Harvest Honey With Bee Escape – Beekeeping 101 – GardenFork

(“Happy Hour” by Dale Herr) – Hey everyone, I’m Eric
Rochow from GardenFork.TV. Welcome to another part of our series of Beginning Beekeeping,
or Beekeeping 101. The camera operator and I are
documenting our first years of beekeeping, and this is
hive number two we have here. Hive number two is particularly cranky. The other day I was here and
I just barely got the top off and I got stung, so (laughs) – [Camera Operator] Numerous times. – Yeah. – [Camera Operator]
Was that pre-hurricane? – It was post-hurricane, so
maybe it was the foul weather. You never know. Right now, they’re just flying around. They’re throwing the drones out, which is kind of interesting. And when they get ready for
winter, they kick the drones out of the hive because drones
are useless in the winter. – [Camera Operator] Who needs boys? – Don’t need any boys in the winter. – [Camera Operator] They eat too much. – We have here a honey super
on top of the brood supers here and you can see this little
spacer is a queen excluder. So that keeps the queen from
going up to this top super and laying eggs, so the
bees just put honey up here. And the honey super is the
one that we want to take off, and pull the frames out
and extract the honey from. There’s a couple of ways you can do that. The commercial beekeepers
take the honey super off and they kinda like hit it
with a very powerful shop vac and it blows all the bees
off, back into the hive. They hold it here and they blow it off. You can also use what’s
called a fume board which is kinda like an
outer cover with a piece of cloth or flannel connected to it. And then you use some sort
of essential oil spray, which drives the bees. It’s not a toxic smell to
them, this is a non-toxic one, but it’s some sort of essential
oil that they don’t like and so they leave the honey
super and they go back into the brood super. – [Camera Operator] I don’t
like it either. It stinks, man. – Yeah. And we’ve had
mediocre success with that. So, we’re watching some videos on YouTube and one of them in particular
by a guy whose name on there is MichiganShooter
talked about making a bee escape and so I made one. Online there’s a bunch of
plans, but this is one we made. Basically, bees have — I can’t really explain it scientifically, but bees like to go in
a certain direction, and when you have sharp angles
like this I’m pretty sure they won’t go back in. So this is a double three-way escape. And there will be plans
on the GardenFork.TV site, how to build this and pictures. It wasn’t too hard, you can
build it with hand tools. I have some shop tools
so I used shop tools, but you can build this with hand tools. The secret is all these gaps have to be at least three-eighths of an inch. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna take off the top honey
super, take off the excluder, slide this in, like this,
put the honey super back on, and walk away. And the bees, when they
wanna cluster for the night and they wanna go back
into the brood chamber, they’re going to go through
this hole, out these exits. And they’re not gonna be able
to come back up through here, into the honey super. So we’re gonna come back tomorrow and take the honey super off
and it will hopefully be free. – [Camera Operator] It’s
like playing marbles with your bees. – Yeah, so. (camera operator laughs) (bees buzzing) By the way, here’s a
pollen patty I put in here for rainy days. Just to give them something to eat, and they’ve been eating that. – [Camera Operator] This
is the cranky hive, right? – Yeah. But they’re beautiful bees, they really are a really nice color. We requeen this hive
with the survivor queen, the winter-hardy, Varroa resistant queen. Bred by a guy named Mike
in Brewster, New York. WhiteOakApiary.com – [Camera Operator] So
what’s a survivor queen? I know you’ve told us before. – A survivor queen is a queen that’s bred to survive mite infestations. The workers that that queen
produces have a mite resistance built in. I wanna separate the queen
excluder from the top super. It’s all stuck together. – [Camera Operator] What are you seeing? – That’s heavy. – [Camera Operator] It’s full of honey? – That’s full of honey. OK now we’re gonna remove
the queen excluder. When we do this, they’re gonna fly up, because they’re not gonna like this. Because this thing is
glued on with Propolis. They collect tree resins and things, and they chew it up and
make it into a glue. This one’s not too bad actually. Sometimes these things
are really glued on. That came off really nicely. The queen escape – the screen
side goes down, like that. These guys are much calmer today (laughs). The other day they were
bonking me (bonking). I don’t know if you can see this but all these workers are looking at us. And we’ve smoked this
hive, so they’re starting to eat the honey stores. – [Camera Operator] Pretty calm, huh? Good job. (laughs) They’re poking their heads up. Hey! – After you put on the outer
cover, you wanna slide it back like this, so you
block off the upper entrance of your hive. Because you have a slatted inner cover, because you should, for ventilation. But just overnight now, we’re
gonna close the top in here so we’re gonna pull the
outer cover back, like that. Close off that front entrance. – {Camera Operator] So they
won’t try to go in, in the back? – There’s no way to get in the back. There’s only a slat cut in
the front of the inner cover. – [Camera Operator] Got it. (bees buzzing) (cow moos) – Alright, day two. We’re gonna see… – [Camera Operator] Hi! (laughs) – They get very curious.
Welcome to day two. We’re gonna see what’s up here. I’m gonna try this without using a smoker. We have the smoker lit, but
we’ll see what happens here, OK? – [Camera Operator] Wow. – So there are some bees in it. One of the blogs I read,
they were talking about this, said that they felt it was
better to wait 48 hours. OK, but there are very few bees in this. There’s maybe 10 in here. – [Camera Operator] Few guard bees? – So what we’re gonna do,
we’re gonna take this away and over to the truck, we’re
gonna brush those bees off. – [Camera Operator] Is
that what you expected? – That’s a lot. That’s a lot of bees. – [Camera Operator] But
is that what you expected? – I didn’t know what to expect. It’s quite interesting. – [Camera Operator] Are we
supposed to brush them off? – Yeah we’ll brush them
off in front of the hive. – [Camera Operator] OK. (bees buzzing) This is where we find out
if they’re really calm. – Yeah. See how they’re all going
right back into the hive? – [Camera Operator] Yeah. That’s what they wanted all along. – There you go. Not bad. There were about 10 bees left. We just took the super over
there and brushed them off and they’d fly back to the hive. If you left this on longer I
bet they’d all be out of it. There might be a better way to get the bees off the inside of this. But we brushed them off and
they seemed fine with that and they went. They just crawled
right back into the hive. So, pretty cool. More beekeeping videos on
our site, GardenFork.TV. There’s also a bunch of
pictures of our Labradors, and our bees, and our garden, and cooking. Gardening, DIY, I’m gonna
fix my truck later today. We’ll make a video about that. So, alright. Send us an email if you
want – [email protected] We’re on Facebook, we’re on YouTube. If you’re watching on YouTube, would you leave some comments below? We’re also on iTunes and on our site. So make a great day, see ya. – [Camera Operator] And the radio! – Oh! And GardenFork Radio,
which is our iTunes radio show, which is just me talking about more stuff. Alright, see ya. – [Camera Operator] Thanks, bye. (“Happy Hour” by Dale Herr)


  1. @umstetter we made a how to harvest honey video showing the extractor, its on our channel here. you leave the bees enough honey to get through the winter – usually 40-60 lbs, and feed them sugar water as well. thx, eric.

  2. Really interesting – thanks for sharing! I hope you'll show just a small follow up of the honey you all were able to gather 🙂

  3. @cyenobite thanks for the note, it wasn't a great year for honey, we only pulled one super of honey, the one in the video here, it was a tough year for bees with the weird weather and all. but we are looking forward to next year! eric.

  4. @BoondockFarms you can check out our Beekeeping playlist on our YouTube Channel page for a great honey harvest show. and consider subscribing for new bee shows we post. thx! eric.

  5. i've found it best to leave the escape on for longer than 24 hours, but it still works pretty good at 24 hours. thx, eric – GardenFork

  6. our bees are great, thank for asking, they have some honey in the hive already, with the early spring we've had here. thanks for watching, eric.

  7. sorry for the delay in replying here, but thanks for the kind words. going to pull some honey supers this weekend, will use the bee escape to harvest the honey. thanks, eric.

  8. Nicley done. Why not add another super under the bee maze for continued honey production? Thanks for posting this video.

  9. up here we harvest honey once a year, you have to leave some honey on the hive for the honeybees to get through the winter.

  10. Love the videos! I am going to be starting my Hives in the spring with the help of a local beekeeper friend of mine. I can't wait! I am doing as much research as I can right now. Location of the hives seems to be key and I have a few options. Do you have any tips you could pass along?

  11. great to hear you will be working with a beekeeper to learn beekeeping.

    location is key, i think. hives in shade is bad, i put mine in the sun, but you must make sure the hives are ventilated with a screened bottom board and a notched or vented inner cover

    also close proximity to water is key, or you should provide shallow water that the bees wont drown in. bees can't swim.

  12. Thanks. I have a creek behind them and the sun rises to the front of the hives so they should have sun most of the day and shade in the evening. Right behind the spot I picked I found a nest of wild honey bees in a hollow tree so I hope thats a good sign. LOL

  13. Very easy to understand and a picture truly is worth a thousand words. I am a second year beekeeper learning as I go. I am hoping to get some supers full of honey this year to keep for ourselves. Looking forward to using an escape board now that I see how they work. Thanks for a great video

  14. great to hear mom. the escape board may take a day or two to work, but its pretty simple. thanks for watching our beginning beekeeping videos. thanks, eric.

  15. great. we have a whole series of beginning beekeeping videos, go to our channel page and pick the Beekeeping Playlist, we also talk about beekeeping on a few of our GardenFork Radio audio podcasts thx! eric.

  16. we use nitrile gloves to protect our hands. you can still get stung wearing them, but the stinger wont get lodged in your skin. if you wear heavy gloves, its hard to handle the frames and all the equipment, i think.

  17. its a neat way to get bees out of the honey supers. sometimes takes a day or two to work, i've found. we have a playlist of beginning beekeeping videos on our channel if you'd like to check them out, thx, eric

  18. there are usually guard bees at any entrance to the hive, they check out who is coming back into the hive. its fun to watch. thx, eric .

  19. my wife has long hair, and bees have gotten stuck in it if she is close to the hives without a veil. no fun!

  20. Got my bees and will be adding my second deep super this weekend after my inspection. They seem to be happy and finding lots to forage on. The location is perfect. They face the sun at sun rise, there is a natural spring and creek about 100 yards away…I even have my nephew working the bees with me.

  21. Another great video. Glad I just happened along to find your channel. My wife is into bees and I'm a fairly decent gardener so your channel is spot on for us.

  22. we buy our hives, i think its a huge amount of work to build them right, you have to have a number of high end tools to do it right, IMO. thx! eric.

  23. My kids loved that cow!! LOL! We also loved the couple of times the bees were on the camera lens! Great videos! Keep the bee keeping coming! 🙂 We love them!

  24. First, instead of fondant, why not use marshmellows?  Secondly, the powdered sugar I've been using for mites had "confectioners" on it.  The powdered sugar I got the other day did not say "confectioners".  Is there any difference in your opinion?  thanks.  keith

  25. Duuude…Greetings from El Paso, TX in the desert Southwest.
    Thanks for the info. I would surely like to have access to those plans.
    Please let me know where I can get the plans. Thanks.

  26. Alright there! Have you considered – Banco Beekeeping Buzz (should be on google have a look)? Ive heard some interesting things about it and my brother in law got excellent extra money with it. 

  27. Most of the time its the drones that get the mites on them and in there cells,  just kill off a lot of drones cells, got to have a few, reason being drones are bigger mite can get on them easier, Now that why wild honey bees don't get mites, there to small for mites to get on em . I raise the hybrids,and wild honey bees, the hybrids are bigger and to hyper active to get mites as well  CHEERS

  28. I am looking forward to trying these screen bee escapes!  
    A couple of comments: I noticed a wasp on your frames once you had opened the hive.  Have you had a problem with them?  I found that one whole hive of mine had been robbed out, and eaten by wasps this year – a sorrowful pain in the neck.  And the glue is propolis, not propopolis!
    Great video!

  29. great video
     i have been building hives this winter getting ready for spring i am glad that people like you make videos to help people like me thanks

  30. This is an excellent video, I have been wondering how the bee excluder works and you demonstrated it very well! I'll be making some for use this fall. Thank you for the excellent video!

  31. Thanks for the video. I am going to build a bee escape today. I've also heard them referred to as Quebec Boards. I'm going to leave it on for two nights and see how it goes. The demo was really helpful.

  32. i notice all of these beekeeping vids are pretty old. please let us know how your beekeeping adventure is doing now and maybe some more videos about bees 🙂

  33. Wow! I am envious of the reasonable number of bees you have. Whenever we open the hive, it is wall to wall bees! I am curious why you had to remove the Queen excluder? Why can't the triangle board sit on top of that?

  34. I encourage you to keep going with your bees. And just as important study…… In a couple of years review this video and fix some of the misinformation. First year beekeepers should not be teaching.

  35. Eric we use fishers bee quick to clear the supers,it smells of almonds if that's any use to you in the future

  36. That's so cool Eric,ok our hives are ready to rock.
    2 made it through winter and we lost one.
    4 poly nuc's are ready once the nuc's arrive end of April.
    If that makes sense all fully painted in a variety of colours.
    Check out 628dirt rooster my first beekeeper I found when I started last year.
    So hopefully less mistakes this year Eric.
    We have buck fast bees here

  37. Are these hives far from the hives on top of the building ? ,I hope everything goes well this season best of luck

  38. I am not a beekeeper and I don't own any hives, but even I find these beekeeping videos to be very relaxing. Thanks!

  39. First time almost bee keeper here. thank you for your video :). you know how to talk to beginners which is awesome!

  40. Question: When you were brushing off the bees, would it not have been easier to give them one good bump and jar them back into the have from the top?

  41. How long can you leave the bee escape in a hive without for the bees getting smart enough to find their ways back to the super.

  42. Thanks for sharing your experience. How about using a second one on the top under the cover. That way you could maintain ventilation.

  43. haha that i s amazing. bee escape technique is wonderful.am yet to develop one for my self.am your fan from Uganda Africa

  44. Thanks. Very helpful video at the moment we needed it. My husband is out at the shop right now. i would have a hard time harvesting your steers. very cute.

  45. I’m not surprised you found a few bees in there but lets be honest, clearing out 10 bees as opposed to 5000 is great deal! This year, I’ve been harvesting frames instead of whole supers. I just go through and find the ones that are fully capped and replace. It’s worked but its not ideal for sure

  46. Dear Garden Fork, thanks for all the videos. So, last week I ordered a bee escape screen and today when I tried to lift one of the two supers full of honey to install the screen under I was not able to put the super back on the top because it was too heavy for me and the hive is on a slope, real hard area to work. So, out of desperation I placed the super which was full of honey (and of course full of bees) on top of the bee escape and placed both over a base board with entrance and it is next to the original hive. I reduced the entrance and am hoping that all those bees come out of the honey super within the next day or so. Everything else is sealed so I don't think anything can get in from around the super. I am wondering this spare of the moment thinking will work. My back really hurts. Thanks

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