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Discussion Starter #1
I need to harvest some honey, but there are bees all over the outside of the hive. I understand that they do this when it is hot/humid - which it is. They did it all last summer, too. But when I come around with the smoker, they don't go back inside - they are all over me. This will be my first honey harvest - any suggestions? Could I spray them with sugar water?
 

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Try adding more or better ventilation to the hive, bottom screen board, prop the outer cover up a bit with a stick, any of these might help. I havent seen too much discussion on it but I like slatted racks too, gives them a place to hang out and would seem to ventilate better too.
 

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Sounds like they need a lot more room and ventilation. Shouldn’t these girls be working during the day? Slotted racks were once thought to be as important an invention as the standard size super itself, just didn’t seem to catch on all that well but I like them. Barracks for the field forces.
If/when you pull honey frames they’ll have even less room than they do now unless you replace the frames taken out with empty or foundation.
First honey harvest – pull a frame, frame holding tool will help, brush the bees off and set the frame in a different super about ten feet away, cover immediately. Repeat process until all the honey frames are moved, easiest and fastest way I have ever found.
Hanging around during the day, not working, I would not be at all surprised to find swarm cells in those lower brood boxes.
 

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why do you want them back in the hive.. you will only hae to shake more off the frames you want to harvest.
 

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Thank you.....I think I am a little nervous about doing my first harvest. All I can envision is these thousands of bees trying to protect what is theirs. I am planning on using the fume board to extract the frames. I am glad to know about putting them about 10' away - I was planning on stacking them in my little wagon right by the hive. Makes better sense to move them away. Thanks again.
 

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why do you want them back in the hive.. you will only hae to shake more off the frames you want to harvest.

When I smoke the hive, it just stirs up the bees on the outside. when I put the fume board on, I thought they would be really mad since I was stealing their honey. Since the fume board won't do anything to the ones on the outside of the hive, I figured they would be stinging the one doing the stealing of their honey. I think I am just apprehensive about my first harvest.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like they need a lot more room and ventilation. Shouldn’t these girls be working during the day? Slotted racks were once thought to be as important an invention as the standard size super itself, just didn’t seem to catch on all that well but I like them. Barracks for the field forces.
If/when you pull honey frames they’ll have even less room than they do now unless you replace the frames taken out with empty or foundation.
First honey harvest – pull a frame, frame holding tool will help, brush the bees off and set the frame in a different super about ten feet away, cover immediately. Repeat process until all the honey frames are moved, easiest and fastest way I have ever found.
Hanging around during the day, not working, I would not be at all surprised to find swarm cells in those lower brood boxes.
I am planning on putting the supers back on after I harvest. I will check for swam cells in my brood box - thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Try adding more or better ventilation to the hive, bottom screen board, prop the outer cover up a bit with a stick, any of these might help. I havent seen too much discussion on it but I like slatted racks too, gives them a place to hang out and would seem to ventilate better too.
Thank you. I will prop the cover up a bit - that might help. I don't know anything about slatted racks - will check into them. It's only May, and it gets much hotter as the summer goes on.
 

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I've used a fume board for several years and I don't smoke at all when robbing the honey. Just let the board do it's thing, then brush off any that are left. Make sure you cover the honey you have taken off so that bees cannot get to it. A damp towel with some weight on the sides works well. I sewed light metal rods onto the four sides of a towel so that it covers quickly and fully. It helps to cover the scent of open honey. If the flow is over, the bees will really try to get open honey.
 
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