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18Re: [TopHive] Movable Divider Wall; smoke

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  • Steve D
    May 28, 2002
      Hello all,

      Thank you Leonard for your suggestions and the interesting information
      below. I will cut my movable wall a little shorter from top to bottom (leaving
      a 3/8-inch bee space at the bottom between it and the screen of the hive
      base) so that the bees can get under it to patrol the area behind it.

      I will also move the wall toward the front of the hive, leaving just one or
      two yet undrawn top bars between it and the bars the bees have
      already drawn comb on.

      I am enjoying watching my bees and how they use the hive.
      It has flaws, but I am reasonably satisfied with it as my first attempt
      at designing and building a hive (with the help of a good woodworker friend)
      and it has been a fun project.

      I need to get apistan strips and menthol I guess. The last time I kept bees
      (22 years ago) varroa and tracheal mites were irrelevant in the U.S.

      I also bought a hatless ("monk's hood" type) veil and a smoker, although
      I haven't had to use either of them yet. Regarding smoke, I would prefer
      not to use it because I believe it makes the bees panic, rushing to gorge
      themselves in case they have to flee from a burning hive. But one thing
      I HAVE learned is that when smoke is used, it should be used extremely
      sparingly (heavy doses seems to do real harm to bees as it does to humans,
      and can also make them very angry).

      Years ago I spent a little time with the state beekeeper in Texas, a very
      likeable and practical man. Instead of a smoker he just took a pack of
      cigarettes with him to the bee yard. He didn't normally smoke; he just
      allowed the cigarette to smolder, in his mouth or placed on a rock or
      some other object, and if he thought a little smoke was necessary
      while working the bees he would suck shallowly on the cigarette and
      blow the tiniest puffs where he wanted them, and it was very
      effective.

      That really impressed me, but since I am an ex-smoker with a real
      weakness for cigarettes, I decided to buy a smoker instead and just
      use it conservatively if need be.

      I remember reading many years ago that Lorenzo Langstroth, the
      generally regarded discoverer of the bee space and inventor of the
      modern standard frame hive, preferred to use instead of smoke, a
      container filled with sugar solution flavored with mint that he could
      sprinkle over the bees to keep them happily occupied while he
      examined and worked with the hive.

      Best wishes all,

      Steve
      http://www.xscd.com/tbh/


      --- --- previous correspondence below --- ---

      On Tuesday 28 May 2002 17:38, Leonard and Anita at AT&T Broadband wrote:
      > Greetings All:
      >
      > (Response to Steve's concerns about access to space behind the adjustable
      > wall.)
      >
      > Leave an access for bees down low (in my hive the wall only extends to the
      > hanging ("anti-swarm") grid. The bees can (and do) access the space freely.
      > By their nature, they will not build comb in this region - this is not the
      > case if they can travel through the wall higher up. Also, you may move the
      > wall forward so that no more than one undeveloped bar is on the active side
      > of the wall. This makes it easier to get working room by lifting the unused
      > bars out which will not be stuck together.
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