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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    381

    Default Never seen this before

    Today was beautiful outside and I hadn't checked the hives in a while so I went out to see if more supers were in order. I had one hive that has been very weak (think I lost the queen) and I had added a frame with some eggs so they could make their own. Anyway, when I went up to the hive I saw some bees clustered on the bottom of the 2x4 stand and I looked and there was about a basketball sized cluster of bees on the underside of the screened bottom board. I looked inside the hive and there was no evidance of a queen but the bees clustered on the underside of the screened bottom board had some freshly drawn comb. Last week or week before, I captured a nice swarm and put them in a nuc box and they absconded. Wonder if these today could have been the ones that absconded. Alternatively, perhaps a queen on her mating flight came back and got confused and went to the underside of the hive and when she got down there a bunch of bees from the hive came down where she was?? I think the absconded swarm taking up residence on the underside of a queenless hive (although there were still many bees in the hive) may be a better guess? The comb on the underside of the screened bottom board was all fresh white comb but I didn't check to see if a queen was in it or not. I took the bottomboard and put it on top of a box with drawn comb and then newspaper and then I put the cluster and empty hive box on top of the other hive boxes. Any other ideas about what could have happened? I've never seen a hive with comb in the open like that before. My hive stand is made of 2x4s nailed on to 4x4 treated corner posts and is about 18" high off the ground but other than that the sides are all open and the new comb and cluster of bees was just hanging there on the bottom of the screen. Something new every day. I'd post some pics if I new how.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default

    AHB will attach to the outside of a hive and slowly communicate with bees inside. Then they move in and take over. I have seen them start on bottom screens, At a crack in migratory covers, holes in old boxes or at one corner of the landing board. The hive does not need to be queenless for them to take over either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    381

    Default

    AHB have been observed up here in the Panhandle but at very low levels. These bees were not at all aggressive and since they were had quite a bit of comb on the bottom of the screened bottom board, I would think that if they were AFH they would have been aggressive since they had some comb to defend and weren't just a swarm in a tree looking for a home?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,325

    Default

    I can't eyeball DNA, I don't know anyone who can. I can tell when a hive behaves in a way I don't like. If a hive behaves poorly, I can always remove their queen and replace her with one of my own choosing. This is one of the reasons I keep a few Nucs available - I can just remove the offending queen, replace five frames with those from the Nuc and most times this produces a fairly strong colony, headed by a queen of my choice.
    -----
    Right now I have a colony that has been slow to reaquire queenright status. They finally accepted a virgin that emerged from her cell while with them. This was a somewhat smallish queen of golden Cordovan Italian color. She has been slow to mate and start laying, but about two weeks ago she finally began laying. This colony still has one super of eight combs full of bees, I have been removing frames as they build them into comb and fill them with honey, so there are always empty combs for a healthy young queen to lay in, but now, two weeks later my young queen's brood nest is still only both sides of one medium frame, despite my adding empty combs next to the present comb of brood and physically moving the queen to other empty combs in the hive - and today I noticed the bees have started a supersedure cell among the recently hatched eggs. I can't blame them - I am growing some queen cells of which I will provide them with one, once it is ripe. I do not wish this "Dud" queen to mother any daughters.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-12-2008 at 01:19 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,552

    Default

    We found a similar colony. They were NOT AHB, not up here in Wisconsin. This was a solid bottom board, not screened. Still, they lined up approx with the colony above.
    http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...ome-and-garden
    Sheri

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    381

    Default

    Here are some pics of the bees on the SBB. Hope I did this right with the pictures. First time I've tried to post some. I put a spacer on top of a hive body with drawn frame and the bottom board with bees on top of that. Hopefully they will eventually go down into the hive and I'll cut the comb off the bottom of the SBB and have a nice strong hive.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/cmrush

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Default

    Anyone know why they built comb with a 90 Degree bend. I had a swarm I cough that build comb in the feeder, before I took it off. It was built with a 90 degree bend also.

    Curious if anyone else has seen this in th past.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thesurveyor View Post
    Anyone know why they built comb with a 90 Degree bend. I had a swarm I cough that build comb in the feeder, before I took it off. It was built with a 90 degree bend also.

    Curious if anyone else has seen this in th past.
    Some bees just build ugly comb:

    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

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