crushes the wax before draining the honey. For frames with foundations, you can use a crush and drain extractor.
Extractors of commercial honey
Commercial honey extractors are not inexpensive. Some well-known brands, such as Dadant and Sons, sell both manual and electric honey extractors. The manually operated ones are priced between $75 and $85. Electric units range in price from $165 to well over $200. A homemade honey extractor will cost less than half.
When it comes to honey extractors, VIVO is another brand that has never disappointed. Its one-of-a-kind designs are suitable for players of all skill levels. Best Choice Products, Mann Lake, Hardin, Goodland Bee Supply, and Little Giant Farm are among the other well-known brands. These brands provide both electric and manual honey extractors, all of which are designed to allow the beekeeper to extract honey without disturbing the honeycomb structure.
What are the best materials for a homemade honey extractor?
When deciding to make your own honey extractor, there are numerous materials to consider. The majority of them can be collected at home, while others can be purchased online or in stores. Here are some ideal materials to make your homemade honey extractor:
- Availability: Materials must be easily accessible and readily available; otherwise, making the unit at home makes no sense.
- Food Grade: Take care when deciding what materials to use in the construction of your homemade honey extractor. Any material used should be of the highest quality. They must also be rust and abrasion resistant. Stainless steel is the best material for making honey extractor equipment.
- Price: The materials you choose must be affordable, or else the entire device may cost more than a commercial unit. When purchasing ingredients for your homemade honey extractor, use online stores such as eBay or Amazon.
The homemade honey extractor is ideal for those who will be removing several frames. If you have a large hive and a large number of frames to mine, you should probably buy a commercial honey extractor.
We have planned to build a honey extractor with 2 different designs. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can refer to the information of the two types below and choose the design that best suits your needs.
Homemade honey extractor (Design 1)
Materials and tools required:
- Metal paint stirrer.
- Wire mesh.
- Wood molding.
- Zip ties.
- A drill.
- First, you need to make yourself a cylindrical cage out of wire mesh. You can do this by bending the wire mesh and making sure the cylindrical cage is large enough to hold two honeycombs. The top of the cage should be left open to nest the frames into the cage.
- You then use 4 zip ties to connect the bottom of the cage to the circular metal part of your paint stirrer.
- Next, take a wooden mold and punch a hole in the center to allow the paint stirrer shaft to slide through. The whole length of the wood should be equal to the diameter of the cage, with the hole in the center slightly larger than the shaft to ensure a snug fit.
- Finally, make a hole at the end of each side of the wood mold that is large enough for the zip ties to pass through. Using zip ties, secure wooden molds at each end of your cylindrical cage.
Your handmade honey extractor is now complete. If you have all the necessary paperwork, this process should take no more than 30 minutes to complete.
How do you operate it?
This simple honey extractor is easy to use and clean. To operate it, follow these steps:
- Connect the paint stirrer shaft to the electric drill first, and then arrange two uncapped honeycombs inside the cylindrical cage. Please maintain the cage center throughout the activity.
- When you turn on the drill, the honey is split from the frame as the frames rotate and flows to the bottom of the barrel or collection bin. Check the drill speed to ensure that it remains at an appropriate speed during the honey extraction procedure. Excessive speed will tear apart the honey frames and too slow spinning will not extract any honey from the frames.
- Replace the turned honey frame in the cylindrical cage with the opposite side facing out. Restart the drill and extract the sweet honey from the other side of the frame. Take out the empty frames, and you are done.
Advantages of Design 1
Crafting materials are widely available. The product’s completion time is exceptionally fast, and the functioning mechanism is straightforward. Furthermore, the equipment is simple to clean and maintain.
It does not damage the honey frames, but also preserves them intact. What’s more, you can reuse them. It also works well to extract honey from both sides of the honeycomb frame.
Disadvantages of Design 1
It requires physical strength to keep the drill and the honey frame in the barrel. And it only shoots up to two frames at a time.
Homemade honey extractor (Design 2)
Materials and tools required:
- 20 gallon food grade container to be used as drum.
- Sharp knife or jigsaw.
- Wire mesh.
- ¼ HP motor with a spin rate of between 175 to 200 rpm.
- Wood board.
- Gear reduction.
- Wooden material for building base.
- Step 1:
Cut a 1-inch hole in the bottom of a 20-gallon food container at the outside border. This is the opening that allows honey to exit the drum via the valve and into the collection jar or bottle. To adequately manage the honey flow, you should purchase a valve and install it in the hole.
- Step 2: Make inner basket
You spin the hive by keeping them in the inner basket. The inner basket is rectangular, with the sides made of welded wire mesh. Its bottom is a wide perforated metal plate that allows the honey to flow into the barrel.
- Step 3: Setting up the motor
The motor’s job is to rotate the inner basket and eventually push the liquid honey out of the hive. To support the motor on top of the drum, you can use wooden planks. You can also get a center rod that fits into a variable speed dynamic drill and powers the honey extractor.
- Step 4: Gear reduction installation
The reducer will be attached to the motor and the hub shaft. This aids in regulating the basket’s spinning speed.
You can use any material for the base of the extractor. A good material for the base is plywood or a piece of wood. They help keep the extractor in place while spinning. You can also fix the extractor at a fixed location, such as a wall or floor. The extractor is now ready for use.
Advantages of Design 2
This design is straightforward. After spinning, it does not harm the honey frame. In comparison to anything handmade, the entire design is rather elegant. The inbuilt valve allows you to easily control the flow of honey and save waste.
Disadvantages of Design 2
Some of the materials have to be bought separately. It is a little complex for some people to build
Making a manual honey extractor can save you considerable amount of money. So, you can save half the money instead of investing in a commercial honey extractor. Besides that, the disadvantage of making your own honey extractor is that it may appear difficult, especially if you have never done it before. You should look into different DIY ideas that other beekeepers have attempted and choose one that might work for you.