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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Hampden, ME
    Posts
    13

    Default How many bees do you smoosh?

    I'm still fairly new at this. I think things are going well so far this season. The only problem is that I'm bothered by the fact that each time I go into my hive I smoosh bees between the boxes, between the frames, and under my fingers. It seems like a lot of bees die. That crunching sound makes me cringe. I feel terrible, and I'm wondering if this is just part of it, or if the expert beekeepers move smoothly enough to avoid harming any bees most of the time.
    How do you do it?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,284

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    As few as I can, as many as I have to.

    When moving boxes I try to get one side clear of bees and set the next box on that edge then slide the upper box into position instead of setting it down in position.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    .25 bee per inspection. It helps if you dont wear any bee gear. Your more comfortable and can take your time.

    The best trick I've learned is to set the box down at an angle so it only touches in 4 places and then slowly rotate it into place.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Zero is the goal but I rarely obtain that. Kinda part of the deal.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,438

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsdepue View Post
    I'm still fairly new at this. I think things are going well so far this season. The only problem is that I'm bothered by the fact that each time I go into my hive I smoosh bees between the boxes, between the frames, and under my fingers. It seems like a lot of bees die. That crunching sound makes me cringe. I feel terrible, and I'm wondering if this is just part of it, or if the expert beekeepers move smoothly enough to avoid harming any bees most of the time.
    How do you do it?
    Thank you.
    Being a beekeeper means bees will die. That's why Vegans and some Vegetarians don't eat honey. Do what you can to minimize it, but it's going to happen. They make new ones all the time.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,691

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Just remember, each bee you smash counts for one teaspoon of honey. It adds up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    After an inspection, let them settle down then go back and watch below the entrance. I can usually count on at least 6 - 10 dead or dying bees there. Oh well, gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelette.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Another trick I do when I;m pushing frames together and the little suckers don't seem to want to move is slowly move the frame I'm pushing up against the other ones back and forth a couple of times so I don't squish the bees on the ends of the frame but put enough pressure on them so they move.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,817

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Smashed a bunch today. It was rainy on and off, overcast and windy.
    No one was happy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,531

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    each bee you smash counts for one teaspoon of honey
    I thought that each bee produces 1/12th teaspoon but we still dont like to smash them
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    I went into a hive the other day and found out that the last time I was in it, I put the inner cover back on upside down. There must have been 50 smashed bees under the top. I wont make that mistake again.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    I try really hard not to smoosh any - but my bees are thus far docile and not too bright! I usually get a couple when I am putting the boxes back on: it's an awful sound. They just don't move - or some of them do and then other ones come up to see what's going on. I have figured out how to handle the frames more smoothly now and haven't hurt any with that the last two inspections, but I still heard a crunch as I let the inner cover sit down.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    I think I smooshed 4 last time... I put a screened bottom board down on the ground with a Queen excluder on top of it. I set my first box down on top of that. The QE just helps bees from not pouring out the bottom, not that they would anyway. I then put my top feeder on top of that so bees don't crawl out and since it's the top box, they're used to it. When I take off my second box, I put that on top of the feeder and then put my top board on top of that. Since I'm at 3 boxes right now, that keeps them contained and calm while I check the bottom box. I smooshed one bee pulling a frame as for some reason I drifted the front end toward the box and got one. The second bee I heard a crunch putting the second box back on the hive. The third, I was clearing a few bees from the top of the feeder with my hive tool and accidently caught one with the end a little bit. The fourth was a dead bee in the top of the feeder from the second box.... not sure if I smooshed her but she was pretty fresh, but no visible signs of being crushed. Since I had my brother with me, before I set a box down, i would just show him the bottom to make sure no bees were running around.

    How about 'the one you remember the most'? The one bee I recall the most of me smooshing her... My hive has holes drilled in the front of each box for an entrance. They close off with a small piece of wood that's screwed into box and you just rotate it up or down to open the hole a little bit or a lot depending on if they're using it a lot or not. I keep only the bottom open but one time I opened the second just to check things out and see if they would use it. Well, after seeing no activity from the opening, I went to close it off, and of course as soon as I started to rotate the piece of wood to close it off a bee stuck her head out and .....CRUUUUNNNCH.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    I usually crush a few, and part of is probably from wearing gloves, but if I don't wear gloves I usually get stung then get angry and don't care as much if some get crushed. I say that you can't help crushing a few bees unless you took lots of time and was very careful, but I doubt it's worth it to spend the extra time.


    Nathan
    Good enough is perfect - Joel Salatin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Olmsted Falls, OH
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Maybe I am heartless but its their fault as I see it. I will gently place everything giving them ample time to get out of the way. If they are stubborn thats their choice. I attempt not to "smoosh" them but don't really feel guilty if I do. If I feel anything its aggrivation at failing in my attempt not to "smoosh" one.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    I used to be so extra careful when placing everything back together it would take a long time to do an inspection. Although I am extra careful when putting frames back, im not to cautious when putting boxes back on or the covers. Now, im not slamming things together, but if I hear that distinct crushing sound, I dont worry anymore, besides, the bees clean up the mess and get their protien!! With 60,000 bees in a box its hard to be perfect every time!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    I usually reap about 4 or 5 on an inspection. At this point, it typically comes from them not getting out of the way when I'm moving the frames back into position. I've gotten good at offsetting the boxes and then rotating them into place, so it usually pushes any straglers out of the way as the box slides into position. I even slowly move the frames back into place and give them a gentle nudge as sort of a "Hey, get out of the way" kind of gesture, but invariably there are one or two stubborn ones who don't get the hint and they get reapped in the process.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,817

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammyjay View Post
    I usually crush a few, and part of is probably from wearing gloves, but if I don't wear gloves I usually get stung then get angry and don't care as much if some get crushed. I say that you can't help crushing a few bees unless you took lots of time and was very careful, but I doubt it's worth it to spend the extra time.

    Nathan
    Understood !
    It's all fun and games til I get my third sting on the hands, ankles etc.
    I don't get flustered any longer just angry, not get in my truck and drive over the hives mad.
    I definately stop carrying about smashing a few, I couple quick puffs of smoke to drive them down and I slide the lid on. Smash a dozen? Too bad so sad!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Obviously, given that we now use only top-bar hives in our decidedly non-commercial operation, "the amount of bees that you|we smoosh" may or may not be particularly comparable. But one thing that we did notice right away is that there are things that you can do (at least, when handling a TBH) that seem to directly affect how defensive the hive becomes. For example, we've noticed a direct correlation between the number of openings that exist between the top bars, and the overall defensiveness of the hive. The more defensive the hive is, the more bees tend to put themselves into the position of being "smooshed."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,613

    Default Re: How many bees do you smoosh?

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyman46408 View Post
    I thought that each bee produces 1/12th teaspoon but we still dont like to smash them
    Ditto...12 bees' lifetimes to a teaspoon.

    Ed

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