Pulling Honey Frames for Extracting

So, the bees have done well and it is time to harvest honey! How do you get the bees out of the honey supers so you can extract them?

Bee escapes work great if you plan ahead, there are several different options, they essentially create a one way door so that the bees can exit but can’t get back in. Make sure if you use them that you close up any holes in other places or it won’t work. Fume boards are common, not something we have used so I don’t have a lot of experience with them.

Brushing bees is a simple way if you have a few hives or if full honey supers are too full for you to carry. We simply grab a frame, brush the bees off, and drop it in a tote with a lid on it. When it is full or as heavy as I can carry then I carry the frames in to a bee proof room and unload them into an empty super. I just keep doing this until all the frames have been pulled and brought in! Easy and works great.

Kirk likes to use a leaf blower and blow them out of the supers if he is doing a lot of hives, especially in more remote yards. Make sure to use a leaf blower that doesn’t recycle the exhaust into the blower. Simply knock the bees down, then turn the super on its side and blow off the bees. Quickly stack the boxes on a lid turned upside down on the bottom, plug any holes in the supers, and put a lid on top to keep bees from going back/robbing from the supers. This does make them a little irritable so I wouldn’t recommend this method for bees in a small yard next to a house.

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