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I am going to take the challenge

Good morning everyone. I haven’t been on lately since I have been in fear of opening up my hive, since taking the sting that sent me to urgent care. I continue to feed them as we live in the hot desert and there isn’t many flowers here in the summer though. Well today I took the plunge and have decided to purchase the extractor, the bucket, and the filters. As soon as they all arrive I am going to get the courage to go out there and go in the hive to extract the honey.

Are there any last words of advice before my bees try to kill me again? :slight_smile: I think I am picking up the extractor ( Harvest Lane Honey 2 Frame Metal Extractor) today from Tractor Supply, but the rest of the stuff I have to wait on shipping, which actually gives me time to mentally prepare for this feat.

What is the best things to use in the smoker when I open them. I have a had a hard time keeping that lit when I went on the bee removal a few months ago they absconded to the original hive I had out in the yard. I believe it was my rookie mistake and I probable killed the queen in transport. :frowning: Those bees seemed to be docile though as opposed to the ones the I witnessed coming to kill me when I last opened the hive. LOL.

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I use pine tree needles(leafs) in my smoker but any dry leaf litter is worth trying. Wood chips and cardboard is another worth trying, don’t close the smoker till it is really smoking heavy. Smoke the entrance, wait a minute before you remove the roof and a few puffs of smoke over the top of the frames before you start working on the hive.
Don’t use a deodorant or hair shampoo that has a scent. Give yourself a few puffs of smoke before going to the hive, it will help mask your scent. Feel confident, work slow and smooth giving the bee time to move out of the way. If your nervous the bees will pick up the change of your scent.
Consider buying an Epi-Pen and a Bite Away. A Bite Away used after you remove the sting instantly stops the swelling, itch and pain of a sting but if you have a really bad reaction to the venom then an Epi-Pen is worth having.
If it goes pear shaped then close the hive up and call it a day and give it another go tomorrow. If you get stings on your gloves and suit then wash them before you go back to the hive, when a bee stings other bees will be attracted defensively to the sting area.
Cheers

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Jeff Heriot made a nice video on how he lights a smoker and keeps it going. Here it is:

I use a variation on his method. The first thing I do is loosely scrunch up a single sheet of newspaper - one of those free ones is fine. Then I cut a couple of squares of burlap, about 12" across from a roll of gardening burlap. I light the newspaper with a lighter like this and give a few puffs on the bellows to get it fully lit:

I then put one square of burlap on top, and give it a few more puffs. Once that is lit (visible flames at the top of the cylinder, I add another square and puff again. If I am going to be less than 30 minutes, I add another square or two of burlap. If it is going to be a long session, after the first 2 squares, I add some wood pellets designed for beekeepers:

Once lit, those pellets will keep going for hours, and you can add more as needed. I love them. :blush:

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I have some of the pellets that came with the beginning kit I purchased but I can get them to stay lit. I will try your way. Thank you for your time and effort in answering my question. :slight_smile: :grinning:

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They take quite a bit of lighting to stay lit. The secret is to start with things that light very easily, then add the slower burning things in layers. If you are patient, waiting for each layer to light properly, it works. I promise! In fact, it can be hard to put a smoker out after I have finished if there is too much fuel in it!
:wink:

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Thanks again Peter for helping me. Do you mean if the bees go pear shaped? I tried to search the internet to see what you mean but cannot find a picture. You are always a wealth of information to me.

Do you mean this for the Bite Away? https://www.bite-away.com/en/index.php

So I am thinking I have done it wrong since I was putting the pellets on the bottom and then trying to light them. LOL. Another duh moment on my part.

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That is your problem, yes. But if nobody told you, how could you know? :wink:

Yep. This is true. Having two computer science degrees, and one mathematics degree, one would think I could be smarter than I appear to be in this regard. :wink:

= go awry or a snafu

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Oh, thank you Stevo. I could have scoured the internet for days looking for a picture of a pear shaped beehive. LOL. I am heading to Tractor Supply now to pick up my spinning machine and as soon as I get the screen and the bucket I will undergo this task. Hopefully they will come in before the 6th because I am going to Laughlin for three nights and four days. Maybe I should wait until I return before doing this so I am not dead before my trip. <-- exaggeration inserted here LOL

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you could always remove the frames and store them away in the house for extraction at a later date

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When things go ‘pear shaped’; it might be just an Aussie saying that things have ‘really buggered up’, things have gone wrong in a big way.
That is the Bite Away, best used as soon as you remove the sting and the effect is almost instant. A bees venom varies depending on what it is feeding on. I work my hives without gloves for a better sense of touch so do get the odd sting on my hands and wrists, some days I get no reaction while other days I get a mild reaction but it is nothing compared to when I started bee keeping. The main thing is to scrape the sting out and not to try to pinch it out as that will force more venom into your system.
Cheers

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Thank you Peter. I am going to order that now then just to have on hand. I did ask the doctor on my urgent care trip if she would give me an epee-pen, but she said there is no need unless I develop a worse allergic reaction, so it seems the Bite Away is what I have to get. I know you mentioned that to me before but as I stated here I was in fear for a while and decided to leave them be for a while. :slight_smile:

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We have worked it out to where I am going to do it in the shed. I could also just take a few frames to my other house and do it there but that is a lot of trips back and forth since my extractor only handles 2 frames at a time.

Your local pharmacy (drug store) should be able to sell you anti-histamines. This will reduce the severity of the reaction to the sting. Ice on the location of the sting will aid also.

A friend of mine got stung on the eye lid the other day. He got unlucky as the bee got stuck between his glasses and face. I gave him an anti-histamine and ice and his face didn’t turn pear shape :joy:… much to his relief.

However, if one suffers from anaphylactic reaction - the epi pen could be the difference between life and death :hushed:, the antihistamines won’t work.

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Wow that was unlucky for him Fred. So far I have only taken about 10 stings. Four was when I pulled this hive down from under the eaves on the roof, four more were the day I opened the hive box and seen the one bee look at me eye to eye with murder all over his face, and then two more when I went to save a colony from someone’s house who was going to kill them if I didn’t go get them. One of the stings from the day I opened the box was the one that sent me to urgent care. That bee was super pissed.

Peter told me a while ago to buy the Bite Away and I forgot about it. I did in fact buy one last night. This time I will at least appear to have it more together before I open this hive this time, as the doctors have told me that with each sting I get closer to an allergic reaction. I am not getting rid of my bees so the Bite Away hopefully will work if I take more stings on the upcoming day of honey removal. :honey_pot:

I used to swell like crazy after a sting but as I got more stings my body became more immune to them and that is what most say about it. I guess what doctors come across is people who become more reactive with each sting but I don’t think that is the case for the majority of folks.
Glad you got a Bite Away, the really do work. I often have visitors to my apiary and use my Bite Away as a matter of course if they get a sting.
Cheers

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I hope the pen gets to me in time for the honey extraction. Lucky thing is that I am going to Laughlin on the 6th so I wont be sitting here waiting with baited breath to get the rest of my stuff. Still waiting on the strainer screens and the bucket too. :slight_smile: I will try to get someone to be brave enough to video me when I do this. :slight_smile:

If your bees are so aggressive, have you ever considered that they might be africanized? Requeening could be very wise if you have a strong reaction to stings.

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