Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Power of Two

When it comes to working in the bee yard, two people working together is easier than one.

But often I find I'm on my own, lifting 45 to 50 lb super boxes.

My muscles didn't dissolve during winter and I was really relieved to find I could heft the boxes right away this spring.... and yes, the bees have got a couple supers filled already.

I'm not certain where they're getting all this honey considering the wet spring we've had.  I do have a theory... but I'll get into that another time.

The bees know how to glue the supers together with propolis.  It can be really difficult to pry them apart.  Here's a trick that we use and two people can do it or one.

I use two hive tools.  First I get one hive tool into the crack between the supers (yellow tool at left).  Then I use the tool as a lever, pressing down until I create a small gap between the supers.  I put the second tool into the crack next to the first one.  Then I lever the second tool to create a gap and remove the first and insert it in the gap--kind of like working hand over hand with the tool.
Then all that's left to do is heft the box without getting stung and squishing bees.

No problem.
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