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Author Topic: hairy night at hives  (Read 2952 times)
michael burnett
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« on: June 23, 2004, 09:16:50 AM »

hello...this is my first interaction w/ this forum. Ive allready had many questions answerwd by checking in daily
   my partner (dan)and I purchased 2 complete hives, and two nukes, from Lagrants bees in Ware Ma. on the 22 of may. we have been feeding since,
and have had the hives open for inspection/ cleaning twice.
   The last time (late yesterday afternoon) my wife and I  went to add honey super and do some more cleaning (burr comb and excess stuff off bottom of frames etc.)......I learned some interesting things not to do.
   first.. dont work your bees at ,or just before, dusk(to many bees in hive
   second... not everything makes good smoker fuel...we ran low on pine shavings so i through some dried cornstalk /hay material in...all it did was make them mad...anyone had similar experience..?
    third...dont have nervouse children around...to many histamines or whatever being released.     fourth ...check the weather!
 beecause what ensued was chaotic...to many upset bees on frames...hostile gard bees (got stung twice through heavy gloves)...this made operation more difficult...Something told me to call the operation off til we had more time ,but being male and needing to get something done
I pushed on. then two hours later it started raing..(this cant be good for bees trying to get out of grass and return to hive) more bees perished than need bee.. ifelt very bad .love my bees and hate it when they die. i wont do it again.Got frustrated and through down my hive tool(what a baby)

 question...is it ok to gently shake bees of frames before cleaning..and what of the queens? if she falls off will she get back to the hive?we havent seen them yet but know they are in hives because brood looks good.I hope i didnt hurt queens other night... appreciate comments,constuctive critsism,
etc....thanks and God bless......mike b
   [/b] Cheesy
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2004, 12:52:33 PM »

Well.. seems like you learned something important already.  Time of day and weather issues are important.  I guess I'm not real clear on what your doing.  Are you completely dissassembling the hive, shakeing the bees off and scraping each frame?  Everyone has different inspection routines, but thats a very deep intrusion and I'm not sure it's necessary each time you inspect.  The hive is designed to minimize excess comb, although some colonies are prolific builders and create problems.  When I open a hive, I'm looking for overall health.  Crowding, brood pattern, eggs, stores, pests and disease.  Additionally, if I pull a frame and the queen is on it, I observe her movements, look for eggs and the concentration of eggs.  Then carefully replace the frame.  Stressing carefully, I don't want  to roll her or mash her.  If everything looks right, I'm outta there.  I enjoy the bees, but want to keep my disruptions to a minimum.  All I can guess about the smoker getting your bees angry, was possibly it was a hot smoke.  Personally, I try to minimize smoke use, and only use it if I have a major manipulation planned.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2004, 11:05:07 PM »

We all get days like that. Smiley And usually it's our own fault too - but you've learned that now.
I know when you're trying to clean things up, it does become a big disturbance on the bees. But yes, you can gently shake the bees off. Do it over the hive if possible though. That way if the queen is there, she's shook into the hive. Same with all those nurse bees. They've never done flights out the hive, though they can find there way back in if you just HAVE to shake them off the frame right next to the hive.
I did that all once - and will never again if possible. Smiley Felt I just had to get done what I'd planned. It was just before dark. Well... before I even finished, but after I had things all tore apart, it start to get almost to dark to put it back together. Those bees were really mad! I of course had to hurry...... not what they like. And got stung three times - front of the leg, and two on the ankle. I had bees all over my veil trying to find a way in.

I didn't throw down the hive tool. LOL But I was getting rather upset and talking to the bees, saying "all right all ready! STOP! I'm putting it all back, just quit so I can finish!".

Now you know - when you go to the hives, do it on a nice day. Do it when you have time. Don't wait till dusk. Watch out how hot the smoke is. And don't do more than you have to. If more is needed, do it another day. Go slow, relax, and enjoy.

Beth
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asleitch
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2004, 06:10:13 AM »

Quote from: michael burnett
question...is it ok to gently shake bees of frames before cleaning..and what of the queens? if she falls off will she get back to the hive?
   [/b] Cheesy


When at our teaching apiary, we often want to look at frames with none, or few bees. Having cleared a space for a few frames in the hive, lift a frame about half a foot up and them rapidly drop it, and stop suddenly. All the bees drop to the base of the hive, and although a few coming buzzing up, they seem in such a tizzy they just climb back to other frames. You actually have to be quite "violent" in this manovere, when you stop it has to be very sharp to dislodge the bees.

It works great and allows you to look for queen cups easily.

Adam
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2004, 09:55:10 PM »

MB -

We are here to help.  Lagrant's has a beekeeping class. and most of the county clubs in Mass have classes in the Spring.    I am in the Worcester County club  and live in Leominster, MA.  www.honeybeeclub.org.  If you need help some helping hands, just lemme know.  

I don't know what you are cleaning, and most hives don't need to be open for more than 15 minutes for inspection.  Let the bees be bees.  They know what to do.    I don't like to do a lot of shaking of bees.  

Is there one or two brood chambers on your hive?   Are the frames
drawn out?
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Finman
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2004, 11:15:32 PM »

Quote from: michael burnett
my wife and I  went to add honey super and do some more cleaning (burr comb and excess stuff off bottom of frames etc.)....



There is no need for cleaning the frames. Only if there is extra comb and it squeeze bees against frames.

Quote


 not everything makes good smoker fuel...we ran low on pine shavings so i through some dried cornstalk /hay material in..


That stuff makes too much tar and it fasten to honey and nest.

Quote


 then two hours later it started raing..(this cant be good for bees trying to get out of grass and return to hive)


Yes, bees anticipate the coming rain and they are nervous. Also at evening they are nervous and some hives become killing mad.

If it start to rain, put the sheet of news paper on the bees. They are there in the chelter and warm. Otherwise they may die in the rain.

Quote

 question...is it ok to gently shake bees of frames before cleaning..


What is that need of cleaning? Bees keep hive clean themselves.
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Finman
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2004, 11:21:49 PM »

Quote from: asleitch
Quote from: michael burnett
question...is it ok to gently shake bees of frames before cleaning..and what of the queens? if she falls off will she get back to the hive?
   [/b] Cheesy


When at our teaching apiary, we often want to look at frames with none, or few bees. Having cleared a space for a few frames in the hive, lift a frame about half a foot up and them rapidly drop it, and stop suddenly.



I do not know why ? You can see all things queen cells with bees, There is no need to inspect little queen cupps.

Every inspect disturb bees and they slow down honeys working.


It works great and allows you to look for queen cups easily.

Adam[/quote]
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michael l burnett
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2004, 06:37:22 AM »

thanks everybody...advice appreciated.

           the cleaning i refered to was just that...built up comb in wierd places that was making removal and especially putting back in of frames difficult...since then things have gone well ...colonies drawn out two large(brood supers) and shallow(honey supers) in place..all since march 22
    we also have seen the queen in the weaker of our two hives(beautifull!!!)     bees rock!
          thanks again....
                             mike
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