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  • eliochel

If your goal entering a hive is to cause as little disruption as possible, propolis is an obstacle.

Propolis can be really built up inside the hive at the end of winter and makes the first full inspection difficult. One way to keep down the vibrations and resonance of hive inspection is to keep hive tools sharp and use those sharp edges to cut through propolis unstead of prying and forcing frames and boxes apart. Brute force always results in more banging and disturbance. Instead of prying each hive apart from the one next to it or from the side wall of the box, cutting between the shoulders of the frames is quieter and kills fewer bees.

Cutting downward between the shoulders of the frames all the way across a hive box side to side at both ends before even taking the first frame out reduces the amount of brute force used, and thereby the resonance and disruption of ordinary hive inspections. That downward cutting motion also pushes some of the propolis down, scraping it off the frames shoulders with that same motion. Moving so much of the propolis out of the way can make that first major inspection after winter less stressful for beekeeper and for bees.

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