Beekeeping is a rapidly growing hobby. Awareness about honeybees and campaigns to save bees, in general, have turned people from all walks of life into blossoming beekeepers. Apiarists, as they are known in the beekeeping world, love their bees. Beekeepers don't just tend to their hives, they expect something in return. Honey -- sweet, golden, and oh so gooey good, honey is the reward for keeping happy, healthy bees. Harvesting that honey requires decisions. The method you use and the effectiveness of your equipment depend on you. A Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum is the first step on your journey.
What Is A Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum?
A Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum is a type of manual crank honey harvesting machine. They are designed to be inexpensive and easy to use. The extractors hold frames from a Langstroth hive, as well as medium and shallow frames.
A Langstroth hive is a basic honeybee hive with six simple components. The frames hold the honey. When it's time to harvest, the extractor does its job and spins the honey from the frames, leaving the precious honeycomb ready for minor repairs and refilling.
How Does It Work?
Honey extractor drums are easy to use. A Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum holds two standard-sized frames. After removing the outer coating of beeswax, your frames go in the baskets. Finally, close the lid and turn the crank and the miracle of science gently relieves your frames of their honey.
The extractor works like a centrifuge. As the crank turns, the baskets that are holding the frames spin. The honey flies from the honeycombs, then it hits the stainless steel sides and oozes down towards the spigot. In about an hour, you have empty frames ready to return to the hive.
Your bees will thank you by licking the frames clean, repairing any honeycomb that may have been damaged and starting the filling process all over again.
What Is It Made Of?
Honey is food, which means it requires food-grade equipment to process. Stainless steel drums and non-toxic plastics are a must. While this product offers what will pass for food-grade, it is on the low end quality-wise. The companies that carry this model of extractor range from large retailers like Walmart to dedicated Bee Supply industry resellers.
What Do The Customers Say?
Several outfits sell this same product. The most popular is VIVO, a company known for selling beekeeping supplies. VIVO is a drop-ship company, meaning items ship from the manufacturer's warehouse directly to you. Their Amazon listing has 17 reviews, with a surprisingly good, three and a half star rating.
What customers like most about the Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum is the price. Ranging from just under $100 to as high as $150, depending on the seller this extractor is at the price point beginner beekeepers respond to.
However, customers complained that parts broke on multiple different brands. For example, people who purchased the Honey Keeper version said their handle broke during their first harvest. Customers who bought the VIVO version complained that theirs did not extract honey from older frames, whiles others said their extractor broke pretty quickly.
Comparing The Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum To The Rest
Comparing this product to most of the listings of comparable products is easy. There is no difference. This is the epitome of low-end beekeeping equipment. To purchase a Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum you have to either need an extractor cheap or not really need for an extractor at all.
Beginner beekeepers with a single hive will find this product more than sufficient. It will, however, require lots of maintenance and a handy person to keep it alive.
Aside from other products, there are also other methods to consider to harvest honey. We will talk about some of those methods and other honey harvesting products below.
Crush And Strain
The crush and strain method of honey harvesting is as old as beekeeping itself. Before fancy frames and the harnessing of centrifugal force, apiarists crushed the honeycomb and ran it through a strainer of tight cloth. It's inexpensive and effective and doesn't require any fancy equipment.
It also means your bees will have to work extra hard, however, to rebuild all that beautiful comb you were forced to destroy. That will take weeks, even for the most enterprising of bees.
The price is right, however. Add a couple of clean buckets, a mashing pole, and some pantyhose. Anyone can pull off crush and strain for under $20.
Honeyflow.com is home to Flow, a system of beekeeping that eliminates the need for extractors and extraction methods. Flow-equipped hives send raw, unfiltered honey directly from the frame to the jar.
Patented out of Australia, Flow is making home apiaries available to anyone. Their packages come with family-friendly options. Their website and all of their videos are informative and fascinating. The father and son team behind this magnificent concept truly loves bees. The system is complex and yet so very simple. Plastic Flow frames with honeycombs built-in collect the honey. When a frame is full, you insert a drain tube, turn a large metal key and watch the honey flow. And flow it does.
Flow is expensive. A set of three frames starts around $200, and complete hives sell well into the thousands.
Brushy Mountain Bee Farm
For 40 years, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm has been supplying beekeepers. They are a trusted name selling trusted brands. Brushy Mountain has their extractors manufactured by SAF Natura, an Italian company providing top-notch beekeeping equipment since 1982.
While they do carry an extractor they call "compact," It's a monster compared to the Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum. It has larger baskets that can hold twice as many medium or shallow frames. It's also a much better product quality-wise. At a price point between $400 and $500, this extractor is far more than the hobbyist will ever truly need.
Goodland Bee Supply
Goodland Bee supply is another trusted name in beekeeping. They are known for comparable products to the big names at much lower prices. Goodland uses manufacturing sources that are often replicated. No fewer than five companies are selling a version of Goodland's products at half the cost.
Goodland doesn't sell a two frame extractor at all. Their closest comparable unit, priced from $200 to $250, holds three deep frames and even has legs. It is the perfect next step for someone looking to upgrade from their first extractor.
The best thing about Goodland equipment is how often it is copied. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The companies imitating Goodland are telling you that Goodland has a great product that people love. Unfortunately, the factory next door isn't the same quality and never will be.
In business for over 40 years, Glorybee is a trusted name for hobbyist and experienced, professional apiarists alike. Glorybee sells equipment for extraction starting under $100.
For that money, you get an extractor nearly identical to the Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum with one main difference. The drum is plastic. Food grade, for sure, but plastic nonetheless. Your decision, therefore, becomes between a stainless steel drum that smells like an auto shop and a plastic extractor offered by a company well-known for customer service. Customer service wins every time.
Dadant is professional grade beekeeping equipment. Their "bench extractor," which is a small barrel extractor that uses an electric motor, will empty a frame effortlessly. They are moderately priced between $325 and $375. Any apiarist will be proud to own this impressive piece of equipment.
Surprisingly, Dadant offers a hobbyist beekeeper extractor at a competitive price. The Economy Stainless Steel extractor is nearly identical to a Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum. The crank is on top instead of on the side, which is a design flaw Dadant hasn't corrected. According to the reviews on the Dadant website, the product is as flawed as the design.
Purchasing a base-model product that is about price and price alone always warrants a visit to Walmart's website. A quick search reveals that Walmart.com will order one of the dozens of extractors and ship it to you or one of their stores absolutely free.
For those not taking notes, having multiple listings of the same product you're considering under no fewer than eight brand names is a red flag. The advantage to shopping the Walmart site is that you'll see the extractor in all its glory with both the red AND yellow handle.
Walmart's knockoffs start around $100 and run to about $300.
PROs And CONs
Weighing the pros and cons of the Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum won't be easy, as there are few pros. The beekeeping equipment industry has yet to find a beginner solution at this price point that people will agree is worth the investment.
The pros of the product read like cons. Any time that happens you're looking at something that will turn out to be a mistake in the long run.
Things To Consider
Consider all of your options. How much do you need this product? Do you have time before your next harvest to save a little for something better? Beekeeping equipment is highly specialized. If you can't fix it yourself when it breaks down, you have to consider who will.
Those who are still researching and haven't started a hive yet will have an advantage. Those who dove right in and now need to find the cheapest method of extraction are looking at a version of this model and reading this review and are likely wishing they'd done things differently.
Choosing an extractor is an exciting endeavor for the first time buyer. Make sure you weigh your options carefully. Review your budget even more carefully. Above all else, of course, make sure you're doing all you can at all times for the betterment of your bees.
The Choice Is Clear
Crystal clear. A Two 2 Frame Stainless Steel Bee Manual Crank Honey Extractor SS Honeycomb Spinner Drum is not worth the time, money or aggravation. Upgrading to any of the low-end models offered by trusted beekeeping companies isn't upgrading at all. One offers plastic, and the other offers an outdated design.
There really is only one choice. If you have to remain at this price point, don't bother. Crush and strain is the method for you. When you're ready to spend $200 to $250, the Goodland Bee Supply base model extractor is by far the best of these extractors for the money.