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Author Topic: extraction question / help  (Read 5787 times)
jgarzasr
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« on: July 30, 2006, 04:04:53 PM »

This is my second year beekeeping - and last year I only took about 4 frames of honey for myself, but this year my hive has built up a nice surplus - but I need some advice on extracting.  I went yesterday for an inspection - and my hive currently has two deeps, and three mediums full of honey.  The top most medium still has some cut comb frames that need to be capped but is full of nectar.

while I was inspecting yesterday - I decided I was going to go ahead and grab one of the full mediums, by brushing off of the bees and taking the frames.  I got through about three of the frames and I started getting popped.  These bees were clamping on me and stinging hard.  So I took the three frames and replaced the hive with three new frames of foundation - stacked back the other supers, and left a little hurt.  In fact my smoker and some equipment is still out in the yard - as I left and really wasn't in the mood to go back - it was 10 A.M. and already high 80's and I was drenched in sweat.

Anyway - I am looking for advice.  Should I invest in a fume board and bee quick and go that route or bee escapes?  Also would it be smart to go ahead and let them finish capping the topmost super before going in and removing any of the finished supers?  Does anyone have any tips?  Also - I will definitley wear double shirts next time in hopes to avoid anymore stings.  Thanks for the replies. - Jason.
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006, 06:18:34 PM »

i'd go for the fume board.  i had the same problem with my bees. the fume board was well worth it.  it would be easy to make if you are so disposed.  the bee quick stinks, but works well.

i was well advised to put the fume board on at an angle at first.  the bee quick seems to make the bees dopey and they moved down better when i didn't suffocate them with the stuff.
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.....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.....

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yoderski
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006, 08:28:00 PM »

For the hobbyist, you can not beat the simplicity of the bee escape from Betterbee.  It works well, and it doesn't involve any chemicals.  I know they say that the smell doesn't get in the honey, but for some reason honey tastes better with the bee escape to me.  (Probably all in my head!)  Anyway, I have been very satisfied.  After 2 days, usually only minimal numbers of easily brushed off bees remain...
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2006, 10:42:39 PM »

It's the simple life for me.  I'm with yoderski on the bee escapes for only a few hives.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 07:11:26 AM »

If the the comb is solidly attached to the frame, I shake most of them off.  A quick DOUBLE shake.  Then you FLICK the rest off with the brush.  NEVER brush slowly and gently.  Slowly and gently is for lifting boxes and pulling out frames.  Gently is not how you brush bees.  My guess is you rolled the bees brushing them off and that made them angry.

I do differnt things at different times, but if there's still a flow I'd pull the boxes just before dark and set them behind the hive and wait for dark and then take the boxes.  Then I'd brush the last of the stragglers off before I take them in the house.  If it's later in the year and the nights are cool (less than 50), I'd go out in the early morning and pull the supers before it warms up.  You can also use a triangular bee escape.  Two are nice.  Put one on a bottom board on the bottom and then stack supers on until you can't reach the top and then put one on top. (facing the correct way for the bees to get out of course).
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 07:53:24 AM »

See, Even an old timer can learn something new around here.  Great idea.
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 08:58:59 AM »

Thanks for the replies!

So let me understand this better - do most of you stay away from the fume board/bee quick?  I have to admit - I am a little leery only because I am worried about fouling up the honey - even a little.

Also - for the bee escapes - Do I put a top board under the bottom most super and install the bee escape there?  And what about all the bees – will they be bearded up on the outside?

Michael – I am interested in what you posted.  So I remove all the supers and place them behind the hive before dark?  Do I place them on a bottom board?  Do the bees make their way back to the main hive?  And how many bees will have to be brushed off?

I am learning this process so thanks for all the info.  I have never done this before and have never seen anyone do it.  I guess I will order me a couple bee escapes and go that route.
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006, 12:48:40 PM »

How long do you have to keep the fume board on?
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006, 01:33:39 PM »

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How long do you have to keep the fume board on?


it took under 5 min to clear two supers.  what worked for me....and more experienced can maybe give you better advice....was to put fume board on at about 90 degree angle for a couple of min.  then i removed the super from the hive and set it on an extra bottom board, replaced fume board fully covering super, waited a couple of minuets, then removed fume board.  all but a couple of bees were gone.

it seemed that by removing the super and giving them a clear escape, they were willing to leave quickly.  i detect no taste in the honey and as soon as the fume board was dry, the smell was gone from that also.

since my bees had gotten quite nasty, this was a most pleasant experience.  the last couple of times into my hive had not been so.
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.....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.....

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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 02:43:43 PM »

The way that works best for me is to knock top part of the frame swiftly and solidly against the side of the cement foundation of the house (2 of my hives are directly below my bay window) or against the side of the fence, which dislodges the bees onto the ground - then I briskly brush them off with the bee brush. I suit up pretty well for this, but the bees don't seem to get too irritated if done correctly. I like to get in and get out when it comes to extraction, and am not a fan of chemicals.

This works well for me, and is quick and effective. Its only my second year doing this too, so maybe I'll try a system that I like even more than this. Haven't tried the fune board yet!
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2006, 08:58:10 PM »

I'm like MB and some of the rest.  I snap the frame against the heel of my hand, a couple quick flicks and the bees are off.  I'll get a sting occasionally, but its from mashing a bee more often than angry bees in the air.
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2006, 08:58:15 AM »

That sounds OK if you are removing frames of honey.  I had no problem removing a few frames last year.  But this hive has 3 mediums and 2 deeps of honey.  I really don't want to mess with each individual frame.  On my new hives that I don't plan on removing too much honey - I am going to go ahead and remove frame by frame.
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GT
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2006, 11:02:01 AM »

Funny - I was reading the posts and thinking that I was way behind the curve, everyone seemed to have a way of taking bees off the frames that was so different than my "technique". Until I read M. Bush's post - he does what I was taught to do and still do year after year. No extra equipment, no chemicals, just a quick snap, a quick flick with the brush, and wait for nightfall. Seems to work.
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2006, 12:37:49 PM »

hey GT - I really want to learn all ways to get this done.  So please expand on the "just a quick snap, a quick flick with the brush, and wait for nightfall" method.  Thanks.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2006, 02:29:08 PM »

I don't use this technique on 1 hive with multiple supers.  I use it on 20 hives with multiple supers.  One reason I do it this way, is I have added a box above full super of honey, only to discover the queen moved up and laying in it.  It's not a big deal to quickly pull the outside frames of honey 2 boxes down and add the brood frames back to the center.  I still harvest full deeps of honey, squeeze the colony down as part of winter prep, and I'm outa there for a few more weeks while they reorganize and wind down their season.  It may be alot more work than you want to do, but I'm happiest up to my elbows in the bees.
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2006, 06:53:57 PM »

JG -

Its as MB described. If the comb is solid I give it one or two good shakes over the opened hive, many many bees fall off and it doesnt usually disturb them too much (sort of the same technique when emptying a package of bees onto a new hive). The bees left on the frame I brush off - thats the 'flick'. Dont be slow with the brush, that tends to push bees against the comb and get them angry. If I extract later on I'll leave the comb leaning against the hive, usually behind it. Once the cooler weather from nightfall comes in  the remaining bees will work themselves back into the hive.
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2006, 06:58:19 PM »

One more thing - I agree that doing it my old fashioned way- frame after frame can be tedious. But I keep bees as a hobby because I like being with them, when I extract I dedicate the day, sometimes two. It never gets tedious to me.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2006, 10:22:32 PM »

> do most of you stay away from the fume board/bee quick?

I have never tried one.  I have smelled Beego and honey robber.  One smells like vomit and the other like cherry flavored vomit.  I've smelled Bee-quick, which smells like benzaldehyde (marachino cherries or almond extract)

> I have to admit - I am a little leery only because I am worried about fouling up the honey - even a little.

Me too.

>Also - for the bee escapes - Do I put a top board under the bottom most super and install the bee escape there? And what about all the bees – will they be bearded up on the outside?

I don't like moving the boxes twice and putting an escape under them while on the hive requires removing all the supers, adding the escape and replacing the supers.  So I just put a bottom board down, put the escape on top and stack the supers on there.  I might put supers from several hives on the stack until it's a comfortable height to work.  Then I put another bee escape on top.  Sometimes when you steal supers there's not enough room for the bees in the hive.  I put an empty super or two on until the bees fit.

>I am interested in what you posted. So I remove all the supers and place them behind the hive before dark?

Yes.

> Do I place them on a bottom board?

I don't.  I lay all of the boxes on their ends with the bottom and top open so they eaisly abandon the box.

> Do the bees make their way back to the main hive?

Yes.

> And how many bees will have to be brushed off?

That always depends on the weather, the bees and if there was a patch of brood in the super.

>I really don't want to mess with each individual frame.

But, if you extract in your kitchen like I do, you will ALWAYS have to mess with each indvidual frame somewhere to brush off the stragglers.
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Michael Bush
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2006, 09:16:34 AM »

Thanks for all the replies.  I am going to go ahead and give it another try - and do it the "old fashioned" way.  I also love working with the bees - but have to admit - the other day it was HOT, and so was the hive.  When I got the stings as a result - I can say I am shell shocked.  But I guess a boxer goes in the ring knowing he is going to get hit - so I'm going to go ahead and put the gloves back on.  At least now I got some knowledge to take in the ring.  When I was brushing off the bees the other day - I was definitely not flicking them off - so that could be what got them angry, as this was the first time I have got stung from them doing an inspection.  But I would guess that it is also because they don't want to give the honey either.  Again thanks for the replies and info.
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2006, 11:00:22 AM »

MB,

the way you do it sounds pretty easy.  do you have any problem with leaving the boxes out like that overnight.  i'm afraid i'd have field mice and slugs in there by the 100's if i did that.  

i liked the fume board for my little hive, but if i were to do multiple hives, your way sounds better.  just don't want slug slime in my honey!
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.....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
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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2006, 02:47:09 PM »

I went out to the hives on my other property - which I have not been able to get to in about a month.  I checked on my Lang hive there which was a new package installed hive this spring - and to my delight was a full medium super waiting for me to harvest.  So I went ahead and did the "quick snap, a quick flick with the brush" and removed all frames from the super.  however; this hive is a lot nicer then the one back home but I can see that using the brush is better when the bees are flicked off instead of rolled off.

I checked on my other two hives which are TBH's.... and that is another posting.
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2006, 02:34:04 PM »

>the way you do it sounds pretty easy. do you have any problem with leaving the boxes out like that overnight. i'm afraid i'd have field mice and slugs in there by the 100's if i did that.

With the "abandonment" method, you just leave them from dusk to dark.  NOT overnight.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2006, 10:40:58 AM »

Quote
With the "abandonment" method, you just leave them from dusk to dark. NOT overnight.


ah...i should have read more carefully  embarassed

thanks!
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.....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
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« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2006, 06:46:44 PM »

This might sound cruel to some, but I work for a commercial apiary doing pollination contracts, and we use a blower to get the bees out.  I was horrified the first time I did it myself, but it seems to work.  The honey super is laid on end and the frames are blown out in front of the hive.  They don't seem to get mad at this? for some reason.  Either they have brain damage or they think theres no point in stinging wind...I honestly didn't notice any dead bees from this and it worked nicely.  Some hives were bloody hot and it seemed to calm them down?  On the other hand some hives that we used fume boards with BEE Gone still had a scent to them weeks later.  In fact we are extracting those frames now and even though its a light scent its still detectable and being in a hot room with hundreds of BEE gone supers is quite disgusting.  Apparently the correct method was used but the odor is still there.  I don't think I would ever use it on my own hives.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2006, 10:28:57 PM »

I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your bees away.  That or bee escapes are my preferred methods.
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2006, 03:35:56 PM »

Alright, I went ahead and tried the "abandonment" method - and it might because I don't know what I am doing - but it didn't work for me.  after dark -  All the bees were still on the supers, and did not leave.   So I went to look at how many bees would have to be removed, and they swarmed me.  So I waited for early morning - before robbing would start, and frame by frame brushed the bees off of the 5 supers.  I don't think I will try that method again.

Either I will labor through brushing off the bees.  Or try the fume pad, and bee gone.......
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« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2006, 01:23:49 PM »

It has to be done during that time that the bees are all returning home.  They won't fly after dark.  From sundown, or just before sundown, until dark they will.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2006, 12:19:42 PM »

I only was removing 2 shallows when I took honey off the other day.  I took an empty deep out to the bees and set it on a single bed sheet.  I flipped the sheet over so it covered the empty super.  Then I went to the hives and removed one frame at a time; held the frame over or in front of the hive and shook it hard a couple of times; then used my bee brush to flick away the remaining bees; then put the now bee-free frame into the empty super and quickly covered the whole thing with the sheet.  

When the "empty" super was now full of 10 frames I picked it up by the handholds through the sheet and carried it indoors.  I did this twice at 2 PM in Hotlanta and only 2 bees ended up in the house with me.

I did apparently bring in about 12 or so small hive beetles which I either smashed or drowned - small advantage to get rid of a few of them....

Linda T
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2006, 04:54:26 PM »

Michael, I like your way of stacking the supers on a bottom board between escapes. Few concers: if the supers are from different hives, do they ever fight? The other one: has it ever happend that you took the queen in a super? Ten days ago I put queen excluder on top of two deeps to separate the third one which had some brood ready to hatch and some ampty spaces, and almost full shallow on top. I didn't want her to lay in that deep. She is laying where ever she founds the space. I checked the deep before, but I couldn't find her so I shook the bees off, put the excluder the deep, and than the shallow super almost full of honey. . I came from vacation, and checked on them. And gues what. All third deep was beautifuly full of brood, instead of honey. She must have been in the shallow super which I didn't check.
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« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2006, 08:04:05 PM »

>if the supers are from different hives, do they ever fight?

Ever?  I don't know.  I've never noticed a problem.  The bees in the supers during the day are mostly house bees and they don't seem to care.

>has it ever happend that you took the queen in a super?

Sure.  But not often enough to consider it a big problem. Smiley

> Ten days ago I put queen excluder on top of two deeps to separate the third one which had some brood ready to hatch and some ampty spaces, and almost full shallow on top. I didn't want her to lay in that deep. She is laying where ever she founds the space. I checked the deep before, but I couldn't find her so I shook the bees off, put the excluder the deep, and than the shallow super almost full of honey. . I came from vacation, and checked on them. And gues what. All third deep was beautifuly full of brood, instead of honey. She must have been in the shallow super which I didn't check.

They are sometimes in the most unexpected places.  I've found a three year old laying queen on the outside of the hive before.  That was before I even opened the hive.  I have also found them on the inner cover and most anywhere else you would imagine.  But not very often.

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« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2006, 06:47:13 AM »

Thank you Michael. I am planning to harvest in two weeks and I think I will use the methode.
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« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2006, 10:18:34 AM »

Just a re-affirmation on MB's admonishment not to leave your hive boxes sitting out over night. I did it recently and they did accumulate a distressing amount of vermin. I'll definitely retrieve them after dark (not the next morning) next time.
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