......nice idea for making a bee brush!
That's great. I've been using feathers to brush bees off when harvesting and they work well. If a frame is separated from adjacent frames a little, the feather can reach down between and brush off most of the bees before lifting the frame out. I drill a hole in a wine cork and shove the quill into that, but they sometimes come loose.
For a little stiffer brush, you can use two feathers, facing the same direction, and wrap the quills with twine or cloth to keep them together. Keep the feathers tight to each other and it will be a little stiffer. I have seen a few beekeeping videos from Europe where they use this type of feather brush, and it seems quite effective.
Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York
I have seen videos of people using the whole wing.
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
-- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”
You can buy the wings here. Less than $1 each if you buy $50 worth (shipping gets you if you buy less). Find some friends. They do work great.
Tandy Leather Co. sells artificial eagle feathers (Turkey Feathers) also. Nice large quills. Years ago I was at pyramid lake at the time the pelicans where molting. the beach was littered with large flight feathers. I gathers up a bunch of them but don't know what has happened to them since. Very nice large stiff feathers.
Goose quills would be good also.
If you have any sporting good stores that carry fly tying materials wings may be easy to get.
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Find a goose hunter and you will get a lifetime supply. Tis the season. Goose Season.