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I have to pull my supers this weekend due to time constraints. I have two hives of which I will be removing six supers. I checked the hives last weekend, and the bees were extremely mad when I went to pull off supers to check the brood nest. I don't usually do this but I hadn't checked on them since the beginning of summer. I'm glad I did as one of my non-honey hives had gone queenless. I was able to pull a frame of eggs and larva from a honey producing hive to give to the failing hive.

Since the bees are so defensive while sitting on all that honey, I wonder if anyone has an cheap and easy way to pull supers without getting attacked. I usually wear a bee jacket/hood with jeans but last weekend I took several stings through the jeans (I told you they were mad!) I will probably pull the supers around the noon hour so the bee population will be at it's lowest. I really don't want to use the leaf blower trick so I'm hoping for a better alternative. I have run out of time and cash and I do not have time to order fume boards or escape boards. Any ideas would be appreicated.
 

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"I wonder if anyone has an cheap and easy way to pull supers without getting attacked. ... I really don't want to use the leaf blower trick so I'm hoping for a better alternative. I have run out of time and cash and I do not have time to order fume boards or escape boards. Any ideas would be appreicated."
Given the special parameters you listed, you could sprinkle a little imitation almond flavoring (from the spice aisle at your grocery store) on your jeans, smoke the bees well, and use a brush. (But it's helpful to be able to use a fume board with Bee Quick or Honey-Bee-Gone, and a leafblower. My favorite fume board is one my buddy made with a golf towel, a piece of plywood, and a one by two.)
 

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I have pulled honey later in the evening. I wear a suite with veil and gloves. I pull single frames, rap them once on remaining frames ,the bees drop off and I put frame in a closed box. It does require pulling frame by frame but then I only take fully capped frames. I have trouble lifting full boxes so it works for me.
 

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Get help from an experienced beekeeper in your area. Maybe, since you described how things were when you were last in them, maybe you need more experience working your bees.

How are you going to extract? Why do you have to take the honey off this weekend? If there is any nectar coming in, around here anyway, I'd stand the supers of honey on END and let the bees leave them. As long as that doesn't start up robbing, it works.
 

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Keep in mind the bees may have been so aggressive due to being queenless. You may have calmed them down by giving them the chance to rear a queen. I also suspect that a queenless colony with honey is becoming more and more of a target for robbing.

As for how to harvest an aggressive colony. suit up or get stung. How to get them off the honey. thump them. I found that works very well. thump on the super with a mallet or something until all the bees come out of the top. keep in mind the bees move up when being thumped so yo don't start with the top box. in fact give them an empty box on top to move to. I stumbled across this idea form something I had sen in a video and on the spot need to gt bees out of a box on the fly. It got 100% of the bees out of a box 100% of the time.
 

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You didn't say if you used a smoker first; that's something that has to be done before lifting a super, bottom of the hive and top. Secondly, you might just be too aggressive and have been jarring or otherwise banging the boxes which can really upset a hive. A bee brush is another thing that will get bees mad unless it's used very gently.

After smoking you should be able to gently lift off the supers and place them on an inverted top cover; some more light smoking and lift off the next super. Once you get down to the brood boxes, confirm that you have brood and that will verify that you have a laying queen. Just go gently and slowly with smoke between movements.
 

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I suppose it could be called drumming as well. I don't even recall where I saw it but it came to mind so I gave it a try. All it took was a constant slight vibration to the hive and they bailed in mass and quickly.
 

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If you have the appropriate inner covers, buying some plastic bee escapes is really quite cheap, and has worked great for me. I always put the bee escapes on the day before I want to pull the supers, and when I come back to pull them, I have very few bees in the boxes. I pull my supers, drive them back up to the house (a 1/4 mile away), and brush any remaining bees off. They hang out for a little bit, and then toddle off back in the direction of the hives. I've never been stung pulling supers.
 
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