Harvesting honey is the moment every beekeeper looks forward to, after all those months of hard work caring for your bees, it’s a great feeling to see the end result in the form of runny, yummy honey! Various methods are used to extract the honey from the hives, manual and electric, hands-on and machinery, but by far the most convenient and safest method to use is via what is known as a honey extractor.
These simple, mechanical devices remove the honey from the honeycombs without destroying all of the hard work carried out by the bees. The emptied frames and honeycombs can be replaced in the hives, saving your little bee buddies a lot of extra work for the next honey season.
So, now you’re fully up to speed with the basics how we can quickly harvest our honey, we’ve put together a list of the top options that are available on the beekeeping market at the moment.
We’ve searched high and low across the internet and managed to pick out the top 12 options, including the one that we think is the best honey extractor overall, and we’ve also helped you out with some other budget and value for money options as well. There’s an extractor out there for everyone, no matter the price or size!
Ridgeyard is a rather new name on the block for beekeeping supplies, however, this option is a nice looking design. The specs show that it has been made to last with durable materials and well thought-out features like the conical drum bottom and honey gate, both designed for easy honey collection and drainage.
The three frame size offers slightly more productivity than other standard manual extractors, plus, the spring clutch design for the handle allows for easy spinning.
Although this unit comes in at a slightly higher than average price, we thought that it certainly was worth a mention due to the overall design and productivity. A perfect choice for beginners and those with smaller apiaries. The bright red legs might even tempt a few people as well, it would definitely add some color to the beekeepers day that’s for sure!
The Honey Keeper Pro is a high-end piece of equipment that will instantly increase your honey harvesting productivity. Including all of the durable materials that we should expect and the motor, that offers variable speeds, will keep your frames spinning and honey flowing throughout the day.
The 12” legs provide sufficient space underneath for collecting the honey from the conveniently placed honey gate.
A great option for those who can stretch their budget to an electric-based extractor. The fact that you can include four standard frames, and up to eight shallow or medium-sized frames, will keep all beekeepers happy, from small time hobbyists to honey-making businesses.
The price tag is at the higher end of the scale, so you will need to factor this in before you buy, but the increased productivity that the Honey Keeper Pro offers should help to make that final decision easier for you!
VIVO is a top beekeeper supplier so you know that this unit will tick all the right boxes. The BEE-V002C is a manual extractor that fits two frames per spin cycle, a specially designed crank system makes it easy for one person to spin the drum. The drum basket itself can hold shallow, medium and deep sized frames so there shouldn’t be any issues with frames not fitting.
This design goes slightly against the trend because of the lack of any legs, therefore, you will need to place the extractor on top of a table when it’s time to drain the honey. Not a huge issue but something worth thinking about before you set up, will you need someone to help you lift it up? Do you have the space to store it on a table?
Overall, VIVO has given us another useful option and one that doesn’t break the bank as well! The lack of legs gives this a slightly different feel to most other designs but it still extracts the honey in a professional manner and the end result is just the same, a pool of delicious honey ready to be devoured!
The two frame extractor from XtremepowerUS is a solid option that ticks the right boxes for functionality and performance.
The durable materials and simple design will keep this unit working for a long time. Recommended for beginners and beekeepers working with a smaller number of hives, the manual process with the two-frame capacity is more than enough to keep most beekeepers moving along and extracting honey efficiently.
XtremepowerUS is not a common source for beekeeping supplies but this unit does seem to offer beekeepers enough to get the job done, plus, the free electric uncapping knife is a nice addition to the package. A solid choice that is worthy of a further look for any beginners looking for a manual honey extractor.
The BEE-V002 from VIVO is a superb choice for those looking at a mid-range option, a manual extractor that is available in various sizes ranging from two, three and four frames. The stainless steel finish gives the drum a professional look and also adds to the durability.
VIVO redesigned the basket inside the drum in 2014 to hold even more types of frame sizes, giving beekeepers more freedom than ever before. Using the BEE-V002 is easy, the crank has been specially designed to offer minimum effort when spinning the drum. Two handles on the side allow for easy carrying and the 1-year warranty is a nice little bonus just in case anything goes wrong.
Overall, this is a useful option for those beekeepers who are looking for easy and quick honey extraction methods. The unit has been designed and produced with beekeepers in mind, all of the features help to make your life easier when extracting your honey. We don’t think that you will be disappointed with this offering from VIVO, it’s a great option from an excellent company!
Mann Lake is one of the top beekeeping suppliers around at the moment, they continue to deliver top products that have been designed with beekeepers in mind. This is something that we love to see and offers much reassurance for when you are paying out considerable amounts of money on equipment.
The HH160 is a simple design that extracts honey efficiently and even though it’s a manual extractor, minimal labor power is required from the user to get the unit up and running. The only limitations to this unit is that there are no legs included, so you will need to place this somewhere high in order to drain the honey successfully.
This is might not be an issue for some beekeepers and could even come as an advantage!
The Mann Lake HH160 is a useful option for those looking for something with a high-spec design. Supplied by a well-established company, the higher price could well be justified for those who are familiar with the popular Mann Lake product range.
The BestEquip extractor is a top-level choice for both beginners and experienced beekeepers. Being electric-based you’ll be gathering up plenty of honey in no time at all, the stainless steel construction and seamless welding also help to guarantee that the unit will last you a long time.
The base is sturdy but as mentioned, attaching the feet to a piece of plywood or something similar will make it a lot stronger for the days when you are harvesting large amounts of honey.
Overall, the ability to extract honey in a quick and convenient manner puts this unit into our top list. The BestEquip extractor is built to a high, professional quality and although the price tag points towards the higher end of the scale, we think that if your budget allows then this will be a worthwhile purchase for any beekeeper.
Happybuy’s offering ticks all of our checkpoints for a top rate extractor, including the use of durable materials and a suitable overall size that fits at least two large frames. For an electric-based unit, the motor runs quietly and still produces enough power to effectively fling your honey from the frames!
A nice addition is the raised bottom bearing, this allows the basket that holds the frames to lift clear the of the honey in the bottom, keeping the frames clean and your honey pure!
The price tag sits slightly higher than most extractors due it being electric-based, this would make a great option for those beekeepers running larger scale apiaries. You will appreciate the speed and efficiency that this unit will bring to your set up, your honey will be flowing from the frames all day and that’s a thought that puts a smile on our faces, and hopefully yours!
The Goodland Bee Supply HE2MOT extractor is an excellent example of high quality and top performance, the large price tag is justified when you realize just how well the unit works. It ticks all of the boxes for durability and strength with the stainless steel drum and sturdy legs.
The unit holds only two frames, we have seen units that hold more but the electric motor makes quick work of the extraction process so you’ll be working through all of your frames in no time at all. The slight downfall comes with the slightly smaller than average legs, limiting what you can place underneath to catch the honey as it pours out of the low-level honey gate.
Goodland Bee Supply has a strong track record of designing and producing high-quality beekeeping supplies. The HE2MOT is another strong contender for the best honey extractor and if your budget can stretch to the price tag, then we say go for it – you won’t be disappointed!
The HappyBuy extractor will happily do the job at hand! The manual and two-frame design is suitable for beginners and small-scale beekeepers. The hand crank makes light work of the honey extraction process and saves you energy as you collect your honey.
The smooth, stainless steel inside is perfect for the honey to drip down and the conical shaped bottom makes it easy for you to drain the honey after all of the spinning work is done.
We think that the HappyBuy extractor is perfect for our Top Budget pick, the name says it all, buying this unit will leave you happy with the low cost and high performance. A great option to get started with considering the average price for manual extractors is a lot higher.
The extractor from Goplus is a well-rounded option and is proving very popular amongst beekeepers. The build is everything you would ask for from a manual point of view, the stainless steel construction offers longevity and also makes it very easy to clean with warm soapy water. The spring clutch design makes using the Goplus extractor a breeze, saving you energy and time in the process.
The unit can take four large frames or up to eight small/medium frames, making this superb value for money! Furthermore, customer service is known to be very professional which always helps if anything was to go wrong with your extractor – some things do go wrong from time to time!
Overall, we could only see one choice for the Top Value For Money extractor and the Goplus unit was it. A combination of performance and value for money will see this unit being used in apiaries all across the beekeeping land. Goplus are a company who are getting the basics right, quality designs and helpful customer service goes a long way in today’s marketplace.
The BEE-V004E is another excellent choice from the people at VIVO. The electric version of the earlier reviewed BEE-V002 makes quick and light work of your honey extraction duties. The build quality is exactly the same with the stainless steel construction and strong legs, a clear lid for easy viewing and you can hold four large frames or up to eight small/medium frames at any one time.
Carrying handles make it easy to place and pull out of storage and the 1-year warranty is a nice backup just in case anything does happen to go wrong.
The BEE-V004E rightly deserves to be our Top Pick for the best honey extractor. At the end of the day, we want to recommend equipment that will make your job easier and quicker.
This unit does exactly that, for those who are serious about beekeeping and who are looking to streamline their business (or hobby!), the BEE-V004E from VIVO is the electric honey extractor for you. A top choice from a top company, need we say more!
A honey extractor is a simple yet very effective piece of equipment, essentially, it is just a big metal drum that has been fitted with some special features that help you extract the honey. All you need to do is place your honeycomb frames in special slots (known as baskets), which can be found inside the metal drum.
The drum is then spun, manually with a handle or via an electric motor, to remove the honey from the frames. The magic power of the extractor is all thanks to centrifugal force, the power of the spinning drum flings the honey out of the honeycomb, which then drips down the inside walls and collects in a pool at the bottom.
A carefully placed honey gate is then opened up and the yummy honey pours out into the waiting container!
As mentioned above, there are various different designs and options when it comes to honey extractors. You’ve got the manual honey extractor and electric honey extractor options, manual would be more suited to those working with a handful of hives but electric will always make your job that little bit easier, if your budget allows.
We think that beekeepers working with multiple hives are going to be thankful for the electric-based option, the bigger extractors are capable of spinning hundreds of frames a day! The other option that you will come across is choosing between tangential and radial extractors, they sound quite technical but fear not, radial requires only one spin of the drum per frame and tangential requires you to flip the frames over once to get all of the honey out (spin the drum twice for each frame).
Some beekeepers find that although the tangential option takes longer, it does manage to remove more of the honey in the long run. Many extractors actually offer both options depending on the number and size of frames that are used. It’s not something that you need to be too picky about, but it’s good to know the definition of tricky phrases that you might not have ever heard of before!
A quick search on the internet for honey extractors will leave you scratching your head and wondering where to start. There are plenty of options out there, a lot even look the same, but hopefully, our reviews and top picks above will have given you plenty of food for thought. It all depends on your budget and the size of your beekeeping setup, the prices start at just below $100 and quickly rise up to anywhere around the $500 mark.
Like with most equipment, you get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go and splash out on a fancy electric-based extractor just yet! Just because it’s expensive and has all the fancy features, doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.
So hold onto your money a little bit longer and make sure you have a better understanding of what you really need.
You need to ask yourself some questions to realize what type of extractor will best suit your requirements and setup. The important questions are how many frames will you be looking to extract honey from?
Are you on a deadline to produce a certain amount of honey for someone or some other company? Where are you going to carry out the honey extraction process? Do you have access to electrical power?
Fully understanding the why’s and how’s will put you in a much better place in choosing the right extractor. Are you running a business that needs to get 500 jars of honey to Joe’s Supermarket by the end of the week?
Well, an electric-based extractor will be a wise choice, taking out all of the labor work so you can focus your energy on the packaging and logistics! Perhaps you’re someone who has one or two hives in the back garden and wants to use some home-made honey in your next recipe, with this in mind, a manual honey extractor is more than enough to get your honey from the hive to the jar.
So, as you can see, it all depends on your personal situation. However, sometimes it will come down to plain old laziness, using a electric-based unit just means that you can sit back and let technology do the hard work!
Here’s a list of some of the features that you should be looking out for when searching for your next honey extractor, whether that be electric or manual based:
An extractor unit does make the honey harvesting process a lot easier, however, there are ways to optimize the way you work and some tips to remember to make sure you get every possible drop of honey from your frames. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to show you exactly how it should be done.
Honey extractors are a great way to increase your productivity and streamline the beekeeping process, the old-fashioned way of scraping honey from the honeycombs can be fun but you always run the chance of breaking the honeycombs each and every season.
These extractors, electric or manual, take the risk of breaking your precious honeycomb frames out of the equation and give you a clean and simple option for harvesting your honey. The honey-making companies would struggle without them, they simply would not meet the demand if they had to manually scrape the honey from each frame.
Most hobbyists out there who try using one of these units are pleasantly surprised with the results, proving that an investment now will be worthwhile in the years to come.
If you think of the time saved from using a manual or electric extractor, being able to extract honey from several frames at any one time, and the extra work you are saving your busy bees from having to rebuild the honeycombs each year.
It’s easy to see why these units are popular with beekeepers around the world. Hopefully, we’ve pointed you in the right direction and you’ve now got a good idea of which extractor type will work best for you. Good luck and happy honey extracting!