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There is an adage that goes, “go to the ant you sluggard, it does not have a chief or elder but it prepares its sustenance for winter”. The author of that quote perhaps forgot about the honeybee, the cousin of the ant. These two tiny creatures have a lot to teach us. They are among the few creatures that store their own food for winter months and are task masters unlike some other small insects.
One of the things that is particularly fascinating about the honeybee, is the way it prepares its uniform sized cells or combs. All these are well-structured and act as honey and pollen stores. The wax used for sealing the cells act as preservative and keeps the honey as good as new for an infinite amount of time. The miniature six-sided container where the honey is stored measures 4.9 mm, and are usually placed horizontally against each other with shared sides. A collection of cells make the comb. The entire process of making the cells takes some serious effort and is time sensitive since seasons keep changing. Remember the bees need to build the cells as fast as possible, collect as much pollen and nectar as they can and then manufacture the honey.
The honey-making bee colony is only comparable to a 24-hour operation industrial plant with literally hundreds of self-trained individuals all striving for a common goal-to make sweet honey. Therefore, it is prudent to handle the honey combs well during honey harvesting and extraction. This is where the honey extractor comes into the picture. A unit such as the Little Giant Farm & Ag EXT2SS 2 Frame Stainless Steel Honey Extractor allows the beekeeper extract the honey from the combs without destroying them. You should also be cautious when smoking the hive and removing the frames. Worker bees should not be endangered as well when working on the hive.
Important Honey Harvesting Tips
- Harvest your honey without inflicting any harm to the worker bees. You can use a bee brush to push aside the bees. A bee repellent can also be used by those with many hives. The bee escape is also useful and can be purchased on your local store.
- Collect the honey at the right time depending on your region so as to allow the bees to replace the honey in preparation for winter. Do not take off too much honey from the store and risk losing an entire colony during winter.
- Uncapped honey may be good for sale but may result in unhappy customers since it will ferment.
- The size of the extractor you choose will determine the number of frames the unit can hold.
- Honey combs should be spun for at least 5 minutes so as to allow the room heat up and honey flow easily to the bottom of the extractor.
- The extractor valve should remain open during the spinning process. A 5 gallon container should also be placed underneath the unit for collection. Once done with collection place the drum with the lid open next to your hives. The bees will carry out a thorough cleanup on the drum. You can then use warm water and soap to finalize the cleanup.
About the Little Giant Farm & Ag EXT2SS Honey Extractor
Made of stainless steel and with the capability of spinning deep or medium frames is this honey extractor from Little Giant. A lot has been said about honey extractors and this seems to be one of the units that has pleased as well as displeased. The manual unit is built using stainless steel and is a tangential extractor that requires hand effort to operate. It requires some assembly.
Some of this unit’s notable features and benefits include:
- It is a manually operated honey extractor.
- It can spin both medium and deep frames.
- Tangential unit.
- Made of excellent quality stainless steel material that is not susceptible to rust and abrasion.
- It comes with honey gate, a cover, and legs for maximum stability.
- You need to follow some simple instructions when assembling the unit.
- Does not require tools when assembling.
- Has a transparent Plexiglass lid which allows the user to monitor the honey extraction process.
- It has dimensions of 16 x 16 x 30.5 inches.
- Weighs barely 24 pounds.
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Pros and Cons
- You do not have to worry about electric power. All needed is your hand cranking in order to power the unit.
- It can handle medium or deep frames.
- It is affordable.
- Easy to assemble. Instructions have also been provided and you do not require tools for assembly.
- You can easily monitor progress thanks to the plexiglass lid.
- It is lightweight and therefore easy to carry around and operate.
- Made of food safe stainless steel material.
- Comes with cover and honey gate. The legs also helps create space for collection bucket.
- No easy to clean.
- Legs are wobbly during operation.
- Legs too short to fit a bucket underneath.
- There have been instances were the gear came off while the extractor was operating at top speed.
We all have our unique preferences when it comes to the purchase of any product. As for the honey extractor, one person may prefer the electric powered unit whereas another would not be swayed from sticking with a hand operated unit. Each of these units has its pros and cons and will both extract the honey as required. The Little Giant Farm & Ag EXT2SS 2 Frame Stainless Steel Extractor is a manually operated unit that targets all beekeepers. It’s good enough for the hobbyist or beginner beekeeper. I particularly liked the fact that I could assemble the entire unit without using any tools. The unit can also spin both deep and medium frames which is a plus.
It does have a few quality control issues however which the manufacturer would do well to look at and fix in an updated model.
The Little Giant Farm & Ag EXT2SS 2 Frame Honey Extractor is not perfect. However, the unit has a good capacity and is capable of spinning deep and medium frames. The Plexiglass lid also makes it easy for you to monitor the process. The stopper or honey gate, legs, and cover also offer some extra convenience.
Have you ever used the Little Giant Farm & Ag EXT2SS 2 Frame Honey Extractor? Leave a comment below and let us know what your experience was like.Check Price