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Thread: Squishing bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    61

    Default Squishing bees

    I'm a new beek, with a TBH. I am having trouble replacing my bars, pushing bars back together, and replacing my roof without squishing bees.

    I feel awful. I got these bees to give them a place to thrive and their biggest threat seems to be me

    Any suggestions besides a smoker and bee brush? Do folks just get better at this with time? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Squishing bees

    Ohh Ohh! I have one! I got this tip on this forum last year works amazing and reduces the time working each hive. Cut a strip of wood as long as your top bars, wider then your top bars and 1/8" thick, although mine looks more like 2mm. Then when replacing top bars slide them closed until you have about 1/4" then slid this strip between, this pushes all the bees into the hive, then slide the bars tight with the strip, then remove the strip then slid bars tight! Sounds harder then it is. bees need about 1/4" space to get through and can not enter a 1/8" space so they wont come up again when you remove the 1/8" strip, made my life a lot easier.

    Hope this helps!
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Squishing bees

    Practice moving the bar from top to bottom instead of side to side. Go slowly and let them get out of the way.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Squishing bees

    I do the same thing as Michael Bush does, and it works very well that way, just take the bar that you want to move and lift it up a couple inches, slide it over next to the bar that is already in place, then drop the bar downward slowly right alongside it (no gap between them). You only have to make sure there are no bees under the outside ends of the top bar when they come to rest on the hive wall. I usually jiggle the top bar lengthwise just slightly when doing this whole procedure and it seems to help move the bees out of the way better. Hope this helps you out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Squishing bees

    I agree with the previous two posts and would only like to say that in any situation where bees might get squished, if you put only slight pressure on the bees and then lift it off of them, they usually get the idea and move out of the way. If I'm lowering a frame and feel a bee or bees under the top bar, I just lift it enough to relieve the pressure for about 1 second and then try to lower it again. The second or third time, it usually goes into the rebate without hurting any bees. Also, with your KTBH, any bees left on top of the bars after all of the bars are in place can be brushed off before you install the roof.

    Don't worry too much....you'll get the hang of it soon.

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Squishing bees

    I too give them a "light" squishing and then back off just enough to let them get out of the way. They move right on out and I close the gap. Sometimes if they are getting a little aggitated they might require a couple "light" squishes to "get the point".

    Mike

  7. #7

    Default Re: Squishing bees

    I put my hive back together slowly. My bees are being trained! Move out of the way or get squished! Training is going a little slow...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wabaunsee County, Kansas
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Squishing bees

    We have two hives with squared bottom edges on the bars and three hives with rounded edges at the bottom where the one bar touches the next. For me, the ones with the rounded edges are much much easier and faster to put bars back in with out squishing bees.

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