Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vacaville, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6

    Post

    For the last few months I have been stopping buy a guys place asking about some hives he had on his place. He finally came to the conclusion that the former owner had abandoned them after he hadn't seen the guy for over a year and a half. He told me to take them over. I did. The are in poor shape with 4 mediums stacked on each hive. The inside frames are all falling apart and comb is poorly drawn in some areas and over drawn in others. Any advice on how to approach the management of these hives? there is 150-250 pounds of honey in 3 colonies. Kinda stumped on where to start.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vacaville, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6

    Post

    oh, and there are 3 strong hives... judging by flight and landing observation. Had to mow the grass down about 18 inches in order to get the openings exposed. They did not dig that!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,359

    Post

    Before putting any work into them,you should make an effort to contact the owner of the hives to see if they really are abandoned.It would be a shame to fix them up then have the owner claim them back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    It seems to me that the same rationale that governs anyother abandoned or neglected livestock or pet should also apply to bees as well.... I don't know exactly how that would fit in though since bees are maintained less than, say a persian cat. Anyway, it would be wise to find out why the "weak" hives are weak (ie, susepible to disease or parasites?) The new land owner might be able to look at his purchase contract or ask the lawyer he went through to determine what constitutes "abandoned" property from the previous owner. And he could just call the prior owner and tell him he has some delapodated hives still there and that you are interested in seeing what you can do with them.

  5. #5

    Post

    I would use caution in consuming the honey. You do not knnow the management practices of the other person and they might not have used pesticides safely. I would feel safer using the honey to feed bees in spring or fall, but only if disease was not apparent problem.

    On the equipment: sounds like elbow grease is needed. A few nails and some paint can do wonders for old boxes, but I have found that old equipment falls apart during use and also gets out of square, thereby tough to fit on top of another box. This is more of a problem with rabbeted boxes. I would not even waste my time on them. Just a pain in the @*&% to keep them from fallign apart when you move boxes and lift frames.

    If you are just hungry for more bees, take a few frames of brood to new split boxes. After more brood gets laid in your frames, move the old frames you want to replace to the outside of the box, then junk or burn when most of the brood is hatched out before they fill with honey.

    I was also similarly excited about an abandoned hive find. I got the bee inspector out, as I was sure these feral hives had some resistance to some kind of bee disease (proposed at another online forum). He was very polite, but this was not so. I ended up bring one of the hives to an apiary, trying to work them to profitability. The bees were mean, I hated going in the hive. I could not find the queen to replace her (I used to think drones were the queen), and I was worried about brood diseases being transferred to my other hives. I ended up burning the hive!

    I told another local beekeeper about the hives remaining, he picked them all up. Of the eleven hives he had that year he told me he made no surplus honey. What does that tell you?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,359

    Post

    Mo,the ownwership issue was my first thought because of this: I have a friend in Vacaville who used to run a few hundred(?) hives.Several years back he was almost killed in a head on collision.While he was recovering(almost didnt) no one knew where his bees were to take care of them .In your case it does sound like they have been abandoned but one should never assume.Assuming things is what usually gets me in trouble!So assuming(ha) the frames are in fair shape you could transfer them into a new box,repair that one then go to the next.You need to examine each comb carefully for disease.And I agree with not eating the honey for the same reason.You dont know what chemicals were used in years past.I will bet they are full of mites unless they are recent swarms.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vacaville, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6

    Post

    Ownership...the landowner has not seen the guy for over a year. I don't want to own the mess, I was just going to clean it up.
    The landowner is allergic to bees and was not too happy with the situation. My intention was to try and save the colonies that were strong with good hive management. and possibly have some honey at the end of summer. I just wondered how to, or if I should, try to take two of the four messy mediums on the hive off, put a super(s) on and have them try to clean up the old honey. All the frames and foundation is damaged or shot, hive bodies are negotiable, and it is all pretty much neglected.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads