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Thread: need help..

  1. #1

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    i just aquired a log-o-bees..its about 6 foot long and 12 inches in diameter..bees coming out both ends..i would like to build a tbh and get them in it..any ideas on what i should or how i should go about getting them in there?? thanks,keith
    Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be a convenience store not a government agency

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
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    318

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    That's a tough thing to do. I'm sure there are others who can give you pointers, but I think I'm safe in saying that you will have to open up the log and remove all the comb and bees. You can tie the comb to top bars and put them in your TBH. Even then, your chances of the bees staying in your hive is low. The best idea I've heard is to find the queen and put her in a queen cage or press-in cage (search the forum for details on these) for a week or so to get the bees to stay long enough to adopt your TBH. They won't leave their queen - probably. Finding the queen is not easy in the best of times, but much harder in a feral hive where you have to tear out the comb to look for her. Queens often run from you and a log has too many nooks and crannies for her to hide in.

    IMHO, your best option is to prepare a lure hive with a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to make it smell like home and try to capture any swarms the log might throw out. Hang your lure hive about 10-15' off the ground in a shady tree, about 100 yards from the log. Then at the end of the season, open the log, harvest the honey and wax, and forget about the bees. Next year start with a nuc, package of bees, or swarm.

    OR if the bees are healthy, you could just leave the log alone. It will send off swarms every year and you can try to catch them to put in your TBH.
    "Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. . . . I will try to keep this short as long as I can." Yogi Berra

  3. #3

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    thanks!!
    Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be a convenience store not a government agency

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
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    930

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    Oh I don't agree about them not staying. I have done MANY removals and I think 2 absconded total in the last 3 years. If you get the brood and tie it in the TBH, they aren't going to go anywhere. The two abscodings I had were from swarm captures and it was directly my own fault, not hte bees rejecting the space but rejecting me not leaving them alone.

    I'd carefuly try to split the log lengthwise if its doable, or cut it into 1 ft pieces so you can reach in pull out large chunks of comb. You may or may not get the queen, but you find eggs in the brood then you are OK and they'll raise a new queen. You will unfortunately be forced to feed them this late in the game when their numbers will be weakened from having to raise a new queen while queenless. UNLESS they have a ton of honey that you can manage to save.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    You could build a bunch of swarm catching frames to fit your top bar hive and cut the comb out and put it in the frames.

    http://www.beesource.com/plans/swarmframe.htm
    http://www.beesource.com/plans/swarmfrm.pdf
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    McGraw,NY,USA
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    580

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    If you get them in some sort of swarm frame and can not get the Queen ? I would order a new queen for them. That would save some time as compared to having them make their own new queen .I took some out of a tree last year that was knocked down by a logger. we split the tree and took the comb and attached bees- put them into swarm (langs ) frames but am certain the queen was killed in the process. A week later caught a swarm from a different area and combined them . Good Luck ..Rick
    Turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    IMO, this time of year, I'd probably let them make their own to get the genetics. Early in the spring it will hurt you a lot to let them raise their own.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    228

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    To help the bees get use to their new home (if you can get them out of the log) make sure your TBH is in the exact same spot as the log was. I would move the log first (if it's possible) to where you're going to keep the hive permanently and let them get use to that spot (for at least a week??) before you attempt the transfer. Try to keep the TBH entrance as close to the spot where the log's entrance was as you can. This could help them to not be so disoriented with their new home and accept it more easily. Trying to eliminate whatever small amount of stress with the transfer could help them stay and not abscond.

    I'm not sure what havoc the sound of a chainsaw might cause, but it might work to start by opening up one end, take as many combs out as you can reach, saw that empty section off and then do the next part that is exposed. I imagine most of the bees will go down to the other end of the log. When you're down to about two feet or so of log, maybe you can pick it up and shake the remaining bees (and queen if you haven't found her) into the box.

    You probably have to accept you will kill a bunch of bees in the process of the transfer. It won't be that easy.

    Soemtimes if I want to tie new comb onto a top bar I make a type of sling that supports the comb from the bottom. Passing wire or string through the comb near the top doesn´t work at times because the comb tears, especially if it is new and full of brood or honey.

    Whatever way you look at it, it seems like you're going to have a tricky operation.

    Down here in Honduras I've even seen transfers from one log to another with stingless bees. Someone gets a hold of a log of these bees but it doesn't have that much space in it for them. The people will hollow out a bigger log, make some plugs for the end, make a hole in the side of the log as an entrance and then transfer the bees. (These logs are usually about three to three and a half feet long and their comb system is completely different.) You probably can't do this back in the States though because of laws concerning the type of hives you can use. Just something interesting.

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