By Jorge Murillo Yepes, BfD's Correspondent in Grenada
The lack of appropriate and affordable honey extraction equipment has been identified as a significant factor holding back development of beekeeping in the eastern Caribbean.
Using easily available, inexpensive or free-for-the-hauling components, the tinkering genius displayed by most beekeepers could produce a hand- or power-cranked four frame tangential extractor, capable of spinning at a speed of at least 200 rpm. The main component of the hand-cranked model is the foot gear of a junked outboard engine, together with its prop-shaft which must be at least 66 cm long.
The crank could be fashioned in a variety of styles, from an iron rod welded to the propeller stem, to more sophisticated versions. A basket to contain the frame can be easily made with two identical wooden frames and 60 mm wire mesh. The basket shaft spins in a floor flange mounted exactly in the centre of the bottom of a metal rubbish bin or plastic drum. A pipe is necessary to allow the extracted honey to flow out.
A simpler, more efficient extractor can also be built, spinning the basket with an electric hand drill attached to the shaft.
[Bees for Development Journal #44]