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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,899

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    A well respected beekeeper is advising working bees at night. How many of you experienced beekeepers agree with this ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
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    2,303

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    I move them at night(got a load sitting in the driveway right now)but I REALLY REALLY hate to open a strong hive on a warm night.They crawl ,they burrow,they find every tiny opening,then let you have it.I know that YOU know that od!But sometimes I will put sticky supers back on at night (between flows)so they can clean them up before morning to avoid getting robbing started.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

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    I was putting sticky supers back on at night when I learned not to do that! They were all over me and, as you say, they burrow and hold on. They don't ever give up or leave.

    I try to never open them at night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    512

    Post

    Agreed (with loggermike & MB). I only move them at night, out of necessity. They don't like to be disturbed at night.

    ------------------
    Gregg Stewart

  5. #5
    dtwilliamson Guest

    Post

    I was working a hive one night a few years back.... Needless to say, I haven't opened a hive at night to do a full inspection since.

    I rarely get stung. I have gone for 2 years straight without a sting but that is usually because I fully suit up and wear a zipper veil, gloves, etc.... (Full body armor). I'm not allergic, but I hate to get stung.

    Anyhow, those bees where the most upset hive I have ever worked. I ended up with 28 stings (4 through leather gloves) in various places on my body and that was wearing full body armor, smoking the bees and everything. They found holes in my veil that I would have never thought they could find and get through. Believe me, it is disconcerting to have a bee crawling in your ear!

    A couple of days later I went back to check the hive to finish what I had started (and pick up the tools I had dropped on my quick exit) and the bees were as calm as could be.

    I'll never work another hive at night if I can help it. To much stress on me and the bees.

    I have captured swarms at night but wouldn't recommend that either! The swarms weren't that aggressive but it is just difficult to do a good job and see everything that you need to see and do in the dark. ( I wouldn't want to be the person holding the light for you in either case)


    [This message has been edited by dtwilliamson (edited June 16, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by dtwilliamson (edited June 16, 2004).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    The heat of summer isnt a good time to work bees at night. Ooooo the joys of crawling bees. However, in the cooler spring weather I make nucs at night especially if there is a nice moon.

  7. #7
    kookaburra Guest

    Post

    Maybe this well respected beekeeper is trying to weed some amateurs out of the beekeeper ranks??? :0

    All the veterans know better!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    No, I seriously doubt she would do that. I think she really does work the bees at night. I also know she doesn't use smoke unless she has to, and only wears a veil when she has to. I also know she's been keeping bees for far longer than most of us here. AND I also know she's one of the most helpful people and I consider her one of my internet beekeeping business mentors. She's got some funny ideas at face value to modern beekeepers, but when you examine things she tells you to examine yourself, its suprising what she knows.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    Soooo......who is she?I am curious what kind of bee work she does at night.I can barely see well enough in daytime to work a hive!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

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    This spring I made up a load of nucs then moved them a few miles.It was dark when I started putting in caged queens.Since it was such a small job I didnt bother to light the smoker.Needless to say,they didnt appreciate my efforts.My hands were getting a bit sore by the time I finished.Sometimes you just have to do beework under less than optimal conditions just to keep up with it.I used to hive packages at night to stop the drifting that happens if the day is sunny.That worked out well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,899

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    Mike - this same beekeeper, also produced 100 barrels of honey (that is 66000 lbs. by my calculation) by using brushes to remove the bees from the supers. She also easily loads hives four and five deep supers tall, with only a hand truck.

  12. #12
    dtwilliamson Guest

    Post

    So have we figured out who "SHE" is?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    I have.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

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    When I was helping my commercial beekeeper-friend, we were moving bees at night. I would have to say it was not an enjoyable experience. The bees did not appreciate the annoyance.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Greetings,

    The advantage of working bees at night is most of them are home. It's a good time to move them. From personal experience, its better to move them at 3am than it is at 9pm.

    The greatest disadvantage is that most of them are home!. And night work has a whole lot of other disadvantages. The worst one is lack of vision. Put on a veil at night and tripping, dropping and squashing become real problems especially when working in brush or weeds.

    Mistakes are not easy to correct. Dropped bees don't reorient and fly home. Dropped hives leaves lots of dropped bees. They crawl and sting any hot, moving, smelly object, ie. the beekeeper.

    It's one thing to work a small hive or a swarm trap in the backyard at night. It's another thing to work a big hive in the brush, or yards of big hives of bees at night.

    And traffic accidents are a real possibily at night with a tired, veiled beekeeper driving down the back roads. Yep, the bees continue to crawl around in the truck and make life miserable. Most beekeepers leave the veil on.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Knowing both the beekeeper and her bees. And knowing that her small bees get unhappy and sting at night when disturbed even with oriented combs. Some of them can get pretty unhappy during the daytime too. ;> )

    [This message has been edited by topbarguy (edited June 19, 2004).]

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    I don't work inside the hives after dark.

    They are very agressive at night. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

    Just place the beam of your flash light on the entrance and see what happens.

    Sure, they can't see in the dark but they can dart out. And if they get on ya, you're stung.

    There is no good reason for working inside a hive after dark. I would not advise it.

    Sheesh!


  17. #17
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    The error here was assuming that the
    beekeeper in question is "well respected"
    by anyone who has kept bees long enough
    to know not to work bees in the dark.

    Sure I move hives at night, everyone
    does. But I put screens in the entrances
    and across the tops of the hives before
    dark, just as "everyone else does".



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    estevan, sask, canada
    Posts
    185

    Post

    We have moved bees only at nite,they wont fly.Experiment.Put a bee in a open room at nite.She will buzz around.Shut the light off,its dark,listen,she will quit flying rite away.Turn lite back on,She will start flying.When transporting a new real heavy hive,less losses when done at nite

    ------------------
    B. roger eagles

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    sticky supers....

    i place them back on immediately after i extract but only during the day when the workforce is away.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Post

    so who is this person who works bees at night? URL please. Thanks

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