Author Topic: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???  (Read 9460 times)

The_path_less_taken

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fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« on: October 11, 2015, 08:37:39 PM »
Ok....these are my first bees, and my first real harvest (had taken one frame out last year)....my beekeeper buddy was supposed to be back but is elk hunting and I'd taken off work so....tried to harvest my two hives.

I really dunno if I'm cut out for this. I really, really, really try not to squish any but it seems somehow I always nail one moving the frames around. I couldn't even get the last frame out.

I did take the second story off at one point and set it about 2.5 feet from the hive and smoked a bunch hoping they'd move over....nope. I mean that I smoked shooing them in the direction I wanted them to go.
 
But they weren't having it. I smell like a chain-smoking teen sitting in an old fireplace myself, from smoking myself trying to keep the little bitches off of me.
 
I have the queen excluder and metal top back on the bottom hive. I have all but one frame in a brand new/washed/peroxided/rinsed plastic container. That one frame would not come out, so left it in there....hope they leave it and don't freeze tonight.
 
I keep trying to get the maybe 9-10 bees that are still jammed into the comb in the container---sitting in the middle of my living room--- out by hand...pretty soon I'm going to give up as I'm whipped.
 
The first 3 frames were sort of doubled up? Really pretty comb and could see honey. The last few were not completely full.
 
There has to be some trick I'm missing? I tried brushing them but they just got furious (got stung once through two layers of pants). I tried LITERALLY waltzing them around the frigging pasture, waving them in the air, hoping they'd fly away home: uh uh. I tried slamming the frame against the second story of the hive (after I took it off the main hive). I tried waving them like a parade flag hoping centrifugal force would get them off....not really. Some I tried blowing thru the netting at....just pissed 'em off more. WHAT is the trick????????????
 
I haven't even started on the second hive. Or the hive that swarmed (two months ago) somewhere under the shed porch. That is going to require a chainsaw/Sawzall and even more of a skillset.
 
Yikes. I am going to go imbibe a large quantity of alcohol and go to bed. I'll check in with you in the morning.

Thank you.

catccc

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2015, 10:14:44 PM »
My husband is a beekeeper, and I am not, so take this with a grain of salt.  I wouldn't worry about killing a bee here or there.  It just happens.  Watch out for queenie, but everybee else is part of a larger organism, the colony. 

If you are a beekeeper you will and probably should get stung on a semi-regular basis.  If you don't get stung, you'll be exposed to the bee venom in small amounts while never getting a full "dose," and this could lead to an anaphylactic reaction when you finally do get stung.  IDK if this is theoretical or proven, but there is a very high incidence of bee allergies among beekeepers' families, but not the beekeepers themselves.  DH actually does his bee laundry (anything he wears out to work hives) separately as a precaution.  I have not been stung in the 5-6 years he's been keeping bees.  I probably should.  Also, we have a friend who has been keeping bees for years and years, and recently had an anaphylactic reaction.  This beekeeper always wore a full suit and never got stung.  It could be a coincidence, but I think not.  Also, beekeepers are particularly long lived as a profession.  So it's probably good for you to get stung for living forever purposes.

You need to do a fling test or some other test to make sure your honey is totally "cured."  IDK if that is the right word for it or not, but you don't want to take nectar off the hive that hasn't completely become honey yet, because the moisture content could be too high and the honey could ferment.

If you are extracting the honey with a machine, my guess is you go ahead and cut the comb top off, and bees will hang out with the cut stuff while you extract from the frame.  If you are doing crush and strain, just go ahead and do your thing, ignoring the bees.  They'll probably hang out with the comb and honey above whatever you are using to filter the honey.  Ignore them and bottle it up.

Anyway, those are my thoughts as a beekeeper observer.  Hope they help somewhat.  Also, there are other forums out there just about beekeeping...

Tomacco

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 05:49:18 AM »
A leaf blower will get them off your frames quickly and won't hurt them. Don't worry about killing some- their lifespan is crazy short anyways

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 06:59:26 AM »
Thank you both: buying a leaf blower today.

catcc: I got stung 7 times in the head last time when I tried to take just one frame, and the beekeeper tripped and dropped the hive....had no idea he'd done that and he'd said "just stand still, I'm only putting the second story on so you don't need your suit" so I was just standing there: he ran off and I was like...."whaaa? arrrrrrrgh! OW!" and all the expletives I had.

Then he did the Native American 'cure', where you take three different WEEDS growing in the ground and smear them over the wound after first trying to extract it with the edge of a credit card: so I had huge bumps all over my head covered in what looked like green vomit. heh heh.

No one said the learning curve would be so damn interesting....

catccc

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 07:24:03 AM »
Beekeeping is not for sissies, which is why I don't do it!  DH has gotten stung up his nose once.  I think he said that was the worst.  He usually wears a veil, but no gloves or suit, and expects to get stung.  Good luck!  DH doesn't own a leafblower, IDK how he deals...

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 07:43:27 AM »
Up his nose? Aaayyyy!

Thank you.

I have a jacket with the built in hood. The zipper has a Velcro patch over the toggled end: when the wind blew over a hive and I had to put it back together near dark last year, one bee CRAWLED though the Velcro and tried to sting me in the eye....but I freaked and squished it in the veil. I felt bad but....no more face stings, please!

Greg

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 08:15:53 AM »
I use a "bee escape" to help with harvesting.  It's a small one-way door, I place it between the top box (honey super) and the rest of the hive boxes the day before (at least) I want to harvest honey.  The bee escape is plastic and mounted in the center of a false lid the same exterior dimensions of the hive boxes.  Over 24 hours or so almost all of the bees will leave the top box for one reason or another, so when I take the top box off it's usually empty. 

I also use a leaf blower, to get rid of any hangers-on.  I usually only harvest the top box and leave the honey in the lower boxes (my current hive is 3 hive boxes) for the bees.

Hope this helps.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 08:30:09 AM »
Thank you, Greg. Never heard of that, will ask the old timer if he has them when he gets back in town.

I just went out there: the ones I'd brushed off just past sunset were sitting in a clump on the leather portion of my smoker....brushed them off right by the hive entrance.

Then looked over at the second story which had one frame left in: huge, huge ball of bees, plus the frame was full of bees.

Put my bee jacket and gloves on, came back out and finally got that frame off, got them brushed off right near the hive entrance.

So far, so good. Rolled the (70 +/- pound) clear plastic container out front to try and get the maybe 17 bees that were crawling around those frames of honey off....they are hard to catch, even crawling. They started flying, so put the lid on thinking I'd come back when it warms up a bit and they might fly off?

Came inside, took my bee jacket off: and got stung in my living room under my boob.

So, I think the leaf blower is an awesome idea because I could have blown the jacket off and known that bitch was off before getting stung.

Learning curve...

kimmarg

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 10:20:34 AM »
Ok....these are my first bees, and my first real harvest (had taken one frame out last year)....my beekeeper buddy was supposed to be back but is elk hunting and I'd taken off work so....tried to harvest my two hives.

I really dunno if I'm cut out for this. I really, really, really try not to squish any but it seems somehow I always nail one moving the frames around. I couldn't even get the last frame out.

I did take the second story off at one point and set it about 2.5 feet from the hive and smoked a bunch hoping they'd move over....nope. I mean that I smoked shooing them in the direction I wanted them to go.
 
But they weren't having it. I smell like a chain-smoking teen sitting in an old fireplace myself, from smoking myself trying to keep the little bitches off of me.
 
I have the queen excluder and metal top back on the bottom hive. I have all but one frame in a brand new/washed/peroxided/rinsed plastic container. That one frame would not come out, so left it in there....hope they leave it and don't freeze tonight.
 
I keep trying to get the maybe 9-10 bees that are still jammed into the comb in the container---sitting in the middle of my living room--- out by hand...pretty soon I'm going to give up as I'm whipped.
 
The first 3 frames were sort of doubled up? Really pretty comb and could see honey. The last few were not completely full.
 
There has to be some trick I'm missing? I tried brushing them but they just got furious (got stung once through two layers of pants). I tried LITERALLY waltzing them around the frigging pasture, waving them in the air, hoping they'd fly away home: uh uh. I tried slamming the frame against the second story of the hive (after I took it off the main hive). I tried waving them like a parade flag hoping centrifugal force would get them off....not really. Some I tried blowing thru the netting at....just pissed 'em off more. WHAT is the trick????????????
 
I haven't even started on the second hive. Or the hive that swarmed (two months ago) somewhere under the shed porch. That is going to require a chainsaw/Sawzall and even more of a skillset.
 
Yikes. I am going to go imbibe a large quantity of alcohol and go to bed. I'll check in with you in the morning.

Thank you.

Hiya fellow beek! I'm supposed to be extracting but I'm on the internet instead.... :)

I didn't quite follow your post, but it seems you are trying to harvest honey? There are two main ways to get the bees out of the super to get the honey.

1) a bee escape. This is a board with a weird triangle hole in it. Put it under the super you want emptied, triangle side down and leave it overnight. The bees will find their way out of the triangle maze but not back in (well if you give them long enough they will but not overnight) next day remove super.

2) a fume board. Get some Fischer bee-quick (there are other brands) and spray it on something absorbent (get a fume board specifically for this purpose or repurpose something else). Put the icky smelling layer on top of the super you are trying to empty, wait about 10min and it will be empty

Either of these way there will be a few bees left. Such is life. You can try to bush them off with a brush frame by frame or if you have a shed just leave it in there and they will die. Killing bees is par for the course. Remember you are trying to keep a super organism of 50,000+ bees alive. Individual bees will die within a few weeks anyways.

Finally bees will not leave brood. If you have  significant bees (100+) left in the super after either of eg he above steps check the frames. Any mother will tell you they won't leave babies behind!

Also make sure you are leaving enough for the bees to get through winter. Typically you don't harvest honey from either of the two main deep boxes, just extra supers stacked on top.

Finally try the beesource.com forums for more answers. Ok, gotta go extract!

catccc

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 01:43:45 PM »
where do you guys live that you are harvesting right now?  I guess I have heard of a few beekeepers that are pulling off late summer/early fall supers.  But most everyone else harvested the spring crop in july and are feeding bees now, prepping for the winter.

regulator

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 06:23:08 PM »
Second the mention of a bee escape.  What I did this year is use a bee escape with the weird triangular thing.  Put it under the super and come back early the next morning.  Pull the super and escape and move them away from the hive.  Cover the rest of the hive back up.  Inside your stolen super there will be a few bees.  What I did was have an extra super and lid handy with no frames in it.  Pull a full frame you stoke, brush the bees off it, and stick it in the empty super (covered up so they cannot get in).  Repeat until you have transferred all the now bee-free frames of honey into your extra super.  Abscond to your processing area and get on with it.  Pretty easy, if a little time consuming and you should have minimal bee losses.

kimmarg

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2015, 06:51:17 PM »
where do you guys live that you are harvesting right now?  I guess I have heard of a few beekeepers that are pulling off late summer/early fall supers.  But most everyone else harvested the spring crop in july and are feeding bees now, prepping for the winter.
I'm not harvesting, just really slow on my extracting, pulled spring honey start of July, and fall honey Labor Day. Left a few partially full supers on top of the inner cover to feed back to them while I did the mite treatment in September. Go figure the bees didn't take the honey out of the supers and fill their hive they put more in.... S now I'm extracting the last bits to feed back to them in a bucket.

In irony while I was responding to this thread the first time over lunch the door of he the bee house blew open and the bees found my honey.... Yea there's a lot of bees in the bee house now! Oops...

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2015, 08:58:47 AM »
Thank you for all of the replies. Both stings are now huge raised swollen bumps that I can't stop scratching....but I feel bad the bee died doing it more than the aggravation. It just seems so 'wrong' in my head to kill them while I'm stealing their honey.

If they didn't cost $600+ I'd be buying those "Flow" hives today.

I am going to find those triangle things!

And I'm thinking that I'm going to board mount a low power leaf blower and blow the girls remaining off the frames, as the brush seemed pretty harsh on them. And ineffective: I'd brush one side, they'd fly/crawl to the to the other side.

I'm in northern NV. I had read that the 'safest' thing for the bees was to harvest in the spring, but that was on the African hives, not the regular Lang boxes. And probably not in this latitude. So when I mentioned it to the beekeeper he said to get out there right away.

But I'm going to keep half the honey in comb and feed it back to them, I think. Just in case, since it's supposed to be an el Nino year.

Last year when it dropped below zero for a few days I put a 4 inch thick Glulam on top of the hive to try and help hold in heat, and half a bale of hay on top of the other one.

What do you cold weather people do?

And THANK YOU for the bee forum info!!!


Axecleaver

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2015, 10:35:14 AM »
Hi Path, my Dad kept 30 hives in the 70's when I was growing up. We did about 2000# of honey a year. I read with interest about all these new fangled contraptions you modern beekeepers have access to; Bee escapes and leaf blowers? Flow hive? Sounds pretty handy. All we had in the old days was smokers and canvas bee suits.

A couple of tips that you might not have heard. The smoker is used to calm the hive. It does not make the bees move; in fact, it lowers their motility significantly. Your strategy with the smoker is to calm the hive with it, do what you have to, and get out of Dodge.

There are 60-80k worker bees in an active hive in the summer. By the end of winter they are down to about 20k bees. Squashing a few, or killing them by allowing them to sting you, is not going to harm the hive in the least little bit.

To break the beeswax seals on the hive, use a thin spackling tool. This will fit between the supers and break the seals so you can lift it off the hive. For the really tough ones, I've used straight screwdrivers with some leverage. A crowbar might even work though I've never had to go with that.

The secret to not getting stung is to maintain your composure. If you feel anxiety or fear, the bees can detect that and will be more likely to attack. I know this sounds crazy, but it's true. When I was little I would help my father search for queens to split hives, pawing through thousands of bees, completely unprotected. I never got stung doing this because he had taught me to keep calm. Each hive has a personality which is driven by the Queen. Some hives are better tempered than others.

Also, be really careful leaving the tops off the hives for more than a few minutes. This makes it hard for the bees to maintain the internal temperature of the hive, which if it gets cold, can lead to a chilled brood. We used to insulate the tops of our hives in the winter which seemed to help them out.

catccc

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 01:23:52 PM »
1) I found out DH uses something similar to bee-quick.  He doesn't own a leaf blower.  There are usually stragglers, and he uses a bee brush to sweep them off the frames.

2)  Ask any very experienced beekeeper (maybe anyone beyond hobbyist level), and the will rattle off tons of reasons the flow hive isn't a good idea.  at a pretty basic level, how are you supposed to know if you are extracting fully honeyed honey?  So my vocab isn't so good, but you gotta make sure it's capped or passes some sort of fling test.  Plastic- this contraption is full of it, the bees aren't crazy about it, and I can't even guess what the bees will do with comb that's been emptied from the inside.  Are they going to uncap all the empty cells and fill them all again? As one article put it: The Flow Hive is touted as a “beekeeper’s dream.” But in my opinion, it’s a wannabe’s fantasy.  If you wanna keep bees, you gotta realize it's an arduous task to maintain hives and harvest honey.  And every winter all your efforts have high chance of going down the tubes.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 05:53:08 PM »
Hi Path, my Dad kept 30 hives in the 70's when I was growing up. We did about 2000# of honey a year. I read with interest about all these new fangled contraptions you modern beekeepers have access to; Bee escapes and leaf blowers? Flow hive? Sounds pretty handy. All we had in the old days was smokers and canvas bee suits.

A couple of tips that you might not have heard. The smoker is used to calm the hive. It does not make the bees move; in fact, it lowers their motility significantly. Your strategy with the smoker is to calm the hive with it, do what you have to, and get out of Dodge.

There are 60-80k worker bees in an active hive in the summer. By the end of winter they are down to about 20k bees. Squashing a few, or killing them by allowing them to sting you, is not going to harm the hive in the least little bit.

To break the beeswax seals on the hive, use a thin spackling tool. This will fit between the supers and break the seals so you can lift it off the hive. For the really tough ones, I've used straight screwdrivers with some leverage. A crowbar might even work though I've never had to go with that.

The secret to not getting stung is to maintain your composure. If you feel anxiety or fear, the bees can detect that and will be more likely to attack. I know this sounds crazy, but it's true. When I was little I would help my father search for queens to split hives, pawing through thousands of bees, completely unprotected. I never got stung doing this because he had taught me to keep calm. Each hive has a personality which is driven by the Queen. Some hives are better tempered than others.

Also, be really careful leaving the tops off the hives for more than a few minutes. This makes it hard for the bees to maintain the internal temperature of the hive, which if it gets cold, can lead to a chilled brood. We used to insulate the tops of our hives in the winter which seemed to help them out.



I was semi calm until they started crawling thru the Velcro that covers the zipper openings. And then when I couldn't get the frames to release

I have that red beekeeper metal tool, but some of the frames were....solid from one side to the other....as in, it was double comb: comb on one side, comb in the middle straight through to the next frame which also had comb all the way across? No place to pry them apart.

And then when the bzzzzzz goes up an octave and they started stinging: one backed up at eye level and I could see it stabbing its stinger thru the mesh veil, trying to nail me....and as soon as I got stung I'm sure my pheromones were "OMG I am performing bee massacre instead of a surgical honey strike!"

I don't like killing them. It freaks be out, big time. I literally opened the plastic container and began fishing them out on a stick so they wouldn't drown/suffocate. Took me hours.

I know the smoke is supposed to mellow them as they panic and gorge on honey to swarm. But I figured in the air near them they'd avoid it? Like herding cats though.

I did get the top back on the single story part of the hive within maybe twenty minutes. But the second story that had the one frame cemented to it's wall, and a ton of bees, got left out overnight...couldn't figure out what to do with it and figured they'd fly the 2.5 feet home to the main hive. They didn't, and I brushed them off in the morning when they were cold/slow, right onto the beehive porch.


The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2015, 06:00:26 PM »
1) I found out DH uses something similar to bee-quick.  He doesn't own a leaf blower.  There are usually stragglers, and he uses a bee brush to sweep them off the frames.

2)  Ask any very experienced beekeeper (maybe anyone beyond hobbyist level), and the will rattle off tons of reasons the flow hive isn't a good idea.  at a pretty basic level, how are you supposed to know if you are extracting fully honeyed honey?  So my vocab isn't so good, but you gotta make sure it's capped or passes some sort of fling test.  Plastic- this contraption is full of it, the bees aren't crazy about it, and I can't even guess what the bees will do with comb that's been emptied from the inside.  Are they going to uncap all the empty cells and fill them all again? As one article put it: The Flow Hive is touted as a “beekeeper’s dream.” But in my opinion, it’s a wannabe’s fantasy.  If you wanna keep bees, you gotta realize it's an arduous task to maintain hives and harvest honey.  And every winter all your efforts have high chance of going down the tubes.




I got into this after reading "The Beekeeper's Lament"....awesome book. It is a time consuming, arduous task. And heavy: had no idea the frames would be so heavy when full.

I guess besides the insane price, the Flow hive doesn't really make sense to me for the same reason re-using the frame cores until they are very black doesn't make sense to me (and I of course could be wrong): I like clean stuff in there.

I can see the comment my beekeeper pal (STILL out of town, damn it!) makes about the African/Top Bar style hives is that the bees are forced to spend  a ton of energy making new wax each year

But wouldn't it be cleaner, inside the hive, if they did? Less chance of mites? I can see reusing it once/twice. But do you just keep reusing it?

kimmarg

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2015, 06:52:25 AM »
Hi Path, my Dad kept 30 hives in the 70's when I was growing up. We did about 2000# of honey a year. I read with interest about all these new fangled contraptions you modern beekeepers have access to; Bee escapes and leaf blowers? Flow hive? Sounds pretty handy. All we had in the old days was smokers and canvas bee suits.

A couple of tips that you might not have heard. The smoker is used to calm the hive. It does not make the bees move; in fact, it lowers their motility significantly. Your strategy with the smoker is to calm the hive with it, do what you have to, and get out of Dodge.

There are 60-80k worker bees in an active hive in the summer. By the end of winter they are down to about 20k bees. Squashing a few, or killing them by allowing them to sting you, is not going to harm the hive in the least little bit.

To break the beeswax seals on the hive, use a thin spackling tool. This will fit between the supers and break the seals so you can lift it off the hive. For the really tough ones, I've used straight screwdrivers with some leverage. A crowbar might even work though I've never had to go with that.

The secret to not getting stung is to maintain your composure. If you feel anxiety or fear, the bees can detect that and will be more likely to attack. I know this sounds crazy, but it's true. When I was little I would help my father search for queens to split hives, pawing through thousands of bees, completely unprotected. I never got stung doing this because he had taught me to keep calm. Each hive has a personality which is driven by the Queen. Some hives are better tempered than others.

Also, be really careful leaving the tops off the hives for more than a few minutes. This makes it hard for the bees to maintain the internal temperature of the hive, which if it gets cold, can lead to a chilled brood. We used to insulate the tops of our hives in the winter which seemed to help them out.



I was semi calm until they started crawling thru the Velcro that covers the zipper openings. And then when I couldn't get the frames to release

I have that red beekeeper metal tool, but some of the frames were....solid from one side to the other....as in, it was double comb: comb on one side, comb in the middle straight through to the next frame which also had comb all the way across? No place to pry them apart.

And then when the bzzzzzz goes up an octave and they started stinging: one backed up at eye level and I could see it stabbing its stinger thru the mesh veil, trying to nail me....and as soon as I got stung I'm sure my pheromones were "OMG I am performing bee massacre instead of a surgical honey strike!"

I don't like killing them. It freaks be out, big time. I literally opened the plastic container and began fishing them out on a stick so they wouldn't drown/suffocate. Took me hours.

I know the smoke is supposed to mellow them as they panic and gorge on honey to swarm. But I figured in the air near them they'd avoid it? Like herding cats though.

I did get the top back on the single story part of the hive within maybe twenty minutes. But the second story that had the one frame cemented to it's wall, and a ton of bees, got left out overnight...couldn't figure out what to do with it and figured they'd fly the 2.5 feet home to the main hive. They didn't, and I brushed them off in the morning when they were cold/slow, right onto the beehive porch.

If you have frames that are attached together by comb (eg the bees built them together not just a little bit stuck) then your frames are too farm apart. If they are close enough together the bees will not have space to build extra comb.

Axe cleaver is right, you should stay calm.... That said I've run back to the house with my pants around my ankles when one got up my pants and stung me :)

Harvesting timelines and amounts vary a LOT by region. I'm about 2700 miles east of you, already battening down the. Hatches for winter. Talk to your local Beekeepers. Join a bee club! Our local club has a great listserv for questions and monthly meetings.

Also around here fall is time to treat for varroa mites if you do that kindofthing.  (Which I encourage but I don't need to have that discussion on this forum)

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2015, 09:26:34 AM »
kimmarg....I am so sorry about the pants invasion! I intend to look for XXL  pants in the MC Hammer style at thrift stores and double up on those...the whole bee suits were expensive and I figured since I'm so short they wouldn't really fit me anyway...

As for the frames...the wood part that hangs on the box were almost touching each other, if not touching?
Maybe one could have been a hairs width closer but the rest seemed pretty close together, and the beekeeper set that up...

I have read about the mite treatments. I'm waiting for him to check the other one and this one but I don't think he treats?

Of all the ones I've heard of, the powdered sugar one sounds least invasive to me. What do you use?

kimmarg

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2015, 10:15:15 AM »
kimmarg....I am so sorry about the pants invasion! I intend to look for XXL  pants in the MC Hammer style at thrift stores and double up on those...the whole bee suits were expensive and I figured since I'm so short they wouldn't really fit me anyway...

As for the frames...the wood part that hangs on the box were almost touching each other, if not touching?
Maybe one could have been a hairs width closer but the rest seemed pretty close together, and the beekeeper set that up...

I have read about the mite treatments. I'm waiting for him to check the other one and this one but I don't think he treats?

Of all the ones I've heard of, the powdered sugar one sounds least invasive to me. What do you use?

In hindsight running around the backyard in a bee veil and no pants was kinda funny. :) I normally just wear thick carhart type pants and a jacket or veil. I don't have a dedicated bee suit.

Powdered sugar just let's you count the mites - doesn't do much for treatment. I use ApifeVar which is a mixture of three essential oils. Basically the bees hate the smell and so they go around to each other saying "ewww get this smell off of me!" And in the process or trying to get the stink out they rub off all the mites. There are people who don't treat, but I don't recommend it for beginners. You run a much higher risk of loosing your whole hive and investment and you need advanced level management skills to really do it. Easier to out some menthol/thymol stuff on them and let them take care of it. Talk to your local guy. Mentor is worth well over a thousand words!

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2015, 10:30:48 AM »
Man, I bet you could have sold the video online for a meme!

I would maybe be ok with essential oils...I have a lot of those, and intend to buy another small still just to make my own.

But....if the oil just makes them groom excessively so the mites fall off/die, how does that differ from just the powdered sugar? I must be missing something...

I lost the Top Bar hive, but in hindsight I think it wasn't level which is why their comb was one gigantic ball of crazy...they probably got embarrassed and left, I dunno.  I also had an insane wasp issue last year.

regulator

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2015, 02:02:01 PM »
kimmarg....I am so sorry about the pants invasion! I intend to look for XXL  pants in the MC Hammer style at thrift stores and double up on those...the whole bee suits were expensive and I figured since I'm so short they wouldn't really fit me anyway...

As for the frames...the wood part that hangs on the box were almost touching each other, if not touching?
Maybe one could have been a hairs width closer but the rest seemed pretty close together, and the beekeeper set that up...

I have read about the mite treatments. I'm waiting for him to check the other one and this one but I don't think he treats?

Of all the ones I've heard of, the powdered sugar one sounds least invasive to me. What do you use?

How often have you been inspecting this hive?  Every 2 weeks?  Or every 2 months?  If you are not maintaining the hive and scraping bridge comb on a regular basis, you can have a mess.

The most effective mite treatment I have used is Mite Away Quick Strips (formic acid).  This is a substance that is naturally in the hive, honey and bee stings and after a week the mites are nuked.  Easy to use as well, so long as you can do it in a time period when you have 3 consecutive days where the temp does not go over 85F.

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2015, 08:29:36 PM »
kimmarg....I am so sorry about the pants invasion! I intend to look for XXL  pants in the MC Hammer style at thrift stores and double up on those...the whole bee suits were expensive and I figured since I'm so short they wouldn't really fit me anyway...

As for the frames...the wood part that hangs on the box were almost touching each other, if not touching?
Maybe one could have been a hairs width closer but the rest seemed pretty close together, and the beekeeper set that up...

I have read about the mite treatments. I'm waiting for him to check the other one and this one but I don't think he treats?

Of all the ones I've heard of, the powdered sugar one sounds least invasive to me. What do you use?

How often have you been inspecting this hive?  Every 2 weeks?  Or every 2 months?  If you are not maintaining the hive and scraping bridge comb on a regular basis, you can have a mess.

The most effective mite treatment I have used is Mite Away Quick Strips (formic acid).  This is a substance that is naturally in the hive, honey and bee stings and after a week the mites are nuked.  Easy to use as well, so long as you can do it in a time period when you have 3 consecutive days where the temp does not go over 85F.



Every 3 months? (not enough, I'm guessing)

The beekeeper dude came and put the second story supers on in early June I think?

I guess if you're scraping the comb you probably are squishing those bees? I dunno if I can do that...

I want a way to have zero fatalities while I steal their honey....possible?

Even just setting the lid back on I know I squished at least two. I hate that...

regulator

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2015, 08:56:48 AM »
kimmarg....I am so sorry about the pants invasion! I intend to look for XXL  pants in the MC Hammer style at thrift stores and double up on those...the whole bee suits were expensive and I figured since I'm so short they wouldn't really fit me anyway...

As for the frames...the wood part that hangs on the box were almost touching each other, if not touching?
Maybe one could have been a hairs width closer but the rest seemed pretty close together, and the beekeeper set that up...

I have read about the mite treatments. I'm waiting for him to check the other one and this one but I don't think he treats?

Of all the ones I've heard of, the powdered sugar one sounds least invasive to me. What do you use?

How often have you been inspecting this hive?  Every 2 weeks?  Or every 2 months?  If you are not maintaining the hive and scraping bridge comb on a regular basis, you can have a mess.

The most effective mite treatment I have used is Mite Away Quick Strips (formic acid).  This is a substance that is naturally in the hive, honey and bee stings and after a week the mites are nuked.  Easy to use as well, so long as you can do it in a time period when you have 3 consecutive days where the temp does not go over 85F.



Every 3 months? (not enough, I'm guessing)

The beekeeper dude came and put the second story supers on in early June I think?

I guess if you're scraping the comb you probably are squishing those bees? I dunno if I can do that...

I want a way to have zero fatalities while I steal their honey....possible?

Even just setting the lid back on I know I squished at least two. I hate that...

So if you are going to be taking care of a hive, I would strongly suggest you at least buy a book and read it.  I find the Backyard Beekeeper to be pretty clear and helpful, but there are lots of others.

You need to inspect the hive every two weeks or so.  When you do so, you are looking to make sure everything is OK, check on the progress of the hive, and take any corrective actions necessary to help the bees out.  When you inspect you move slow and gently and you should squash few if any bees.  You also get practice being in and around the hive.  As you inspect, you scrape off excess comb where it should not be and as you lift the individual frames out you ensure that they do not simply become one single mass of comb that cannot be lifted out (what seems to have happened with your hive).

Let me be really clear: YOU HAVE TO TREAT THE BEES FOR MITES.  This isn't something you can skip or go homeopathic on.  They will die without help against the mites.  Essential oils will not cut it.  There are a number of products out there that are safe, proven, and composed of organic-origin ingredients (not synthetic pesticides) and you need to pick one and use it.  The ones that appear to be most effective are based on formic acid (Mite Away Quick Strips), thymol (Apiguard) and oxalic acid.  I would tell you that in my experience Mite Away Quick Strips are cheap, effective, easy to use, and only take a week to finish treatment.  But you need to get moving on this now before it gets too cold.

RetiredAt63

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2015, 11:11:03 AM »
It's years since we kept bees, but . . .

I got stung at the side of my eye once, it swelled shut for 3 days.  But what hurt the most was getting stung on my shin.  And never wear a ring when working with bees or extracting honey, in case you get stung on a finger!

Honey ready for extracting is capped, if it is not capped you should not take it, it is too wet.  The flow hive pictures are misleading, the harvesting has to be done inside, or the bees (and wasps) will rob it as you take it.  I think they are a gimmick.  Also, when you put the honey supers on you should use a queen excluder board as well, so the queen can't go up there and lay brood.  And if she isn't there, you can't kill her by accident when you take the honey supers off  ;-)

A full super is heavy, I liked the really shallow ones for honey, full depth for brood.  And really shallow ones are what you need if you want to produce any cut comb.

kimmarg

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2015, 08:33:02 PM »
I second regulator, treat for mites!! I use ApiLifeVar which is thymol based. I don't just mix my own essential oils. Personally I don't like MAQS but they have their advantages (1 week and honey supers on) you should inspect every week or two. Oxyalic acid is not currently legal in my jurisdiction, so I'm not sure how it works.


Top bar is a whole other ball game. All I got to say about that is the design comes from Africa and it hit -17F here last year..... Top bar is like 90% loss overwinter. but maybe not if you're down near Vegas?

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2015, 07:18:14 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

regulator: it seems to be the popular route, treating. I know he doesn't because I asked him. I had intended to try powdered sugar but haven't yet.

It seems so intrusive, to check on them so often. But I could probably mange every 3 weeks.

Hopefully he'll be able to come by Sunday and I'll take off work to deal with this.


retiredat63--I bought a hive with the small ones, just need to tung oil the exterior and it's where I plan on putting the swarm under the porch. Hopefully.

Ow on the eye sting! I must be partially allergic or the fact that I couldn't stop scratching but these last two stings I got very swollen....the one on my chest was about 4x5 inches and raise over half an inch the other day. Still partly swollen. Glad your eye is ok.


kimmarg---the literature said they'd be ok at this elevation: 4,000ASL in northern NV. And I bought a high end one with inch thick cedar. The wind and possible the dogs had it at an angle so it wasn't totally level and he thinks that is why it was just one big comb. I also didn't mess with it every two weeks like you all are suggesting though.



Sad to say, I did look at a lot of stuff online, but when it came down to it they just wouldn't let go of the comb: I'd tap them off, and brush them off, but I always had 25+ bees crawling all over it and couldn't ever get a frame bee-free to put in the bin. And with the comb just one solid chunk across up to 4 frames...it was a big mess.

I think I'm going to put rigid 4 inch insulation around the hives this winter, if it's bad. Or at the very least, on top, since heat rises.

I know the beekeeper dude just leaves his, and some die. But I have the insulation available and think anything that helps them out is worth it.

RetiredAt63

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2015, 06:45:43 PM »
Wintering - we were in southern Quebec, so cold snowy winters.  We insulated (wrapped) and made sure the cover was insulated and well anchored.  We also reduced the entrance size, but they do need some access to outside.  They need lots of winter stores and they need the honey frames to be all next to each other - if they end up with empty frames around the winter cluster they will starve even if there are full frames a few frames over, it is too cold for them to move that distance.  I am sure your mentor will check your hive for this before you leave it for winter.

My eye was fine by 5 days after the sting.  When I got stung on my ring finger I got that ring off super fast, which was good because the finger got very swollen (all those little knuckle wrinkles that let your fingers bend?  They were gone).  We were extracting honey and a stray bee got me that day, I never wore rings around the hives.  After that I never wore a ring anywhere near a place there could be bees.  Live and learn.

Spork

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2015, 08:14:31 PM »
When I got stung on my ring finger I got that ring off super fast, which was good because the finger got very swollen...

I am mostly posting this to follow.  I've always found bees fascinating and never (yet) tried beekeeping.

If you have a swollen finger/stuck ring, try my dad's method:  Tightly wind thread around your finger below the ring.  Wrap it carefully, laying each thread next to the previous.  When wind up to the ring, use a needle (or whatever method works for you) to get the thread under the ring.  Then just unwind the thread behind the ring.  Viola.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2015, 06:38:28 AM »
5 days is fast: mine are still raised/itchy and it wasn't on my eye. Heh heh....wrinkle free hands. Yikes. Got kicked by horse once and the hand got so swollen couldn't get my long sleeved shirt off....had to cut the sleeve.

Spork: nice trick!

Rezdent

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2015, 08:50:50 AM »
Chiming in about stings.
I'm a beekeeper, as was my dad, so I've been around bees my whole life.  Props to my dad, I was never stung until I started beekeeping solo in my twenties.

My first sting of the year is always the worst.  I have what's called a "large reaction" and the site gets comically large.  A sting on my finger may swell all the way to my elbow.  It's incredibly itchy too.

But each subsequent sting has less reaction.  By the end of summer I barely notice them when they happen, and they disappear within hours.  YMMV.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2015, 09:05:37 AM »
Chiming in about stings.
I'm a beekeeper, as was my dad, so I've been around bees my whole life.  Props to my dad, I was never stung until I started beekeeping solo in my twenties.

My first sting of the year is always the worst.  I have what's called a "large reaction" and the site gets comically large.  A sting on my finger may swell all the way to my elbow.  It's incredibly itchy too.

But each subsequent sting has less reaction.  By the end of summer I barely notice them when they happen, and they disappear within hours.  YMMV.



Wow. I guess I'm in the 'comically large' reaction thing too. But I'm not liking the sound of the cure...

Was hoping it would be warmer today so maybe the beekeeper guy could help me but it's rainy/foggy so not taking the other hive apart. Haven't bought a leaf blower yet but that does seem like it would be easier on them then contact with a brush.


RetiredAt63

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2015, 04:08:13 PM »
Sounds good for slight swelling - which is when I always got out the soap and made the finger really slippery.  The time I got stung, the finger was half as big around again as usual - it would have meant cutting the ring off, unfortunately.

When I got stung on my ring finger I got that ring off super fast, which was good because the finger got very swollen...

I am mostly posting this to follow.  I've always found bees fascinating and never (yet) tried beekeeping.

If you have a swollen finger/stuck ring, try my dad's method:  Tightly wind thread around your finger below the ring.  Wrap it carefully, laying each thread next to the previous.  When wind up to the ring, use a needle (or whatever method works for you) to get the thread under the ring.  Then just unwind the thread behind the ring.  Viola.

Spork

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2015, 05:21:06 PM »
Just for background: Dad was a surgeon.  This was what he did in the ER for even pretty significant swelling.  You can compress it a whole lot with thread/string.   But -- I am sure there is some level of swelling that does require you to cut a ring.

Sounds good for slight swelling - which is when I always got out the soap and made the finger really slippery.  The time I got stung, the finger was half as big around again as usual - it would have meant cutting the ring off, unfortunately.

When I got stung on my ring finger I got that ring off super fast, which was good because the finger got very swollen...

I am mostly posting this to follow.  I've always found bees fascinating and never (yet) tried beekeeping.

If you have a swollen finger/stuck ring, try my dad's method:  Tightly wind thread around your finger below the ring.  Wrap it carefully, laying each thread next to the previous.  When wind up to the ring, use a needle (or whatever method works for you) to get the thread under the ring.  Then just unwind the thread behind the ring.  Viola.

Rezdent

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2015, 08:13:52 PM »
Just for background: Dad was a surgeon.  This was what he did in the ER for even pretty significant swelling.  You can compress it a whole lot with thread/string.   But -- I am sure there is some level of swelling that does require you to cut a ring.

Sounds good for slight swelling - which is when I always got out the soap and made the finger really slippery.  The time I got stung, the finger was half as big around again as usual - it would have meant cutting the ring off, unfortunately.

When I got stung on my ring finger I got that ring off super fast, which was good because the finger got very swollen...

I am mostly posting this to follow.  I've always found bees fascinating and never (yet) tried beekeeping.

If you have a swollen finger/stuck ring, try my dad's method:  Tightly wind thread around your finger below the ring.  Wrap it carefully, laying each thread next to the previous.  When wind up to the ring, use a needle (or whatever method works for you) to get the thread under the ring.  Then just unwind the thread behind the ring.  Viola.
Spork
Thanks so much for this - I'm positive the method will come in handy some day for my clan, who are notorious for getting into weird predicaments.


The_path_less_taken

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Re: fellow BEEKEEPER.....please, please HELP ME MR. WIZARD???
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2015, 08:27:44 AM »
Well, you all won't be seeing me on Youtube as the beekeeper is coming over Wednesday to help me. He probably won't have time to saw them out from under the building but will at least help harvest and winterize the other hive.

Yay!