Radial Vs Tangential Honey Extractors: Which Is Better

Those who have more than 2 beehives in their apiary need a honey extractor for comfortable work. With this beekeeping equipment, it is an indispensable unit that allows you to easily and quickly pump out honey from honeycombs. We will focus on radial vs tangential honey extractors.

Radial Vs Tangential Honey Extractors

Table of Contents

Overview of honey extractors

To date, you can purchase such a device in a specialized store, since for more than 150 years, there have been patented inventions that have received industrial implementation.

Despite the difference in designs, their principle of operation is based on the rotation of frames with honey in a vertical orientation. It is the principle of centrifugal force that determined the specifics of the product, which necessarily includes a tank made of different materials, and a drum with cassettes, the size of which corresponds to the parameters of honeycombs.

But, if for some reason it is not possible to purchase a finished design, you can make homemade radial vs tangential honey extractors using blueprints.

Main types of honey extractors

Before you decide to do a honey extractor with your own hands, you need to understand that it can be different not only in design but also in the type of drive used.

From the point of view of the location of cells relative to the axis of rotation, there are:

  • Radial honey extractors. In this case, the cassettes are located along the radius from the central rotating shaft. There can be quite a lot of them, since the space allows them to be arranged quite tightly around the entire circle in the tank.
  • A tangential honey extractor is distinguished by the fact that the cassettes are placed along the tangential of the central circumference of the tank. In this case, they can fit 3 or 4, depending on the size of the tank diameter. And if you look at them from above, they will form a triangle or a square.

From the point of view of setting the shaft in motion, there are:

  • Equipped with a manual drive. In this case, the container has a handle, which will be rotated by a person. Thus, it is possible to set in motion the entire internal system of honeycombs.
  • Radial and tangential honey extractors with electric drive. In this case, there is a motor that converts electricity into mechanical rotational movement of the central shaft of the device.

Naturally, when choosing which honey extractor is better, it is definitely worth noting that the performance in an electric model will be much higher. What is important for those who have a large enough number of hives in the apiary.

radial vs tangential honey extractors

But this is not all that needs to be considered when choosing whether to buy or make a honey extractor. Here the user also faces another challenge will a radial or tangential design serve him best?

Benefits of Radial honey extractors

A homemade or purchased radial honey extractor has the following advantages:

  • You can not control her work, but do your own thing at this time.
  • Pumping efficiency is high.
  • When rotating, only the drum moves. The remaining structural elements are in a stationary state, which prolongs the life of the product.
  • Honeycombs remain intact, which makes it possible to reuse them.
  • The frame does not stick to the drum, so it is easy to take it out.

Thanks to these characteristics, this design of the radial honey extractor is most often chosen by professional apiaries, when it is necessary to intensively and quickly pump out a large amount of honey.

Benefits of tangential honey extractors

Most often, this option is made or purchased by homestead apiaries.

They have their own characteristics, which in the vast majority of cases are interpreted as not convenient enough:

  • It is necessary to start with low speeds and gradually increase the power of rotation. Which is not always comfortable, as it requires the beekeeper to be constantly near the device.
  • This is what increases the pumping time.
  • All parts of the structure are in motion, which significantly reduces the life of the entire product and increases the need for its repair.

Regardless of whether a honey extractor is made by hand or an industrial product is purchased, the following features must be considered:

  • In the radial honeycombs remain intact. Therefore, they can always be put in a hive for reuse by bees.
  • The pumping time in the honey extractor with the radial placement of the cassettes takes up to approximately 18 minutes. Whereas in tangential only 4 minutes. But on the other hand, only four cells fit into the tangential infection at a time. Whereas in the radial up to 50. Which significantly increases the performance of this particular design.

It should also be noted that a purchased or homemade radial honey extractor allows you to place honeycombs and no longer move them during pumping. Whereas in tangential you have to turn them over.

If it is not possible to purchase a honey extractor, you can do it yourself. To know how to do this correctly, you need to use the drawings, according to which it is quite easy to understand not only the design but also the correct dimensions.

It is allowed to remake the design from products such as a washing machine, wooden barrels, or plastic food tanks, taking into account the design of the cassettes and the crane for the honey extractor. The central elements to which particular attention must be paid are the rotating shaft and the cassettes, which bear the maximum loads. Since the reliability and long-term operation of the product depend on the quality of their implementation.

Given all of the above parameters, it is easy to choose what suits each particular apiary in order to ensure its smooth and efficient operation.