I got a swarm yesterday which I dumped into my observation hive at 6PM. I had most of the bees in the hive while the rest were marching in in an orderly fashion. (At this point there was a 1" x 18" opening at the bottom of the hive due to the observation window being slightly open.) By 7:00 the bees had reversed direction and were marching out the the hive and back into the box I'd captured them in.
After dark I dump most (probably 75%) of the bees back into the hive and closed the windows all the way. Most of the bees spent the night in the hive. But by 10AM most of the bees had exited the hive via a 3/4" entrance hole.
I've got them back in the box now and I think I'll just add them to a regular hive I have that contains just a small swarm. I don't feel I've got much of a chance getting these particular bees to take to the observation hive. For what it's worth, I put a few drops of Lemongrass Oil into the observation have before adding the bees.
Any ideas on how to turn this around?
Here is a picture of the observation hive. Just imagine glass on both sides: http://www.z2a.org/photos.bees/tboh-med.jpg
You left the queen in the catch box...Get her out and into the OH.
Hmmm... the catch box was completely empty after I dumped it last night. I supposed the queen could have been clinging to the the outside of the hive all night and that's why the bees all exited this morning to beard on the outside.
To get the bees back in the catch box this morning I shook the bearded bees off the hive onto the ground near the box. Then I watched the bees run into the box. I didn't spot the queen. Being a newbee I may have just missed her. But could a missing queen cause what has happened?
If you get the queen into the observation hive the bees will go in! Maybe she is just small or a good hider! Try again, I would!
If you had a frame of eggs and or brood it would help also. I agree with Iddee that the queen aint in the o h.
Maybe your OH is just too small for the bees and they realize it.
> Maybe your OH is just too small for the bees and they realize it.
Could be. It is about the size of 3 medium frames. About 20" wide and 18" high.
> Try again, I would!
Two votes to try again. I'm easily swayed! I'll let you know how it goes.
The third time's the charm! I re-hived the bees at about 3PM. By 5:30 all the bees were inside the hive and the front entrance was clear rather than being choked with bees. I'm declaring success for now. I'm glad I didn't give up as I had planned before posting. It must have been a rough 24 hours for the bees being captured and hived 3 times each.
I still haven't seen the queen. But were lots of bees doing the "waggle dance" at around 6PM. That was pretty cool to see.
Next time, make sure the queen and the bees are in the hive, stop up the tube with a piece of cloth and feed them for a couple of days before you open it up.