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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did an inspection of the 2nd hive body today. I faced things I wasn't prepared for. For one thing, I tried pulling up one frame that seemed to be stuck on something but I couldn't tell what. I pulled and pulled and finally it popped loose. I saw that there was comb on the top of the first hive body that was attached to the frame in 2nd hive body. Even when I pulled it loose it was still too heavy to lift with my cumbersome gloves because I just couldn't get a good confident grip on it (how is that for wimpy). I was afraid I'd drop it so I left it. Then I tried to slide frames over and I couldn't because there appeared to be more comb on that first hive body.

Ok, what now? Do I remove the 2nd hive body and scrape all that comb off the top of the first hive body? I didn't check for queen cells or anything because, as usual, I was so befuddled by the comb that prevented me from moving things smoothly I gave up. Not my shining moment as a beekeeper. :( How much moving around of hive bodies is ok at this point?
 

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You use the hook end of your hive tool and put it under one frameand the lever end of it on top of the frame next to it and you lever one end of the frame with the hook under it up to brak the burr comb underneath. Then you do the same on the other end of the frame. Then you should be able to lift the frame out. You'll want to do this on all the frames in the top deep that are burr combed to the lower frames. You should then be able to lift the top deep off the bottom deep. They probably built a bunch of drone comb between them so youl find a whole raft of big larvae in the open cells. You can remove the burr comb off the top of the bootom frames and also off the bottom of the top frames. By next week they'll have rebuilt it all. Are you really intending to inspect the bottom deep? you did that last week, are you looking for anything in particular?

Even when I pulled it loose it was still too heavy to lift
Sure it wasn't still stuck to the burr comb on top of the bottom frame. If not I guess you'll find it's full of honey, could weigh 10+ lbs - I just removed 7 frames of honey from a deep and extracted close on 70 lbs.

You should find the frames at the hive sides are empty and not burr combed so starting by removing one of those and putting it on your perch should make it easier to work your way into the top deep.
 

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They will always build brace comb there...it makes a bridge for them to go between boxes. There are times to remove it, for instance if you are going from 10 to 9 frames in a super. I usually scrape it off if I have the boxes apart but I haven't ever pulled boxes apart just to remove it, however if you would like to remove the upper box to remove it that would not be a problem as I see it. Also if you are having trouble getting a grip on frames with your gloves you may want to look into a frame grip.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Frame-Grip/productinfo/764/

Hope that helps.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Peter,

Thanks!
Yeah, it finally popped free and it was still somewhat heavy. I'm probably overstating how heavy. I couldn't get a good grip on it and it did appear very full of honey and it was the only frame in there like that. When I felt the weight and realized I couldn't get a good grip with those goatskin gloves I chickened out. A good beek would have removed his/her gloves and just grabbed it. :(

Your post also makes me realize that I'm not using my hive tool properly. Thank you for that info. I'm always doing things with my hands and then fretting over why things aren't working.

I don't want to inspect the bottom deep, I just thought I would have to remove the upper deep just to scrape off that comb so I could get my frames to move around. I didn't realize the bees would do that with the comb. I just kept looking for burr comb on top (I have a lot to learn) :eek:

Mike,

Thanks! It is good to know that I don't have to rush into moving the hive bodies around. Nothing intimidates me more than doing just that.

Thanks for the link to the frame gripper. I would like that.
 

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When I felt the weight and realized I couldn't get a good grip with those goatskin gloves I chickened out. A good beek would have removed his/her gloves and just grabbed it.

Not me, I have respect for my hands and my left arm is still swollen from an unexpected sting on the inner wrist on Sunday- never even saw it, was just walking on the driveway nearest hive sevral hundred yards away. I use goatskin gloves and find them not all clumsy, never been stung thru tem either, cowskin are clumsy.
 

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About cumbersome gloves.....

I was at the mechanics last winter and noticed he was wearing a rubber glove with long sleeves. I asked him about them and he said they help keep the various chemicals off his sensitive skin. He gave me a pair and I've been using the same pair all spring for my hive inspections. They're made of thick nitrile (no stings yet, though I've seen a few attempt it :lookout:), have a powdered coating inside (absorbs the sweat on a hot day) with a sleeve long enough to tuck my beesuit sleeves into. They provide great movement and I don't feel like I'm gonna drop anything. A box of 50 (25 pair) is about $30.

The brand is called Dura Flock and is made by microflex. You can order a free sample here -> http://www.duraflockrocks.com

p.s. I'm not on the payroll.
 

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The first thing you do aftersmoking the entrance and removing the covers is slide the hive tool in between the upper and lower hive odies and pry the upper one up, breaking the burr comb that has been built between the top bars of the bottom super and the bottom bars of the upper super.

Then, standing beside the hive, stick the hive tool between the super and the end bar of the frame closest to you and push the frame away. Do the same to the other end bar.

Now do the same to break the propolis bond from between the first and second frame and then the third frame. Remove the second frame. I've almost always found that the easiest frame to remove. Perhaps it is the angle of attack, I don't know.

This is what I do. I hope you didn't think that I was talking down to anyone. I just didn't notice anyone writing about how to avoid what the op was about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mike,

Sounds like an excellent plan to me. I'll give that a try the next inspection. My bees haven't been playing with propolis yet so I didn't think all this prying boxes and frames was in order. I've learned my lesson on that one. :p

Peter,

I like the goatskin gloves too, I think they are the wrong size though. I need to go smaller.

Elldredge, Thanks for the info and link! It is nice to know of other options.
 
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