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Author Topic: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess  (Read 4023 times)

Offline irekkin

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taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« on: August 23, 2009, 10:06:40 AM »
i was trying to kill two birds with one rock. work my bees and take the honey supers off at the same time. got the honey super off and started checking for mites, brood, pollen and over all condition of the hive, it took about thirty minutes. every thing was going OK and i closed the hive back up. i use a leaf blower to get the bees out of the supers and had it ready to go (i thought). well, it would crank but wouldn't run. in the mean time, bees from all five of my hives where starting in on the honey super. i fooled with the leaf blower until i was about ready to sling it down through the woods, by then the honey super was a lost cause. the air was full of bees and they were on the super like little airborne piranha. it took them about an hour but when they finished there was barely anything left, just a pile of wax. it was definitely a sight to behold. i wasn't going to get much honey anyway (four of my five hives are swarms i caught this spring), and i guess what i do get i'll be buying. i never liked that darn leaf blower to start with. there HAS got to be a better way. any help will be most appreciated. thanks
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Offline Ron B.

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 10:18:04 AM »
I use Bee Quick and have never had a problem, I also cover the super when I take it off, with Bee Quick all the bees leave the super before one removes it.

Offline asprince

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 11:07:34 AM »
Bummer! Good news is that honey was not lost, it is just redistributed in your hives. I always use the power blower but never had a problem with it starting. Based on this, I WILL test start before starting the process.

I will be happy to send you a pint of honey for postage.

Steve

 
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Offline iddee

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 11:14:35 AM »
I googled freakin and don't think beemaster would care much for the meanings I found being used on the forum.

I bought an electric blower at a yardsale for ten bucks. It has never failed to start and run.

I use bee-quick or a brush on each frame, but I try to harvest at dusk anytime after July. "Robbing season".

Once they start, you can pick the super up and walk around the yard, then set it down and brush the bees off each frame before they find it "en masse". May have to move it twice, depending on how long before they zero in on it again.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline kathyp

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 11:24:23 AM »
Quote
I googled freakin and don't think beemaster would care much for the meanings I found being used on the forum.

along the lines of my use of the word crap, when you know very well that was not the word i wanted.

bee quick, escape boards, a blower (that works) and large towel, sheet, etc.  as you pull and clear the supers, put them on a solid bottom and cover them. 

i pulled a couple yesterday, but when i realized i only had a few frames of honey in each, i brushed them and put them in an empty box to carry to the house.  covering is the key, but you will still have a few that will go with you.
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline MustbeeNuts

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2009, 11:31:13 AM »
too newfangled for me, bump the frame brush it off, put in a spare super with a board on the bottom and piece of cardboard on top. after that leave!! LOL  what few bees are left you can remove prior to going inside. works for me and the bees are pretty mellow about it really.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 12:00:12 PM »
Always guard against robbing while robbing the bees.  In other words never leave exposed honey.  The only exception is when you do abandonment DURING a flow and just before dark so they are all headed home instead of looking for food.  And that is tricky.

Especially never leave exposed honey when there is a dearth even if you aren't robbing.

 
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Offline paulh

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 02:02:09 PM »
i fooled with the leaf blower until i was about ready to sling it down through the woods,

I've heard leaf blowers can contaminate your honey as some fumes from the exhaust are blown out along with the air.

I can understand your frustration, though.  I'm having a bit of it myself lately.

Good luck to you!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 04:11:10 PM by paulh »

Offline Irwin

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 02:15:49 PM »
Don't give up  :-D I never had a mentor well I kind of did but he got ran over by a car :shock: I think he's scared of me now :) The people at beemaster's  will do there best to help they have helped me more then they know :) And the frustration is part of the learning take two beer relax and go forword with your bee's :-D
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Offline jclark96

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 03:27:55 PM »
 I vote for the stinky stuff and a fume board, I don't remember the trade name. And keep your supers covered. The first time I robbed honey it took two of us 6 hours to rob ten supers. I was just learning. We didn't have enough time to extract that day and put it off for a week. (Before SHB) The neighborhood bees helped themselves, so we only got about 8 gallons of honey.
 I knew somebody had figured out a better way. I ordered some repellant and built two fume boards. The next year I robbed the same number of hives in about an hour. I also got busy and extracted the same day. Lots more honey.
 The not as toxic stuff might work as well, but I have not used it.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2009, 04:26:51 PM »
I like to wait until the nights are cold and pull it off on a chilly morning... no bees to deal with at all...
Michael Bush
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Offline asprince

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2009, 07:19:43 PM »
I like to wait until the nights are cold and pull it off on a chilly morning... no bees to deal with at all...


Around here, that would be the end of October.

Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline irekkin

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2009, 10:39:05 PM »
thanks for all the advice and the offer of some honey. as far as my language, i do the best i can, everybodys got a bad habit or two :evil: :-D
when you're dumb, ya gotta be tough.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2009, 10:59:07 PM »
Around here that could vary from the beginning of October to the end of November...
Michael Bush
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Offline rdy-b

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2009, 12:04:49 AM »
When we pull honey and there is even the smallest sign of a frenzy about to start -we remove all the lids from all the hives in the yard-robing will stop and work can be done easaly-the reason this works is the bees are all going to stay with there own hive to protect and guard from the frenzy -works like a charm  ;) RDY-B

Offline Ross

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2009, 10:47:19 AM »
If I'm just pulling 10-20 supers, I brush the bees from the frames, place in an empty super, and then bag the whole super in a leaf bag.  This keeps the robbing down while I work my way through the yard and get out. 
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Offline Cindi

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2009, 11:09:01 AM »
Well, I donno.  I never realized that "freakin'" was a bad word.  Kind of shocked me when I heard that when googled it was, I thought it only an expression, I use this word quite frequently, and I don't really swear all that much, just when I can't help it, smiling.

This is what I do, when I have some colonies to get honey from.  I have my honey supers as deep, never migrated yet to any other size. I like the deeps, kind of stuck on things I guess.

When I go to take the honey frames, I have an empty super alongside that hive.  That empty deep sits inside a telescoping lid.  No bees can get in (usually I will have this set up in a wheelbarrow).  I take out a frame, bump the frame, many bees fall off, I brush off as many as I can, quickly and sharply, one must brush in this manner, or you just REALLY irritate the bees.  I place this frame inside that empty super and put my cover cloth over it.  I do this as many times as required.  I then take the wheelbarrow up to the house.  Every now and then I go and lift the cloth cover off and the bees fly out.  This is done as many times as required to allow the bees to head home.  By sundown, there are no bees left in the super and I bring it in the house.  When the bees have filled up on honey, they want to head home, as fast as their little wings can carry them.  Works for me.  I know there are easier ways.  But when the colony numbers are not really great, and one has this bit of extra time, it works.  Good luck.  Have that wonderful day, love and live, with great health. Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline kathyp

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2009, 11:12:27 AM »
if you are a BSG fan, you like "Frackin'!".  we all substitute more acceptable words for those that would cause our mothers to wash our mouth out with soap :-)
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline iddee

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2009, 01:26:58 PM »
Well, if Beemaster isn't going to say anything about it, then it's none of my business what you print.

Cindi, google it and see what it says.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline sarafina

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2009, 07:34:09 PM »
Around here that could vary from the beginning of October to the end of November...


around my parts that would be middle of January....... maybe......   ;)

Offline giant pumpkin peep

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2009, 08:33:05 PM »
that stinks. can you put honey supers back on to get the honey they robbed out?
I like pumpkins!

Offline Natalie

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2009, 09:03:58 PM »
You can put them back on and if there is still a flow going on the bees can repair any damaged comb and refill the cells but if there is no flow then you are out of luck.

Offline BoBn

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2009, 09:27:09 PM »
I have my honey supers as deep, never migrated yet to any other size. I like the deeps, kind of stuck on things I guess.
When I go to take the honey frames, I have an empty super alongside that hive.  That empty deep sits inside a telescoping lid.  No bees can get in (usually I will have this set up in a wheelbarrow).  I take out a frame, bump the frame, many bees fall off, I brush off as many as I can, quickly and sharply, one must brush in this manner, or you just REALLY irritate the bees.  I place this frame inside that empty super and put my cover cloth over it.  I do this as many times as required.  I then take the wheelbarrow up to the house. 

This is an eloquent description of what I did for years.  It's also a good method for topbar hives.
I'm gradually switching over to all mediums and use a modified triangle escape board.  The supers are usually empty in a couple hours, but I leave them overnight and usually only need to brush off a few bees.  I pull the supers in the early AM before there is much activity.
"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites."
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Offline irekkin

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2009, 11:02:35 PM »
thanks again for all the comments and advice. it's given me plenty to think about between now and next year. i really can't complain seeing as how i started this spring with one hive and now i have five healthy and hungry hives. our flows in southside va. are pretty much over, theres alot of golden rod out, some asters and a few other wild flowers but from what i can tell they're (the bees) are getting mostly pollen. if they do make any more honey, it's theirs, they worked their little arses off for it :evil: :-D
now the challenge is to get ready for winter.
when you're dumb, ya gotta be tough.

Offline GJS

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2009, 12:04:43 AM »
Why is no one speaking of bee excluders?  I thought you put one under the honey super for a day and the super will be empty of bees.  No? :-\
Keep on the sunny side of life!

Offline kathyp

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2009, 12:26:07 AM »
i think someone mentioned the escape boards.  same thing.  they work pretty well as i hear it.
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline annette

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2009, 12:29:43 AM »
I know Michael Bush said the triangular escape boards are the best to use. I purchased one of these and still have not used it as I just brush the bees off the frames and place the frames quickly into my car.

Offline Scadsobees

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Re: taking off honey supers = big freakin mess
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2009, 09:51:32 AM »
When harvesting the honey (or robbing it depending on your perspective  :-D), I always keep a big sheet around to cover the supers taken off.  Little pirhannas is a pretty good description of a robbing swarm, but pirhannas aren't nearly as aggressive.

Lessons learned: start up leaf blower BEFOREHAND  :-P.

I use bee-quick and also a shopvac blower to clean them out.  Even with a sheet covering I'm blowing a lot of would-be robbers away too.

Rick
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