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Thread: Bee Blowing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Eugene, OR, USA
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    3

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    This is my first year of beekeeping and I'm about to harvest several supers from my three hives. I'm considering my options for clearing the bees from the honey supers and wonder if I can use my air compressor as a blower. It has a large tank, a long hose, and I can control the pressure. It should be quiet and easy to control. Is there something I'm not thinking about? Is there a reason not to try it? I haven't seen anything written about it.

    ------------------
    Beardsworth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Naples, Maine
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    41

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    Hi Beardsworth,

    The main concern that I would have using compressed air would be the velocity of the air as it leaves the nozzle. Basically, The speed of the air will translate to the speed of the bees as you blow them from the frames. I would be concerned that a high velocity will tend to kill many of the bees. If you can not "slow-down" the air, you can try a simple bee brush - about $5-7, and use it with a bee escape - about $1.50. If you can turn down the pressure and speed, you may be all set. Another option is to try a leaf blower, OR the detachable top section (blower) from a shop vac.

    Hope this helps,
    Paul

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,330

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    The air compressor air is going to be too fast in one small spot. My guess is it will not only remove the bees but uncap and extract the honey- all over the ground. I've considered a leaf blower, but haven't tried it or the reversed flow on a vacumn. Seems like not as many have that feature anymore.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    worthington pa usa
    Posts
    76

    Cool

    Hello beardsworth;
    I just harvested a couple of supers and brushed both of them.I like brushing because I never killed a bee. just brushed them off in front of the hive and they all went back inside.It goes rater quickly too. I would say that by the time you got your hose out and got set up you would be pretty well done brushing. just my 2 cents.
    scott

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
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    406

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    I harvested from four hives last year, and I just brushed too. I have a couple extra empty boxes available, and then just pull the frames one at a time and brush them off. I had a couple extra excluders, so I put two under the empty box, and two over,(used them like a lid) so robbing was minimal. That way, when the box had 6 or 7 frames in it, I could safely carry it to my truck. The full ones are heavy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I like the triangular bee escapes and then brush what is left. It works quite well because 90% of the bees have left through the escape and the rest aren't hard to brush off. Although one fast one always hides somewhere.

  7. #7

    Post

    Michael:

    How long do you leave the bee escape screen on to give the bees time to leave the super?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Anywhere from 24 to 48 hours works really well, but overnight will take care of most of them.

  9. #9
    mmundy Guest

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    Doesn't anyone use honey robber or bee go? I used the cherry stuff last year. I thought my car would smell like cherry too, since I carried the supers back in the trunk. Actually the cherry smell doesn't last long. The smell that lingered for about 3 weeks reminded me more of vomit. Oh did I say "my" car? Actually it was my wife's mini-van. That didn't go over well.

    FYI- If you ever use a stink board, don't look at it too closely. The fumes just killed me eyes for several minutes and as I stumbled up the stairs to the house, I accidentally knocked my camera off the deck railing and it landed lense down in some mud. No damage by a miracle though. Anyway, I can imagine what it must feel like to be a bee in the presence of that stuff, even though they don't have wet eyes like I have.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I've heard enough stories about the smell, but I have never even attempted to use the fumes. It's kind of contrary to my basic philosophy of bee keeping without "chemicals".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA USA
    Posts
    114

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    the bee quick stuff smells very nice - vanilla-almond- and supposedly works just as well as the bee go... I'm looking forward to using it when I get honey to pull...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
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    617

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    Just a tip, if you use a FUME BOARD carry a large trash bag and when you get through with the fume board place it in the trash bag and tie it up. Helps to keep peace in the family also.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
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    393

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    I would guess the mrbillz is talking about the product from Fischers. I bought some to try on comb honey supers to avoid the stinky smells. This stuff reminds me of a blend of essential oils. It is nice but it seems even more temperature sensitive than bee go and honey robber.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,795

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    I have used a compressor, but turn down the pressure. High pressure kills more bees than a leaf blower.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Maybe if you made an end for the compresser where the air get's spread out more it and you have some control over the amount of air it might work.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Richmond, KY
    Posts
    12
    Fischers BeeQuick has worked well for me and it smells nice too. I found the most important thing to help it work the best was to let my fume board sit in the sun for 5 or 10 minutes and get good and warm before putting the beequick on it. I guess it helps the fumes to get generated better.

    [This message has been edited by DeadAhead (edited July 16, 2003).]

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Eugene, OR, USA
    Posts
    3

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    Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll pass on the compressor and just go with a bee escape and a brush this year.

    ------------------
    Beardsworth

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