Cracking Hives The Easy Way - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    The comb area on a plastic frame extends almost to the tops and bottoms of the frame. There is no 1/2" or so of a perimeter flat surface area at bee space dimension like on a wooden frame which keeps them from building comb up and over.
    Frank

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    it was great having a face and a voice to put with your posts ot, many thanks for the video.

    i think ya'll are onto something there with the plastic vs. wood frame comparison.

    all my frames are wood and i've never had that much comb in the gaps between boxes.

    part of that may be that all of my hive bodies come from the same supplier, and are constructed such that 3/8" bee space is divided equally across the gap.

    what little comb i get there breaks loose pretty easily, but at times requires a small rotation of the box being removed if the frames in the box below want to ride up.

  4. #23
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,249

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Hope i didn't underwhelm you with my strange accent. But hey, I don't have the accent, you guys do.

    But seriously, SP do you have natural comb in your hives? If so and the hive is allowed a natural amount of drone comb, they build a noticeably less amount of burr between boxes.

    I noticed it when i tried some natural comb hives, the boxes pretty much came right apart. Course, they were wood frames also, back then.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  5. #24
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,249

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Swarmhunter View Post
    It looks lke well over a half inch to me. I could be wrong though
    Oh i get what you saying now Swarmhunter, you are looking at the burr on the top box and think there is that big of a gap between boxes. That was actually an ill fitting top feeder.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
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    240

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Glad you explained that about it being a feeder. Sorry to judge to soon. Hope your season is going good.
    Jerry

  7. #26
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    10,332

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    do you have natural comb in your hives? If so and the hive is allowed a natural amount of drone comb, they build a noticeably less amount of burr between boxes.
    i have do some natural comb in the hives, but most of the comb is drawn on plastic foundation. and yes, often times the burr is from the bees attempting to drawn drone comb wherever they find enough space to do so.

    this happens to a greater extent where i have spaced out 9 frames in 10 frame supers.

  8. #27
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,191

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    this happens to a greater extent where i have spaced out 9 frames in 10 frame supers.
    SP, are you spacing the 9 brood frames evenly in a 10 frame box? That will always encourage drone brood at top and bottom of frame. Push the 9 frames almost together, with the extra space at the sidewalls. The wider spacing is honey/drone spacing.

  9. #28
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    SP, are you spacing the 9 brood frames evenly in a 10 frame box?
    i have been putting 10 frames in the single deep at the bottom of the stack, and then 9 frames in the medium supers above that. the drone comb gets built at the bottom of the super frames as the broodnest expands up into them coming out of winter.

    keeping the frames with brood in them pushed together makes sense.

    i'm giving some thought to putting 10 frames in the first medium super above the deep, then an excluder, and then 9 frames above the excluder for honey, perhaps giving roland's method of moving capped brood up above the excluder and rotating empty comb back down a try.

    also considering converting some of the hives to double deeps and some to all mediums to make it easier to maintain 10 frames in the brood boxes.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    1,783

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Square I use Lauries trick of fitting coated plastic foundations cut in half and the half centered in the frame and these are placed to the outside of the brood boxes, the center is drawn in worker comb and the outsides in drone comb. This has stopped a lot of drone comb between frames, you can also cut out the capped drone brood if you wish and the bees just do it all over again.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    279

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Older we get the more we learn! As I have progressed (IMO) my colonies are propolizing more and more as well as producing some occasional burr comb. I have also noticed some boxes "grew" in height and need trimming. One trick I have added is to use a thin chisel/wedge and a wide, actually two different widths, plaster's knifes. I slip that into and at times across the joint to insure the combs get released. As propolizing has increased, the combs mostly stay in place now. But I still use this method often with brood chambers to minimize disturbing brood comb.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Loranger La
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    11

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Good idea Oldtimer. Nothing worse than lifting a deep with another attached. An extra "hand" really helps when working alone. J

    Stuck together Hive boxes and frames are such a pain that I designed a hive tool to make my life easier.
    I got tired of setting everything down to fight the boxes and frames, not to mention dropping or otherwise misplacing my steel hive tool.
    It worked so well, I decided to add it to our online store.
    I recently received a patent on the tool, which I thought was pretty cool.
    Check it out.
    hive tool.jpg

  13. #32
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    6,887

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    So OT. I would lose the plastic and go back to wood. Nothing quite like plastic to have stuck together frames.

    We also only have major problems with comb between boxes on the few we have with those PF plastic frames. I was puzzled when my good buddy Charlie gave me a whole box of those for FREE! When we complained to him about the massive burr combing between the boxes he admitted that is why he gave them to us.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Central Florida
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    35

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The comb area on a plastic frame extends almost to the tops and bottoms of the frame. There is no 1/2" or so of a perimeter flat surface area at bee space dimension like on a wooden frame which keeps them from building comb up and over.
    I think you might be on to something here. I hate the excessive burr comb I get on the full plastic frames I have. Does anyone make a plastic frame with a thick top and bottom bar? It would use a lot more material but I think it would be worth it.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
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    227

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by dd33 View Post
    I think you might be on to something here. I hate the excessive burr comb I get on the full plastic frames I have. Does anyone make a plastic frame with a thick top and bottom bar? It would use a lot more material but I think it would be worth it.
    It would add weight and expense which would defeat the reason for using it. The developers thought about the keeper and the profit margin and forgot about the bug in the box when designing.
    Simplest solution would be to go back to using wooden frame which has managed to be an effective and carefully designed component for the last 172 years. That's just me.
    Help is here to never misplace that hive tool again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvwlSiOzgOU

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, MA USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Harmony Farms View Post
    Stuck together Hive boxes and frames are such a pain that I designed a hive tool to make my life easier.
    I got tired of setting everything down to fight the boxes and frames, not to mention dropping or otherwise misplacing my steel hive tool.
    It worked so well, I decided to add it to our online store.
    I recently received a patent on the tool, which I thought was pretty cool.
    Check it out.
    hive tool.jpg
    Great design, glad I saw this - just ordered one!

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Oldtimer:

    Thank you for your reply. I sincerely appreciate it. I read about utilizing wire to separate the boxes on a Warre website but it made no mention of putting handles on both ends- this is a brilliant idea.

    I gave the wire trick a go last Summer and ended up lacerating my pinkies in the process. 'Live and learn' as they say.

    Thanks again for the helpful input. Here's hoping your season winds down very successfully.

    Russ
    Hi Russ I used to have a wire saw in the Boy Scouts,, compact,,, I see this one "Dottie CS100 Cable Saw" ,, Home Depot has a PVC saw as well, "PVC Pipe Cable Saw" Seems either procure one of these or make one, the Pinkies will thank you.
    GG

  18. #37
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    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
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    1,664

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Hi Russ I used to have a wire saw in the Boy Scouts,, compact,,, I see this one "Dottie CS100 Cable Saw" ,, Home Depot has a PVC saw as well, "PVC Pipe Cable Saw" Seems either procure one of these or make one, the Pinkies will thank you.
    GG
    Gray Goose:

    As always, you have great ideas- I had no idea such a tool existed, but it looks like that would do just the trick. Here's one at Home Depot:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-PV...-111/304583909

    Thank you again for the input- I really appreciate it!

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, MA USA
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    30

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Good story FP! You know you have made it once you thought of an idea that was out there 200 years ago. . Like the old saying, there is nothing new under the sun!

    About that. I watched a pretty interesting video about traditional beekeeping in Japan. Turns out the traditional Japanese hive is very similar in dimensions to a Warre. The beekeeper had a wire with a wooden handle at each end. He smacked a wedge in between the boxes then put the wire in and basically sawed his way through all the comb using the wire until the box was detached and he could take it off.

    There's a plan!
    Potters use the same thing to cut clay - you can use a guitar string (the lowest 'E' string would be best), and put it through a hole drilled in cut-off pieces of broom handle and tie it off.

  20. #39
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    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
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    1,664

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by TJC1 View Post
    Potters use the same thing to cut clay - you can use a guitar string (the lowest 'E' string would be best), and put it through a hole drilled in cut-off pieces of broom handle and tie it off.
    Thanks, TJC1. This past summer I actually used the high 'E' string thinking that the smaller diameter would be better for cutting. While it is counter-intuitive, I believe you are right that the larger diameter would make for better separation as you are more 'sawing' than you are 'cutting'.

    Thanks again for the input.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Cracking Hives The Easy Way

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    Read the old issues of Gleanings in Bee Culture for the 1890s and early 1900s, it shows the trials and errors of developing the frame we now use. The beekeepers and equipment manufacturers put a lot of thought and effort into the equipment we now use. It also shows the effect on the bees of very small differences in measurements.
    I agree completely. I have always maintained that 'the Langstroth hive is a very good design'. That has long been my response to those who want to do something different.

    The longer the hive remains 'uncracked' the harder the boxes are to separate. This is yet another reason to
    harvest more often. Another compelling reason (for me) are the ever present hive beetles.

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