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Are Galvanized extractors safe?
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Are Galvanized extractors safe?

Galvanized or not!!

When starting to beekeep there are many options when it comes time to extract the honey from the frames. From gently warming the capped frames, scratching one side of the frame and shaking it into a large roaster and repeating the process on the other side, crush and strain, homemade drill spinners to making or purchasing a centrifugal extractor, you will have to look at all the pro's and cons. When I first starting Beekeeping I purchased a galvanized 50 frame  extractor. Extracting 5 boxes at a time was amazing. When I purchased the extractor I had to do a bit of fixing. Installing a new drive unit, welding in a new gate valve were some of the things that I had to do to make it my own, but it was galvanized.. There's nothing wrong with using a galvanized extracter, if it is given the correct treatment, namely painted inside and out with a food grade paint. When things are galvanized they are coating the metal with Zinc, without a doubt there will be trace amounts that transfer to your honey.It  needs that treatment to protect not only your family, but also the people who buy your honey. It's like making maple syrup in a galvanized evaporator, it's not safe. I considered having the inside of the drum nickle or chrome plated. Time and cost were the biggest consideration. I also contemplated on having a large sheet of stainless and welding it up. Well... with me wanting to expand and not having worries of paint chipping or possible contamination getting into the honey I started to look  at stainless steel extractors. I found a custom build one that was built to survive a hurricane. The drum was 1/4" thick stainless. I built a raised heavy duty stand and bolted it to my honey shed floor. I still have my first stainless extractor but I have upgraded. Once you make the investment and you take care of your equipment it can last a lifetime.As most things in life you have to do what is right for you.

Craig Toth

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