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Alastair

Cracking Hives The Easy Way

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Been harvesting honey lately and once again finding how difficult it can be to seperate gummed together boxes. In fact this can be one of the most back breaking tasks in beekeeping.

 

Finally, after all my life doing it the hard way, I have discovered the easy way. So simple, wish i'd thought of this 40 years ago. 🙄

 

Here we go...

 

 

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Wooden frames are far easier to get apart than plastic ones. The bees do stick them together but nowhere near as bad . Might have to get one of those wedges for the next time I help a friend with plastic frames. I have more trouble with her two hives than I do with all my own hives put together.

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Very true John. Although it was something of an issue when i had wooden frames it has become a major to almost impossible since going plastic. Other thing i've noticed since going plastic is the bees build far more burr comb between the end bars and the box, making it difficult to get the frames out.

 

Having said that though, i also have to check other peoples hives that don't look they had much attention and some getting old, and trust me some of those even with wood frames can require the strength of Samson to get apart, with just a hive tool. 😳

 

Last few weeks i've had a whole crop of newbies come out working bees with me, and have noticed the part that stumps them is getting boxes apart. Some people just can't do it, they will yank the hive off it's stand or even tip the whole thing over. So now I've figured out a way that even the least physical of people should be able to do pretty easy, thought i should share. 🙂

Edited by Alastair
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I use a 50mm wide builders wrecking bar.

Its just a large version of your hive tool.

The same way you drive the wedge in from the side I do that with the bar which has a large 90 deg turn up at the end that I can belt with the heel of my hand.

I belt the thing across the full width of the box so that half the bar's width is prying the wood of the box and the inner half is driving across the lugs.

The last two frames are done with a rolling, walking motion of the Bar.

 The Bars are 28 bucks from mitre 10 and they have a meter of baling twine attached so I dont lose them in the grass

 

Edited by Philbee

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Been there done that.

 

The wedge is easier and does less damage. More stuff to carry around though, but worth it in my view.

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Helps to be a weakling I figured out this method of getting boxes apart ages ago.  The only change in my method is I wack the hive tool in with one of the wedges and use two wedges along the edge of the box parallel with the frames rather than along the (front or back) as it’s easier to prise the frames down.

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😂 J hook tool levers across the top of each frame cracking nine frames apart  from the frames below in less time it takes to smack the wedge in let alone pop all the frames apart.. and only have to do one end.. one tool no hassles no sweat. 

 

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Hmm less time than it takes to smack the wedge in.

 

Pretty awesome if true, let's see the video.

 

Edited by Alastair
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You shouldn’t need a video just try it. 

I’ve only just worked out how to post pics let alone a video. 

J hook is the lever, designed to lever frames, and clean out the smoker holes of course. 

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How did i know there would be a reason you can't post the video. 😄

 

Just try it? You really think I have never tried your suggestion? 

 

I suspected there would be  bunch of alpha males show up who can do everything better than I can LOL. Just, over the years I've done about every way including what you 2 have suggested, and have ended up posting a video of what I think is a good way for people to do. I accept there will be commercial beekeepers who will laugh at the method as too slow, too wimpy, not alpha male enough.

 

Improvements on my idea are welcome, and I know there are people faster than me. Did i look like i was trying to race? But let's be real about how fast / clever/ etc you are unless you got a video. Cos straight up dude I do not believe you can seperate a solidly joined box faster than i can hammer in a wedge.

Edited by Alastair
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There’s nothing “alpha male “ about it anywhere.. I’m simply suggesting using the hook as the lever. 

An alpha male would probably just separate the boxes by hand without any flash fandangled equipment in the first place. 

I applaud your video... well done. 👍

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A blowhard alpha male would say something like - "😂 J hook tool levers across the top of each frame cracking nine frames apart  from the frames below in less time it takes to smack the wedge in let alone pop all the frames apart"

 

But then wimp out when asked to prove it.

 

Realise I'm not recommending this method for every box. It is just for seriously jammed ones.

Edited by Alastair
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I use Hickory wedges in the same manner.  The wedges are 40mm wide and about 60mm long.  15mm at the shoulder.  They are light and I carry them in my pocket.  I like using wedges.  

Thanks @Alastair

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5 minutes ago, Alastair said:

A blowhard alpha male would say something like - "😂 J hook tool levers across the top 

Jeez fella that’s a bit rough isn’t it? 

 

Just as well my blowhard alpha male skin is thick and leathery easily fending the insults directed at me. 

Your video will certainly be of benefit to some which is awesome. 

My suggestion of using the j tool will be seen as some young newcomer, post varroa know all and disregarded. 

 

Personal attacks.. well I say go have a milo and chill out. 

 

Boxes with incorrect sizing leaving excessive space between the boxes also contribute to excessive waxing causing this problem. 

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Don't cry about it.

 

If you gonna make condescending statements with laughing faces how much better you are, and outlandish claims how fast you are that aren't true, back it with a video. Or it's blowhard that's all.

 

And put your video somewhere else. This thread I had intended to be a lighthearted and useful thread already ruined by the 2 guys with issues.

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Wow. Aggression sucks. You win I’m outta here. 

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If you keep going like this Alastair you'll soon become a grumpy old curmudgeon like me.

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I think it’s the result of long hot days of harvesting honey we don’t know if we can sell

puts a lot of us on the cusp of madness.!

 

best way Ive found to seperate gummed up boxes is get my hubby to do it for me :) 

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A word to Alastair.

In life it can happen that the names we call others are the same names we have been called ourselves by others.
The next level from there is that the names we call others are the names that can apply to ourselves.

 

The test on this can be when a recipient gets called a name and their first reaction is to stop and think, well thats a new one, Ive never been called that before.
 

 

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14 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

think it’s the result of long hot days of harvesting honey we don’t know if we can sell

puts a lot of us on the cusp of madness.!

It must be very demoralising knowing months of hard work could lead to nothing financially but you have to do it anyway.

Any sort of farming goes through that .

 

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You should have been a councillor Phil. 😄

 

I guess by your use of the term "name", you must be referring to my use of the term "alpha male". I can honestly say that i do not recall being called an alpha male, ever, not even once, in my life.

 

However it certainly seems to have got you and Stoney going. 😎

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20 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

I think it’s the result of long hot days of harvesting honey we don’t know if we can sell

puts a lot of us on the cusp of madness.!

Maybe but we are all in the same boat on that. 

 

This is a forum where ideas, views opinions and experiences can be shared and contributers shouldn’t be attacked for a different view or idea. 

I find it exciting posting now... . never quite know what I will be had up about next.. a bit like my grandad in the trenches popping up his head between shots 

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5 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I can honestly say that i do not recall being called an alpha male, ever, not even once, in my life.

Hmmm.. Then my diagnosis is that the next level as described in my summary applies.

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Look. Let's get this straight.

 

I got no problem at all with the suggestions you and Phil made.

 

I took exception to the condescending manner it was made and the suggestion that you lifting 9 frames with a J hook in a gummed down box can be done faster than it takes to bang in a wedge. Which is clearly untrue, you know it to be untrue, and obviously just said to be inflammatory.

 

Re reading though, I can see i have certainly overeacted. It is not the result of long hard days, i only got 2 days to go and harvest is over. It is the result of the inflamatory and provocative posts that you and Phil have been sending my way over the last few months. My back went up quicker than it should.

 

So apologies to everyone else, however I suspect that the thread has at least been entertaining. 🙂

.

And oh Phil. Did you actually like the video? 😉

Edited by Alastair
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