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Author Topic: Using the hive tool without damaging the wood  (Read 1264 times)
billdv
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« on: October 11, 2013, 11:28:38 AM »

I am a new-bee, so my question is very basic, how to separate the hive bodies using the hive tool without damaging the wood.
My hive, just assembled this week, is made from pine wood which is very soft. Introducing the hive tool between the 2 brood boxes to separate them, once the bees sealed the joints, would damage the wood for sure.
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danno
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 12:24:35 PM »

Dont try to seperate them by prying on the rabbit edges.  Push your tool in on the side about a inch back from the corner and pop them apart. 
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mikecva
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 02:04:51 PM »

In one of the magazines I read there is an add for corner protectors that protects the corners from tool damage. There is also metal rails usually used on the ledge that the frames sit on also to protect from tool damage (sold by Mann Lake and others). I do not use either because it widens the space between boxes and the bees will just prologize the openings. What I have done (for over 35 years) is put a good coat of paint along the edge (not where the bees will get to it) when I paint the boxes, this will help protect the box from the tools.   Please, do not go cheep on your boxes if you plan to stay in the hobby. Buy boxes made of quality wood with the fewest knot holes as possible.

I pry my boxes open from the corners as it keeps the 'popping' to a minimum and thus less disturbance to the bees.  Once the corner is separated, put your second tool down the side to continue opening the box slowly (as Danno said, do not pry on the rabbit edge section (that is the weakest part where the frames hand))  good luck   -Mike
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 08:59:46 PM »

I donít have a lot of wood hives (Iím the foam guy), but I either have cleats or ears on my boxes to facilitate the hive tool and prying.  Cleats are nice for prying and easier on the hands when picking up heavy honey boxes IMO.

The other guys advices is good is you keep your hives standard.
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capt44
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 11:32:09 PM »

I use Pine and Cypress for my hive bodies.
I also use my hive tool to pop them apart.
I have some hive bodies out there around 6 years old or so and they're still in good shape.
The corner protectors will raise the box the thickness of the protector leaving a gap for the bees to fill in.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
billdv
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 07:54:52 PM »

Thanks everybody for the good advice, every bit of info helps.
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Geoff
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 09:06:07 PM »

 Just a piece of stainless wire as used in frames approx. the length of the hive, attach two handles made from broom handle or similar (each about 4 inches long). Just slowly drag through between boxes (starting at a corner) like cutting a cheese block. Easy, done quietly and does not seem to disturb the bees as much as prying, poking and levering with a hive tool.  Works for me.
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matthewstiles
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2013, 12:45:46 PM »

Push your tool in on the side about a inch back from the corner and pop them apart. 

+1
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