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Bees in roof of Super


#1

Added my super just over 2 weeks ago; (first experience with bees). Inspected this morning and when I lifted the roof for a peek saw quite a lot of activity up there! honeycomb growing nicely!
Not sure how they got up there as have placed cover provided between super and roof.
Do I remove it?? (the honeycomb I mean!)
Thanks
AGS


#2

Is that the inner cover with a round hole in the middle? :blush: Maybe they found the hole?? :smile:

Yes, I would. If you don’t, it will only get worse. Plus put a flat tile over the hole in the middle of the inner cover. As far as the removed comb goes, you have many choices:

  1. Smear it over the flow frame faces if the bees are not using them yet. They will rapidly get interested if you do that.
  2. Eat it now as a reward for your effort.
  3. Freeze it and give it to anyone else who likes comb honey.
  4. Freeze it and then put it into jars with extracted honey later, selling it as “chunk honey” for a premium.

You are not freezing it for preservation, just to kill off wax moth eggs and larvae. Also, if you don’t eat it within a few months, it may crystallize if not frozen - freezing prevents the crystal formation. The honey is still good, just the texture is different.


#3

Dawn,
This may seem like a dumb question - actually it is, but how do you get the comb “bee free”? I have had a few bits of comb where I would like to put into jars etc but I take the comb out of the hive, move it away from hive but can not get the bees to “nick” off. What is the secret?
cheers
jeff


#4

there’s no secret: just shake them off. You do a sudden sharp shake over the hive and 90% of the bees fall off. A few more shakes and you will have most bees gone. The shake maneuver is basically a sudden downward movement- with a sudden pull back up at the bottom… you don’t want to hit the shaken object onto anything as this tends to anger some bees… A deft shake doesn’t seem to bother them. If you watch @JeffH videos on youtube you can see him do it expertly. Then you can use a bee brush to get the last few off- or flick them with a finger to coax them away.

If you put the comb down somewhere near it won’t be long before bees settle onto to it to eat the honey so it’s best to cover it with a tea towel or if it’s a frame put it in a nuc box.
If you have smoked the bees first some will have their heads buried in cells and these can be the last to get out.


#5

Thanks so much Dawn, very helpful indeed :blush::blush:


#6

My bees must have very strong toes because they hold on well. I might have to work on the “flick” action
Cheers


#7

The flick action works well after a little bit of practice. If a honey frame is fully capped & rested up against the back of a hive, it wont take long for the bees to vacate it & return to the entrance. A fully capped frame wont attract foraging bees like an uncapped frame or worse still a sticky will.

If I want to remove bees from honey in comb from a cut-out, for example. I’ll hold the piece of comb in one hand & remove the bees with a bread & butter knife in the other hand. The bees will be dead in that case.

It was a big job removing all of the bees a couple of weeks ago when I netted 66kilos of honey from a house wall cut-out.


#8

I shake them off, or brush them if the comb is too fragile to shake. Then I immediately put the comb into a large ziplock bag, so they can’t come back to it :smiley:

By the way, the trick with shaking is to do more of a “bump” as Michael Bush describes. If you hold the comb with one hand and hit your wrist sharply downwards with the side of the fist of your other hand (over the hive), most of the bees will fall off with 3 bumps.