In parts of the world where honeyflows justify total super removal instead of individual frame removal, and where the beekeeper has more than a few hives, a bee blower is an indispensable piece of equipment.
These leaf blowers are becoming very inexpensive and operate so well compared to previous models. And the correct specifications are important…i.e. cfm (cubic feet/minute) and air velocity. Using anything less than the output labeled on the blower photo below will result in sacrificing effectiveness…cost $245.00 on sale at HomeDepot.
With regards to damage to the bee workforce, that can be eliminated by blowing them on to a grassy surface not far from the hive entrance. When dealing with a full super of bees, it’s very easy when first starting to blow (from the underside of the frames) to have bees inadvertently blow back towards you and then falling on the grass where you are standing…it’s easy to crush them underfoot if you are not careful.
If your supers don’t have metal frame spacers installed, the process becomes more difficult because the frames slop around in the super when you stand them on end to be blown out. This leaning of one frame on another also may crush bees.
In my case, the bee blower allows the process of honey removal to proceed quickly…so the honey is gone before the natural aggressive instinct of the hive or total apiary is triggered. This is so important to keep your bees passive all season and so improves the enjoyment of beekeeping.
My preference is to use an electric powered leaf blower but the high-end model I recently tried couldn’t compare to the blower shown in the photo above.