Beekeeping 101 - Extracting The Crop - Nature's Sweet Mess
A large honey crop is clearly a mixed blessing. The more supers that go on the more honey to be processed. More honey means more work, but it also means more money. For years clever people have tried to develop equipment to make the uncapping, extracting, pumping, filtering, and bottling procedure more convenient. Old processing equipment was made from galvanized tin with lead solder joints. It was solid equipment that was built to stand years of heavy use. The clutch-drive mechanism was simple, heavy-duty and a bit dangerous. Belts, drives, shafts and pulleys were all exposed. A few early extractors were powered by low compression gasoline engines.
We now use stainless steel with welded joints on big extractors. Smaller hobby-type extractors may use plastic barrels. In many in stances direct-current drive motors (DC) that are variable-speed are used that allow for gently extracting full combs of honey. The equipment is mechanically simpler, but technologically more complicated. It's lighter and almost maintenance-free.
Other equipment might include a barrel melter, a flash heater, wax spinner and other equipment-moving devices. A second line would drain honey from wax cappings to the sump. Dried cappings would be melted into beeswax.