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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    174

    Default How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    I'm new to top bar hives this year and wonder what other people do to keep from crushing bees between the topbars when you slide them together after an inspection. It seems like its quite a chore to get them all out from between the bars and just wondering if someone has an easy way to accomplish this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    I use what I call a "bee-down strip". Here's an older thread about it.

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    Excellant idea! Thank you for passing that along as I intend on looking in on the new package in my top bar today. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    The one "official" tool that I use is a bee-brush. A long soft brush whose bristles will gently move a bee out of the way without hurting or disturbing her. Sweep on both sides of the bar with an easy fluid motion of your hands. Get the bees to move out of the way without unnecessarily pushing them out of the way. Lower one end of the bar into place (brush, brush...), then the other end, teasing it up and down (brush, brush... both sides...) until it's nearly settled. I push the bristles of the brush into the opening at the end of the bar one last time, then push it down and move on. Sometimes they fly away; sometimes they walk. Takes seconds.

    Anything you would do with your hands, or by blowing on them, you instead do with the brush, making lazy, relaxed, sweeping movements. It's downright Zen...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    smoke.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    Just got back from the beeyard. I used the edge of a mouse guard to keep the bees down. Worked great. Its not as long as the top bars but it did everything I needed. First bit of capped brood appearing too!!! Just ten days after install.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    I just line up the bar (about an inch above the rest) with the bar I'm trying to put it up against and then gently move it down. This usually pushes the bees down or out, crushing far fewer. I've got a lot of top bar hives and I can move through them pretty fast. Make sure when working through the hive that you never leave multiple bars gapped, otherwise it's an even bigger chore putting it all back together!

    Best,
    Matt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    I'm with Cacklewack, but I've used Adam's "bee down strip" too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: How to replace bars without crushing bees????

    I push one side of the bar closed and then smoke the bees down while closing up the other side.

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