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Homemade Extractor


For those Flow hivers that find the occasional need of an extractor, but would rather put the $200 or more towards another flow hive, here is my very successful DIY extractor. It cost me $30 for the stainless garbage can, and $5 for the threaded rod, everything else was already lying around my workshop.

Rather than legs, I made it so it snaps directly on top of my 5 gallon honey bucket with strainer in place.

It does take a minute to install, and rotate the frames; not as convenient as a wire basket spinner, maybe a V2 improvement for next year.

To spin it, I throw a socket into my cordless drill, and a double nut on top of the threaded rod; effortless spinning.

With the bearings top and bottom, and a hand on the top lid I find much less vibration that the hand crank model I was borrowing.

Another advantage to this design, is the ability to lift out the entire setup and scrape every last drop of honey out. The hand crank model didn’t have an easily removable basket making it extremely difficult to clean out the last film of honey on the walls.

Be careful with the cordless drills; on high speed setting mine can blow out plastic foundation, but the low speed seems perfect.


Looks fabulous. How many would you sell me at $35??

Just kidding. Very nice concept, I am sure others will want more details.



Hi Simon, I can’t quite see what you have done there to hold the frames to those wire straps but it all looks good. I made my own little extractor last year (takes 2 ideal super frames) but couldn’t buy a stainless steel drum here in Tasmania. I used a modified food grade plastic bucket and wooden frame holder. Cordless drills have a brake system on them (as I found out) and so when the trigger was released, the abrupt stop tore up the wooden dowel drive rod. I have since replaced that at the top with a steel assembly. You seem to have done some pretty tricky/clever things there too with those bearings. I do not use bearings at all as food grade bearings were very hard to come by and ridiculously expensive. I have the drain tap directly at the bottom of the plastic bucket. I’ll post some photos when I get a chance in case you are interested. And yes, top speed does tear up the comb. :disappointed_relieved:

Edit: Here is a photo.


The tabs on the top bars are held in a slot through the plexiglass ends, and the hole assembly is squeezed together with the threaded rod. It does require the top bar tabs to be the same size, which wasn’t the case with a few frames from the complete hives I bought this year, but a few swipes with the chisel corrected that.

For the spinning I use a socket adapter and socket on a nut on the end of the threaded rod. Once up to speed I can lift the drill up and off while still running to avoid the abrupt stop caused by the drill brake. I found out the hard way as well, but thankfully nothing broke, and I was testing with empty frames!

I used sealed bearings meant for skateboards at the bottom, and the top bearing is outside the plexiglass cover.


Thanks Simon - sorry - I thought the plexiglass looked like a metal strap (in the first photo) but I see it clearly now. Great idea in lifting off the drill.