Saturday, September 10, 2011
A Soft Touch with the Bee Brush
[Photo - Dad taking a turn at brushing bees].
I smoked the air which I believed helped (normally I never have to smoke them) and I rethought what I was doing. I was brushing them lightly but quickly.
So I slowed right down with the brush and I used super light strokes. It worked beautifully. I mostly used the top 2" of the brush to lightly touch the bees, stroking from the bottom up. They would fly up or drop down into the hive. But the huge difference was their attitude. It was like they didn't realize I was there.
From that time on I continued with this technique, as well as covering everything up. It took longer to go slower but the end result was that I didn't need gloves, didn't get stung and I didn't need to use smoke again.
Another thing we learned this summer is that not all brushes are alike. My friend Janice bought a yellow/orange bristled brush but we found her bees got mad too - the bristles were thick and stiff and with each stroke its like the bees were being slapped. When she switched to my softer brush the bees calmed right down. So check the bristles on a brush before you buy one.