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I run double deeps and add supers as needed through the season, sometimes up to five. It seemed like genius when I had 2 hives and a good plan back when I had 5 and now that I have 33-(hopefully up to 60 or so next spring) its like plain old stupidity. Add that height to the 1 foot tall stands I build, it too darn high and with the weekends harvest-I'm struggling to type this message with sore hands, shoulders and an achy back. Moving forward I'm not going to be lazy. Check the hives and once the first one is full, it get extracted and recycled back on top. God Bless the Commercial Guys!

With age comes wisdom -maybe.
 

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Honey Hive Farms: We deliver bee packages, queens & bulk honey in 8 states
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I fill your pain. I Missouri we go with a lot of boxes to get them through the Winter. Sometimes if they are to tall or heavy ..thats all the time, pull half the frames and put them into another hive body so your only lifting off half the weight. Pulling 10 frames are truly heavy, for sure if your using deeps for supers. Dont get hurt, not much help to your bees if your all messed up. Pace yourself and be smart about lifting.. Wish you well
 

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I at times use a stool.
not sure I would extract "every" super seems the mess would be almost constant.
I have done at 3rd extract the first 2 but that was a super shortage year.
sorry you had 5 supers per hive.......
many places, have lower harvest, be carefull what you wish for.

GG
 

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I'm struggling to type this message with sore hands, shoulders and an achy back.
And here is why I talk about ergonomics and injury prevention.
Commercial people can do whatever they want to make their big money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I at times use a stool.
not sure I would extract "every" super seems the mess would be almost constant.
I have done at 3rd extract the first 2 but that was a super shortage year.
sorry you had 5 supers per hive.......
many places, have lower harvest, be carefull what you wish for.

GG



Goose, your continuing wisdom is always listen to. This year wasn't a 5 super year. Even here, after two 5 super years, reality sunk in and for the most part, it was 1-1/2 to 2 and I'm grateful for that. I had optimistically added a third on some for colonies expansion with formic treatments in August and left them on (plastic foundation). The upside is that the populations are strong and the broods are loaded with stores but shifting out the bottom required moving the upper two. In many cases the second offered a few frames but most were less than 70% capped so after taking the bottom super, I put that middle one in the lower position and the third into the top. Hopefully, we can get those second super with a fall flow but I did want to get some lighter summer honey. One thing about any type of agriculture is you have to learn there is no consistency other than risk. It's my year to be reminded of that, and as all farmers say, next year will be better. Hopefully now that we're getting regulars rain again, we'll see a fall flow.
And here is why I talk about ergonomics and injury prevention.
Commercial people can do whatever they want to make their big money.
I manage large construction project, although I'm sort of retired working part time as and adviser. Part of Health and Safety plan is to have the crews do stretching exercises at the start of the day-maybe I should drop the donut and get out and join them.
 

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Part of Health and Safety plan is to have the crews do stretching exercises at the start of the day-maybe I should drop the donut and get out and join them.
I used to be a warehouse man.
We were to do a stretching thing too - on paper.
No one ever did this. Never.
The stretching would eat into our precious time (we had a daily quota to hit - no excuses for NOT hitting that!)

Besides, stretching really works after warming up first (say a 15-20 minute run, at least).
Saying this as I am familiar with athletics.

Anyway, want to hurt yourself?
Keep tossing and pulling those 10-frame boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I did recover. Seems like the right RX is to get off my lazy butt and get some regular old exercise-usually called work! Repeat this weekend.
 

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I manage large construction project, although I'm sort of retired working part time as and adviser. Part of Health and Safety plan is to have the crews do stretching exercises at the start of the day-maybe I should drop the donut and get out and join them.
i almost sugested some sort of "work out" when I was training it seemed way easier to do the bee work.

GG
 

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Well I did recover. Seems like the right RX is to get off my lazy butt and get some regular old exercise-usually called work! Repeat this weekend.
can also ramp up, do 2 hives one day , day of rest, then 3 or 4 the next,, day of rest , then 5 or 6.

:)

GG
 

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I run triple deeps (over winter). And they end up as 4 or 5-deeps with 2-5 supers on them depending on need and size. Admittedly, they don't typically fill all that (thankfully). I use the extra deeps for feed to distribute and just extract the supers. They can be a pain to get to at times. It's pretty key to use good lifting techniques and have the right tools for the job. That said, I'm only lifting them empty to place them and then full only once usually, as I pretty well stay out of my production colonies while supers are on. If I were still actively inspecting every week or something, that would be a different story. And even if I'm in them, I typically tip and inspect from the bottom once things are going. Just looking for queen cells and then up into the frames to make sure there's brood as expected.

Somewhere there's a video of Michael Palmer tipping tall hives over to work on them. Or at least, I think it was MP. You're still living heavy boxes, but you're helping eliminate that height component, which can be a pretty big deal for sure.

Like you said, keeping active and moving is so important. I'm still pretty young, but the more I move, the better I feel generally. I made the decision several months ago to buy a cheap Fitbit thing and it's helped me stay accountable for both sleep and moving (for much of my adult life I've averaged <5 hours of sleep). I don't necessarily take a lot more or different actions or do massive "exercise", but I do start shutting down a little earlier at night, getting up and moving with the dogs before work, and with the dogs and the kids after. I don't usually think about sitting down until 8 or 9 at night. And when I look down and see I've only got like half of my normal 12-14,000 "steps" in and it's getting late. I will take the dogs for a longer walk or something instead. But it keeps me thinking about all of that. Can you wreck your back and body lifting heavy stuff - absolutely. But you can also lift a lot of heavy stuff and remain healthy and more functional than most others decades longer than others in your cohort. Desk jobs are killers (and I have one). I really do try to make it a point to get up and MOVE. And heft that heavy stuff correctly so you don't destroy yourself! My biggest thing is typically 'forgetting' not to twist a bunch when I'm carrying the stuff. I have good lifting technique, but if I do a lot of twisting I do feel it more the next day.
 

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I really do try to make it a point to get up and MOVE. And heft that heavy stuff correctly so you don't destroy yourself! My biggest thing is typically 'forgetting' not to twist a bunch when I'm carrying the stuff. I have good lifting technique, but if I do a lot of twisting I do feel it more the next day.
And here is a deal - it is impossible to keep that proper form at all times in practice (like I said - I am a former warehouse man and seen much about that).

You WILL twist and turn and do all kind of stuff while under load (God forbit - mis-step and fall under the live load).
It is only a matter of time when something will happen and pop.
A case in point - my former co-worker (an avid biker) - popped his back irreversibly by simply shoveling snow.

The best way to avoid issues - just avoid working under the dangerous loads altogether (however you do it).
It just doesn't pay.
No amount of honey pays for anything.

Writing this whilst recovering from strained neck tissues (almost good now, but did use extra-strong Tylenol for few days just to put that pain away).
I don't even know when/how I did this - most likely while doing something around the bees - it just came up the day after as I could not turn my head without pain (the usual with the less critical issues - you only feel them later).
 

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Meanwhile, no one even has shown interest when I started a very relevant talk.
What wrong with this beekeeping crowd anyway? :)
Complain and yet take no preventive steps (like keeping your core and limbs conditioned).
Somehow the workout crowd and beekeeping crowds just don't intersect much.

 

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And here is a deal - it is impossible to keep that proper form at all times in practice
It isn't impossible though. I guess with that attitude it might be. And it's all about rushing and taking the time to do things right. If you're going to go pull honey and you've got two hours to pull your crop and maybe the weather isn't great and all that... you're setting up for failure. This year I did very good on everything (set up truck everything to avoid twisting) and really didn't have any ill effects the day after. But, I wanted to get done on Friday. But I didn't get done until Saturday. I had to pack up Friday, heat index was like 110 (95 degrees and whatever humidity we have here in the summer... 90% or more). I only had three more hives to do, but I was really close to going too far. But I've found that if I take frequent enough breaks I can tell when it's too much and I need to back out. I went and sat down in the shade and didn't really feel any better. So I put things in a safe state and moved along. Working and walking surfaces are of course important for this type of work.

Last year I pulled about 600# of (extracted) honey, so add all the frames and boxes to that... from my absolute worst apiary for access, but best for honey. It's down in the woods, across a creek... normally I can drive to it, but last year I couldn't. Creek washed out road, etc. So I hauled all that honey from the apiary back to the truck (about 100 yards one way). I got it done. But I don't have bees there this year. It's about improving the circumstances and learning. And not accepting the idea that you're just eventually going to get hurt. And I fully understand that as people age there's some fitting the 'work' to the person that needs to happen. I'm not suggesting an 85 year old guy is going to be tossing around deeps full of honey. But there's plenty of healthy older beekeepers around... the idea that a beekeeper is a sentence for a crippling back injury isn't true if working smart and taking some precautions. And maybe the first step of that is not accepting injury as an eventuality.

Your friend didn't hurt himself shoveling snow. He finally blew out his back after probably years of doing things poorly. That's not a judgement on him... it's reality. This is kind of like people who throw their backs out picking up socks off the floor. Picking up a sock off the floor was just the initiating event. It's not the cause.
Same with a guy who has a heart attack while shoveling. The shoveling isn't the cause of the underlying heart issue.
 

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Meanwhile, no one even has shown interest when I started a very relevant talk.
What wrong with this beekeeping crowd anyway? :)
Complain and yet take no preventive steps (like keeping your core and limbs conditioned).
Somehow the workout crowd and beekeeping crowds just don't intersect much.
Taking care and staying in decent shape is very important for sure.

What's wrong with us? Geeze, where would we even begin?!
 

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It isn't impossible though.
I agree to a point.
It is possible until that one time.

I fell of a roof once while cleaning snow.
After laying in the snow pile on my back for few minutes, I got up and walked away.
No one even saw it happen.
Lucky bastard. :)

I never know if this incident may still show up in some future (hope not).
 

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Taking care and staying in decent shape is very important for sure.

What's wrong with us? Geeze, where would we even begin?!
Get a kettle-bell of a proper size for yourself and start with few rounds of "Russian Swings".
A good start.

Here is a very solid and simple starter kettle-bell list - just three basic drills:
 

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Your friend didn't hurt himself shoveling snow. He finally blew out his back after probably years of doing things poorly.
Which applies to most every one at most any situation.
Like moving bee boxes is a great chance find out if one was dong things poorly for years.
:)
 

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Well, looked at the Runner's World exercises, but IMO, I alreay do enough lifting, or should I say, too much lifting.
I have modified my beekeeping to minimize lifting by adopting the approach of taking off supers when they are ready to go rather than waiting for one big honey harvest at the end.
Besides avoiding additional lifting, I have done this so that I can better check lower down in the hive as I have learned that, in the age of varroa and SHB, I don't really know what is happening in the brood nest without examining it. I do like to add 'wet' supers to the top, if available, prior to the harvest day.
In the past I have had multiple supers of honey slimed as the queen is failing in the summer and the SHB take over. The reasons for the failures remain unknown; however, I suspect bee viruses and mite treatments as the ultimate causes.
As a caveat, I will admit to keeping bees in a location with an extended honey season which adds to bee hive vulnerability to being trashed by the SHB. Harvesting more often has resulted in fewer slime out situations, fyi. And less lifting!
 
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