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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Center Line, Macomb, MI., USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Removing bees from honey super.

    Can anyone suggest a way to retrieve honey in a safe manner for the bees and myself. I tried using my leaf blower but it didn't seem stron enough. I know there are a couple of products designed to do it "chemically" but I have avoided the use of the store bought chemicals so far.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Fischer's bee-quick may be considered a store bought chemical.

    Sugar may be considered a store bought chemical.

    I will continue using both with equal confidence.

    Bee-go, NO.......Bee-quick, YES.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    376

    Default

    I just pulled some with a smoker and a brush. Smike them up good, pull frames one at a time, brush the bees off in front of the hive, and place the newly cleaned frame in an empty box. Not very efficient if you are pulling a lot, but good for one super.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Imitation Almond extract is suppose to work. I was going to try it this weekend. I need to paint the outside of the fume board.
    SIStone

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default triangler bee escape

    use a triangler bee escape if you are running a small number of hives they work great. you can get them at better bee or other bee supply stores

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Default

    I used this method this time, worked very well!
    I pulled four at a time, extracted, then returned them to the super for the bees to clean up...that distracted them a bit when I started taking the next four, brushing them onto the already extracted comb...the only problem is leaving me with two at the end, but that would happen anyway.
    For folks with little 4 frame extractors, this is an argument for 8 frame supers?
    AND, MUCH easier to carry 4 frames in a NUC box or 8 frame box in 100+ degree weather!
    Oh, make sure you put the lid back on while you are away...in case of sudden rain, or to discourage robbing...

    Roy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default

    Abandonment works if there's a flow. Just go out just before dark and pull the boxes and set them on their ends. After dark, load them up and take them home. Don't try this in the middle of a dearth in the middle of the afternoon!!!!!
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Posts
    521

    Default

    Get the Fischer's Bee Quick. You won't regret it. Heck, I like to pick up the bottle every now and then and just smell it myself. Mmmmm....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,277

    Default

    Do you use a full beesuit? If so, the "safe" part for you is pretty well covered. If not, do not attempt what follows. The "safe" part for the bees can be handled several ways. I've converged on the following process just because I found it works pretty efficiently for my small scale operation. As you read this, keep in mind that I use QE and don't need to worry about loosing a queen in the process. I never smoke the bees during super removal because I find that they have a tendency to start uncapping cells which results in bees more reluctant to leave the comb. I don't use a brush either because it takes too long and seems to upset them more than without.

    First pop the outer and inner covers and set them aside. Sometimes it helps to give them a couple of minutes after the covers have been removed before you start pulling frames. You can pop the top on two or more hives which seems to help the sequence. After waiting a couple of minutes remove a frame give the frame a good strong jerk in the direction of the hive's entrance (not back into the super!!). If done right, this will dislodge 99% of the bees. Don't be whimpy, give it a good strong jerk. This assumes that you have good solid frames that can handle the load. Have an empty super waiting in the bed of your truck (at least 6 feet away) or what ever you plan to use to transport the boxes back to your extraction area. As you walk back to the truck shake again (or blow) the remaining bees from the frame. Place in the waiting super and cover with a cloth. Repeat until all frames for that box have been removed. Move fast, don't worry about being too gentle, speed is your friend. I can pull a ten frame medium in about 4 minutes. If the bees are too aggressive I find it helps to remove the entire super from the hive and move it about 20 feet away from the hive. That way you minimize collective excitement in any one hive.

    I've used this technique the past two seasons and have had good success. It requires no special equipment or fumigants, but it sometimes requires strong nerves if the bees get really nuts. Oh, you probably don't want to try this if your hive is close to neighbors.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default

    wish i had a better way also. my supers had crooked comb stuck together and burr comb full of honey. what a mess! i don't see a good way to use bee-go with top entrances. next year i'll try putting the supers on an empty box and then bee-go on top. next year......
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    872

    Default

    With neighbors just over the fence Fischer's Bee Quick is the best for me. They stay nice and calm and leave everyone alone...if it's a nice clear day and they are working something. Otherwise they just fly around my head until I'm done.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,883

    Default

    Astro bee:

    It's the same way I do it, I guess great minds DO think alike!

    I also like this method because it's sometimes hard to lift a full super of honey off the top of the stack when you are "vertically challenged."

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,883

    Default

    I like Astrobee's method of "pull and shake," and yes, the bees will get a little testy so a veil and gloves are required for me.

    The best way I've made this work is to set the outer cover upside down about four feet from the hive, and on top of it place the super full of bees. Next to this super, I set the inner cover along with another empty super. This gives you enough space to snap the bees free from the frames and load up the empty super with the clean frames. You'd be surprised how many bees like to hug the inside of the old super, plus, I've found that if I do this too close to the hive, the dislodged bees are in the grass, and then up my pants leg.

    I've also used the brush method. It works but takes more time. The bees seem to be less testy and they don't fly around as much.

    One of my buddies says he pulls the super, then walks about twenty feet to his truck. With the tailgate down, he drops the front end of the super on the tailgate, then switches hands and drops the back end. The super is still in the upright position and the bees drop out the bottom into the grass. They then find their way back to the hive.

    I tried this, and if your frames are full of honey, you stand a real good chance of breaking the lugs/ears off your frames. This is especially hard on your frames if the bees have loaded and widened one frame more than the adjacent frames.

    As for using fumigants, I like a combination of tea tree oil and artificial almond flavoring. You can go to the grocery store and buy a little one-ounce bottle of the fake almond for about $2. I go to the farm supply store, and in their canning section, they sell a larger eight-ounce bottle for $3.50. I went to Wal-Mart, and in their personal hygiene section, they sell little pump-spray bottles. These bottles look to hold maybe 2 ounces.

    Four or five pumps of tea tree oil and the same with the artificial almond extract on the fume board and the bees leave fairly soon. I use three boards, and when the first hive is empty, I move the board to the fourth hive I'm going to rob. After the second hive is done, I move that fume board to the fifth hive.

    And there is no lingering odor. I've only used one bottle Fischer's Bee Quick and I liked it, but as a procrastinator, I don't have the sense to order it in advance of my need.

    When helping a buddy rob hives, he loved the commercial fumigant that smells like sweaty socks. It works, but boy does it linger on your clothes, in his truck, in my hair and nostils.

    Yuck.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

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