A honey extractor is a mechanical device used in the honey harvest. A honey extractor extracts the honey from the honey comb without destroying the comb. Extractors work by centrifugal force. A drum or container holds a frame basket which spins, flinging the honey out. With this method the wax comb stays intact within the frame and can be reused by the bees. Extractors are either tangential or radial depending on how the frames are put into the basket. Radial baskets have the top bar of the frame facing outwards while tangential baskets have one side of the comb facing outward. Large commercial extractors are radial. The amount of work during extraction is reduced in the radial type because the frames do not have to be turned over to extract the honey from the other side of the comb. Hobbyist extractors can be hand or electric motor powered. The smallest size of extractor typically holds two frames. The largest commercial extractor holds more than a hundred frames.
During the extraction process the honey is forced out of the uncapped wax cells, runs down the walls of the extractor and pools at the bottom. A tap or honey pump allows for the removal of honey from the extractor.
Some hobbyist beekeepers and beekeepers in developing countries, especially keepers of top-bar hives, cut the whole honey comb out of the frame, and use it directly as cut comb honey. Alternatively, cut comb is put into a honey press to squeeze out the honey.