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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2

    Question

    last year we discovered a wild honeybee hive had attached itself to the side of our upstate home in NY, and we have been observing it. Is there a way to "lure" or "tempt" the hive to relocate into an artificial hive?

    If it comes down to breaking the hive off from the roof, what would be the procedure for moving them into an artificial hive? Should this be done in wintertime, when everything is frozen and more breakable, or would that cause the hive to die since they are so weak?

    The hive seems to be attached to the ledge of the roof, and we are afraid they might eventually eat into the house wall, so we want to move them into a separate house, while keeping them happy. of course - it also snowed about 4 feet this winter, so we are not even sure they will survive.

    Are there any books specifically about capturing wild hives?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    812

    Post

    bumblebee:maybe I can help, I've seen bees survive outside before.but I'd wait till warmer weather before I did anything,get the empty hive as close to the swarm as you can then carefully cut out some brood to fit a empty frame you can hold it in place with rubber bands,slowly herd the bees in the hive if you got brood in there it want be hard.remove the rest of the comb& place in a bag or something to keep the bees out of it.then they should start going in the hive.may sure you get all of the comb off the house so they will not go back to it.once you get them going in & out wait till dark or at least late afternoon.close up the front of the hive & move them at least 2 miles for afew days clean off the house good not to leave any old comb. it's not as hard as it sounds& i've saved a lots of bees that way.just my way of doing it & maybe it will help, mark,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    >last year we discovered a wild honeybee hive had attached itself to the side of our upstate home in NY, and we have been observing it. Is there a way to "lure" or "tempt" the hive to relocate into an artificial hive?
    It is not unheard of, but it is unusual for a honey bee swarm to make an outside hive. I'd make sure they are not wasps or something similar.

    >If it comes down to breaking the hive off from the roof, what would be the procedure for moving them into an artificial hive?

    See the section under plans for Removable Swarm Catching Frames. Also, several of us have outlined our methods in other posts numerous times. Try changing how many days back you go and look at all of the posts for the last six months.

    I might just do the same thing as the swarm catching frames except use a regular frame and some rubber bands. The idea is to cut out the brood comb and put it in regular hive and harvest the honey. http://www.beesource.com/plans/scf/index.htm

    >Should this be done in wintertime, when everything is frozen and more breakable, or would that cause the hive to die since they are so weak?

    It would be better to do it when the bees are warm enough to fly. It's true they will be docile right now, but they will also probably die. I suppose if you're more afraid of being hurt than of killing the bees, maybe some 40 degree day, since there is no brood right now, just brush all of them into a standard box and hope for the best. Personally I'd do it when the bees are flying.

    >The hive seems to be attached to the ledge of the roof, and we are afraid they might eventually eat into the house wall, so we want to move them into a separate house, while keeping them happy.

    Bees will not chew through wood. They will not eat into the house wall, but they may find an existing opening and move into the wall.

    >of course - it also snowed about 4 feet this winter, so we are not even sure they will survive.

    Sometimes it's amazing they do and sometimes it's amazing they don't.

    >Are there any books specifically about capturing wild hives?

    There are sections of ABX XYZ of beekeeping on the subject.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    The swarm catching frame thing should work. But like mentioned, I'd wait till it gets warmer. One, removing bees can get time consuming, and if its cold, all you are doing is getting cold, and really making them mad. Two, if they are clustered, you will probably lose alot of bees. I'd say wait, they probably won't go anywhere till spring anyway, and if they do not survive, carefully remove the combs, and see if the "housel positioning" holds true to the wild. Either way, I would carefully study that. Anyway, wait and good luck!


    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2

    Smile

    thanks for the suggestions.

    re: cutting off a brood hive section, and installing that into an artificial hive (and storing the rest of the hive in a bag) - does that mean that as long as I can get the worker bees attracted to that brood hive section, it will *not* be necessary for me to preserve the queen? the workers in the new home will then build a new queen?

    what should I use to saw the hive from the roof section?

    I read about capturing a wild hive in a book, and it briefly mentioned something about thumping the wood, which would make all the bees migrate slowly upward.

    roy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    re: cutting off a brood hive section, and installing that into an artificial hive (and storing the rest of the hive in a bag) - does that mean that as long as I can get the worker bees attracted to that brood hive section, it will *not* be necessary for me to preserve the queen? the workers in the new home will then build a new queen?

    what should I use to saw the hive from the roof section?

    I read about capturing a wild hive in a book, and it briefly mentioned something about thumping the wood, which would make all the bees migrate slowly upward.

    roy


    This is known as drumming. Never tried it, but it sounds like you could really get them upset.

    I would also try to capture the queen. She is proven. Yes if there is brood, they will make another, but they sometimes pick out a larvae that is too old, and then your queen is not a very good one.

    The comb attached to the roof will break off, much easier than you think. I would be more concerned about not breaking it off, and damaging the brood. I use the sharp end of my hive tool. The only time I use a saw is, when I'm cutting boards to get to the comb!


    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Hi Bumblebee: My best guess is that they will not survive the New York winter if the hive is hanging outside exposed. If spring comes and they are still alive ask around your neighborhood and see if there is a bee keeper locally. I'm sure if you find one and ask he would be more than happy to assist you. The plus side would be that he would have all the tools needed. Good luck in the effort. Karl

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    First, Karl is correct, if you can find a beekeeper you will be way better off. I would not attempt this without a full bee suit with a zip on veil, and a smoker. Also, if it's a long ways up a ladder, it's probably not worth the danger of panicing from a bee in your bonnet and falling off the ladder. Also, accept that you will get stung.

    Second, I still have doubts that these are bees. Find someone who can positively identify them.

    >re: cutting off a brood hive section, and installing that into an artificial hive (and storing the rest of the hive in a bag) - does that mean that as long as I can get the worker bees attracted to that brood hive section, it will *not* be necessary for me to preserve the queen?

    First of all, if they live and do well, then thousands of bees will be flying in your face. They will not be that attracted to anything other than stinging you. If you have a bee brush and you brush the bees off of the combs and put the brood in the frames and the honey comb (minus most of the bees) in a bag or a bucket with a tight lid, the bees eventually will settle onto the frames in the box. I would be brushing them into a bucket or into the box, so hopefully most will settle in a cluster there.

    >the workers in the new home will then build a new queen?

    If they have young enough brood they will build a new queen, but it would be nice if you get the old one. If you are careful in cutting each comb off and brushing most all of the bees off into your hive or a bucket (I only suggest the bucket because you may be at the top of a ladder doing this) then you will probably get the queen.

    >what should I use to saw the hive from the roof section?

    I would not saw anything. Just use a sharp butcher knife to cut one comb at a time off of the soffit or whatever they are attached to.

    >I read about capturing a wild hive in a book, and it briefly mentioned something about thumping the wood, which would make all the bees migrate slowly upward.

    Drumming is only really useful in an enclosed hive like a box or a hollow tree. In the begining it makes them angry, but after a while they get disheartened and they move up. Drumming while they are in the open will result in more stings and more bees in the air.

    There is also a section in the plans on a bee vacumn. I hesitate to suggest it because if you don't adjust it perfectly it can result in killing all of the bees. But if you use it correctly it can be helpful.

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