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A popular adage goes, “there are more than one way to kill a cat”. This means that you can use more than a single way to get things done. The same applies to the extraction of honey from the beehive frames. The old fashion way of extracting honey from beehive frames is no longer popular given its drawbacks – which involves crushing the honeycomb to get the honey out. However, there is another option that far better – the honey extractor. This allows you to take the honey-filled frames, uncap them using a hot knife, then load them into the mechanized honey extractor. This device will use centrifugal force to spin the honey out of the frames. There are many honey extractors available on the market and in this article we will be reviewing the Eco-Keeper 8/4 Frame Hand Crank Honey Extractor, to see if it may be worth your consideration. This is a hand operated device that operates completely operates without the need of a power source. Let’s check it out.
About the Honey Extractor
The extractor simply refers to the device that is manually or electrically driven. It utilizes centrifugal force in removing honey from the frames. They vary in sizes and one can get a simple 2-frame extractor up to 85-frame extractors (or more) for commercial beekeeping operations.
The manual extractor can be connected to a bicycle chain or operated by hand. The electric operated extractor, as implied by the name, is powered by a motor.
The honey extractor helps the beekeeper remove honey from the combs without destroying them. It is one of the best ways of extracting honey from Langstroth hives. There are other extractors are capable of removing honey sourced from logs and other types of hives.
About the Eco-Keeper 8/4 Frame Hand Crank Honey Extractor
The Eco-Keeper 8/4 Frame Hand Crank Honey Extractor is easy to operate and given its huge capacity, it means it is capable of getting a lot done within a short time. It can crank up to 8 frames at once.
The key features include:
- This is a manually operated honey extractor.
- It is made of stainless steel.
- The unit is 8/4 frame extractor. Can hold a maximum of 8 frames.
- The unit can accommodate all frame sizes.
- The crank handle is easy to hold and operate.
- Comes with a 1 ½ inch honey gate that is made of stainless steel.
- Weighs 65 pounds.
Pros and Cons
- Lightweight therefore easy to carry and handle.
- Easy to operate.
- The crank handle is easy to operate.
- Made of food grade stainless material.
- It can handle up to 8-frames at once.
- Poor workmanship and quality control.
- There is minimal space underneath the extractor for placing a container for collecting honey.
Honey Extraction the Old Way
If for whatever reason you have you do not have a honey extractor at hand at any given time, then you can apply the old way to get the honey from the frames.
- A colander.
- A stainless steel bowl.
- Wooden spoon.
- Warm water.
- Honey bottle.
- The first step is to place the entire honeycomb load into the colander. Put the sieve under the colander but over the stainless steel bowl and crush the combs using the wooden spoon. This will help remove the honey from the cells.
- Take the stainless steel bowl and place it over some warm water so as to hasten the process. You can leave the honey overnight and check it the next day. The following day you should find pure honey on the bowl.
- Use the strainer to remove remnants of wax and tiny pieces of debris. You can then pour the honey into the honey jar/bottle. At the end of it all, simply take the bowl, wooden spoon, and the colander next to the beehives. The bees will instinctively feast on the remaining honey from the equipment.
- As for the filtered wax, you can keep this and accumulate more of it over the next extraction. Once you have a substantial amount of wax, you can use it to make own candles, apply it on plastic foundations or new frames.
Disclaimer: with this old method you will not be able to reuse the beehive frames. These are completely destroyed when you crush them.
Those in need of a manual extractor are better off looking elsewhere. Though capable of spinning up to 8 frames at once, the material construction and the interior workmanship leaves lots to be desired in terms of quality control.
What do you think of the Eco-Keeper 8/4 Frame Hand Crank Honey Extractor? Leave a comment below and let us know.