Vaseline on Frame Rest Ledges?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Crofter, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Has anyone tried slathering vaseline on to reduce propolis adhesion? It is not a very big problem now but as the temperature gets down in the fall you can nearly wreck frames popping them loose. I dont know how much difference there is breed to breed but these girls make it stick! I am not using metal rests on these hives.
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Never tried it but do try and keep the frames and rest cleaned off when I am into a hive.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    frank, there is a difference in the bees as far as laying down the propolis. it can drive one to having quite a conversation with ourselves and the bees......:grin:
    i have never used vaseline....and really metal rests don't help, the bees glue them down to the metal rests just as well. i just work at the ends of the frames, or the next one over, or the next one over scraping at it or them to free them, and a little pop or two at the ends with the hive tool, til i can get it to lift. (not sure how to describe how i do it.....:lol:) and i am guessing the bees would not like the vaseline!!!
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I have heard it works on observation hives so that you can slide the glass up and out. It supposedly stops them from propolizing the glass in place.
     
  5. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I have used Vaseline in my hives. I have used it on the frame rests (runners), on the contact points between Hoffman frames and on the upper and lower box edges. The idea is that it reduces the bees propolizing the two parts together. I don't use it at the moment.

    Some strains of bees seem to use a lot of propolis. This gets all over your fingers, gloves and tools. My way round it, is not to use a colony that has a lot of propolis for breeding new Q's.

    On a similar theme, I am lightly rubbing a block of beeswax onto the bottom edges of a box going onto a hive. I find that the slippyness allows the upper box to be more easily lined up with the lower. :think:
     
  6. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I placed one honey super down on top of another (skewed 45 degrees) during an inspection and when I picked the upper one up it lifted the bottom one a fair piece before it dropped. The bees did not see the humour of it! My bees are fairly generous with the propolis. Queens a bit on the dark side and elusive but they seem to winter well and easy on stores so I will have to put up with the glue.

    You say you rub wax on the hive bottoms; I assume parrafin not bees wax, is that correct?
     
  7. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Have edited my post to read beeswax ------ sorry.
     
  8. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I would not use vaseline around bees.
     
  9. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    How about shortening? We do use vaseline around our own babies! I have seen reference to filling the groove in Cloake boards so the slide can be moved readily; was not aware of cautions against it.
     
  10. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    IMHO, I don't think I would use anything with the label PETROLEUM jelly in my hives.
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "How about shortening? We do use vaseline around our own babies!"

    well that's funny frank, vaseline on babies yes, but insects aren't babies.....and shortening.....wouldn't use that on babies or insects......:lol:
    my ho, like ben's bees and gunsmith, wouldn't use vaseline, guess i just get used to them gluing things down. it's just natural for them, some more than others. i would think the bees would see the vaseline, even in a small amount as foreign, and 'hive cleaner' bees are going to try and remove it? getting vaseline clogging up their tongues,(proboscis)? not to mention their legs, and maybe other bees trying to clean this off?.....just my thoughts.....:grin:
     
  12. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    I would think that the heat inside a beehive would liquefy Vaseline. Like Riverbee, I'm not crazy about using a petroleum product inside my bee hives. So far, sugar water is the only chemical that I have introduced into my bee hives.
     
  13. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Could be one heck of a party!:grin: I can see that it might be messy and disrupt other necessary routine. If they track it around it could get on honey cappings.
     
  14. The Bee Guy

    The Bee Guy New Member

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    Small Hive Beetle love shortening so I wouldn't use it.
     
  15. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Thanks, Bee Guy; didnt know that. So far no hive beetles this far north but they have been found in Essex county which is not so far from where I got my bees from.
     
  16. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    I'm with lazy shooter on this one, nothing but sugar water introduced to mine.
     
  17. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    When I was using Vaseline, it was only a thin smear. The idea was to form a barrier to prevent the propolis gluing hard to the contact surfaces.
     
  18. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I get the idea, I just think it's a bad one and I wouldn't want to eat honey from a hive that had vaseline smeared in it for the bees to track everywhere including the honey and possibly making me sick when consuming it, not to mention it couldn't possibly taste very good... and all that's aside from the possibility of it harming your bees. I really don't see an up-side to this at all. propolis doesn't cause me so much extra work that I would risk any of that.

    As for shortening, it's better than vaseline, but it might attract bears and give SHB a boost. Still seems like an aweful lot to do to address a non-issue.
     
  19. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Whoa Ben!

    I'm not trying to sell it to you! I was questioning using it on the frame rests only. The bees dont get to track on it. When the frames are in and together with standard lang dimensions they dont get in that area. If you are worried about food grade mineral oil you better read the ingredients lists on a whole lot of consumer items from lip balm to food items. What bees do get to gleefully track into is any urine and rain water in the puddles in the barn yard; they think it is yummy but I have told them to wash their feet before they go into the house. I wonder if they use that in the bee bread recipe!

    My bees propolise a whole lot more than some I have worked on. It is not a non issue here especially as the weather cools off in the fall. Frames dont just pop loose and stay loose and even after they have been shifted singly you can't easily slide a bunch of them across the hive body. If you were not careful where you pried you would break ears or shoulders. I am not sure if it was Barbarian who said they deliberately breed for bees that propolize less. It must be an issue there too! I couldn't tell you the breeding but they are from Szabo Queens

    I wouldn't think a half spoonful of shortening would be much of added a bear attractant to a box full of honey!
     
  20. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Crofter,

    I didn't mean to come off as abrasive, I'm just saying I would never consider doing that for myself, and DEFINITELY not with vaseline. Vaseline isn't food grade mineral oil by the way. I don't have objections to FGMO... at least not like with Vaseline. I still think it's much ado about nothing even with safe ingredients.

    As for propolis being a problem, it's actually benefitial for the bees, that's why they do it. They didn't develop that trait through natural selection because it didn't offer them any advantage. Yes your bees probably do propolize more since part of the advantage is they can control cold drafts with it, again, non-issue as far as I'm concerned. As for making things a little stickier, big deal. So it's a little sticky, so you have to be careful and pry things apart slowly... who cares? If it helps the bees survive better, I say let them do it. By the way, I don't know how your bees behave, but mine crawl on the frame rests between the bars all the time, especially when I open the hive up.

    As for shortening and bears, shortening (fat) smells 10,000 times more attactive to a bear than honey (carbs). Bears go for fats before they go for protein and they go for protein before they go for carbs. Bears that get in to hives don't do it for the honey, they do it for the protein from the brood usually, unless you've got fats in the colony such as grease patties or SHB traps baited with vegetable oil (happened to me), or shortening on the frame rests, in which case that's what they're going for and the rest of it is just an afterthought.