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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wichita Kansas
    Posts
    71

    Default First hive extraction - problems?

    I extracted my first hive today. It was a large hive with lots of bees inside the wall of a garage. I was surprised at how easy it was to get the bees out with a bee vac. I cut 8 pieces of brood and honey comb and fastened it to the frames and put them in a 10 frame hive. After I put the bees from the vac box into the hive I noticed what I thought was a lot of bees walking out of the hive, onto the landing board and falling into the grass. I would think there were at least a hundred or so doing that. Is that normal in an extraction? I was thinking that maybe the bee vac injured them. Since this was my first attempt at doing an extraction, I wasn't sure what to expect.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: First hive extraction - problems?

    Keep the suction as low as possible.
    Just enough to remove the bees as you dislodge them.
    Not where the thing just sucks right off the comb.

    Imagine yourself going through the vac. Make it gentle.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,992

    Default Re: First hive extraction - problems?

    Going down a corrugated tube at 100 mph does strange things most are not healthy.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: First hive extraction - problems?

    I try to avoid the vac at all cost. It can become a bee killer in no time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wichita Kansas
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: First hive extraction - problems?

    I'd prefer to not use a bee vac but how do you collect the bees without one? I can't imagine trying to brush them into a box. What am I missing here?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,045

    Default Re: First hive extraction - problems?

    A properly used vac does very little harm, but it's easy to not properly use one. Monitor the suction carefully and frequently. It should just barely pull the bees off the combs. If you find yourself wanting to turn it up to speed things along you're in the right range . I use a cheap router speed control to fine-tune the vac; the controller clips to my belt. My vac is one I made and it uses smooth-walled milk suction tubing, but I vacced with corrugated for years and the only problem I had was if the hose had a low spot bees would clump.

    Monitor as you go along because as the cages fill with bees, the suction dynamics change in a beevac (typically lessening suction).

    Also, vacs can get hot inside, fast. Once you turn off the vacuum the clock is ticking. I leave mine running anytime bees are in it as they can overheat quickly. As soon as I'm done (or a cage is full) I remove the cage, mist it with water and put in the shade. This overheating can seriously stress a vac full of bees and you'll get deadies later.

    Also, and this one's a heartbreaker, but so many times I've cut out a colony for a homeowner who doesn't tell me this, but it's clear that they've tried to kill the colony by spraying Raid into the entrance . Naturally this didn't work, but many cutout colonies have been poisoned and THEN they call the beekeeper, all solicitous about the health of the bees . These colonies are hard to rehabilitate, and is one of the reasons I don't bring comb along when re-hiving (except enough brood to anchor them).
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wichita Kansas
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: First hive extraction - problems?

    That was good information. Thanks Ben.

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