Shaking bees from frames
How to shake bees from frames
To inspect a hive for AFB the bees must be shaken off the brood frames first.
Inexperienced beekeepers often find it difficult to shake bees off brood frames. The secret lies in holding the end lugs of the frame between the thumb and index finger, lifting the frame a little way out of the box, and then jerking the frame back down a similar distance into the box. This dislodges the bees in such a way that they fall to the bottom of the box and then quickly walk or fly the short distance onto the adjacent combs.
Not all of the bees need to be removed to carry out a proper inspection. However, there should not be so many bees remaining that they make it difficult to see most of the face of the comb.
Avoid moving the frame completely out of the box
Taking the frame all of the way out of the box and then shaking the bees off is not recommended, since this usually results in more bees taking to the air (an action which can encourage robbing at certain times of the year). There is also a greater chance of either damaging or losing the queen. Shaking bees into the gap inside the hive also contains any nectar that may fall out of the combs.
Most of the bees should be shaken off a frame before it is inspected for AFB.
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Our videos cover everything from your legal obligations to how to recognise AFB, collecting cell and bee samples and more.
There’s a lot of good information here, telling you everything you need to know about recognising AFB: the visual symptoms, smell of AFB and more.
New Zealand beekeepers have a number of legal obligations that must be met regarding AFB disease. Read the shortened list in summary, here.
Most hives become infected because bees, honey or equipment have been put into a hive from another hive that is infected with AFB. Lower your chances of an AFB infection by reading this section.
Find out when the next AFB Recognition and Competency Courses, or Refresher Courses are available. These are held throughout the year in various New Zealand locations across the South Island and North Island.