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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    OK, how exactly does one go about removing propolis buildup duuring routine checks - w/o peeving the bees?

    Thanks! BS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Post

    Define buildup? If it's thick enough that I think it needs removal I just scrape it with the hive tool.

    Are we talking about really gooey stuff like bubble gum? Or the harder more brittle stuff. Some kinds of propolis just break into peices when you scrape it. Some are gooey. The gooey stuff is tougher to do without getting bees all tangled up in it.

    If I had a lot of hives that made a lot of the gooey stuff, I'd leave it until I couldn't stand it and then, when working the hive just work them into another box. You know what I mean. Take a frame out, examine it and put it in the clean box. When you're done you can either put the old box in front and come back in a hour or you can give it a rap and knock the bees off now. Now with no bees you can scrape it to your hearts content and use it on the next hive. Or if you have a big freezer, freeze it and then scrape it off cold. It will break off then.

    I wouldn't even try to get it off unless it's really causing you problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Post

    speaking of the bubble gum type,(gooey) are they a breed of bees that does that more than other's?I got a swarm out of a tree that I have not requeened & they seem to use alot of it.I was wondering,because the bees next to them is not.>>>>Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Post

    Caucasian, Carniolans and the Russians seem to make a lot of the gooey stuff. I never raised the Caucasians, but has a friend who did. My only reall complaint is getting my gloves so sticky I can't let go of things.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Thanks Michael - and all -

    it IS the gooey stuff and there isn't THAT much and they DO get their legs caught when I try to scrape it... I was considering just putting them in a new box at some point if it gets too bad. I am using Pierco frames and it is mostly between the ears. The Dummies book suggests i keep up w/ it or suffer the (unhappy) consequences later... These are Italians and so far it is definitely managable...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Oh, and by the way, anybody have suggestions for the sticky glove problem? My (leathers) do seem to be getting pretty stick, and I'm not sure but it seems that maybe it is irritating them a bit more...

    BS

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Post

    Baby powder? Corn starch? Put the gloves in the freezer and break the propolis off?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Post

    I hope you didn't think I was saying you needed a new box. I just meant to swap it so you could clean it without all those bees in the way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

    Post

    Oh no, not at all, Michael--- I have a number of spares (boxes) anyway, but I feel better that it is an option. I actually thought of that bt was wondering just how I would get everyone into the new box - and you answered that!

    Re: the glove thing, the propolis seems to be soaking into the leather- So far only a little sticky, but was wondering what would keep them from becomming unusable eventually...

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