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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    santa fe, nm, usa
    Posts
    153

    Default Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    Im going to make splits and need to get bees off of the frames. I was wondering if the shaking causes problems to the larvae or brood and that I should just use a brush to get them off. Which is less stressful for the bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    When we make splits we move the bees with the frames and mabee shake a couple more frames of bees into the split, but when I want all the bees off the frame I shake first then brush.
    Just my 2
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    I've noticed no problems with shaking. I just grafted three dozen larvae on Saturday and they didn't seem to be bothered by shaking, though I would probably avoid shaking them now. I brush full honey frames just because they're heavier.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    I have shaked and can get almost all the bees off the frames with a couple of shakes.
    The problem with the brush is it makes them testy, mad and down right displeasing to work with. I have two brushes and rarely use them

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    One thing that helps if you brush them is to spritz the brush with water. It gets on the wings a bit and makes them nicer. I've helped a few pros and they all spritz and use a heavy hand on brushing from the boxes. Frames most of them just shake.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    Bees don't mind being pushed along in front of the brush bristles, but if rolled under trailing bristles, they come up fighting mad. Brush with less pressure on the bristles.
    Walt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,014

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    Shaking frames of brood for the purposes of splitting works well. Brushing works well too, if you have one. Don't shake frames of young larvae for grafting and never shake a frame of queen cells, brush both.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    Reasons not to shake:
    1) if there is a queen cell involved it will damage the queen.
    2) if you have fragile comb (new comb, comb that isn't partly attached on all four sides etc.)

    Either way, remember, it is the element of surprise. It requires suddenness to brush (flick them) and it requires suddenness to shake. Never try to be gentle when brushing or shaking.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    When harvesting frame at a time, place your work-into box several yards away with a flat, oversized cover panel. Lift out a harvestable frame, shake vigorously over the open hive, and continuously while moving to the collection box. When you get to the work-into box, you will have no bees on the frame. The trick is to move the cover, get the frame into the box, and replace the cover without having airbourn bees alight on the frame.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    901

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    with harvesting honey I much more prefer brushing to shaking. If you have a full frame of honey you can shake it right out of the frame.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Is it better to shake or brush bees?

    I use a big feather to brush the bees now. I never can get enough bees off by shaking and since I use foundationless I'm a little worried about doing it to much, especially on the TBH's. When I used a brush the bees always burrowed into the brush and would be quite mad when they finally got out. I use quick short strokes with the feather and it seems to work much better, maybe I just never figured out how to use the brush right

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