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tony

Extraction Shed

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Sometimes during the week we might know the weather is turning, so we will make the most of good days and do larger harvests, we might have 500+ supers sitting for a few days before we get to them. Also, with extraction running into May and the range of honey types and their characteristics it usually means a much smoother and faster extraction process if you can extract warm honey.

Gee,I only thought the people extracting that late in the year were the honey dew producers extracting their autum honey dew but I guess I am wrong yet again.

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Nope, some beekeepers I know in the Waikato finished extracting last week, I expect the really big guys are still going.

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such a new industry we still haven't had people really specialise in improving the technology, or at least not rapidly and extensively like other farming.

i wouldn't call it a NEW industry. may not have had as much development due to the size and $$$ in the industry in previous generations compared to say dairy.

 

one thing to watch is "how long is a day". i know guys using 16 frame vertical that where doing 200 boxes a day every day. 2 main crew and a 3rd doing admin and odd stuff. if i recall correctly that was 12 hour days.

we would be doing similar per hour but have much shorter days.

really need to look at how many frames/boxes per hour they do with each setup.

 

hot rooms really help a lot. especially if you end up extracting late or in cooler parts of the country.

that small amount of difference can make a big difference to things like how well the extractor and pricker works and pump speeds. with sticky cold honey the frames stick in the pricker which has to be cleared and frames rerun. extractors have to go on long cycle as the honey is really slow to come out at the slower speeds (so its like a one speed extractor which is really hard on it). pumps go to a crawl. that can easily drop you down to less than 1/2 speed.

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Yes, new was the wrong word, I mean to say the boom in honey seems to be really happening in the last decade or so. I agree on measuring rates hence the end of that post I have suggested frames and honey volume per hour.

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We finished around 10th of May, which for my liking is too late. Too much crystallisation happening, which you really can't get out properly. We had a long season, do contract extracting and put 215 tonnes through a single 16 frame vertical extractor. I like the vertical tangential (or semi tangential) extractor and I think it will be very hard to get the same result with a radial extractor for "pure" manuka honey. Even leaving an extra 30 or 40 grams per frame, which is not very noticeable, to me seems a waste. I apply a heat source in the extractor and the frames come out warm. That way we just get out a bit more.

Yes, we have a hot room, but too small. It doesn't really warm up a lot, only a bit, which is helpfull.

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I think in the next few years well see a bit more development in extracting equipment, as more money is been spent in these areas. but really theres some cool gear out there. the biggest area i would like to see is a truly good system for removing the honey from wax, one of the main reasons i decided to just prick, but i really need to do another year.

As far as how much honey out of frames, i only did figures on weighing pallets, so for us 20 3/4 boxs with 8 wet well extracted frames/box and the pallet weighs between 180-185 kg, these weights are achievable on both radial and horizontal. But i will do more accurate weighing next year when i will have everything running at near optimum.

We are easily doing 200 boxs a day with two people we have a third person floating as tristan said doing paper work etc. but that third person is often not there either. it can be done easily with two, thats starting at 8 and finishing at 5 with one hour worth of breaks, occasionally go a bit longer but for various reasons,

In the way we manage our hives we on the most part only bring in 160 boxs a day and our vat if the frames are full can only hold that, so if we go buy that we will be out of the shed buy 4 pm, we id a few days this season with one person you can do 100 boxs but its a boring long day.

The best thing i like with the horizontal is we do not touch the frames once though the whole extraction unless one falls or jams.

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My mind at the moment is that a new vertical extractor would have the edge on a horizontal, but i reckon just and only on Manuka i believe on spring honey it will equally preform, but the question between just pricking and or uncapping is still interesting me,

I think you'll find that anyone with a horizontal wont go back. i may be wrong but to me i can't see why you would.

As far as getting all the honey out this is a two edge sword getting it out of the frames then getting it out of the wax, I've seen sheds that do well getting the honey out but who knows how much honey they lost in the wax, i believe at the moment that we have gained more honey this year from not uncapping than perhaps the amount left in frames, out of 2000 boxs put though we have about 50kgs of rendered wax, so you can see we do not have to spend large money on that part of the process, so for the possible few grams left in the frame from a horizontal i gain at the other end, But to be perfectly honest I'm happy with our system i would not go back to handling frames.

Just a quick calculation of boxs and honey in an hour we can do 25 boxs an hour or 30 on spring, and if the frames are full that would be about 450 kgs an hour. with a few modifications on our machine that will be easily achieved plus a bit more i hope, the plant can handle more but as i said we would need another vat to store the extra quantity, minor problem really, And just as a side note the auditor reckoned it was a 500 box a day shed, personally i think thats a bit over the top but there is definitely room for improvement but not in this shed, and also not necessary for me to do so.

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We finished around 10th of May, which for my liking is too late. Too much crystallisation happening, which you really can't get out properly. We had a long season, do contract extracting and put 215 tonnes through a single 16 frame vertical extractor. I like the vertical tangential (or semi tangential) extractor and I think it will be very hard to get the same result with a radial extractor for "pure" manuka honey. Even leaving an extra 30 or 40 grams per frame, which is not very noticeable, to me seems a waste. I apply a heat source in the extractor and the frames come out warm. That way we just get out a bit more.

Yes, we have a hot room, but too small. It doesn't really warm up a lot, only a bit, which is helpfull.

Wow, that's impressive! What are your time cycles like for pasture and Manuka? What is your heat source for the extractor?

 

Good responses coming back, nice to hear how people do things? We uncap, there is some honey loss I'm sure but we don't think it is too significant plus the wax is sold, which will offset much of that. I assume with a vat you don't bother filtering, what are you doing to filter Gerrit?

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We will be adding a heat source this year to our extractor, it will just be a heat gun and it will turn on during cycle only, as far as heating a warm room i would do insulated wall, heated floor probably with water/solar/gas heated because then you can run heat exchangers etc.. plus hot water and when i build my shed i will be putting in a wash system like in dairy sheds. and as tristan said air movement is the most important part, we don't have a warm room as such, we plan to extract quite quickly and do small amounts of contract. I tell you what does work well though and thats a refrigerated shipping container, but again you need to control air movement we have had two good melt downs in a container from not moving the air.

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We will be adding a heat source this year to our extractor, it will just be a heat gun and it will turn on during cycle only, as far as heating a warm room i would do insulated wall, heated floor probably with water/solar/gas heated because then you can run heat exchangers etc.. plus hot water and when i build my shed i will be putting in a wash system like in dairy sheds. and as tristan said air movement is the most important part, we don't have a warm room as such, we plan to extract quite quickly and do small amounts of contract. I tell you what does work well though and thats a refrigerated shipping container, but again you need to control air movement we have had two good melt downs in a container from not moving the air.

Do you mean a clean in place system?

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yep a CIP.

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we do kinda have washing system i can circulate water though the plant but not quite dairy styles.

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don't forget dehumidifier(s). tho down south you may get away with a bit more, its very handy to keep air dry to keep moisture content down in the uncapped honey.

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Good point tristan yep we have three dehumidifier one working on the honey and two in the shed .

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Wow, that's impressive! What are your time cycles like for pasture and Manuka? What is your heat source for the extractor?

 

Good responses coming back, nice to hear how people do things? We uncap, there is some honey loss I'm sure but we don't think it is too significant plus the wax is sold, which will offset much of that. I assume with a vat you don't bother filtering, what are you doing to filter Gerrit?

 

I installed the current plant about 10 years ago and still working well. So not the latest tecgnology. We do uncap and the honey and wax get seperated by a Beetech spinfloat. When the temperature of the slurry (honey and wax) is adequate, this works very well. I installed the heat source for the extractor from the start and is a heat gun. Runs only during the cycle. The cycle varies from 4 to 5 minutes. If the honey has moisture content above 18%, we take water out before drumming off.

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What are thoughts on the physical layout of the shed? also - dimensions? i will upload some images - I have been quite generous in the extraction room - In the mock up with scaled machinery though, the space quickly goes, plus have allowed for future proofing. Meant to get the drawings finalised next week, just wanting to make sure there isn't something obvious I have overlooked?

Area Notes.pdf

Mock.pdf

Plan.pdf

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What are thoughts on the physical layout of the shed? also - dimensions? i will upload some images - I have been quite generous in the extraction room - In the mock up with scaled machinery though, the space quickly goes, plus have allowed for future proofing. Meant to get the drawings finalised next week, just wanting to make sure there isn't something obvious I have overlooked?

What are the access arrangements to the warm room?

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As roger said how do you get honey into extraction shed, yep it a good size shed, but depending what your long term plans are or you have another shed for storing boxs, and drums of honey you still might be on the small side if you are future proofing.

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Yeah - there are limitations to our gross floor space unfortunately - in future we may have the option to extend the shed from the storage/general area.

Honey comes in on the truck via roller door - we use individual drip trays at the moment and trolley each stack. The warm room will actually have a removable insulated wall running left to right through the middle, so it can be one big room or 2 small rooms. The plan is to have insulated sliding doors that span the full half (lengthways) of the warm room - this means flush walls so no little nooks to navigate around with pallets or drip trays. Each warm room will have its own heating control, if we only bring in 2-300 supers we can use 1 room, if we stock pile ahead of bad weather, want a higher temperature in one room or have someone else's honey in the shed that we want seperate then 2 rooms seems sensible?? The sliding doors aren't definite yet - they would be a big span and may not be necessary nor even useful? - but we will definitely put in a door wide enough to easily pellet trolley through. Once into the extraction room frames etc will move up, I didn't annotate the mock up but though most beekeepers would follow it. Uncapper at the bottom, frame trough running up the middle, roller conveyer on the left to send empty boxes down to the extractor, 2 x tangential extractors at the top, spin float in the corner, pallet for wets next to that. Out of the room is a small holding vat and a 4 x drum platform scale.

 

Essentially flow was designed clockwise, full supers in, wets out to be stacked away or onto the truck and into the field. The greyed out right-hand end is designated for drum storage. We unfortunately will probably be storing supers inside for the next winter at least, until now we just use utility shed and this may be something we have to build to regain the shed space.

 

Any suggestions greatly welcomed? - had hoped to go and look at some plants but haven't had any suggestions as to some particularly good examples. Definitely want to improve work flow - avoid double handling and congestion.

 

Thanks.

Warm Room.pdf

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