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Cracking Hives The Easy Way


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6 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 

 

 It is the result of the inflamatory and provocative posts that you and Phil have been sending my way over the last few months.

It would seem interpreting the written word can take on many forms. There has been no inflammatory provocative posts intended. 

 

Good luck with your final 2 days harvest.. may your boxes be full and easy to separate and may the mouths of the many be filled with your produce over the next few months. 

... and also hopefully mine. 

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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.   Finall

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 g

I think it's this. A bee space is not a magic number it is simply a suitably sized gap for bees to fit through so they can move around the hive.   So when we used wooden frames it was perfec

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you know... if frame manufacturers wouldnt employ first semester design students and actually cared about fundamental things like "bee space" you would not need forestry equipment to lift of a honey super.

 

every time I open one of my hives I am disgusted how stupidly hives are designed around here. As if it was the aim to kill as many bees as possible.

 

another thing i will have to sort out in the future... Building hiveware 100 % myself.

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I find it amazing that you have to go to that sort of thing to get a hive apart.Try taking the honey off earlier.The only time I have had to revert to using a spade was during deliminating surveys  for varroa and some orchardists had hives for pollination in their own name.

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20 minutes ago, Alastair said:

And oh Phil. Did you actually like the video?

My take on the video.

Your proposed method is one that would be valuable to a New Beekeeper or a Beekeeper of limited strength.IMO

In my case at least, as Ive gained experience my box of gadgets has got much smaller, to the point where I now prefer a minimalist approach to kit.

This in my view is a natural progression.

As it happens my Hives are highly susceptible to this gluing of boxes because I open most of my Non trial Hives just 3 times a season. 

However I can see that a plastic wedge like that with a meter of baling twine attached would probably complement the way I do the job provided that my heavy wrecking bar was solid enough to use as a hammer.


 

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2 minutes ago, Christi An said:

you know... if frame manufacturers wouldnt employ first semester design students and actually cared about fundamental things like "bee space" you would not need forestry equipment to lift of a honey super.

 

Good point Christi An. In fact the bee space in that super is wrong, which is my fault for not sorting that when I assembled it. 

 

But the video is not about that. It just to show how a box can be seperated, once someone finds themselves in the situation.

 

Re looking at the video, it looks like I am saying the procedure should be done on every box. That is not the intent, it's just for those tough ones that are back breaking to seperate.

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1 minute ago, Bighands said:

I find it amazing that you have to go to that sort of thing to get a hive apart.Try taking the honey off earlier.The only time I have had to revert to using a spade was during deliminating surveys  for varroa and some orchardists had hives for pollination in their own name.

 

I have worked on surveillance and always carried a spade and wrecking bar with me. To me, the hives that needed this type of "opening attack" hadn't been regularly insepected.    I generally don't have issues opening my hives, but there are certain times of the year where it is difficult.  And certain types of tools, are better to crack the hive with than others (don't ask me for a photo right here and now - have to get to the grafting yard).  Every operation is different, and every outfit has different crops, some of which do hinder hive cracking and opening.  I have major difficulty in summer opening hives on farms that all the shelter belts are poplars, everything is mega propolised.  

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10 hours ago, Stoney said:

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

I agree with this statement and it seems well worth marking the few boxes with this problem so they can be measured and checked after extraction. If all the frames are the same size, then the boxes might need a skim on the table saw to provide only bee space under the frames but no more than that.

But it is difficult to drain the swamp, when you are up to your waist in alligators.

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245 is too tall for sure 238 would be my ideal using plastics. Although the depth of the rebate also should match the depth of the top bar lug. 

The combination of a tall box with  a deep rebate would be an absolute 🤬.

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54 minutes ago, Philbee said:

239mm? for a good FD Super

245mm too tall?

I don't know I don't use FD Supers;  I'm not manly enough :) 

However, I think it depends on the frames;  maybe measure height of actual frames and add 9mm to suggest an ideal height of box.

If the frames are all 230mm then 239mm or 238mm for the box seems commonly accepted.

Boxes with  excessive rebates for the lugs can upset things too.

Maybe it is best to mark both sides of the stick-up to review later.

As if everyone hasn't got enough to do!

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13 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

I don't know I don't use FD Supers;  I'm not manly enough :) 

However, I think it depends on the frames;  maybe measure height of actual frames and add 9mm to suggest an ideal height of box.

If the frames are all 230mm then 239mm or 238mm for the box seems commonly accepted.

Boxes with  excessive rebates for the lugs can upset things too.

Maybe it is best to mark both sides of the stick-up to review later.

As if everyone hasn't got enough to do!

The boxes also raise and lower with the weather and yes the rebate depth comes into it.
 

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

I have worked on surveillance and always carried a spade and wrecking bar with me. To me, the hives that needed this type of "opening attack" hadn't been regularly insepected.    

I can tell you that all my hives gummed themselves up this season in the space of three weeks.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

I can tell you that all my hives gummed themselves up this season in the space of three weeks.

I am talking about hives that are really gummed up.  That I would have to query weren''t even inspected once a year for the Annual Disease Return.  

 

I will tell you about the first three sites that I inspected for the AFB strategy in the 1980s.  I seriously thought I was in a Faulty Towers movie.

 

First site: The hive was in a public park.  The supers were so rotten, I couldn't put the hive back together and was left with a heap of bees and wood.  Had to ring the owner and tell him to fix the situation immediately.

 

Next site: Needed a shovel and wrecking bar to inspect.  Underneath the lid was the inspection cert left by a previous inspector over a year ago.  No AFB.   But the shed with honey supers and lord knows what else was full of bee colonies that had swarmed there and taken residence.

 

Next site: About 30 nucs and single depth hives on an urban front lawn.  Most full of supersedure and swarm cells, most without moveable frames.  He was some sort of civil libertarian who objected to me using smoke, and cracking the hive boxes with the hive tool.  I then told him to go and get his hive tool and he could inspect the hives and I would observe each frame he pulled out.  Like a caveman he came out to inspect the hives with a dinner knife!  I conceded defeat at that stage.  We didn't have an AP1 in ChCh in those days, but as soon as one took up residence, this was the first site they inspected.  

 

 

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Years ago i bought the biggest hive tool I could get from Eckroyds, so impressed bought another 3, each vehicle has one in each door pocket, sved my back many times.

Was selling some hives years ago and a guy came to look at them, he had a hive tool made from an old car spring about a 18inches long and 3 inches wide. He was banging the sides of the boxes to test if they rotten, none were, I said if he hit one more box I'd hit him with it.

A week later I happen to be in his neck of the woods and saw his hives, and could see why he needed that size of tool, I would have bought a jackhammer, they never went in the bottom box.

Another time I was doing afb inspection on a suspect beekeeper in our area, he also never went in the bottom box, they were the hardest boxes to open, had to use a spade and kicking them, had them on there side to pry open, looked into about 60 hives that day, all #### hard to open but none with afb

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One thing that varoa sorted out was those hives at the back of orchards that didn't get looked at from one decade to the next. Two people and a spade was standard equipment for doing such inspections. You laid the whole  hive down on its end and then prised each box apart hoping not too many would disintegrate in the process.

I also agree on the bee space not always being perfect on boxes but I still maintain that even with perfect bee spaces bees will gum up plastic frames much worse than wooden ones. I make my own hive tools and they are pretty tough but I have come across all plastic hives that I couldn't get apart by myself and I look forward to trying out a wedge.

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50 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

i would think most 18yr old boys with a tool in their hand would work up a good sweat.

 

50 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

i would think most 18yr old boys with a tool in their hand would work up a good sweat.

Uhuhuh.

 

10 hours ago, Philbee said:

My take on the video.

Your proposed method is one that would be valuable to a New Beekeeper or a Beekeeper of limited strength.IMO

In my case at least, as Ive gained experience my box of gadgets has got much smaller, to the point where I now prefer a minimalist approach to kit.

This in my view is a natural progression.

As it happens my Hives are highly susceptible to this gluing of boxes because I open most of my Non trial Hives just 3 times a season. 

However I can see that a plastic wedge like that with a meter of baling twine attached would probably complement the way I do the job provided that my heavy wrecking bar was solid enough to use as a hammer.


 

Why would u have a hive if u only open it three times a year....

spring look see

varroa treatement

winter down

 

sounds like the cattle market at the momment.

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6 minutes ago, jamesc said:

 

Uhuhuh.

 

Why would u have a hive if u only open it three times a year....

spring look see

varroa treatement

winter down

 

sounds like the cattle market at the momment.

Financial reality, however my land owners expect their clover to be pollinated so I do what I can to achieve that for them.

This is how I see it playing out for a while.

Anything can happen, we have just seen that (Black Swan) but these things can swing both ways

 

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40 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Financial reality, however my land owners expect their clover to be pollinated so I do what I can to achieve that for them.

This is how I see it playing out for a while.

Anything can happen, we have just seen that (Black Swan) but these things can swing both ways

 

I read that the Russian were  saying it was made in a USA lab .

Cheeky stirrers .

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2 hours ago, john berry said:

...

I also agree on the bee space not always being perfect on boxes but I still maintain that even with perfect bee spaces bees will gum up plastic frames much worse than wooden ones...

 

that might have to do with the fact that bees dont seem to particularly like plastic frames, however their design is also optimized for cheap production and not beekeeping. If the small hive beetle ever makes it to NZ (which i dont hope) theyll be gone in 2 seasons... But even the wooden frames i have come across so far would have room for improvement. Bigger and thicker Top bars for example would help greatly reduce any burr comb.

The concept of Beespace applies in 3 dimensions.

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