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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV USA EEUU
    Posts
    47

    Post

    Monday after Easter I drive down to Lynchburg, Virginia — about 4 hours away on mostly 4-lane, high-speed roads— to pick up my three queens and their attendant packages of 3lbs each, mentioned in the previous post.

    Weather forecast calls for temps in the 40s with a high (maybe) of 50 degrees with rain. I am sitting here thinking that adding the windchill of rolling down the highway at 60mph to those cold, wet conditions does not bode well. I have a topper for my pickup that can keep the bees dry, but I don't think it will keep them warm enough.

    I don't have the guts to just throw the bee packages in the front cab with me, turn up the heater, and drive four hours back north to Harpers Ferry. Had a "bad experience" a couple of years ago when a guy asked me to help move a hive. Neither he nor I had a pickup truck then, so we used his busted-up old Chevy van. We slide the hive in the far back of the van and the two of us are sitting up front with our helmets and veils on, as I have always thought that the Boy Scout motto of "Be Prepared" was a good idea. Good thing, too, as the duct tape he used to tape screen wire over the inner cover hole was none too young, and the bees pushed it up hard enough to have it let go. So then the girls are loose inside the van – with us. So while he drives, I lit up the smoker inside the van, and start pumping smoke rearward. The van is so leaky that there is enough draft to draw the smoke from the front seat back toward the hive. Things got a little calmer. The smoke escaping out the back of the van also drew the attention of a state trooper, as this was a September Saturday night in West Virginia, and with those bee veils on our heads, the two of us qualified in his mind as suspicious-looking characters. Ever get pulled over by The Law with a load of bees loose inside your vehicle? It makes for a Memorable Occasion for All Concerned. An experience I don't particularly care to repeat on a cold rainy day in April.

    Back to the Rain/ Cold Problem At Hand. Michael (et als.), wouldn't the bees stand a better chance to stay warm enough if I took along in the truck the three hive bodies and covers I intend to put them in at the beeyard? I could remove enough frames for the wirebox they usually put the package bees in to fit snug into the hive body. Maybe doing it that way would start them smelling the inside of the particular box and imprinting on that place I will be placing them in once the weather improves. I am planning on using already drawn combs, although if you tell me undrawn foundation might be better, I have some I could use.

    That way, even if it is a little windy inside the back of the truck under the camper shell for the 4-hour road trip, the new bees would only have to generate enough heat inside a hive-sized space without a lot of extra windchill.

    If it rained into Tuesday, could they just stay in the back of the truck inside their hive boxes(with covers on) until we get a spell of clearing weather in mid-week?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Post

    >I don't have the guts to just throw the bee packages in the front cab with me, turn up the heater, and drive four hours back north to Harpers Ferry.

    I've hauled hives in a van too, and can't say I'd recommend that, but I still do it.

    I understand your concern about bees in the cab with you, but a hive and a package of bees are two different things. The package is secure enough to survive frightened Postal workers throwing it around. There is no problem with the bees suddenly escaping. There might a hitchiker or two on the cage, but they are only attracted to the Nasonov smell and aren't interested in you and easily dislodged with a bee brush. I always put the packages on the seat beside me.

    Nothing to worry about.

    >Back to the Rain/ Cold Problem At Hand. Michael (et als.), wouldn't the bees stand a better chance to stay warm enough if I took along in the truck the three hive bodies and covers I intend to put them in at the beeyard?

    You could.

    >That way, even if it is a little windy inside the back of the truck under the camper shell for the 4-hour road trip, the new bees would only have to generate enough heat inside a hive-sized space without a lot of extra windchill.

    I'm sure it will help.

    >If it rained into Tuesday, could they just stay in the back of the truck inside their hive boxes(with covers on) until we get a spell of clearing weather in mid-week?

    You keep pushing it though. Now they have to survive the cold windy trip and then several cold days still in the cage, still in the cold.

    I'd put them in the car/van/pickup cab. I'd take them home and put them in a nice dark basement and feed them with sugar water on the screen with a soft brush (some seem to like the sprayers). I've also been known to put them in the kitchen or the living room for shorter times (overnight usually).

    Bees in packages do NOT result in escapees like moving a hive often does. At most you will have one or two bees hanging on the outside and if you take a bee brush with you, you can remedy that too, although I always leave the hitchhikers. After all they don't cost anything.

    Since you probably aren't going to take my advice, I'd do whatever you can to keep them warm without suffocating them. Make sure there is some ventilation in the boxes if you put them in the boxes.

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