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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
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    2,529

    Exclamation Package bee production

    I'm looking for input for getting the bees(without queen) from the hive to the funnel.

    Looking for queens then shaking the bees 1 frame at a time is good for cooler weather but it is sooooo slow.

    Using bee-go in the smoker to drive the bees through an excluder up into a shaker box is fast. You will have much less of a chance of getting a virgin or mated queen(those times there are 2 or more queens in the hive). But you need warm weather and you need to be real careful you don't drive to many bees out.

    Has anybody used a syrup concoction with say honeybee healthy? Place a shaker super above an excluder on all colonies packages are being shook from for the day. Spray top bars of that super with the solution. Wait for bees to come through then shake/blow them into the funnel. The bees could be trained with some tease tastes of the syrup by an open drum feeding so they key in on the scent. Then later(day or 2) when that solution is sprayed on the shaker super the bees will in a way go to robbing(not each others hives but what is within their hives). Yes the bees will weigh more because of the syrup so that will be dealt with by making the packages a little heavier. I think if this would work it will be fast and will greatly reduce the injuries caused by excessive bee-go smoke or just plain smoke used to drive the bees through the excluder.
    Last edited by Beeslave; 02-16-2011 at 07:17 PM.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Quickest way I know of is to work a row at a time. Go into the hive and pull the frame with the queen, dump it in a nuc box or better one of those nucs that is divided to so you can place a couple of frames in it. Once you have pulled those singles, it's fast and quick to then go back and dump bees from the hive without the worry of getting the queen.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Some packages are shook by using a smoke up box which consists of slats inside a super.
    Regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Package bee production

    We tried the smoke up box last year wit not much success. Would you mind explaining the best way to do it? Thanks
    larry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Package bee production

    There's a reason old Mr. Blue Boxes can "shake" 400 lbs in 2 hours all by himself. We use the same method ourselves. Its smokin. I've seen Keith do it many a time with great success. In March and April time is more valuable than just about anything around. This method of retrieving bees is a great productivity enhancer for sure. Works great when done right. Beats the old fashion shaking method hands down. I can do 4 times as many pounds of bees in half the time with half the crew as my neighbor who insists on doing it the old way. The trade secrets to doing so are learned with practice. Is temperature sensitive. You need to learn to listen to the bees as they move. Not to much "chemical" or the bees gag. To little and they don't move. If its to cold or windy the bees in a tight cluster don't like to move upon smoke up. Cold windy days can be tough package making days. If done right its just like using Bee Go. Use it wrong you will mess up the bees. I wouldn't be doing packages if we did it the other way. To hard on the body and takes way to much time.

    As for using HBH to trick the bees all I can say is I'm glad I'm not buying your "fat" bees. I'd love to get ten bucks a pound for syrup any day. Even if it did work I'm not sure how you would compensate and determine the "true" weight of the bees. The nice thing about hand shaking and smoke up is that you will get a nice mix of young bees included in the bees. That might get undermined with a syrup trick.

    One more word to the wise. If you use "chemical" in your smoker make sure you don't use the plastic ML piece of Junk hobbyist style smoker. The plastic will melt. If there ever was a worthless piece of junk for a beekeeping job the plastic smokers are it. (Have I made myself clear) Buy a couple of good ones from Dadant with shields. They tend to get hot enough to melt lead on them when in heavy use in a smoke-up operation.

    For those of you who want to know what "chemical" is please don't pm me or ask. Use of the stuff is dangerous at best. Works great but I'm not about to tell anyone how to burn themselves to death from attempting to use something that should not be tried without first being under the tutelage of a experienced user.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    clayton cal.
    Posts
    203

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,529

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    As for using HBH to trick the bees all I can say is I'm glad I'm not buying your "fat" bees. I'd love to get ten bucks a pound for syrup any day. Even if it did work I'm not sure how you would compensate and determine the "true" weight of the bees. The nice thing about hand shaking and smoke up is that you will get a nice mix of young bees included in the bees. That might get undermined with a syrup trick.

    .
    It's the smell that I would want to get the bees in the super. Not a gallon of syrup

    Smoke-go works great once you know how to use it. I've helped make many, many, many packages in FL that way. I learned the sounds of the hive, how they move to the top, what to much "go" will do, all the way to the screen and not a solid lid on top.

    I'm just trying to reinvent the wheel so it can be driven by a beginner(helpers not me)
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Thursday, 17 February 2011

    The trade secrets to doing so are learned with practice.

    For those of you who want to know what "chemical" is please don't pm me or ask. Use of the stuff is dangerous at best. Works great but I'm not about to tell anyone how to burn themselves to death from attempting to use something that should not be tried without first being under the tutelage of a experienced user.
    Very well stated.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Slave.

    As I mentioned in the previous post the smoke up technique is not for beginners. I would NEVER let a newbee helper do that job unless I was hovering over them like a pack of mosquitoes on an Eskimo's rear end on a hot Alaskan summer day. NO WAY. If someone was "quick" on the learning curve a 40 hour introduction might get them started. Suppress your urges to let someone else do it. How much are tons of dead, screwed up bees worth in your book?

    If you really want to entice the bees to go up without smoke-up why don't you go by a gallon of QMP and let the immature females find their way up into your shake boxes the "natural" way.

    PM me if it works...... And let me know what the expense is for production once you figured it out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Package bee production

    QMP? What is this? Thanks
    larry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California USA
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Queen Mandibular Pheromone (QMP) is secreted by the queen and has important effects on the hive; an old queen may lack sufficient QMP, causing the colony to supersede her.

    A couple of links:
    Wikipedia
    Bee Boost
    "Experience is that which enables us to recognize our mistakes - the next time we make them."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Shannon I never shook bees for sale but for queenless bees without queen I have run em down with bee go, split the double, inserted queen excluder.

    Come back a day or two later and take off a queenless split. Or you could shake all you felt was prudent but no lookee.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    clayton cal.
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Last edited by RDY-B; 02-19-2011 at 12:30 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
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    3,604

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Great video!
    At 4:23 into the video I see a carbon dioxide tank.
    What's the purpose of the carbon dioxide?
    Could it be used to sedate the bees for shaking into the packages?
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Haven't seen this video in a while. If i remember correctly Martin uses this method to pour mating nucs. Using this for pouring packages would be a WASTE of time and money.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    clayton cal.
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Package bee production

    yea its a cool video-ERNIE thats just a air bottle-maybe oxygen dont know-
    its to run the staple gun-no compressor -RDY-B

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Using this for pouring packages would be a WASTE of time and money.
    Clearly you haven't been making packages profitably with this method as my father (in above video) has been for 35 years. Beeslave and I have spent plenty of time working with dad making packages this way and I can assure you that it's efficient in warm weather and with good help. The co2 is to run the air stapler.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,289

    Default Re: Package bee production

    Unless I missed something in the video, me thinks it's time for a smoke up box.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Unless I missed something in the video, me thinks it's time for a smoke up box.
    If by smoke up box you mean an empty super, that's what we use. Smoke them up through an excluder into an empty super on top with a screened lid. I think the video shows it. If there is a faster way to make packages, I'm curious how it works.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 12-31-2011 at 11:16 AM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Package bee production

    I was referring to the use of Co2 on the bees to Knock them out. Like in cold cocked cold "out" where they wake up later. (docile) Was thinking of another video. My mistake. Use of a portable gun in the field would speed up production while there no doubt. We prebuild all our stuff so once we hit the bee yard all we do is "shake" and pour. Minimal or no assembly in the field is preferable. Good equipment (tools) always helps.

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