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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Question The best bee brush I've used so far...

    is a thick handful of grass. It was great. The bees were brushed away and didn't seem to be mind at all. But it's not that easy when you have a good deal to do. So I tried a brush from Mann Lake. This is my second year of beekeeping, and maybe it's because I don't quite have the technique right, but
    the bees didn't seem to like it at all! Some got caught in it and lost their stingers. Maybe it was a poor quality brush. I don't know.

    So I got an idea to use a feather duster. (I remember Chris Harp talking about using a few goose feathers as a bee brush.) I haven't gotten one yet and I was wondering what thoughts you all have on this idea or if anyone has used something like this. I went online to look for feather dusters and there are scores of different kinds! I wonder what the best kind would be.......

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Try brushing upwards, not downwards.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Lol yea I have used a few kinds of bee brush, they really hate the horse hair brush I have, I think the non-natural hair brushes are less despised, otherwise I guess they think a horse is rolling all over them

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    cheap paint brushes work also -

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Dick View Post
    Try brushing upwards, not downwards.
    Why?? Wouldn't that cause the bees to be brushed away from the hive and right up towards you?? Seems this would disturb them even more. What do I not see here....?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Cells are tilted upwards. Brushing that direction doesn't get stuff (bees and bristles) caught on the cell lips.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Wow. The subtleties of beekeeping are truly remarkable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Still would like to know what you all think of the idea of using a feather duster to brush bees....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    ocala fl.
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    I use a large single feather and it works great.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Bees hate to be brushed with anything, but a goose feather seems like a better solution than a horsehair brush, given that bees seem to hate horses! Mind you, I have known bees to kill a gosling...
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Garden City, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    My bees are really calm until I brush them with this paintbrush I got, then they swarm out and attack me. I think that maybe it's absorbed the smell of alarm pheromones or something. Obviously, I'm looking for another brush. It had very fine, soft bristles, so I'm not sure what the big deal was, but the bees hate it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    902

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    I have not noticed my bees to dislike the brush I use - but try to dip the brush in water, shake it well and use it just slightly moist.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    It's all about the flick. Fast and sudden. It's all in the wrist. Don't ever try to GENTLY brush bees off...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    Quote Originally Posted by buckbee View Post
    Bees hate to be brushed with anything, but a goose feather seems like a better solution than a horsehair brush, given that bees seem to hate horses! Mind you, I have known bees to kill a gosling...
    Lol its not my choice to use horse hair brush its the only one I have atm

    nice idea Ill try a flicking motion next time see if it makes a difference.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    I use the brush from Brushy Mtn and by using a quick flick (as Mike B described) I seldom have difficulty with it.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    >nice idea Ill try a flicking motion next time see if it makes a difference.

    It doesn't make "a" difference. It makes "all the" difference. You have to surprise them. If you go gently, you don't surprise them, you just make them mad and they hold on tighter. It's not about the kind of brush. I've used grass, goose feather, turkery feather, bee brush... as long as you surprise them they will all work ok. If you don't they will only make them mad.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    The non-natural fiber brush works fine, but it doesn't work well for me to getting those especially tenacious bees out of the spaces between the comb and the frame. What I find myself reaching to most frequently (though I do carry the standard yellow bee brush) is a dried pheasant wing.

    Ok, it sounds a little crazy, but the hear me out. The tertiary, secondary, and most of the primary flight feathers are tight enough together and stiff enough to get a good bunch of bees flicked off in short order, while the last primary flight feather that sticks out a little is perfect for individual flicking and getting into cracks. If you hunt, they are free and you can feel good about repurposing more parts of the bird you just killed. I train my (and friends) bird dogs and tend to have several wings in my training kit.

    In addition, there is something about the color patterns on a pheasant wing that, at least to date, does not cause any reaction whatsoever when waved above a hive. Not even a white protective glove can make such a claim. They get quite jumpy with a wide, black, shop brush by the way.

    I'm thinking about using the feathers from this springs turkey and see what sort of response I get with those feathers. They definitely are stiff enough for perfect transfer of flicking energy.
    ~Reid

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Wink Re: The best bee brush I've used so far...

    I couldn't find my brush a few years ago so I pick up my snow/ice combo scraper one end and brush on the other, its about 2' long. Very soft brush and the bright yellow handle helps me find its hiding place. The plastic scraper has helped getting the critters off (whatever) also. They still do not like the brushing, but don't seem to get as upset with this thing.

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