I have a small gas powered Ryobi leaf blower.
Is there any reason it would not be effective as a bee blower with the intake screened over???
Is a bee blower a good thing? (as Martha would say)
MB, you really should try one. Here's a pic of the one I tried. Still have to work out a few kinks.
That's funny! I got a good laugh from that one!
Coyote, I think you posted the wrong photo. My extractor looks like that. :>
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Coyote, I think you posted the wrong photo. My extractor looks like that<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ah, that explains it. Blowers, extractors, pumps, melters.... I keep getting the equipment mixed up. I'll get the duct tape out and get some supers on those blades and see how she works.
You're sure it doesn't tear any bees in half? I wouldn't want you to cause a lot of bee carnage. It should handle the volume as long as the velocity isn't too high.
I used a Ryobi for two or three years. It does a fine job wide open.
Just be careful not to blow your bees out against the ground or a tree trunk, etc. Position your supers so that when you blow they are thrown out into open air. They will go out a bit and like a badminton shuttlecock they will catch themselves and fly back to the hive.
Don't stick the nozzle right up against the super; keep it back a few inches and move it farther back or nearer so that you can control the velocity of the air moving thru the super.
If one must blow bees, the keys to doing
so with minimal collateral damage are:
1) Air VOLUME, not velocity - this eliminates
the small homeowner leaf-blowers from rational
2) Blowing from the BOTTOM of the supers, rather
then from the top. Comb slants upward, and
bees like to crawl into cells to rest and
whatnot. Don't break your bees in half, as
half a bee is no use to anyone, least of all
3) If frames are unpropolized and "loose",
some way of keeping them from slapping back
and forth when being blown should be considered.
A crushed bee is just as dead as half a bee.
4) Don't blow bees in suburbia.
What are you, nuts? A mere glimpse of you, in
your bee suit, surrounded by a cloud of bees
might be enough to start up another of those
"ban beekeeping" ordinance efforts. If you
must blow bees in suburbia, make sure that
the neighbors have gone to the movies before
you start. Maybe buy them all tickets, tell
them you won a contest on the radio.
5) Leave the dog at home.
This is the most common report I get, and I
think we get reports from 2/3rds of all US
beekeepers about their harvesting experiences
every season. I could compile a very funny
book from all the letters and e-mails, but
only "funny" if you have the sort of twisted
sense of humor that causes you to laugh at
the "America's Funniest Videos" featuring
someone getting an impact to the groin.
Dogs get stung when bees get blown.
Don't ask me why, I dunno.
I have used a leaf blower & a regular bee blower in the past and found the bee blower to be more effective, as I think it produced a larger volume of air (btw, it's for sale if you'd be interested; Dadant, with a long hose & two collapsable chutes). I strictly use fume boards now as I found the blower was too slow for me (trying to pull several hundred supers a day). It works fine for a smaller number of hives and is certainly better and faster than brushing & shaking. A LOT of bees get in the air when blowing them and sometimes robbing can be a problem, something to keep in mind.