Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    I just noted on another thread that bee escapes and brushing bees off combs was being discussed. Someone else mentioned the chemical bee-chasers.

    At one time I shook bees off individual frames, bushed the frames. I cussed, whined and complained about handling each frame and tearing all the little cross-connections bees make, dripping honey everywhere and having it fall on the kitchen floor when extracting.

    Then I learned that my little Ryobi leaf blower would clear a super in seconds without even irritating a bee. Now, by breaking any inter-super connections and letting the bees dry them up the day before, I can take supers off without a single drip. I can do it in a fifth of the time it took before.

    Anyone else do this? Anyone see a problem with it? The bee-blowers sell for $450 or so, my leaf blower was around $59.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    Whether using a professional bee blower, or a leaf blower, what is the process for blowing the bees out of a super? Do you simply set the super on it's side and let them have it? Or is it more complicated than that?

    As far as leaf blowers go, I bought one recommended by Consumer Reports for $79.00 this past fall. It also reverses as a leaf vacuum, and has an infinate variable speed dial, not just a couple settings.

    Kai

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Blowing Bees:

    There must be some pros here to tell us how, but all I do is stand the super on its end, preferably on a hive about two feet high. I then blow between each frame with an up and down motion, next across the ends of the bars. This always leaves a few bees hiding in, on or around end bars and the bottom side of top bars, so I turn the super around and blow from the bottom for just a second or so, spin it again and finish the job. The bees do not even get excited--to them it is just bad weather. They pick themselve up and fly back to the hive.

    I am sure that there is someone out there who can tell us of other manipulations that can be done with the blower, but I don't know any of them and have not wanted to experiment with the few hives I have.
    Ox

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Blowing Bees:

    There must be some pros here to tell us how, but all I do is stand the super on its end, preferably on a hive about two feet high. I then blow between each frame with an up and down motion, next across the ends of the bars. This always leaves a few bees hiding in, on or around end bars and the bottom side of top bars, so I turn the super around and blow from the bottom for just a second or so, spin it again and finish the job. The bees do not even get excited--to them it is just bad weather. They pick themselve up and fly back to the hive.

    I am sure that there is someone out there who can tell us of other manipulations that can be done with the blower, but I don't know any of them and have not wanted to experiment with the few hives I have.
    Ox

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    sorry about the double post.
    Ox

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Post

    The only special maniulation I do.... on a very hot day I stick the blower nozzle into my beesuit zipper and get a cool blast of air. I also have over the years made several lazy susans on which to turn the on end super as I blow. The best is made from a stool with a heavy duty bearing. The thin ones from ACE hardware don't stand up to the weight of full supers being dropped on them. I also sometimes use an air compressor gun, but a gas leaf slower with hose and clevis nozzle works better. The blast from the air compressor nozzle is too concentrated and kill bees. Also, try to pull your honey before robbing season starts, less bees flying back in.

  7. #7
    jfischer Guest

    Post


    If you wish to use a blower, you want a
    high volume of air, but not a high velocity.
    This is difficult to get from a blower that
    has a small motor (anything under $200.00).

    Try spreading a painter's drop cloth
    underfoot when you blow bees, and count the
    dead bees. That alone halted my interest
    in using a blower - too many casualties.
    I'm a beeKEEPER, not a bee killer.

    I bought a Stihl backback blower to fog my
    orchard trees with dormant oil, and I have let several people use this "Rolls Royce
    of the bee blowers" to try to convince me
    that blowing was a viable approach. None
    have yet convinced me.

    Like nearly all of the big US beekeepers, I
    use repellent, and a breeze board or, if it
    is a sunny warm day, a fume board. I can
    clear at least 3 times as many supers as
    someone with a blower in the same time, but
    this is because I cheat - I am removing one
    super while two (or sometimes 3) breeze/fume
    boards are on nearby hives, so the supers
    come off just as fast as I can lift them and
    stack them on the trailer.

    Really big operators pull honey with 2-man
    teams, each placing 3 or 4 fume or breeze
    boards on hives, and pulling supers as fast
    as they can. (Breeze Boards are now available from Brushy Mountain for those who
    hate making their own gear - Steve Forest
    calls them "Ventilator Fume Boards".)

    If you feel that you MUST use a blower,
    recall that comb slants downward, and
    remember to blow only from the bottom.
    Blow from the top, and any bee with its
    head in a cell may be decapitated, and
    will certainly be unable to back out of
    the cell "against the wind".

    Also, watch out for those frames that are
    not filled and not propolized. They can
    become airborne (at least with serious
    hardware like a Stihl.) The frames that
    are capped will not become airborne, but
    can have a habit of slapping together, and
    crushing bees.

    All in all, blowers are just too darned
    noisy for me. I paid serious money to
    live where I can go weeks without hearing
    loud obnoxious noises, and I like the
    peace and quiet of beekeeping.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    LOL, Fischer;
    This is where you separate the amateurs from the pros.

    My tinkertoy blower would not decapitate a mosquito if he stuck his head in a box of razor blades, but it will blow bees out of supers. Neither does it dislodge or flap frames, but that is because I do not stick the nozzle directly against the box.

    Being an amateur and not making a living out of bees I don't feel the pressure of time the way a pro does. The blower is faster than anything I have ever used before, not having used fume boards.

    I am going to pay more attention--perhaps do the drop cloth test.

    Ox

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    766

    Cool

    Hey Ox,
    What keeps the honey combs from being contaminated with gasoline-oil fumes from the leaf blower? I have an Echo backpack leaf blower. Every time I use it, I get grimy from all the smoke and fumes from it.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads