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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. what is the best way you have found to get the bees off the hive to harvest, or if it is attached and breaks off and needs to get it out of there? Thanks.

edit: top bar of course!
 

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I've seen videos of folks clearing suppers with a leaf blower. I was thinking of trying my wet dry vac on blow. My leaf blower would be to unwieldy to use and I don't have any volunteers in the house willing to give me a hand.

I was just going to place a nuc by me and then put the bar into the nuc after blowing off the bees and then covering with a towel or something similar.
 

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If it is established comb that has some strength give it a hard downward shake without twisting. brush the rest off with a brush, feather, large leaf whatever. put it in a container with a top so they can't get back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the wet vac on blow idea. More gentle than a leaf blower, and more control. I will try that.

Jake, some of these are pretty wide and heavy. I would be a little timid about a hard downward shake. Have you ever lost one?
 

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Yes, a top bar nuc, just a place to set the honey bar aside while either getting more honey or closing up the hive. I have a bunch of top bar nucs. You could put it in a bucket if you like, but someplace to keep the robbers from trying to get to the honey. With my bars I could use a Lang box, but that may not work for you, it all depends on the size of your bars. I would rather not just dump all of the combs into the crush bucket. If there is some really pretty comb I would rather cut some of it out for comb honey.

Along the same lines as the Ammonia nitrate you could spray bee quick into a nuc and put the honey frames in that. That would get them rolling out, and it doesn't smell bad. And probably a little easier on the lungs if you do inhale it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, a top bar nuc, just a place to set the honey bar aside while either getting more honey or closing up the hive. I have a bunch of top bar nucs. You could put it in a bucket if you like, but someplace to keep the robbers from trying to get to the honey. With my bars I could use a Lang box, but that may not work for you, it all depends on the size of your bars. I would rather not just dump all of the combs into the crush bucket. If there is some really pretty comb I would rather cut some of it out for comb honey.

Along the same lines as the Ammonia nitrate you could spray bee quick into a nuc and put the honey frames in that. That would get them rolling out, and it doesn't smell bad. And probably a little easier on the lungs if you do inhale it.
I like it. I will build some sort of frame of the proper length and give it a go. I don't like the chemicals. I know they probably are fine, but don't use them if I can avoid it. Thanks.
 

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A nuc size TBH that will hold ten or so bars that has a bee escape. Place the bars of honey in with the bees. No need to brush or shake bees. They will return to their hive within a few hours. I drill 4 or 5 three quarter inch holes and use rolled up tubes of 1/8th" hardware cloth to place in the holes. The tubes should extend out about 3" or more so the bees cant find their way in only out of the nuc box.
 

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The typical method on soft comb would be to brush them. A bee brush or a large feather (goose, turkey etc.) will work. If you wait for a 40 F day you'll find the bees mostly clustered at one end and you can harvest from the other...
 

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A "bee brush" is one very-useful tool that my Dad gave me, from the days when we kept (Lang ...) hives when I was a child. It's a soft-bristled brush that's great for gently nudging "the ever-curious ones" out of the way. (And you can stick it in the dishwasher, top shelf.)

In a pinch, though ... grab a nearby pine bough. Brush g-e-n-t-l-y and patiently.

Carry harvested comb several yards away and put it into a separate plastic tub (in the shade, since bees will be in it!) After a few minutes, lift the bars out and brush the bees off once again. They'll probably return to the hive at that point.

A light spray-bottle mist/spray of "ordinary water" will also "dampen" their spirits, without actually harming them.

If a few determined-ones insist on followng you to your front porch, try to catch 'em in a jar, and take 'em home later.
 

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I should probably point out that getting bees off of combs is when you do NOT want to be gentle. Gentle will not work and will make them mad. If the comb is strong enough for shaking, grab one end of the bar in your fist and hit that fist with your other fist to jar the bees off. A double hit is very effective. If you are brushing flick them off. Do NOT try to gently brush them off, they will just hold on tighter and get mad when you brush harder. If you flick them off they are just surprised instead of angry. Anytime you brush or shake bees off of combs a lot of them will end up in the air. If they are not pinging your veil, don't worry about them, they are just flying and confused. If they re pinging your veil, then they are warning you. If they are clinging and stinging, you might want to close up and come back on a nicer day... or keep going so you can "get 'er done". But knowing the difference between confused flying bees and angry bees can give you a lot of peace of mind.
 

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i tend to buy things as i need them, so no bee brush, as of yet. i just use the smoker, a little shake, a nudge with my finger and i talk nice too them. i know, i sound like a 'new age knut'. not really. my bees are like little puppies. folks have said 'keep doing that and you'll get stung'. i have been stung a few times, mostly my fault. i walk barefoot in the backyard or get one caught where they can't get out. ie. up my shirt or shorts leg. i have learned to 'tuck' things in.
 
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