Removing Telescoping Covers when NO inner covers were used!

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Fuzzybeekeeper, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Fuzzybeekeeper

    Fuzzybeekeeper New Member

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    Ok....New problem.

    I have been asked to help clean up a situation at an educational facility where someone who knew just enough to get himself in trouble put telescoping covers on 12 hives and apparently did not use inner covers. I did a brief inspection last week and could not get a single telescoping cover off the top box. There are the fancy copper (colored) garden telescoping covers. The person who did this was not available and the new supervisor (who is a beginning beekeeper but was not in charge of the part of the operation) has not idea whether they are even around.

    This is the only explination I can come up with. I found NO inner covers in the rest of the equipment and my feeling is that he went "gung ho" and ordered the fancy tops but didn't order the inner covers.

    Now, how do I get the telescoping covers off with bees in the box?

    HELP!!!

    Fuzzybeekeeper ​
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    very carefully with a hive tool patiently prying starting from bottom edge working your way around the cover slowly
     

  3. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    twist them back and forth, just like pulling teeth!
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    this should make for some fun discussion at our Thursday meeting. a real learning moment only happens oh so often!
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Sometimes my lid will even stick to the inner cover. I slide my hive tool straight up in the small gap between the lid and the top of the super and then lever up using the top side of the super/lid area as a point of leverage. At about 30 degrees, I hear the pop and it's loose.
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I have had wood split before propolis gives taking wood with it, particularly concerning the inner cover sticking to the brood chamber/ supers. hot weather not so bad--cooler weather, propolis sets up hard.
     
  7. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    If the weather is hot, constant lifting and the propolis will stretch and let go. on cold weather smoke the bees wait a minute and one good blow upwards with a hammer, mallet or 3 ft of 2 X 4 and they will break loose. Break loose all of them and give the bees a few minutes to calm back down before entering.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    APIS............


    :goodpost:
     
  9. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    riverrat's right on. I just did my first fall inspection and even with inner covers I had a devil of a time getting the outer covers off! Just had to work my way around each box with my trusty hive tool! And once I got inside, they had bottom bars propolized to the tops bars of the box below! My girls love their bee glue!
     
  10. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Tia Bee Space! If the equipment is all the proper size the bees don't propolise the frame bottoms to the tops of the frames below space under 5/16 they propolise over 3/8 they build bur comb.
     
  11. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I have a few supers that are outside the boundary but I find it a blessing because I can now use those to collect a good amount of propolis for my personal supply. Lang wan't kidding though, there is definite truth behind that "bee space."
     
  12. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The 2 most important measurements in beekeeping The Length of the worker bee and the Bee Space. How many frames in a supper how tall or long the frames are doesn't mater to the bees as long as the frame spacing and bee space is right.
     
  13. Fuzzybeekeeper

    Fuzzybeekeeper New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice!!!

    I used 1 x 2 boards about 10 inches long. I put 3 wood screws in each one and then screwed them into the hive bodies 1/16 of an inch below the bottom of the telescoping cover.

    I then used a 16-inch pry bar to s l o w l y pry the telescoping cover up. They actually came off without much problem.

    A much bigger problem was trying to wedge the top of the frames from the bottom of the telescoping cover. Trying to hold UP on the telescoping cover while reaching in and trying to wedge the frames down took much longer than breaking the cover lose. The boxes had not been opened in at least a year. In fact, most of the hives had the queen cage in them from when they were installed and nobody could remember how long the hives have been there.

    So, after 14 live hives and 8 dead ones, we finished. Some of the queens definitely need to be replaced because they were vicious. No need to have mean bees at least in an educational setting. More work ahead.

    In fact, I left most of the pry-boards in place because there were still no inner covers available and I imagine we will do this all over again next time we go in.

    Anyway....another lesson learned and another problem solved with a question posted here. THANKS!!!!
     
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My first hive didn't come with an inner cover, so I figured they were unnecessary, but since my telescoping cover from Dadant came with an inner, I assembled it. I used migratory covers all summer, and seeing what the bees did with propolis on them inspired me to be sure I put inner covers under my telescoping.

    Oh and that bee space/ propolis vs burr comb, is right on! I have some serious bee glue girls out in the yard.
     
  15. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Fuzzy beekeeper you are more patent than me I would have just kicked the bottom edge of the cover with my steel toed boot. Would have been a sharp enough blow to break the bur-comb and the propolis both. Helped a fellow out a few years back who after getting stung got frightened and neglected the hive for a few years. never have seen a hive so glued together.

    lifting the frames below when trying to remove a top box can get the girls really upset in a hurry. In the brood boxes a greater chance of injuring the queen than if the top super can be gently removed, an outside frame removed and the rest of the frame pried away from the next to avoid rolling the queen and bees
     
  16. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    separating top box from bottom is a good idea. Italian hive tool shooting along the tops of the bottom frames is the tool for the job too.
     
  17. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I used a 36 inch machete on mine to seperate the super from the bottom box, lifted up put wooden shims in to hold the super up to get it in and cut the comb build up from the frames below.

    kebee