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Author Topic: The frame grabber.  (Read 2875 times)
Anonymous
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« on: May 11, 2004, 12:13:52 PM »

When I've wanted to get a frame out for inspection, I've had to wait for the bees to get out of the way, then reached in with my fingers and try to pull the frame up by it's outside tabs.  Not easy if you're wear gloves, and if there's heavy propolis, forget it!  I take a minute to use the Maxant tool to pry one side up, then hold it while I try to pry loose the other side.  I try to put the tool somewhere I can get to it later, and then pick up the other side of the frame.  Sometimes I find a dead bee on the outside of the frame where she was pinched when it was pried up from one side.  

More problems when I'm replacing the frame...  My fingers holding the side tabs keep me from seeing if there are bees under there.  I give them a couple of "warning drops", but I have to put the frame down some time,
and often I hear the awful "crunch" of a wayward worker.



A frame-grip is a simple one-handed tong which allows you to get a frame out of the hive without having to use your clumsy fingers.  I'd read about them, and figured I'd give it a shot.

This thing is great for me.  I can lift the frame out without killing bees, or having to wait for them to get out of my way.  It allows me to hold the frame with one hand, while I use my other hand to take a picture of the frame, or point to the queen.  At an expense of only eleven or twelve dollars, I highly recommend it!

Rossman Apiaries in Georgia has it at http://www.gabees.com
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2004, 01:09:24 PM »

I use mine occasionally, although you can really send the bees a whirlling at you if the frame BREAKS LOOSE and bangs against the super or goes flying into the air too quickly.

So what I kearned is to use it on EACH END of the frame as a LEVERAGE DEVICE - I grab the front edge of the frame (just as if it were the middle of the frame) but I lift toward the center of the hive (kinda like a pull tab on a soda can) to lift the end, then repeat it on the other side.

This gives you great leverage and really good control - by time you have FREED both ends, the frame lifts smoothly out of place.

Although Jas... Nothing like getting your hands on the frame and manouvering them around to really look in - I find frame grabbers to wear my hands out quickly. But they really, are a handy tool.

I strongly suggest Never having more that ONE FRAME out and one in your hand at a time - in other words, having a THIRD frame out of the hive usually makes for trouble, remembering the order they came out in, the chance of bees bellowing out and other problems are greatly lowered when two frames are out and not more.

Also, Mark either the front or the rear of the frames with a permanent marker ( all on the same side of course) so you know which way to return the frame and NOT get it backwards - if you get uneven comb development as they build up from foundation, this will prevent crushing bees or FURTHER creating poor comb drawing.

John
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Lupus
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2004, 11:04:28 PM »

The Beemaster makes good sense again! I use mine pretty much that way too.

My problem is I have some plastic frames in my hives at the moment and the older style frame grips will not hold them securely. I just got one of the newer models, just like in the picture above. I will take it for a test drive tomorrow and report back.
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mark
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2004, 05:04:52 PM »

if doing a full inspection you can also take an extra super  with you and as you pull frames place them in the other super in the same order.  when done just move the empty and set the full box in it's place.  
  maxant tool is quickly becoming my favorite.  the hook is great plus it fits nice in the side pocket of my coveralls.
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