Raising honeybees wouldn’t be much fun without all the honey. Let’s face it… Honey is everything good about nature. Not only is it all-natural, sweet and delicious, but honeybees also make it. Bees are nature’s fascinating little pollination machine. The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor helps make your relationship with your bees as pleasant as possible.
There are two ways to extract honey from your frames. The “smash and strain” method destroys the hard work of your bees. Their honeycomb goes into a bucket to be smashed and strained with everything else. It takes the colony weeks to rebuild it all. When you use an extractor, however, your frames are returned to their homes with little damage. Your bees repair it and immediately start doing what they do again. Which one do you think your bees like more?
The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor is a simple yet effective way to harvest honey from honeybee hive frames. Frames make up the inner sanctum of the hive, with a lower box for the brood to live and grow. An upper box full of smaller frames is where your bees will build honeycomb and fill it with their sweet offerings.
Once a frame’s cell is full, the bees cap it with the natural wax they secrete. When a frame is more than 90 percent capped, it’s ready for extraction. That’s where your handy Brushy Mountain equipment comes in awfully handy. The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor will now do the work of freeing that gooey golden goodness from your frames.
How it works is simple, but not until you uncap your frames. Using an uncapping knife or, even better, an electric hot uncapping knife, you cut the wax gently from the honeycomb so the honey can flow. And flow it will.
You place the frames into baskets inside the drum of the extractor The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor can handle two deep brood frames or four each of either medium or shallow frames. Once the frames are in the baskets, crank the handle and let physics do the rest.
The extractor spins the baskets, creating centrifugal force. The honey flies from the combs and hits the steel sides, sliding down to the spigot. Once the flow begins, it takes an hour or more for all the honey to flow down through the filter and into jars. After you put your clean frames back in their hive, the drum and food safe components need to be washed down with hot, soapy water. There is no other special cleaning required
The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor uses the highest-quality, restaurant-grade stainless steel available. The drum and all of the internal components will remain rust and stain-free with regular cleaning and maintenance.
The crank and legs are painted steel. All of the plastic parts to the spigot are certified food grade. Brushy Mountain understood when they made this product and put it in a high-end price range that discerning beekeepers would use it. The materials indeed live up to the standard of “professional grade.”
The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor has a lot of competition. It sells for between three fifty and four hunded. That qualifies your extractor as a major purchase. When you check out the competition, you’ll need to know what to look for, what the price points are and what features are important to you. Brushy Mountain equipment is high-end quality at high-end prices because their reputation allows them to be. They’ve been providing tools of the trade to apiarists for decades.
Brushy Mountain uses SAF Natura, an Italian manufacturer of stainless steel beekeeper equipment, as their supplier. SAF is a respected company that has manufactured beekeeping drums used around the world since 1982. That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t want to consider your options. Aside from other extractors, you’ll want information on other harvesting methods.
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“Crush and strain” isn’t a brand, it’s a method of extraction. Rather than using a mechanical centrifuge to draw the honey from your frames, you scrape the honey, comb and all, from the foundation. A large bucket with a screen — some beekeepers use pantyhose — filled with the smashed honey and comb then filters through a hole in the bottom into a second, clean bucket. That’s where your pure, filtered raw honey lands, ready for jarring. While you can put together the supplies to smash and strain for just a few dollars, the cost to your bees is catastrophic. It will take them weeks to rebuild all that comb. New apiarists who start with the crush and strain method never go back once they’ve cleaned a frame with an extractor.
Glorybee has been in the beekeeping business for more than 40 years. They are well-known to apiarists as a quality source for quality equipment. The extractor they sell at a comparable price to the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor is nearly identical in quality, functionality, and price.
Their four frame extractor, which holds two large brood frames, is equal to it’s Brushy Mountain rival in every way. Your choice, then, becomes one of shipping. Glorybee is more than happy to ship an extractor, via FedEx, for a little over a hundred dollars. Brushy Mountain ships orders over a hundred and fifty for free.
The decision to choose the Brushy Mountain extractor over the Glorybee is easy to make.
Goodland Bee Supply doesn’t make an extractor identical to the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor. Goodland’s version holds a fewer number of medium or slim frames but holds one more deep frame. The quality of Goodland’s equipment is excellent as well. Restaurant-grade stainless steel is easy too clean with hot soapy water.
The Goodland extractor will do the same or more of one size frame and half as many as the others. The difference is, at that point, that the Goodland system starts more than $$ lower and comes with free shipping. That is a great option to explore for beekeepers looking to focus on deep frames.
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Vivo, Extreme Power, and Honey Keeper are three names that come up when you search for beekeeping supplies. They offer the same product you’re looking for in a cheaper, imported from eastern Asia version at a much lower price point.
All three of the extractors from these three companies are virtually identical. Their design is taken directly from established products like the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor. Their prices are just about half. However, ordering anything from a reseller is risky business. While the materials used to make these knock-offs may look identical, the product reviews suggest otherwise.
Customers have had problems with holes drilled in the wrong places for the legs, cracked and damaged drums, and broken plastic parts. All of those issues will render your extractor useless. You will then be stuck in return and exchange limbo for as long as it takes for the reseller to receive, process and ship you a new one.
Dadant is professional beekeeping equipment. To buy an extractor from Dadant means you are in the business of harvesting honey. Dadant’s smallest extractor, which they call Junior Bench Extractor, starts around the same price-point as the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor.
The number one difference between Dadant and hobbyist-friendly manual extractors is that they are motorized. Powerful motors push those centrifuges at lightning fast speeds, extracting honey quickly and efficiently. With a Dadant extractor, you’re free to continue your harvest while the machine does the work.
Don’t expect to walk away from Dadant without spending a bunch of money. At a price point between $$-$$$ for the same size extractor, you’ll get from Brushy Mountain. Price, however, is the only comparison. Dadant is the next step when you make a move from a home apiary to a bonafide honey-harvesting business.
Going with the Flow
Honeyflow.com is the home of the revolutionary Flow system. The concept is simple. Replace your upper frames — or the entire upper super — with Flow products. The issue of extraction disappears.
The system turns the hive itself into an extractor. With a twist and a turn, raw, unfiltered, unheated honey flows directly into your jar. It is costly, with a set of three medium frames starting around $$. You can Flow crazy as well, spending from $$$-$$$$ or more on complete hives.
Flow isn’t competing with the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor. They don’t compete with anyone. They take apiaries themselves to a level that makes beekeeping a hobby anyone can do.
Manual extractors are hard-working machines. You want a unit with a reputation that will do the work you need it to do with the least effort. The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor has the reputation of a trusted brand selling a product from a trusted manufacturer. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t consider the pros and cons.
- Brushy Mountain is a name you can trust. Beekeepers use and trust their products, and have for decades now. Anything you buy from them will come with a well-known brand and excellent customer service to back it up.
- Restaurant quality stainless steel and the signature green legs make the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor stand out. Every aspect of the unit is restaurant grade.
- The only con for this item, essential for effective honey harvesting, is the price. There are far less expensive methods of extracting honey. There are also lower priced extractors that many amateur apiarists find more than able.
Consider your options. First, consider if you want to use an extractor at all. Running a single hive with eight to ten honey frames may warrant simply cutting the wax caps and allowing the gooey good stuff to drain into buckets. There is also crush and strain. Rebuilding one frame at a time isn’t such a big deal.
Flow is also an option worth looking into for those without an existing hive. Sometimes, spending a little bit more up front will save you a boatload of hassle down the road. When the time comes that you know, however, that an extractor is in your future, be informed so you can buy something you can trust. Buy something you know will last. Honeybees are a commitment. Once you’ve made it, there’s no turning back.
The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Compact Honey Extractor is the best quality extractor at a fair, mid-range price point. There are only three to choose from. The Brushy Mountain extractor offers the highest capacity and free shipping, making the runner-up a distant second.
Unless you intend to switch to Flow, there is no easier method of manual extraction. Electric extractors, which motorize the centrifuge, turn your carbonless beehive footprint into a hobby that requires power. Lower grade extractors will save you money up front, but you risk shipping headaches as well as service nightmares if they break down.
For the money and your peace of mind, you can’t do better than the Brushy Mountain extractor. Your bees deserve quality equipment from a known manufacturer. They’ll see the delivery truck coming and cheer. They’ll watch gleefully as the days of rebuilding their beautiful honeycomb comes to an end.
So, do happy bees make better honey? They make more of it, that’s for sure.