I’ve recently started housing and renting out the Philadelphia Bee Guild’s motorized extractor. I’ve written a number of posts in the past about different methods of extracting, this motorized extractor is a popular method for beekeepers with more than a few frames of honey to extract at one time. The motorized extractor takes the physical crank out of the equation and instead is spun by an electric motor.
Late summer is honey extraction season, the bees have collected pollen and have gone through the process of turning that pollen into honey. The hives goal is to store up as much honey as possible before the winter. As beekeepers, we always want to take as much of the honey as we can, but the trick is knowing how much to take and how much to leave. If you take too much you run the risk of your hive(s) dying from starvation in January or February, if you don’t take enough you have honey to take in the early spring.
Renting the extractor is a simple thing that I can do to help the guild, the fee for rental is $25 and guild members can casually pick it up and drop it off. The most interesting part of the extractor rental is the communal ownership that people have over it. With this machine things of course go wrong, nuts and bolts fall out, ball bearing need to be greased, etc. It’s awesome to have people return it and tell me that they’ve noticed a bolt was missing so they ran to the hardware store and picked up a new one. The Philadelphia urban farming community is a super friendly and helpful crowd, I’m so happy to be a part of it.