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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to pull some honey supers off of hives in an outyard that is an hours drive from my house... so needless to say I don't want to have to make the drive twice if I can avoid it. There is no electricity in the area and I don't yet have a portable generator, so I can't run a blower to blow the bees off the comb either. Which begs the question, what's the best way to get the bees out of those supers?

I thought about using a bee brush, but that is very slow and runs a great risk of opening up the cappings and causing honey to be lost in possibly copious amounts.

I thought about using a fume board, but those usually take a day or two.

Right now I could still make the drive twice if I HAD to... but one day it might be an outyard that's 6 hours away (better be one HECK of an outyard :lol: ). So it begs the question, how would you do it?
 

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If there is a flow on, you can take all of the supers off of your hives, standing them on end, and the bees will leave them and go back to the hives or out to forage. Put the empty ones back on and load the full ones into your vehicle. By the time you are finished loading the supers will be almost bee free. There are always some who don't go home.

If there is one or two cells of drone brood in a honey super, the bees will stay in that super. Take the frame and exchange it.

Otherwise there are always fume boards.

Oh, yeah. Most bee blowers that I'm familiar w/ are gas motor driven. No electric needed. Have fun.
 

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Bens-Bees said:
I thought about using a fume board, but those usually take a day or two.
Fume boards take just a few minutes per hive. Splash a little Bee-Quick on the pad, put it on the super, wait a few minutes and it's empty. Perhaps you were thinking about bee escapes, which can take a day or two?
 

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I am not certain why you might think a fume board (+bee quick I would assume???) would require 'a day or two'?

You must utilize a bee brush much differently from myself since I have never notice 'copious amounts' of honey lost in the process. no matter what method is employed some syrup always ends up on the bed of the truck.

If I commonly used a blower* (which I do not) I would rig my vehicle with an inverter (one that was matched to the amperage of the blower) and use a blower.

*during one of my very commercial bee keeping tours of duty we used one of those back pack/ gas powered bee blowers that was really fast. utilized in the proper way it also didn't seem to disturb the bees so much.

after reading sqrcrk post I will add to his comment that you do need to recognize that in a large yard that robbing can quickly become an issue utilizing his method.

and finally.... I now mainly use fume boards and with this I commonly employ a empty deep shell place on the ground and near the hive to be robbed for LIGHTLY bumping the last bees from the supers that always seem to cling to the bottom bars and sometimes in the corner of the boxes.
 

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All good advice there Mr. T. It has been a while since I used fume boards, but I do have them. And properly used, a yard of 40 or so hives shouldn't take more than an hour or two to remove the honey supers, depending on the crop.

Yes, beware of robbing. That's why I said "if there is a flow on". If there isn't, and you try what I mentioned, there will be aflow real quick. From the supers back to the hives. Use yer noggin, as my Dad used to say. He was full of such quaint sayings. Or was it something else he was full of? :)

I have heard that 50 yaers ago and more, that when beekeepers went to their bee yards in the St. Lawrence Valley, where I live, in the fall to take off honey, they used to break off goldenrod and use that as a brush, across the tops of the supers and across the bottoms and up between the frames too. A good reason to have yards in thew goldenrod. Times have changed. No one does that anymore.
 

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If you play close attention to the introduction of Ulee's Gold you will notice that his crew is removing honey using the bee brush and a lot of elbow grease and then setting the boxes off to the side which allow any clinging bees to fly back home.... then after a stack has accumlated they are loaded on the truck using hand dollies (ps as the truck pulls away it is also quite obvious the deeps on the truck are empty given how they jostle around).
 

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All above is good advice, one thing i might add is that the fume board works better on sunny days ( they will clear out faster) cloudy days not so good. Good luck. Jack
 

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I have a bee blower. It is gasoline powered and does a good job of removing bees from supers. My problem lies in the bosses beliefs. since we do not use queen excluders she worries I may blow a queen into the weeds some place.
As a result we use the bee brush method and I bet in 10 years we have not brought 5 honey bees alive into the honey house. I pull each frame shake the bees back on the hive stack and brush any stubborn ones off. tghen the frame is handed to The boss who takes it to the truck depositing it into the honey super we brought to start the process with and then the super just cleaned out.
No bees are killed with the use of the brush no caps taken off either. I also have 3 brushes since I do run in to a frame or some with open cells and some honey gets on the tip of the bristles. It is washed in the pail of soapy water I always take to out yards and while it drys I use one of the other brushes.

:mrgreen: Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess I've had a different experience with bee-quick... it seems to take a while for me... but then, I've never used it to rid bees from honey supers, only to clear out stragglers after cut-outs, but they seem to linger anyway.

So I guess I'll try the fume board.

You know, I have three different bee blowers at home, all three are electric... my favorite one is my wife's old hair dryer with the heating element removed... works marvelously, and I love blowing them out of the supers because they don't seem to get mad at all and if I blow them at the entrance to the hive they'll just go right in immediately.
 

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The only time I ever really worked w/ someone who used a blower and knew what he was doing, he had a stand to put the super on, right in front of the hives and he blew the bees on the ground right in front of each hive. Isn't that the way to do it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I doubt it makes much difference, a stand would certainly make it easier though... but I've not had to blow bees out of enough honey supers yet to make a stand economical at this point in the venture. The way I've been doing it is pulling out one frame at a time and blowing the bees off of it then putting it in a seperate box and moving on to the next frame. So that's probably a very slow way to do it, not very good for dealing with a large honey production operation... but considering that I'm only going to be pulling honey from two hives this year, it makes sense for me to do it that way for now.
 

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BensBees writes:
I guess I've had a different experience with bee-quick... it seems to take a while for me...

tecumseh:
it is temperature (that required to heat up the fume board) sensitive. it doesn't seem to work here when there is a heavy overcast.. then I have to use other means of heating up the board.

when we removed bees with blowers a long time ago we used a stand like sqkcrk mentions. the stand was rigged with a small bit of canvas that acted like a slide (sloped at an angle) that directed the blown bees back toward the front entrance.
 
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