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Thread: Bees in bush

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Derby, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    27

    Bees in bush

    What chances do I have of removing bees from a bush and successfully starting a new hive this time of year? I received a call from an aquaintance yesterday who said he had just discovered a swarm of bees in a bush in his front yard. They must have set up shop earlier in the spring because they now have built a comb larger than two dinner plates and apparently have some honey stores also. The guy is concerned that the bees won't survive the winter and wondered if I could use them. I don't have any hardware, and it might take several days to get some from a supplier. However, if starting a new hive this time of year is a bad idea, I might pass up the opportunity. I assume if I do start a new hive, I will have to do alot of feeding of sugar water and pollen. What does everyone think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    St. Clair Co. Missouri
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    225

    Default

    It's always worth trying to save them. At least in my opinion. But I'm pretty sure you'd have to feed them a lot of sugar syrup to make it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    5,080

    Default

    The experience would be invaluable, even if they didn't make it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

    Default

    Do you usually get a fall flow in your area?

    If yes, I'd go get the bees and put them in a box with a frame of brood for a few days. When you inspect if the queen in with the swarm she'll be on that one frame. If not, you'll have queen cells.

    I'd only do that to find the queen. Then I'd pinch her and do a combine with another hive.

    Then you'll have a REALLY strong hive to make honey from the fall surplus.

    If you don't normally have a fall surplus, then you'll just end up with more mouths to feed and maybe that is not such a good idea.
    Troy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    It's worth a try. Unless you have to drive a ways to get them...

    If you don't have drawn comb then you can at least get a box of partially or better drawn comb if they don't make it.

    If you do have drawn comb, then they have at least 4 weeks to start pumping out some new younger bees and putting away syrup for the winter.

    They can over winter in only 1 deep if you can treat them right (well fed, protected, possibly ontop of another hive).

    The worst case is that you have a hive that is ready to put splits in next spring. (well, the worst case is that you can get a rip roaring case of foul brood or nosema that wipes out your bee yard, but lets not think about really worst cases!! )

    Rick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

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    I am 20 miles south of you. they can make it thru the winter but it will take some work and luck. Put them in a 5 frame nuc box cut the comb out and band it in the frames. Use wax foundation and feed feed feed try to get them to build up into a 2nd 5 frame nuc. If you can get them into that they will have a better chance to make it than in 10 frame equipment. Order your nuc boxes from drapers in Auburn nebraska they can have what you need to you the next day. and they are competitively priced. As iddee said the experience and what you learn is invaluable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Thaxton, Mississippi
    Posts
    462

    Default

    IMO:: If you can remove the swarm by cutting the bush and leaving them intact. Build a box out of plywood big enough to place them inside. Then feed and wait until spring to transfer into a new home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default

    Open in a bush?? Question, do you have AHB that far north?
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lake Ontario
    Posts
    19

    Default 10 day old swarm--I was wondering why they didn't move...

    Found a swarm underneath a hive, at the back. I put a hive with drawn comb nearby but after 5 days they were still sitting under the established hive.

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...677/swarm1.jpg

    I went to brush them off & found comb:

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...677/swarm2.jpg
    3+ layers of comb hanging off the screened bottom board (complicated matters). I sliced off & crudely wired the comb onto some old wired frames:

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...677/swarm3.jpg
    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...677/swarm4.jpg

    I'll find out if they are still in the new hive this week. I intend to put them in a double nuc with insulation & honey stores.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NasalSponge View Post
    Open in a bush?? Question, do you have AHB that far north?
    We have not had them confirmed in Kansas. But they are at our door step down in oklahoma. I have found 2 swarms that have started building in the open this year

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Derby, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    27

    Cool how to attach wild comb to frames

    Ok, so now I'm thinking that perhaps I should just use the wild comb the bees have already manufactured. I know that it is possible to wire in the comb to blank frames, but how does one do that? Any suggestions?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Peckham, London, England
    Posts
    24

    Default

    You take a sharp knife and an empty frame with no foundation, some string and scissors.

    Firsty shake off most of the bees - they will come back...

    Remembering which way up the comb was hanging (that bit is important) you cut out a rectangle of comb the same size as the frame and then you tie the cut comb into the frame with string, like a parcel.

    that's it.

    If you accidentally rotate the comb and tie it in in a different plane, then the honey and brood can fall out!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    I prefer to use rubberbands instead of string

  14. #14

    Default open comb

    Just removed (8-30-08) a swarm from a small tree that had started comb building! Also took one off a building early this year? Bees do funny things.
    bob

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Lightbulb

    I have to agree with Paintingpreacher, that worked for me a few years ago. You can see the pics of the hive in the myspace link below.

    What you have is a clump of comb, not the neat rows of comb we are used to seeing in cavities so cutting it up and banding it in frames won't work. Trying to do so will be a sure loss of the hive this time of the year.

    As you can see in my pictures, I loosened the mound of wax from the bush and trimmed it to fit into a nuc box. Then I set a box of frames with pollen and honey above that box so it would make contact with the clump. I also put a hive top feeder above that for a little extra insurance.

    As winter progressed, the bees moved up into the stores and completely left the mound by spring when I removed it.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

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