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Author Topic: bad back and beekeeping?  (Read 631 times)
dprater
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« on: December 21, 2013, 07:02:22 AM »

MRI showed I have 3 bulging disc L 3-4 4-5 and L5-S1. I'm going to start therapy next week. I know bending over to inspect in the hive has always hurt some and lifting is not bad the day I do it but I pay the next day.

I'm only in the third year of beek and would like to contenue. I have 6 hives at this time and would like to keep no more than that, give or take 3 or 4. I hear most beeks have bad backs.

Setting them off the ground with bottom board about 2 ft. is one thing I'm thinking about?

What is some other things I could to to save my back and still keep bees?

dan
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T Beek
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 07:13:22 AM »

Go to all mediums or better yet, all shallows.  I'm using mediums now, wishing I had gone to all shallows.

Good luck with your back.  IMO; resist all temptation to have surgery.  Keep yourself moving 'even when it hurts' (walking every day helps me tremendously) Find a 'pain clinic' with a good psychologist, one trained in pain relief (the mind is an amazing thing).  Ask your therapist for ultra sound treatments, especially when having 'acute' pain, its wonderful.  "TRY" to stay away from narcotics, regardless of recommendations (this one coming from a former addict), using them 'as needed' only.
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rwlaw
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 08:15:42 AM »

I'm hearing good things about those 2ft work platforms, they're nice and light to move about and you don't have to bend over so far.
That sucks that you've got three disks bulging, one's bad enough. Good luck!
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 08:33:58 AM »

A few years before I started beek I had 2 herniated disc.  Therapist showed me some exercises to do.  I also got a yoga/ Pilate's ball with  two DVDs.  The easier one was OK.  After a few weeks my back was feeling a lot better.  The exercises build up your chore muscles.  I use deep brood chambers, and mostly shallow supers.  I did make some medium supers last year.  When I am going to remove the supers or check down into the hive I will take a dollie with an empty super or brood box.  Take the frames out and put into empty, or on the brood chamber if you don't go the the bottom just pull out a frame and inspect and return.  I usually don't carry a full super.  I am still using 10 frame supers.  I do have my hives either on a concrete block I also have a chair to sit in while going into a hive.
My back was bad enough that it is 16 miles to town, I would have to stop and walk around once or twice on the way.  Good luck to you

Joe
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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 08:36:43 AM »

It would take some setup but I know a gentleman that did it and it's a very workable solution in my opinion. Place all your hives in a single line, string a cable overhead, either between two trees, or two poles. On the cable have a pully, with a set of tongs capable of lifting a hive box attached to the end of a pully lifting system. (think of something similiar to old Ice block tongs, with ends that secure into your hand holds).

Simply walk the device overhead from hive to hive as you work them. Lift each or multiple boxes to the side as needed.
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T Beek
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 08:49:53 AM »

I used to have all my hives elevated but switched to ground level positioning over the last few years (hives are placed on the ground on top of a 4x4 base).  It makes placing and removing honey supers easier than having to use a ladder.  

Broodnest exams can be performed 'on the knees' limiting back stress from standing and bending over.  My bee 'cart' was modified to get it close to the ground so I can pick supers up and place them while on the knees as well.  Pain caused by "Standing and bending" are a life sentence for many beeks.  Anyway we can limit it will keep beekeeping enjoyable for years.

I've suffered neck and back issues since the early 70's and have tried 'everything' seeking relief.   I've found that doing as much as I can from the knees works well for me, that along with walking and Ti chi practice.  I can even run my chain saw for a little while on the knees, something I thought I'd never be able to do again and haven't for several years, although I need help getting logs into position.

Excellent suggestion from Joe D!!!!  a "bee yard chair" is mandatory for beeks w/ bad backs IMO. Smiley
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 09:04:57 AM by T Beek » Logged

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Glen H
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 09:14:13 AM »

I have 2 8 frame medium hives and one 10 frame medium hive. the ten frame brood box is a deep, which I'm planning on swapping out for a medium this spring. The 8 frame is a bit easier to lift then the ten frame.  They are placed up about 18 inches off the ground on a pressure treated stand.




Glen
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T Beek
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 09:34:09 AM »

I have 2 8 frame medium hives and one 10 frame medium hive. the ten frame brood box is a deep, which I'm planning on swapping out for a medium this spring. The 8 frame is a bit easier to lift then the ten frame.  They are placed up about 18 inches off the ground on a pressure treated stand.




Glen


I really like those 'side' entrance 8 frame hives.  Side entrances are used throughout Canada, evidenced by several of our Northern acquaintances.  It does make inspections 'from the back' easier IMO.

Besides wishing I had converted to all shallows I did convert/lighten all my 10 frame boxes into 8 frame boxes simply by installing 2 follower boards into the brood boxes, placed on both sides they can be used to restrict/expand space as needed.  The boxes remain the same size (universal use) but are lighter without the 2 comb frames.
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edward
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 09:54:23 AM »

You could also make a horizontal hive, like a tbh but with frames.

They were quite common i Scandinavia 100years ago, with maybe 1 super on top when all the bottom frames are filled, 30-40 horizontal frames are not uncommon.
 

Google    trågkupa  and look att some pictures


mvh Edward   tongue
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mikecva
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 11:43:01 AM »

I agree with trying to avoid an operation. I had to have my L4-L5-S1 corrected and even the operating Dr. said there are almost as many remedies as the are back therapist. The big thing is get more then one opinion.

A friend of mine, another beek, was able to find an old garage that was not using their old "A Frame" motor puller. They sold it to him for about $50 with the chain wench. He now uses it to lift and move all three medium supers off the hive when he wants to inspect the brood chambers. Now I am looking for one. Brian  -Mike
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10framer
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 12:11:02 PM »

i have multiple bulging disks in my upper back/neck and at least one bad one around my lumbar.  my hives are raised about a foot off the ground and i carry a folding chair and sit when i do brood inspections.  i use deeps for brood and mediums for honey.  i'm very careful when i'm moving full supers to not make any foolish moves like i would have as a young man.  as i get older i'll eventually buy a truck with a boom for moving the heavy stuff.  i've had these problems for 20 plus years and my tolerance for pain is up there.  i will have to have the surgery sooner or later and i know plenty of people that have had discs fused and recovered very well.  i should have had it done a few years ago when they were pushing me to do it but i didn't know the affordable care act would make medical care so much more expensive then.  i'm scared now that when i do it it's going to cost me hundreds of thousands. 
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T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 01:25:40 PM »

You could also make a horizontal hive, like a tbh but with frames.

They were quite common i Scandinavia 100years ago, with maybe 1 super on top when all the bottom frames are filled, 30-40 horizontal frames are not uncommon.
 

Google    trågkupa  and look att some pictures


mvh Edward   tongue



I've run a couple of these for several years.  Most folks call them 'Long' Hives.  Mine fit up to 36 medium frames.  Fitted with movable follower boards I use them mostly to make up NUCs these days.  Very cool and very easy to work…no lifting during inspections…other than frame manipulation.
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Glen H
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2013, 01:37:37 PM »

I have 2 8 frame medium hives and one 10 frame medium hive. the ten frame brood box is a deep, which I'm planning on swapping out for a medium this spring. The 8 frame is a bit easier to lift then the ten frame.  They are placed up about 18 inches off the ground on a pressure treated stand.




Glen


I really like those 'side' entrance 8 frame hives.  Side entrances are used throughout Canada, evidenced by several of our Northern acquaintances.  It does make inspections 'from the back' easier IMO.

 


Yes having the hives sideways on the bottom boards is really nice. I'm thinking of making a new base for the ten frame hive so that it sits sideways too. It's nice to work from the back of the hive and not have to twist (rotate) the frames around to have a look at them. less chance of dropping a frame.

The follower board sound like a good idea!

Glen
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dprater
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2013, 04:10:43 PM »

Thanks for all the concerns, well wishes for my back and my beekeeping also, very nice.

To my advantage I did start out with 8 frame mediums. My stands are build for two hives so I can stand to the side on each. I will entertain the horizontal hive or maybe something to pick up a supper or two altho that sounds scary, thanks for the ideas.

Back hurts but I did modify one 2 hive stand and made it 2 ft. tall, I have a hard time staying in on a day like this in South Carolina 80 degrees out side, and my bee are bring in pollen, people up north please ignore that last statment Smiley.

I'm taking a 10 day treatment of prednisone (I know I read about) but I have to do something.

Thanks again dan
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GSF
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2013, 09:50:39 PM »

Ditto on avoiding surgery. I was setting up a perimeter of defense and thought it a good idea to put a device up about ten or twelve feet in a tree. I goofed, it exploded, I didn't fall I jumped. I went to the dr because of the skin that got knocked off, burns and also the ringing. About two years later I was found to have two cracked vertebrae's that had naturally fused together. However the calcium that fused them started building up and putting pressure on my spinal cord. Long story longer, I was told that the only way they would do surgery was if I came back in a wheelchair.

I was young, strong, and hard headed. I made my mind up I was going to get better or get a wheel chair. So I started working out like crazy and hurting like a little girl. I believe the muscle build up was what brought me through. Thank God I was young then.
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Lone
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2013, 10:27:38 PM »

See if you can find an offsider to help when you inspect or need to shift hives.  Rest your back and avoid lifting or bending in the acute phase.  The bees can (nearly) always wait.  Until you get the hives at the right height, you could sit down on a little stool or watch how you stand so you're not bending forwards. Spread the work out.  You don't need to look at every hive in one day. Listen to your therapist and make your exercises a big priority.  And get a little bell so you can lie down and call for cups of coffee   grin  Oh, and get lots of stings.  That way you will feel pain elsewhere and won't notice the back pain.

I'm as weak as a girl (because I am one) so I have to adjust everything I do to compensate, as well as having a congenital spinal problem.

Lone
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