I have a wild hive I wish to move into a langstrom hive.
I have the langstrom hive set above the entrance of the wild hive. I made a sort of tunnel from the entrance to the wild hive through the entrance of the langstrom hive so they MUST use it!
I expect to drum and smoke the wild hive in a couple of days to get them to move upwards into the langstrom hive. Then, I will collapse the tunnel and cover that entrance to make them stay.
I figure to keep them penned into the langstrom hive for a couple of days so that the queen (If I succeed in getting her to move into the langstrom hive!) will start laying eggs and the bees will presumably stay. Feeding syrup with a plastic baggie with slits sounds easy. I will use screen over the top of the hive so they can breath. I have bought foundation and a somewhat beat-up dark comb to give them.
But, what about pollen? I know the baby bees use it, but do the adults? If I only pen them up for 3 days or so, do I need to supplement their diet with pollen?
Have I forgotten anything? ???
You haven't said what the feral colony is established in now. Is it a tree, house, or what? What you have done so far sounds excellent in making the bees enter and exit through the Langstroth hive, but do you have fully drawn comb in there for them, or just foundation? Getting the queen to move out on her own is a trick that I don't know how to accomplish as she will normally never leave the hive unless she is swarming. It is more likely that you will have to open up the feral hive and remove some brood comb (use the frames shown in the equipment section of this site for this purpose) and find her to take her out with it. Then when she is in the Langstroth hive, I would put a queen excluder on the bottom of the hive to keep her in (becomes a queen includer), and in about 4 weeks the colony should have moved into the Lang.
You are in eastern KS. If you are near the KC area, contact Mid-Con Agrimarketing in Olathe (913-768-8967), and they can give you info on the Northeast KS Beekeeper Assn members in your area who may be able to assist you. If you are near Atchison, then send me an email and I can put you in touch with someone near you who can help.
The main trick is to trap the QUEEN in the Lanstroth hive. It will work much better if you have more commumication than just a tunnel. If you have a lot of room for the bees to move it will work. It may not if you only have a tunnel. When being drummed or heavily smoked they are in too much of a panic for all of them to find the tunnel. If you can't get a lot of open combs on the top of the feral hive (in a tree?) then you can use the cone method. Basically, though, if you don't have some drawn comb, and preferably some brood comb, it's difficult to get them to move into the Lanstroth equipment without just taking them out and putting the combs in the frames.
Suppose I smoke and drum the hive to get most of the bees out first? They are in the wall of a cold frame. I CAN remove a LITTLE of the wall once the bees are mostly gone. I don't want to totally destroy the cold frame but I could pull back the sheet of plywood, then nail it back on.
There seem to be quite a few of them (at least to my eyes). I WAS waiting for them to have used up the room between the studs and expand into the hive, but I don't think they are going to any time soon. I think they have gotten past the stud into a new section of wall.
I can then put the queen and the combs in an upper super until things settle down. A piece of newspaper could be used as a pull-away division in the corner between the upper and lower supers.
I actually find that I do best when I work at projects alone and at my own speed. I can find everything at my hand, if one stage of the operation hits a snag I just approach it from a different angle until I get it right.
And, no offense to the guys out there-most beekeepers DO seem to be guys! When a guy helps a lady, he tends to try to do the work FOR her, which means I STILL wouldn't know how to hive a wild swarm!
And, hiving a wild hive is something I want to learn!
[This message has been edited by Terri (edited May 24, 2003).]
You can usually say under specific conditions what bees will do. It's not so easy when the conditions aren't so specific or simple. Part of the problem with getting bees out is that you don't have any bees. If you have bees you have something to work with to get them out and keep them out like brood and drawn comb.
You can smoke them heavily and get some bees out, but they will go back in unless there is a queen to keep them out. Preferably their queen.
If you use the cone method, you put some open brood, and maybe a queen, in a box right next to the entrance, or slightly higher. You make a cone of screen wire so that there is only enough room for one bee to squeeze out. Make sure there are some loose wires so that going out they push the wires a little and going in they get stuck on them. Stop up any other entrances and staple the cone to the one entrance and duct tape it all around so it's bee proof. Now the bees can get out but not in. You don't have to smoke it, because they will naturally leave and not be able to get back. If there is brood and some bees in the box, they will cluster there because they can't get back to their own. After few or no more bees are leaving you can try to smoke the rest of them out and see if you can luck out and get the queen. Hard to say if she will come out or not.
Of course, if you're willing to disassmble the cold frame you can just cut the combs to fit the frames and put them in the box.
Those are the two most likely methods to work.