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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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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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    Feb 2006
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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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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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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

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,953

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    1,224

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Vernon, NJ
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    12

    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
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    1,585

    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...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
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    129

    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    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!

  12. #12
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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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

  13. #13
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    These guys like Roland and Odfrank really do know what they are talking about (how can anyone argue with an entomological engineer ?). But seriously for a hive or two just get yourself a bee brush a smoker and temps warm enough for the bees to break cluster (very important). Gently brush or shake the bees in the entrance and they will all crawl back inside within the hour, the chances of killing the queen are pretty minimal. Sort back any frames of brood and put them back on to be taken off later. It really shouldn't take more than a minute or so per box. Come on Ace You can do it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
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    216

    Default Re: Wind velocity to strip bees from comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    I agree, Odfrank. Do they not believe what we write?

    Crazy Roland, Entomological Engineer.
    I don't think some of them care what you have to say. I think they are just trying to up their post #'s to look like they are authorities on whatever they respond to. Know it alls and trolls.
    But know that some of us DO want to hear what you have to say, and use your advice. Keep the knowledgeable responses coming.
    thanks,
    mike

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
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    278

    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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