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Author Topic: Extraction tips & aggressive bees  (Read 689 times)

Offline Sindirt

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Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« on: February 01, 2022, 09:55:10 pm »
Hi all
Couple of queries to improve my beekpeeing skills...

First is in relation to honey extraction. I currently use a capping scratcher to remove the comb cappings prior to extraction. I do this over the extractor and then do a fairly coarse strain before putting the honey into drums. Thereafter I eventually double strain the honey. However I am finding that the honey becomes very hard to strain when i eventually get around to doing with with the honey in the drums.  The course strain is fine but the fine strainer becomes clogged very easily and the honey has an almost creamy texture- is this due to the presence of the wax scratchings dissolving for want of a better word and making the honey more viscous? Any tips on how to improve this process? I have tried an electric knife for removing wax cappings but haven't been too effective with this due to the unevenness of the face of the capped honey comb- opening some cells but missing others that are set in further? Any tips for improved extraction and straining efficiencies gratefully received!

The other question relates to bee aggression. I have a couple of hives , believe the queen has mated with wild drones and now these hives are really challenging to work with- used smoke and I have a really good triple layer mesh full suit but the bees get so aggressive its quite intimidating to work with and invariably I get stung in weak points eg where the gloves meet the suit or boots meet the suit etc- I'd say I'm pretty calm during handling but I have limited time to work with the hive before they go ballistic which makes inspections problematic. I haven't been able to get to the brood box for some time and god knows how I could locate the queen to replace! Thoughts/tips?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2022, 10:14:12 pm »
Hi Sindirt,
I do not worry about straining as I am extracting. When the 5 gallon buckets are full I simply sit them aside for a day and all the wax and impurities will float to the top. Then simply use a strainer to skim off the top..

I use a couple of things when uncapping which was recommended to me by several members here last year and I use them in conjunction. I will post a picture of both, though the second picture has wooden handles.

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« Last Edit: February 01, 2022, 10:40:40 pm by Ben Framed »
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2022, 10:16:00 pm »
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If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2022, 10:30:46 pm »
Quote
The other question relates to bee aggression. I have a couple of hives , believe the queen has mated with wild drones and now these hives are really challenging to work with- used smoke and I have a really good triple layer mesh full suit but the bees get so aggressive its quite intimidating to work with and invariably I get stung in weak points eg where the gloves meet the suit or boots meet the suit etc- I'd say I'm pretty calm during handling but I have limited time to work with the hive before they go ballistic which makes inspections problematic. I haven't been able to get to the brood box for some time and god knows how I could locate the queen to replace! Thoughts/tips?


If I feel the need such as in the beginning of a cutout situation, I will wear a Jacket. Really, with a good three layer breathable suit bees shouldn't be able to get in. Around the glove wrist area the elastic can become weak. What I do is use a number 64 rubber band around the sleeve in this area to re-enforce the elastic with the gloves tucked nicely within. I will also use 9 Mil black mechanic gloves in conjunction. This pretty well takes care of that area. Also when wearing a three layer breathable jacket, I will add an elastic belt to the bottom of the jacket area and this does the trick as well.

Phillip
« Last Edit: February 01, 2022, 10:55:45 pm by Ben Framed »
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2022, 01:03:18 am »
     


The other question relates to bee aggression. I have a couple of hives , believe the queen has mated with wild drones and now these hives are really challenging to work with- used smoke and I have a really good triple layer mesh full suit but the bees get so aggressive its quite intimidating to work with and invariably I get stung in weak points eg where the gloves meet the suit or boots meet the suit etc- I'd say I'm pretty calm during handling but I have limited time to work with the hive before they go ballistic which makes inspections problematic. I haven't been able to get to the brood box for some time and god knows how I could locate the queen to replace! Thoughts/tips?


    For me personally get rid of the bees... There are aggression..


                       BEE HAPPY  Jim134    :smile:
« Last Edit: February 02, 2022, 08:33:27 am by Jim 134 »
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
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Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline NigelP

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2022, 05:06:05 am »
Aggressive bees....got the T shirt for that one. Basically you need to get rid of old queen and replace with a calm queen, either bought in or raised from your own stock. Whilst there are many methods including "man up" and find queen.....I find it more simpler to lift and remove hive to another part of the apiary and leave a box with frames and the supers where the aggressive one was.
Go back 24 -48 hours later and all the aggressive flying bees will be back at the original site and you should have a fairly depleted hive full of calm nurse bees. The change in temperament is quite amazing. Then you can take your time finding the queen and RIP. If you are going to introduce a new caged queen this is the half to do it, but watch for them drawing queen cells. Once she is accepted and laying, swap the hives over so she is back in original place and flying bees will now bolster there numbers by returning there. Whatever is left in the other hive I tend to throw out and let them find new homes. Sometime the change in behaviour with a new queen is immediately obvious, but more usual is after about 6 weeks time when her own brood is coming through and the bad girls have all died off.
There are many other ways to achieve the same thing, but I find this the least painful.

Another tip is never to use leather gloves as these just aggravate the problem. The stings they take just waft alarm pheromone all over the place and this will set off even the calmest of hives. I use nitryl gloves as the bees have real job gripping them in order to sting you. Plus if you do take a sting you can see and remove it, or change gloves if necessary.

Offline salvo

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2022, 07:24:15 pm »
Hi Sindirt,

I do things similarly to you. I scratch and strain. I had a two frame hand crank, but recently got a two/four frame motorized. I like the motorized. I'm foundationless, must be careful. But that's just me. I use Ben's #1 response fork. It's easy and I find it meditative. It does make a lot of fine particles of wax.

I dribble the honey slowly, from the extractor, through the strainer as I extract. I use a double nylon strainer, coarse and then fine. Yeah! They clog a bit. I scrape off the coarse strainer now and then when it builds up too much. I do think the coarse cappings actually strain out the fine particles before they hit the fine strainer, so keeping a bed of coarse cappings to strain through is a good thing. I keep the cappings. My dog and I love the cappings. Yeah! sometimes there's a leg or wing in it. Who cares? If I extract larvae because the queen's been up there, or an SHB, I pick 'em out. No sense actually knowing you're eating the little wrigglers. Maybe one day. I do eat a lot of gaggy stuff. *Old Friends* and offal, and sea stuff.

I strain into a gated bucket. I let it sit for a few WARM days for the fine particles of wax to float to the top. The longer and warmer I let it sit, the clearer the honey is when I bottle it. Excellent product. I've taken *Second Place* at a few County fairs. We have very strict criteria. I'm not ocd. I swear, the girl who took first last year disracted me at my tailgate on purpose so that I tilted my entry to leave a film of honey inside the cap. It's all in fun. I like her. She gravitates to the older beeks for knowledge. She's in her thirties, frail little thing, two kids, husband in the service. I got a kick out of her winning. She's a nice lady, very personable.

If my honey sits, bottled, more fine particles rise to the top, little ring around the top of the honey after a few months. Sell it soon after bottling. It's got the good stuff in it.

Sal

Salvo

Offline Bee North

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2022, 08:18:34 pm »
...I find it more simpler to lift and remove hive to another part of the apiary and leave a box with frames and the supers where the aggressive one was.
Go back 24 -48 hours later...

Hi NigelP

Great!

I have moved and worked hot hives away from their location in the past which has worked well for me
....but leaving them for 24 hours is a great idea for hives just too hot to handle.

It would also reduce bee numbers significantly making it easier to locate the queen for those who struggle with this.

I agree with others...I dont tolerate hot hives and suggest requeen a hive that is too hot to handle. I also want those genetics out of my apiary.

Fortunately,  I havnt had to deal with one in while.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2022, 08:19:30 am »
However I am finding that the honey becomes very hard to strain when i eventually get around to doing with with the honey in the drums.
It might be a honey that crystallizes easily.  You are better off doing all your filtering at once.  If you leave it in a bucket without filtering there will be a lot of particles that will act like seed for crystallization.  Only extract what you can finish.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2022, 08:25:00 am »
I have tried an electric knife for removing wax cappings but haven't been too effective with this due to the unevenness of the face of the capped honey comb- opening some cells but missing others that are set in further? Any tips for improved extraction and straining efficiencies gratefully received!
No doubt about it you have to work on getting your frames fully drawn out above the frame even if it means pulling the frames uncapping the low cells and slicing off the high ones and then put the frame back in the hive for the bees to finish.  This eventually will happen over time with multiple extractions.  That is why older frames are nice.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2022, 08:38:24 am »

The other question relates to bee aggression. I have a couple of hives , believe the queen has mated with wild drones and now these hives are really challenging to work with- used smoke and I have a really good triple layer mesh full suit but the bees get so aggressive its quite intimidating to work with and invariably I get stung in weak points eg where the gloves meet the suit or boots meet the suit etc- I'd say I'm pretty calm during handling but I have limited time to work with the hive before they go ballistic which makes inspections problematic. I haven't been able to get to the brood box for some time and god knows how I could locate the queen to replace! Thoughts/tips?

I wouldn't even attempt it.  Take the hive as far away as you can and separate the boxes.  Stand them on end leaving them wide open.  The next day it will be obvious what box the queen is in.  The other boxes can be used to support a new hive if they don't get robed out.  The box with the queen will peter out because there is no way to store honey.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2022, 09:39:35 pm »
    If you want to get rid of honey bees... There are in your hive.. I personally would use soapy water... Late in the afternoon... Or real early in the morning ..  Just before the sun comes up.
      How to make soapy water.. About 1qt. of water..  Two (2) tablespoons of any kind of liquid soap to wash dishes. Put soapy water in a spray bottle. And spray the bees.   After the bees I gone.  Just  Rise   The hive. With cold water After the bees I gone...  In my opinion if you do requeen.. You only got rid of half the problem.... You may also have drones in your hive that are hot....  We'll pass their DNA... For miles around you're hive..



                        BEE HAPPY  Jim134   :smile:



                         
« Last Edit: February 09, 2022, 09:54:59 pm by Jim 134 »
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline Sindirt

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2022, 03:05:15 am »
Hi all sorry for the radio silence, quite a lot on since my post- these are really great suggestions much appreciated I shall try them out and report back!

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Extraction tips & aggressive bees
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2022, 10:38:12 am »
Sindirt are you in a location where Africanized bees are local? Please add you location to your profile as many times location helps in answering questions.

Thanks,

Phillip
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV