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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed capped honey already and know that extracting time will be here before I know it. After 6 years still looking for the 'best' way to clear the supers. Bee escapes are not for me because they take several hours to work right? I am too impatient. Have tried leaf blower - pretty rough on them, Bee-Go (this not allowed on the property anymore - simply GROSS) , the organic version is OK I guess. Brush - pretty time consuming if you have 20 plus supers. What works? What suggestions do people have?
 

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1)
Flip the supers on edge and the bees will fly out on their own if a flow is still on.
2)
Put an empty box on the hive with one very strong frame in it. Pick up a frame, give it a hard shake to knock off most of the bees, then rap the frame hard on the bar in the box. Everything will jump off and scurry away.

( in actual practice, this is overly complicated, just pick a bee free spot on the exposed super and slap the frame down hard, targeting the end bar to the empty spot. Bees jump off like fleas from a dog.)
 

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I like using an escape board. I put it on two days before pulling the supers off, very few stragglers are all that's ever left behind.
 

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very few stragglers are all that's ever left behind.
In this part of the country....along with those few stragglers are small hive beetles. Left....alone....with a full super.
 

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Ah yes, Thanks Dan. I don't have hive beetles here, so I was not thinking about location of beekeeping. My apologies. If I had hive beetles, I'd blow them off or brush them off, frame by frame I suppose, and put in spare box to take back to the honey house.
 

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The FatBeeMan has made things very simple and easy. I've never had a problem with his methods and learned lots from him. He's well worth a donation too.
 

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If you only have a couple hives, shaking the frames off is a good method to use.

I cant do that with 50 hives so Fume boards with bee quick are by far the fastest and easiest.
 

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For a few boxes either brush the bees off with a bee brush or shake them off by turning the frame upside down and tapping them off. The much heavier top bar will prevent any potential frame damage. Transfer the frames into a second box (which you can cover) to save rehandling each frame? If you are doing a lot of boxes, Bee Go or honey robber is by far your best option. With proper handling it will never contact your honey nor will the smell even be present in your honey house. When conditions are good I estimate we use about a gallon to pull 65,000lbs. Of honey and no traces of butyric anhydride will ever be detected in your honey.
 

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With no direction in my first year, I got rid of the bees by shaking off the honey frames and setting them in an empty super (that I kept covered).

In my second year, I discovered Bee Quick and a fume board, and I never went back. Holy fishsticks save yourself the time, effort, and sweat. Put the board on and then go and do something with another hive, prepare equipment, sit in your car with the fan or A/C on, whatever it is you want to do; less than 10 minutes come back and just take the whole darn super off, easy as you please. Honestly, I can't think of why anyone would prefer not to do this aside from sheer obstinance (which there's certainly plenty of amongst us, mind). The concern about chemicals getting into the honey doesn't ring true to me; it seems to me that someone would have to be using way too much of the stuff and letting it sit on the hive way too long for fumes soaking through the caps and into the honey to be a problem.

I won't recommend "Bee Quick" specifically as there's probably a number of chemicals out there that will do the trick and Bee Quick just happens to be the only one I've tried; but it does work. I've never smelled Bee Go but I have heard...unpleasant things...about the smell, so I avoided it. Guys, if the smell of Bee Go is what put you off fume boards...way back when Bee Go was the only thing that was around...I highly suggest giving the new chemicals a try. Bee Quick smells downright good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'll try it. What pushed me over the edge for good was that the Bee-Go bottle spilled during the winter in my shed and the entire contents of the shed smelled like something I don't feel like describing here but I could also say dog waste and vomit mixed together. I feared my nearby supers were ruinied and it took hours of washing and lime to get it out. That bottle went to a far away place. Bee Quick sounds good though. I just looked it up and Fischer's Bee Quick is the natural product that is sold by Betterbee. Is that what you mean? If so I tried it and it worked a bit slower than Go but hey if that is what you are recommending so strongly I'm on. Let me know.
 

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less than 10 minutes come back and just take the whole darn super off, easy as you please. Honestly, I can't think of why anyone would prefer not to do this aside from sheer obstinance (which there's certainly plenty of amongst us, mind).
I can shake out a super in way under 10 minutes. By doing it a frame at a time I can also check for any brood or unfilled/uncapped frames. I've used Bee Quick and am fine with it. Works great if you've got several fume boards going down a row and know for certain there is no brood or uncapped frames on top. Usually for me once I get past the top super or two I better be checking them.
 

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I just looked it up and Fischer's Bee Quick is the natural product that is sold by Betterbee. Is that what you mean? If so I tried it and it worked a bit slower than Go but hey if that is what you are recommending so strongly I'm on. Let me know.
That's the stuff - but I want to stress that it's the technique of using a fume board that I recommend strongly, not this chemical specifically. In the catalogs I've seen a few others that mention they smell better than Bee Go, so I guess it would be worth it to ask around and see what people have to say about them. The Bee Quick works, though.

I can shake out a super in way under 10 minutes. By doing it a frame at a time I can also check for any brood or unfilled/uncapped frames. I've used Bee Quick and am fine with it. Works great if you've got several fume boards going down a row and know for certain there is no brood or uncapped frames on top. Usually for me once I get past the top super or two I better be checking them.
It took me less than 10 minutes to shake out the super my first year too. But when I got to several hives, I just couldn't see myself shaking all those supers out frame by frame without my gouty wrists and elbows complaining - and the other thing I noticed is that, as you shake off more and more frames, the air gets more and more full of bees and I don't like creating that kind of situation when there's such a practical alternative available. With the fume board the bees leave the supers but they aren't going crazy.

The guy in the video posted earlier is obviously confident enough to go yanking and jerking his equipment and hive furniture around; but even after a few years of beekeeping I prefer a somewhat more gentle and prudent approach to working the bees. If the bees are aggravated, knowing that it's not me that made them that way means I can take it as a sign of some kind of problem that needs fixing.
 

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We are partial to a REAL bee blower. A leaf blower is not the same thing, and a real bee blower has a stand with a chute to deliver the bees to their door step.

It was developed in the 60's to prevent any transfer of smell(benzaldehyde was used then?).

Crazy Roland
 

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Ive seen Bee Go fry tons of bees brains. Bee Quick doesn't seem to be as harsh on the bees and it smells MUCH better. I prefer bee quick to clear supers fast.
 
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