How do you minimized crushed bees when inspecting?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by mjrice, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. mjrice

    mjrice New Member

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    I'm looking for any advice on how to squash fewer bees when doing hive inspection. Especially when moving deeps and covers. I've tried brushing the bees off the top of the box when putting the covers back on, but I still manage to get a few of them.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, smoke them and they will run down into the box.

    Second, set the box or lid on "offset" and twist it into place.
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    To Iddee's advice, I would add:
    1. With your hive tool, give a twist (near both ends of the frame) to enlarge the space between the comb you're lifting and the adjacent comb(s).
    2. I usually lift my first comb with a frame-lifter tool. It fits into the space better than my fingers, gets a good hold on the frame and reduces the liklihood of its slipping.
    3. Work slowly and smoothly.
    Of course, there's nothing like experience. ;)
     
  4. rast

    rast New Member

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    And sometimes, no matter what you do, you are going to lose a few. One of those things you have to get used to like stings, you loose those bees also.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    After you are done with your next inspection and all of the frames are loose, shove them all to one side of the box, there will be just a little extra room on the other side to get the first one out.
     
  6. LtlWilli

    LtlWilli New Member

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    Slow and careful is the the word. Despite all you do, accept the fact that there may be few who get killed. You'd be there all day just trying to get one hive just right and safely reconstructed if you worry over every single bee....In a hive of 30K, two or three is barely on the scale of importance, because you need to get in and out as soon as is practicle.
    LtlWilli
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    You only need to worry about one bee..............the queen!
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    lots of good advice above.

    a mjrice snip:
    Especially when moving deeps and covers.

    to this I will add:
    If I have bees on a cover I simply tap (bump) the cover on the ground directly in front of the hive and allow the bees to climb or fly back into the hive. <it is good habit to look prior and after the fact to make certain the queen is not on the cover or on the ground.

    as a new bee keeper you should learn to 'herd' the bees with the smoker as I think Iddee has somewhat suggested above.

    over the long haul removing burr comb between the boxes (top bars and bottom bars) is one 'habit' that will minimize the crushing of bees.

    self admitted sinner----> any 'potential' new bee keeper who has ever seen me manipulate bees has never accused me of being a gentle bee keeper.
     
  9. mjrice

    mjrice New Member

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    This is what was confronting me by the time I was ready to put the inner cover back on my hive at the end of my last inspection... hence the question:

    Link to Picture

    I assume the smoker would have chased them back down as advised above... unfortunately I wasn't tending it and it had gone out by then :oops:
     
  10. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Just a couple of puffs from the smoker would have worked wonders on clearing them out, a little smoke goes a long way.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yep, that's when you light the smoker back up and herd them down into the box. The extra 2 or 3 minutes to light the smoker will save many bees. That's why I use a self lighting propane torch to light my smoker. It works quick.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    thanks for the picture. that is how bees should look at a certain point in the season. if the top box is drawn I would think about adding another box. a new bee keeper might not get a lot of honey out of their first year's endeavor but they should try to get as much comb made or drawn as is physically possible.

    getting a smoker lit and keeping it lit generally requires practice. light it every time you make an inspection and work at keeping it lit thru the entire inspection.
     
  13. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Bee brushes used to be a common tool that one would get in a Beginners Kit from the Supply Companies. If you had one of those, you could have brushed the bees off of the top edges of the box before putting on the inner cover. They would have found their way home.

    Maintaining a lit smoker is one of those beekeeping skills that one should develope. Work on it. You will be glad you did.
     
  14. mjrice

    mjrice New Member

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    I do have a bee brush and in this case that's what I did - just gently brushed them all off the edges as well as I could. Next time more smoke!

    tecumseh - both deeps were drawn and I added a super on the same day I took the photo.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    with a flow and a boiling hive of bees like the one in the picture they can draw out and fill a super pretty quickly. you might want to keep an eye on that one and just make certain they have room.
     
  16. mjrice

    mjrice New Member

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    Now were' talking ;)
     
  17. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Experience! I don't have a lot of time under my belt like a lot of you guys, but I have noticed for myself that working slowly and being more confident has done wonders for our bee populations. I used to feel like a serial killer every time we worked the hives!
     
  18. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    "That's why I use a self lighting propane torch to light my smoker. It works quick." I'm with you, Iddee. One of the best purchases I ever made!