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Thread: Endangered Bees

  1. #1
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    I live in Middle East. There are difference species of bees in here which I have not seen yet on the internet.

    Usually people will not keep those bees cuz they make little honey on the top of their hive.The size of the bees is small. They build their own hive. If I buy them a hive they will not use it because the size is too big for them!

    Anyway, The government is starting to burn special trees which as a result killed many of these bees. In my city , after a two months of searching I found one colony and I moved it to my house and I clipped the queen's wings to make sure the colony will stay. I made them a special house! which is a box and has 2 holes on the upper corners!. This kind of bees will move out for any reason and will leave their eggs behind!

    Now I realized they started to make new queen cells ( three qeen cells). I want to save those bees and I want to split them in to 3 colonies is it possible?

    One problem is that , I don't have additional hives cuz they make their own! and I can't cut their hive in to four parts cuz I will be killing the larva and the hive will look ugly!

    I expect a queen will come out in any day during this week and I don't know what to do now

    Can someone help me out here plz

  2. #2
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    Bomayed:

    Since I do not know your bees, I am at a disadvantage here.

    However, from talking to a lady in Somalia where bees have habits such as you describe I wonder if your bees are probably getting ready to abscond. I am told that they do this to follow the season, moving across the countryside in search of food.

    If I were you I might do one of two things. First, if you wish to use Langstroth (European) type equipment, set your bees up in a small super rather than in a hive body. The second option is to use a small top bar hive--You can get a full discussion of top bar hives by studying the past writings in this forum on that subject.

    In either case you will be able to manipulate the bees' comb one by one--the combs can be removed and examined in either the Langstroth or the Top Bar hive.

    Because you say you can see three queen cells I gather that you have a movable frame hive already. To split the bees you can take frames with only eggs , pollen and honey and move them with the queen and part of the bees to another box in a new location. Leave the queen cells in the old hive with part of the bees. The queen will think she has swarmed and will resume productive work.

    Those bees left in the old hive will have only capped brood to tend and will soon be a full sized swarm again when the new queen begins laying.

    However, if your bees are preparing to abscond because of a dearth of nectar and pollen you must feed them. I have no experience with this bee and do not know whether they will accept feed and remain in the absence of flowering plants.

    Please give us more information and tell us how your project progresses. If you know which bee you have, let us know.

    Good luck!
    Oxankle

  3. #3
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    bomayed,
    Hello there in Persia. The bees you have, you say they are very small. Are they honey bees, the sort you can find if you search for Apis Mellifera. Or could they happen to be the stingless bee of the Hymnoptera Trigona and Melipona families?

    These bees are kept quite differently than Apis Mellifera (Honey Bees). The common practice is to use inverted coconut shells or dried gourd halves to to keep them in. As the needs of the colony increase, one simply adds another coconut shell to the nest and they use it. These bees are very small, about 4mm in length. The honey they produce fetches a higher price than honey bee honey.

    Read about it, and if you can get a hold of a copy of the June 2003 issue of Beekeeping for Development, read it.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me
    "Do or not do, there is no try" ~ Master Yoda
    BeeSourceFAQ: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  4. #4
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    These are all based on the assumption that these are some kind of honey bee.

    I don't know what resources you have available. If you can buy a hive with frames and plane some off of each side of the spacers so that the frames are closer you may find your bees will like them better than the further spaced Lanstroths or whatever else is available.

    Another option is to make just top bars and only put a bead of wax down a groove in the center of one. and lay the rest in so they can build what they want for spacing. If you take a guess at the spacing and use what the African bees use which is 32mm it might be close.

    Now to ge the bees into a hive. I often cut comb and tie it into frames. If you went with the frames you might get buy with this. But it may also cause them to abscond if they are tempremental that way.

    Here's the idea of putting wild combs in a hive:
    http://www.kohala.net/bees/capture/index.html

  5. #5
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    Cool

    bomayed,
    If the queen is much larger than the worker bees you might try to make a queen includer to prevent the swarm from leaving with a queen. Do you have pictures of these bees?

  6. #6
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    Ok , Thank you all for your replies
    Ok here is a picture I took for a bee from the colony: http://www.binmajed.net/bees/wild_bee.JPG


    This is the box I made specially for the bees : http://www.binmajed.net/bees/box.jpg


    And this is a photo of the main colony : http://www.binmajed.net/bees/hive1.jpg

    Note: In this picture the red circle is just a pointer for an old hive which I placed next to the hive ( I thought maybe I can move it in to a new box with one of the queen cells). It looks big because it's just the upper part of an old hive.

    The green mark shows where the bees store the honey which is usually larger than the rest of the hive.

    The yellow mark shows where the queen cells are.

    I couldn't brush the bees away because they started to act very aggressivly and look like the whole colony is ready to attack!

    That's because I moved the queen to another box. I placed an old hive next to the main hive and the bees started to accept it so I moved this old hive + the queen to a nother box.

    Here is a pic of the old hive I used : http://www.binmajed.net/bees/Mag00029.JPG

    By the way the queen started to lay eggs this morning in this hive.

    Now , I can't use the Langstroth because these bees build the hives in a different shape. The upper part of the hive they build is huge compared to the other parts of the hive. However, if I use the Langstroth are they going to change the way they build their hives?

    I will reply to each of your questions soon I just got to go now , just wanted to give you the whole picture.



    [This message has been edited by bomayed (edited April 21, 2004).]

  7. #7
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    Ok , Thank you all for your replies

    Ok here is a picture I took for a bee from the colony: http://www.binmajed.net/bees/wild_bee.JPG


    This is the box I made specially for the bees : http://www.binmajed.net/bees/box.jpg


    And this is a photo of the main colony : http://www.binmajed.net/bees/hive1.jpg

    Note: In this picture the red circle is just a pointer for an old hive which I placed next to the hive ( I thought maybe I can move it in to a new box with one of the queen cells). It looks big because it's just the upper part of an old hive.

    The green mark shows where the bees store the honey which is usually larger than the rest of the hive.

    The yellow mark shows where the queen cells are.

    I couldn't brush the bees away because they started to act very aggressivly and look like the whole colony is ready to attack!

    That's because I moved the queen to another box. I placed an old hive next to the main hive and the bees started to accept it so I moved this old hive + the queen to a nother box.

    Here is a pic of the old hive I used : http://www.binmajed.net/bees/Mag00029.JPG

    By the way the queen started to lay eggs this morning in this hive.

    Now , I can't use the Langstroth because these bees build the hives in a different shape. The upper part of the hive they build is huge compared to the other parts of the hive. However, if I use the Langstroth are they going to change the way they build their hives?

    I will reply to each of your questions soon I just got to go now , just wanted to give you the whole picture.

    [This message has been edited by bomayed (edited April 21, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by bomayed (edited April 21, 2004).]

  8. #8
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    I came back this afternoon to check on the hive that has the queen. I was shocked! the bees left the hive and moved back to the main hive. I was so lucky cuz I found the queen before she get lost.

    I moved the hive back next to the main hive and I placed the queen again in the hive ( Will try it again , it has to work! )


    Scot Mc Pherson:
    The bees are honey bees and they sting.

    Michael Bush:
    I'll try to do what you suggest and I will visit the link you mentioned. Thanks

    db_land:
    Yes the queen is larger, but what did you mean by a queen includer?

    There are four queen cells now and they are all capped. I don't know how many days do I have left to make it work :-'

  9. #9
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    >but what did you mean by a queen includer?

    Putting a queen excluder in a position that all the bees have to get through it to get out of the hive, confines the queen to the hive. Also the drones. But you can open the lid now and then and let the drones out. Not sure is a standard queen excluder will work if your bees are smaller, but it may. #5 hardware cloth works for African bees as an excluder (or includer).

    >There are four queen cells now and they are all capped. I don't know how many days do I have left to make it work :-'

    They look like honey bees and they all fall around the same amount of time. Which would be they get capped on day 8 and emerge on day 16, from when they were layed. In other words 8 days after they are capped.

    It's usually a few days after that before they mate and few after that before they start to lay. Usually 28 days after the egg was layed the queen will be laying.

  10. #10
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    You can build a box that is what you think to be the appropriate size and shape and make frames to fit in the box, using the typical Lanstroth kind of frames, or just make up your own, as long as there is somthing down the middle of the top bars to give them something to work on. A strip of wax, a piece of string dipped in wax and stuck to the bar etc. The frames can be made of peeled straight sticks or dowels or cut wood depending on the tools you have available. I would space the frames 31mm or 32 mm on center (1 1/4"). That way you can do manipulations, splits etc. You may be able to figure out how to put frames in your existing box or maybe it's easier to make one. Or you can do just top bars, but they are more likely to have combs break.

    Here's some ideas on frames:

    Here's one with dowels for the sides and bottom:
    http://www.rupertshoney.co.za/rh/index.htm

    Top bar hives:
    http://nanaimo.ark.com/~cberube/5.htm http://www.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm http://outdoorplace.org/beekeeping/kenya.htm http://www.xs4all.nl/~jtemp/my_tbh.html http://www.ccdemo.info/GardenBees/CK5/CK5.html

    Different kinds of hives: http://www.badassbees.com/observe/observe.html

  11. #11
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    bomayed,
    If these bees behave like other honeybee races, they may swarm any time after the queen cells are capped. Usually it happens a day or two before the new queens emerge.

    Seems like you need to simulate a swarming event for your bees. Maybe putting the queen and about half the bees with no comb in another box some distance away will work. As soon as they build some comb and the queen starts laying you could bring them back.

  12. #12
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    HI , thanks for helping me out here guys

    Here is what I've done so far. I had two boxes ( Like this one). I made two more. Now , I split the main hive into three parts and I attacjed a queen cell to each part. Then I placed each part along with bees in a separate box. I placed each box approximately 10 meters away.

    I think I made a mistake! I discovered there are more than four capped queen cells and some queen cells are attached to each other. I was afraid if I split those attached queen cells I might accidentally kill one or both of the queens so I left it as it is and attached it to one of the parts I've split from the main hive. Is that going to cause problems?

    Things I'm afraid of

    I'm afraid that when the new queen will take her fly all of the bees will follow her and will never come back, does it happen?

    Discoveries
    I think I now know why the bees moved back from the old hive to the main hive in my last experience. I think it's because all what bees care about is taking care of the larva and since the old hive I've used had no larva they flew back to the main hive where the larva is. Maybe you already know this , but this is new to me. I assumed that because they left the queen and the honey plus the eggs the queen had laid recently.

    By the way , I bought a strip of wax and placed it next to the bees just to see what they are going to do to it since the size of the rooms they make in the hive is smaller than the size on the wax :-\ , I don't think they like it so far.

    [This message has been edited by bomayed (edited April 24, 2004).]

  13. #13
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    Bees know where home is. What you can do is move the hive where they live, and put the hive where you want them to go in the place where they were originally.

    This is a common practice to swap hive locations to give some bees from a strong hive to a weak hive. The bees will go where home is/was and so will just go in with little confusion.

  14. #14
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    Might this be the type of bee you have?

    A. The dwarf honeybee Apis florea

    The distribution area of A. florea is generally confined to warm climates. In the west, the species is present in the warmer parts of Oman, Iran and Pakistan, through the Indian sub-continent and Sri Lanka. It is found as far east as Indonesia, but its primary distribution centre is southeast Asia. Rarely found at altitudes above 1500 m, the bee is absent north of the Himalayas. It is frequently found in tropical forests, in woods and even in farming areas. In southeast Asia it is not rare to find a nest of A. florea in a village.

    As its name implies, the dwarf honeybee is the smallest species of honeybee, troth In the body size of its workers and in the size of its nest. A nest of A. florea consists of a single comb, whose upper part expands to form a crest that surrounds the branch or other object from which the comb is suspended. Dwarf honeybees nest in the open, but not without camouflage: most nests are hung from slender branches of trees or shrubs covered with relatively dense foliage, usually from 1 to 8 metres above the ground. In Oman, where A. florea nests are frequently found in caves, such combs are without crests.

    Combs of the dwarf honeybee are well covered with layers of workers clinging to each other' often three or four deep. About three quarters of the colony's worker population are employed in forming this living protective curtain of bees. When disturbed, this curtain shows a "shimmering" movement, the individual trees shaking their abdomens from side to side in a synchronous manner; at the same time, a hissing sound is released. If the colony is further disturbed, the worker trees raise their abdomens and take off from the curtain to attack the intruder.

    The section of comb surrounding the support (in Fig. 1/1, a small tree branch) consists of adjoining honey-storage cells that form a crest, from whose inroad curved surface the trees take off and on which they land. The communication dance by scouts, announcing the discovery of a food source, also takes place on this platform. Adjacent to the rows of honey-storage cells is the section of comb which the workers use for storing pollen. Beneath this band of pollen-storage cells is the area where the worker brood is reared. Prior to the swarming season, drone-brood cells are added, adjoining the lower rows of the worker-brood cells. When a colony loses its queen, emergency queen-cells are built from normal cells containing young worker larvae.

    To ward off ant attacks, the workers coat both ends of the nest support with sticky strips of propolis, or "plant gum", from 2.5 to 4 cm wide. A. florea is the only honeybee that uses this defensive technique.

    During the season when there is an ample supply of nectar and honey, populous colonies of the dwarf honeybee send out multiple reproductive swarms. In addition, colonies of this tree have a high degree of mobility. Disturbance by natural enemies, exposure to inclement weather and scarcity of forage are among the major causes of colonies absconding.

    In comparison with other honeybee species, the amount of honey that A. florea workers will store in their nests is small, usually not exceeding several hundred grams per colony. In some parts of Asla, the rural people have devised a scheme for harvesting this honey. First, nests or the bees are transferred from their natural sites to the village, and then, using twine and two short twigs, the nest is clamped and attached to a small branch of a tree. The upper part of the comb, containing the honey, is cut out, and the honey is squeezed out from it. A period of about six to eight weeks is allowed for the bees to repair the comb and replenish it with honey, and then it is harvested again. This method is not always reliable, however, because most colonies will abscond either shortly after their transfer to the new site or after the first or second harvest has taken place.

    Where nests of A. florea are abundant, several rural families can subsist on the income generated from beehunting alone. Although the practice appears ecologically destructive, particularly insofar as it reduces a valuable population of natural pollinators, it does not always destroy the colony being hunted. Workers and laying queens of the dwarf honeybee are able to respond to nest predation quickly. The entire colony, accompanied by a laying queen, can fly several meters away to regroup, and later abscond. Some absconding colonies are able to survive to build their new combs in a nearby area.




  15. #15
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    Scot Mc Pherson

    Thank you so much for this valuable information. I was thinking ( How can I make the bees fill this weak hive ?) , and you just answered.

    Thanks again Scot Mc Pherson

  16. #16
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    Terri

    That's my bees

    They are leaving aren't they

    We'll see about that lol

    Thanks Terri , I enjoyed reading what you posted and I wish I could read more =)

  17. #17
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    I got the information by doing a google search for "apis florea".

    There IS more, but I cannot get it as my computer freezes on that page, I don't know why. It took me 6 tries to get that for you.

    Perhaps you would have better luck? I don't rally know much about your bees, I had just seen a picture of a hive like that and went looking for information.

  18. #18
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    Hi again ,


    I now have 4 boxes and each box has a part of the main hive tied to a stick. One of the boxes has the original queen while the rest have queen cells.

    In the next day, I found 10-15 bees dead at the bottom of the box and all the bees are swinging their wings so I assumed it's because of the hot weather and because I kept the doors closed ( That's why those bees can not be kept in a box and that's why I designed these boxes with two doors) . I opened the doors and left. I came back later and I realized that the hive that has the queen is not calm anymore, I searched for the queen, but she is gone! She fell I guess and got lost.


    The bees look very aggressive and some bees fight each other. I stolen a queen cell from the other boxes (which was extra queen cells) and I placed in the hive. The next day a new queen emerged and she flew in the same day. I was surprised cuz usually a new bee or a new drone will stay in the hive for couple of days before she fly while this queen started flying around in the same day she emerged.

    Anyway , another hive seems to have calm bees so I assumed there is a queen in the hive I just didn't want to disturb them.

    I have one question, I realized that the same day a queen emerges , all the queen cells are destroyed or was emptied! But what did they do to the larva in it? How do they get red of it ?

  19. #19
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    They might haul it out or they might cannibalize it.

  20. #20
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    Three queens emerged , one still on the waiting list.

    One of the queens left with her bees



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