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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    I have 4 TBH's built to Dennis' specs all were working great I really like the design. I went on vacation from 6 Aug to 19 Aug. have been having a problem with yellow jacks. I did my first in-depth inspection today and found completly empty nests in two hives. I had my father-in-law feeding a 1:1 by volume suger water mix while I was away. I have a pan in the bottom of the hive that holds 1 liter of syrup, no problems here they were taking a liter a day. My intention was to get them to build more comb I was worried that they did not have enough to make it thru the winter. There was no new comb ever and they really never seemed to fill the comb they had. we have been having seasonable weather compared to the north east US. I did have a robbing problem and reduced the entrances down to about one inch wide. I also noticed the yellow jacks were able to go in and out with little resistance. These are Elgon bees, the Carns I have defend the hive to the end. Why did they abscond? and how do I get them to draw out more bars they average 9 per hive.
    Thanks,
    Gary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Post

    If you weren't there to watch and there is no evidence left, then it's hard to say. I had a hive abscond that was at someone elses house. I have no idea why they did as I couldn't see any eveidence of problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Absconding is one of the problems not talked about much in the US but I think it happens more frequently than acknowledged.

    Some types of bees are nervous and will abscond if the hives are worked too much leaving lots of brood and honey behind. If the weather is warm, the brood will hatch leaving a strangely organized hive when the beekeeper inspects it.

    Absconding can also occur when the nectar abruptly stops in the spring. That happens here during the first week in June. Some hives will just take off leaving a hundred pounds of honey behind. I once lost 400 hives this way. They were large and had stored an early spring crop. I inspected a booming yard and returned two days later to find all but a couple of hives empty with just newly hatched bees. We called it disappearing disease.

    Researchers at the Laramie Bee Lab indicated that these characteristics were indicative of African genetics which had been imported into the US a few times in the past and were fairly widespread in some regions of the US.

    Probably the absconding most beekeepers are familiar with occurs when they attempt to hive a swarm. Often the bees appear to settle down and will inhabit a hive for few days. But then will just take off leaving a little brood and a few disorganized bees behind.

    Why? It's anyones guess but something must not be quite right.

    What can be done? Not much. The bees will be bees. All anyone can do is to try again next season.

    Regards
    Dennis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Thanks, I think it was a combination of yellow jacks, robbing and opening the hive every day. Should I change the location of my last hive to another yard or just let it be.
    Gary

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