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Learn About Extractors

 Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

Are you wondering what the best honey extractor for your beekeeping business is? This post is for you! The extracting season is sneaking up on us, or for some of us, it’s already here! Extraction can be a rewarding time for beekeepers. If the season has gone well, there is a sweet reward ready to be harvested at the end of the day. You get to experience firsthand the hard work your bees have put in and reap the rewards at the end of the season. There are many different ways to extract honey from your hardworking bees. This article will help shine a light on the best equipment for honey extraction, what extractor is ideal for your beekeeping needs, and the ins and outs of each machine.


A honey extractor is a piece of equipment used by beekeepers in the extraction of honey from honeycombs. A honey extractor works by using centrifugal force to flick the honey from the honeycomb without destroying the comb or disturbing the bees. With a honey extractor, several frames can be spun at once to remove all the bees' honey from the combs. Once removed, the combs can be returned to the bees intact and can be reused time and time again in the hive. The honey is then drained into buckets or other containers to be packaged in bottles and sold or shipped. Honey extractors come in various types, from motorized (electric) to manual. They’re a great tool for any beekeeper looking to improve their processes and streamline some of their tasks. Let’s explore the types of honey extractors most commonly used in beekeeping.


Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

 RADIAL Extractors

Radial extractors situate frames like the spokes of a wheel, allowing both sides of the frames to be extracted at once. This saves a lot of time because you won’t have to swap out frames or pause to turn the frames over during extraction. Beekeepers looking to extract a decent number of frames tend to prefer radial extractors for their efficiency and ease of use. A radial honey extractor is a popular choice because it’s one of the easiest ways to get all the honey from the combs. Radial extractors are available in both crank and motorized options for your preference. They also come in large sizes, from a 6-frame extractor to a 20-frame extractor. We have no doubt you will find a radial extractor that suits the needs of your hive and increases your efficiency to keep up with your bees' production.

                                                                        Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

                                                                          Product Shown: 18/9 Frame Hand Crank Extractor

                                                                        Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd
                                                                                Product Shown: 18/9 Frame Motorized Radial Extractor                               

Tangential Extractors

Unlike the radial method, extracting tangentially only extracts one side of the frame at a time, requiring frames to be turned halfway through. Many beekeepers opt for tangential extractors because while they take longer to harvest the honey, the comb stays better protected during the process, saving time and effort along the way. Some honey extractors can damage the comb while spinning the frames, so many opt for a more gentle extractor that won’t cause any harm to the honeycomb and require bees to do more work in the long run. One common type of tangential extractor is the basket-style extractor. Basket-style extractors require you to flip the frames to extract honey from both sides. This type of extractor is available in both hand-crank and electric-motor styles. Tangential extractors can hold anywhere from 4 to 9 frames at a time, making this type of honey extractor highly efficient for those with bigger, higher-producing hives.

                                                                                            Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

                                                                                      Product Shown: Hand Crank 8/4 Frame Extractor

                                                                     Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

                                                                                  Product Shown: Motorized 8/4 Frame Extractor

It should be noted that the majority of honey extractors in this blog post can be either radial or tangential unless otherwise stated.

Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd                            

                           MANUAL Extractors

The most common choice for beginner beekeepers is the manual honey extractor. Manual honey extractors have a built-in hand crank that is used to spin the frames. Spinning frames manually is fairly simple to do and doesn’t require a huge amount of effort or skill. Manual extractors are a popular choice for beginners because of their relatively simple operation and attractive lower price point. You can find a manual extractor that comes in many variations; these include a top crank or side crank, plastic or stainless steel construction, and several different frame capacities. The options are nearly endless with manual extractors, making them a top choice for many in the beekeeping business who are looking to save money while expanding their colony and increasing honey production. The benefits of manual extractors are that they are cheaper, and you can extract honey without needing a power source. Manual extractors are generally better suited to the hobby beekeeper, with less than 10 hives. Ultimately, you can scale up from the manual extractor when you're ready. While manual extractors do require more physical work than a motorized version since you have to spin the frames yourself, the price point allows beginners or hobbyists to cut costs and learn as they go.


        Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

 Product Shown: 2 Frame Plastic Extractor Only- Side Crank

Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd

                                                            Product Shown: Stainless 6/3 Frame Hand Crank Extractor- Top Crank

                                     MOTORIZED Extractors

Unlike manual extractors, motorized extractors allow beekeepers to take the muscle out of harvesting honey. This type of honey extractor uses an electric motor to spin the frames in the extractor. Due to the convenience and speed of extraction, electric extractors are favored by commercial beekeepers or anyone with a large number of hives. Electric extractors save time and energy for anyone who uses them. Electric extractors allow you to control the speed of the frames spinning better and allow you to harvest large amounts of honey in a short period quickly. Electric extractors work quickly to remove the honey, making extraction efficient while ensuring none of the combs are damaged or broken in the process. With the honey extractor doing all the work, beekeepers can focus on other extracting tasks, such as uncapping the next batch of frames or prepping other equipment. Since motorized extractors allow you to control the speed of extraction, you’ll be able to extract different types of foundation.

                                                                                            Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd                                       P               

                          Commercial Extractors

Produce honey faster and more efficiently with heavy-duty operational commercial horizontal extractors. These types of honey extractors are electric, easy to use, and much faster than any manual honey extractor. Commercial extractors are ideal for industrial beekeeping companies that have 200 or more colonies on their bee farms. With this number of bees, there are typically several people using honey extractors to increase production and stay in line with the company’s goals for honey sales.

Learn About Extractors, Mann Lake Ltd


  • 2 Frame: Sufficient for beekeepers with 1-2 hives
  • 6/3 Frame: 10-15 hives
  • 8/4 Frame: 15+ hives

Honey Extraction

No matter the size of your hive or how many frames you have, investing in a honey extractor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a beekeeper. Honey extraction is a crucial part of beekeeping, and you want to be properly equipped and prepared when the exciting time comes!

At Mann Lake, we carry honey extractors available in many different sizes and price points, each with unique and innovative features. All our honey-extracting supplies are easy to use and consist of high-quality materials for long-lasting use.

We’re confident you will find all the equipment and tools on our website that you’ll need to successfully tend to your hive and create a happy, healthy environment for your bees.

We offer everything from handcrank extractors to extractor combo kits and even extractor supplies to help with your machine’s upkeep. Our honey extracting and bottling collection features extracting equipment, honey removal aids, hose and fittings, uncapping supplies, and more.

Discover everything our high-quality honey extractors have to offer and find your new go-to extractor.

At Mann Lake, we strive to provide a positive customer experience for every beekeeper, whether this is a new hobby, your lifelong passion, or your family business. We’re here to help you find the perfect honey extractor for your hive. Your bees will thank you!

There are several variations of extractors available, so there is bound to be one that fits your needs. Shop Mann Lake for extracting equipment and more!

Learn to Uncap & Extract Honey

Here are a few tips to remember as you use a honey extractor:

  • Be sure to use a bee brush to wipe any bees that may be lingering on the frame before you place it in the extractor
  • Remove the caps of the wax cells before beginning the extraction process
  • Be sure to place each frame vertically inside the extractor
  • Spin the frames for 5 to 6 minutes in one direction, then reverse the spinning to get all the honey out of both sides of the frame (or manually swap them in if you are using a manual extractor)

Don’t forget a clean bucket to move the honey before you package it up in bottles. Check out our honey gates for easy transfer and no spills as you move your honey.