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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Northern bee removal in Feb.

    I have remove a colony from the eve of a house next week. I'll do my best to give them a home, feed, etc. but this time of the year in NY their chances are slim.
    Any tips on how to improve their odds?
    Would this be a good observation hive project? Not that I want to watch them die...
    Thanks,
    Aram

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Fairfield, Connecticut
    Posts
    597

    Default

    Personally I would wait another 4 to 6 weeks Then it should be warm enough to not have to worry about them freezing. My 2 Cents.
    If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. If you build it, they will fill it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    I here you.
    Some things gotta go when they gotta go. I think the homeowners want them gone before they start building up again. The frost is not so much an issue as I could put them indoors in an observation hive. But then with the warmer environment they'll get hungry and there will be comb lost though and stores with it. I can feed syrup, what else should I make available since they will only find snow outdoors for a while. I never kept an observation hive so I'm in the dark when it comes to what other supplements they would need.
    All advice will be met with glee!
    Thanks,
    Aram

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Whatcom Co., WA
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I can see a lot of challenges in getting bees from a cut out into a standard, (1 frame width) obs hive. I have had a lot of mess (and subsequent problems) when trying to cut out and tie honeycomb into frames. It is best in my opinion to just tie brood (which you may or may not come across and maybe a little bit of honeycomb if you can get pieces cut off that won't be drippy at all- and then feed either sugar / syrup/ or honey scraps back in a feeder/ etc.

    If you insist on obs hive, I would try to go with something more like a standard hive body with tube exit/ etc. see magnet-man's site for an idea of how he does this with standard (5 frame?) nuc bodies. I would also suggest not to put hem all the way indoors (70 degree living room) but something more like your 40 degree basement or garage or the initial excitment/ confusion could be a bit much.
    with standard box, you dump all the bees quickly out of bee vac and then close up, move it inside... you would have less challenges transferring bees from your bee vac/. etc.

    I would suggest warm sugar water spray bottle *used very sparingly* could go a long way to keep bees from flying up and getting confused.

    you are going to be dealing with a winter cluster so once you disturb it, you may be surprised at how many angry? bees fly up even if the temps are low.

    I guess that I would try to plan on beevac-ing all bees quickly with a quality bee vac (where bees had a chance to form cluster out of direct air flow) try to keep any brood you find warm somehow after you tie into frames, etc. then dump bee vac into your bive body when it is dark so bees won't fly up as much and get lost- or look into robo's bee vac here: http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/bee-vac/
    just vac onto drawn comb with a few frames of honey if you have any avaliable...really nice design but hard to form a good seal when you have old, crusty boxes, etc....

    the main problem you are going to have/ would have even more with putting them outside is bees reorganizing their cluster if things are too cold- Best suggestion- really just drag your feet , hope for a warm-ish day and see how long you can put it off, maybe they will have a chance if you can wait until it looks like you will get a few days above freezing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Thumbs Up

    No attachment to an observation hive at all. What you said makes a lot of sense. I had never kept an observation hive so it makes sense to stick to something I have some experience with. I have a few wired split frames that I use on removals so it shouldn't be too messy. Five frame nuc it is then. I also have a good bee vac. Made it myself with plans found on this site and I'm very happy with the results.

    "I would suggest warm sugar water spray bottle *used very sparingly* could go a long way to keep bees from flying up and getting confused."
    You mean at transfer time, to help them settle in the new home? Or at removal time to keep them from taking off? Both?

    "you are going to be dealing with a winter cluster so once you disturb it, you may be surprised at how many angry? bees fly up even if the temps are low."
    Exactly what I said to the homeowner.


    "... drag your feet , hope for a warm-ish day and see how long you can put it off, maybe they will have a chance if you can wait until it looks like you will get a few days above freezing."
    It's 46 today after weeks bellow freezing. It's supposed to be the same tomorrow and the dip bellow freezing again on Monday. I figured they will use this couple of days for cleansing flights. Tuesday through Thursday the temps will rise again into the 40's possibly 50's. The job is scheduled for Thursday- Friday.
    Thank you,
    Aram

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    robos' s hive vac looks awesome. I just checked it out. Thanks for the link.
    Another spring project.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central Point, Oregon
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Hi Aram!

    Do you have a shed where you can keep the temperature from getting below 40 or 50 degrees and where you can poke a hole in the side so the bees can enter and exit through a pipe? If wintered outside, with a small cluster size, the bees would have a hard time keeping warm. (High surface area to volume ratio.) In the shed, they would not need to produce as much heat, eat as much honey nor be under as much stress. I have some small NUCs that I am overwintering in such a shed.

    There are posts on this form dealing with some of the issues of overwintering bees in a building.

    On the other hand, Michael Bush has information on what he does to help his NUCs overwinter in Nebraska.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnucs.htm#overwinternucs


    Hope this helps.

    Larry Edwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Fairfield, Connecticut
    Posts
    597

    Default

    Aram, do it today its warm enough. HURRY... save them
    If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. If you build it, they will fill it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    Spring is in the air! Should still be warm on Thursday. I think they have a chance.
    Thank you all for the advice,
    Aram

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lucas, TX, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Bee Vac Questions

    I think the Bee Vac design is great. What do you do for a power source? Has anyone tried an 18V vac like the Ryobi. It uses the same batteries as the drill and other tools. It comes with the smaller hose though. Will this type vac provide enough air flow if a 2 1/2" hose is used on the bee end of the box? OR Will the bees go through the smaller hose without damage?

    Any comments will be appreciated.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Battle Ground, Wa
    Posts
    199

    Default Bee vac answer

    I've made a beevac this last spring using a 12 v car vacuum. I already had a 12v portable battery/light combo that was suitable for jump starting cars (works on the tractor as well), that also has a couple cigarette lighter type plugs in it. I cut a hole in the bottom of one 5 gal plastic paint bucket and mounted the car vac to that. Then for a collection chamber I cut a big hole in the bottom of another 5 gal bucket and screened it. I glued the vacuum hose, which is only about 1 1/4" in diameter and maybe 3 ft long into the lid of the second bucket. The buckets nest and seal tight enough to maintain a good vacuum in the second bucket. I could easily make a second collection chamber, but so far haven't seen any need for it.

    I've used this combo very successfully on a couple of swarms that didn't want to go into my box & also did a couple cutouts with it. I really like that it is totally portable & the buckets are light enough that I can take them up a ladder with me. The vacuum has about a 12 ft cord on it. I did one cutout in a chimney & it took two trips up, one for the vacuum & one for the power source, which probably weights 20 lbs. I've never used more than 25% of the charge in the battery. So far I've also had very few dead bees. I'm looking for a larger and longer hose. Currently I also have no way of adjusting the suction, but am not sure if its needed.

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