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  1. #1
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    Default Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Does anybody have any idea what wind velocity it requires to blow bees off from comb? Do you think a leaf blower will do it?

    I was wondering if you could hoist up a stack of supers from the brood chamber about 2 inches and blow down through the combs without taking them out of the box and get the bees to go down into the brood chamber or at least the next box below.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Sure more than enough air pressure to do the job. It is best to set each box on some sort of chute in front of the hive that funnels the bees back into the entrance (think modified TV tray). You don't want to blow them over comb that has been broken apart or the bees will stick in the honey. Best of luck.............Barry
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    While working on the first bee blower, I remember the 150 MPH figure as being adequate, but that 200 MPH was better. The "seat of the pants" test was if it could take the skin on the inside of your arm and make waves in it, it was good. We have a blower built out of a John Deere Leaf blower, but it does not work as well as the original from 1966(see July ABJ).

    Crazy Roland.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Not an expert on blowers Roland, have only used them occasionally through the years but isnt the MPH business kind of dependent on how small an opening the air is blowing out of? I am thinking that the best way to rate them is CFS.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I was wondering if you could hoist up a stack of supers from the brood chamber about 2 inches and blow down through the combs without taking them out of the box and get the bees to go down into the brood chamber or at least the next box below.
    No, you have to blow box by box with the other end open. You can not even blow them fully out blowing from one side, I place them on a turntable so I can blow both sides.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    blowing the bees straight down would not work. you would have to be on a step ladder. the super has to be on end and the bees blown away in a horizontal method. the bees have to be blown from the bottom bar side. hard to develop any improvements if you have never done it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Does anybody have any idea what wind velocity it requires to blow bees off from comb? Do you think a leaf blower will do it?
    I dont recommend using a blower. All you will accomplish is a wildly out of sort bee yard and the bees will get back into the super as quickly as you blow them out. Hardly any more effective than the snatch and run method. Use bee escapes and a brush. Happier bees, happier beekeeper.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-17-2011 at 09:24 AM. Reason: quoting

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Well, the blower method works, but certainly not in some form of hoist, blown straight down into the chambers. Some of these guys have blowers down to a science. But your absolutely right about supers stuck in a hoist just filling right back up with ticked of bees.... he thought this one through about as much as he did his forklift requirement for every bee keeper so they didn't have to lift anything heavy...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    I use a leaf blower when I have a lot of supers to take off. Use the nozzle end that is flat. I just set the super on the lid tipped up and blow through the frames. Often have to turn the box around, spread the frames with my hive tool, etc, to get the last few bees out. Having a second person to do this would help.

    I don't use a chute. Sure there is a huge cloud of bees in front but they are confused, rarely sting much, and end up in a "beard" like cluster at the entrance after a minute or two.

    Oh, and by the way, be sure and keep the strings on your veil short and out of the way. Nothing more frustrating than a string end sucked into the air intake and jammed there!

    "Met How" Kraig

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Using leaf blower w/ throttle. Smoke the door, Pull the supers, carefully place supers where exiting bees won't be crushed (side of hive on empty super), put the top back on, put one super @ a time on top facing front on it's side( frames vertical), blow bees toward front of hive, stack & cap supers so you're not taking bees to honeyhouse. That is my plan. We (5) did 100 hives in eight hrs 10 yards within 10 miles of honeyhouse.
    Pretty wild in a yard of 30+ hives after you put that many bees in the air.
    Note to self; next time bee gets inside your veil go further than 25 yards from the ten hives that are now airborne before removing veil to avoid getting 10-15 stings in the melon instead of one, Doh!
    Last edited by lakebilly; 09-15-2011 at 04:25 AM.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    There ya go, a guy thats doing it. Thanks Lakebilly, you also reminded me why I don't do it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Thanks guys. Robert it appears that some people take questions seriously. Your spouting off shows your ability to answer questions about bees.

    My intent was to prevent the cloud of bees around the hive and from what was suggested that can't happen. As a hobbyist you are always concerned with loosing the queen because you don't have a dozen banked and you usually only have one or two hives. I am not going to blast them off in front of the hive.

    Will smoke make them go down? Again if I lift the stack a couple of inches and use a gentle blower with the smoker feeding the intake. To be truthful all I am really concerned with is the queen leaving the supers and going down in the hive. If I am assured that she is down there all I have to do is truck the stack away from the hive and wait for the bees to return to the hive on their own. I think.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Is it Jim or Barry? Anyhow velocity is dependant on pressure and orifice size and how close you are to the nozzle. CFM or CFS is a rating for how many nozzles you could support to keep the pressure from dropping. Like in a leaf blowing application it is velocity that will strip the bees from the comb once you are above a certain pressure.

    Thinking along the lines of automation you would want to use something called an air knife which would strip the bees from the comb very successfully. The advantage is very high velocity with low air consumption. You can have them made to any length you need.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Some one wrote:

    I dont recommend using a blower. All you will accomplish is a wildly out of sort bee yard and the bees will get back into the super as quickly as you blow them out. Hardly any more effective than the snatch and run method. Use bee escapes and a brush. Happier bees, happier beekeeper.

    We have found quite the opposite to be true.

    AS to the MPH/CFS debate, The MPH measure is better than you think. A million CFS passing through a mile square hole will do nothing. You need the Air flow(CFS) plus the velocity to accomplish the task. Most of the modern leaf blowers fall short on both counts, not enough volume, and not enough velocity. The first one from the 60's where the best. 5 hp Chrysler 2 strokes had power, Blower Application mad a great fan.

    You need to build a frame with a chute below it. The bees get blown out of the super, which is resting as usual, not tipped, and go down the chute to land on the ground in front of their hive. No bees in the air. They calmly walk back into their hive.

    The problems seem to have arisen when people have attempted to replicate the original equipment with sub-standard pieces blowers and setups.

    It is really not that difficult to get right.

    Crazy Roland

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    You need to build a frame with a chute below it. The bees get blown out of the super, which is resting as usual, not tipped, and go down the chute to land on the ground in front of their hive. No bees in the air. They calmly walk back into their hive.
    I assume this works because you say it does but if the chute is above the hive directing the bees right in the hive below, why wouldn't that work? And if it works for one super why wouldn't it work for a stack of suppers? Air velocity and CFM would be the same.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    --------I am not going to blast them off in front of the hive.

    It's as simple as using a hive tool to make sure the supers are filled with capped honey, not brood, LIFTING them up to inspect from the bottom will allow you to see that... there are rare occasions where the queen will be in a super of capped honey, you just have to make a judgement call as to whether or not to use the EFFORT to inspect thoroughly, or take your chances... those that are using blowers have been telling you that blowing them out on a chute so that they land on the ground in front of the hive is the proper way to do it successfully... too they are speaking from experience, or you may have listened to them...

    -------Will smoke make them go down?

    Of course. Have you never used a smoker?? Some try not to smoke them out of supers in an effort to be faster and not have a smoke scent or taste in their honey...

    -------If I am assured that she is down there all I have to do is truck the stack away from the hive and wait for the bees to return to the hive on their own. I think.

    This will NOT work... they will not just return to their hives while the supers are in the open, you will just cause them to start robbing out the supers... then you will have a REAL yard full of bees...
    Last edited by Barry; 09-17-2011 at 09:29 AM. Reason: personal

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Yesterday I used BM's Honey Harvester (I think it's an essential oil concoction; natural) it works ok. aint usin it on the 40+ hives left to do. If you have a couple of hives & time efficiency isn't an issue then brushing may be the ticket. my mentor would never have used a blower if it hurt the bees, & I have never seen bees hurt, mad yes, mostly from the aggressive approach to gitt'ner done. not hurt. I would never have been stung had I tied my veil correctly & left it on! Use an excluder if you are concerned about queen in HS's. in the 300+ HS's we blew them out maybe 100 bees made it back to the HHouse, we didn't cap(telescopic cover, top & bottom) them. That's what I do different in my approach. Once the supers are on the truck you get some robbers but from a mathematical view, I would say a VERY LOW collateral damage to the bees.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Well, I have blown bees our of the boxes using a livestock blower, but this last year I built some double triangle bee escapes. Its way easier if you just have a few hives. Put the escape on one day & come back to a nearly empty super the next, and no upset bees either. I did have one case where it didn't work. When I checked there was brood in the super, so I figured I would just leave the escape in place & it a couple weeks I could go ahead & remove the super. Well, it was a good plan, just didn't work. After two weeks, I still had eggs up there, so apparently the queen was up there too. Removed the super & put it back down upside down, but still waiting for the last of the brood to hatch.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Reneal,

    Upside down??

    What is that about??

    "Met How" Kraig

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Does anybody have any idea what wind velocity it requires to blow bees off from comb? Do you think a leaf blower will do the jobb?
    I watched my neighbor, from a good distance, -lol- do it with a leafblower, it worked.
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

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