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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
    Posts
    3

    Default First post

    I found this in the woods behind my restaurant and it seems to be in pretty bad condition.Should I try to build another box,repair this one, or just leave them alone.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2009 at 09:14 PM. Reason: remove image - too large

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    First off......... Welcome.

    It is hard for me to tell what the condition of the
    box is as I have the resolution turned down on
    my computer.

    Are there bees in this/these boxes?? If there are
    are they pretty gentle?

    If there are bees and they're gentle that is one nice
    find.

    Top box looks fairly solid. But if there are bees I would
    likely transfer the frames to good wood and screened
    bottom board.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Welcome!

    It looks like the top one (super) is homemade out of pressed wood whereas the bottom one (deep) is storebought and is made of solid wood. I can't figure out what's there as a roof (cover) or floor (bottom board). Watch it for a few days. If it gets above 50 you should see some activity, either bees flying and bringing in pollen and nectar or dead ones that the live ones discarded out the front.

    If no one is home (make REAL sure, you can tap on it from behind and you should heard a dull roar) crack it open and see what's in there. You'll be able to tell pretty quickly if the wood is rotten. The frames probably aren't worth salvaging as the wax will probably be quite old and black with tons of cross bracing. This is assuming wax moths didn't chew everything up in there if there are no bee's present. If it's rotten and there's no one home you could leave it as it is with the chance that a swarm will move into it. Once they do though you have to get them out to a properly maintained hive.

    Nonetheless welcome to the forum that's a really cool find. I'd love to find something like that out of curiousity. PLEASE take pictures of what you find and post them for everyone here to see.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
    Posts
    3

    Default

    It's full of bees and they seem gentle as in they did'nt attack me when I lifted their home off the ground.I was burning some brush and was going to throw the box on the fire.I just thought it was some old rotten piece of furniture.I bear hugged it to pick it up an quickly figured out it was'nt a night stand.They buzzed around for a while but I did'nt get stung.It seems the bees themselves have repaired the roof.In the pictures it apppears the leaves and twigs are just laying there but they are actually [i]glued[i] together.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2009 at 09:14 PM. Reason: remove image - too large

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,121

    Default

    Hey thats mine, please put it back.
    Just kidding, if nothing else you might have some nice bee's
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    welcome to the forum

    you might want to lay something solid over the top to give them a descent cover until you figure out what to do (think plywood)
    leave a 1/2 inch crack so they have an entrance
    maybe you'll find someone here who lives close enough to give you a hand
    someone with experience would help a lot in getting them into a new box, but it can be done by you without help

    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
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    Default

    Wow, that is some gentle bees!!!! It is nothing
    short of amazing to me that you didn't get
    stung.

    You have a treasure there..... Good survivor genetics.
    Worth more than any "factory" bought bees.

    Perhaps there is a beekeeper on this site that may be
    willing to help out with the promise of a queen cell or
    two down the road. I know I would!!

    Congrats!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    638

    Default

    Iscott, you better shrink the size of those pics before the "picture police" comes along and eliminates them.

    Don't ask me why, but for some reason, they only allow smaller pictures.

    I like the big ones though. Definitely better quality.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    The big pictures are nice, and I'm on dialup. Then
    again I use Propel web acceleration to degrad the
    pic. They may be a huge pain for most on dialup.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    Good find and though you might not realize it, for beekeepers, that is a little treasure you have because of the bees survivability.

    Ask anything you like here and I am sure you will get step by step help in dealing with your new friends. Or you can hook up with someone in your area with experience to walk you through it. Either way good luck and good on you for not destroying something excellent like this colony.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    Seems like I have seen ads in the American Bee Journal for packaged bees out of Decator.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Enderby, BC, Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default Abandoned bees

    It looks like they are coming out of winter. However I see some long light brown streaks on the outside of the box which tells me that they have disentry or more acute, nosema. But those stripes may not be fresh but from previous years, you could tell if they smear when touched. If they are from this spring then you may feed some sugar water with camomile tea or use the comercial stuff I don't like to mention, but certainly you have to verify those streaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by lscott View Post

    It's full of bees and they seem gentle as in they did'nt attack me when I lifted their home off the ground.I was burning some brush and was going to throw the box on the fire.I just thought it was some old rotten piece of furniture.I bear hugged it to pick it up an quickly figured out it was'nt a night stand.They buzzed around for a while but I did'nt get stung.It seems the bees themselves have repaired the roof.In the pictures it apppears the leaves and twigs are just laying there but they are actually [i]glued[i] together.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2009 at 09:15 PM. Reason: remove image in quote

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
    Posts
    3

    Default

    The streaks are firm.I touched them thinking they might be honey.FWIW I don't care about collecting the honey.I just want to make sure the bees survive and thrive.They seem to be doing just fine in this box and I would not want to disturb them anymore than I already have. But if the box is on it's last leg I'd love some expert opinions on what to do.Thanks for all the concern and replies.
    Last edited by lscott; 02-17-2009 at 07:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Beekeeper Contact in Decatur, AL

    Here is the name of a board member of the AL Bee Assoc:

    James Macilveen
    2408 Circle Dr. SE
    Decatur, AL 35603-5620
    Email: Director3@alabamabeekeepers.com
    Term: 2007 thru 2010
    De Colores,
    Ken

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    kool, you just want to "save the bees"
    you'll be very popular around here
    like I said, see if you can find a piece of plywood or something the right size to give them a cover
    you may not know it but there are some terrible pests that have gotten loose and devastated honeybees in the last two decades
    bees surviving on their own are of great interest to beekeepers
    especially "nice" ones
    get up with the guy USCBeeMan posted, I bet he'll want to help you out

    Dave

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Enderby, BC, Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default Bees must be fine then

    Wait till temperatures are at least 15 degree C 59F before putting them into new housing at least 1km away (for maybe a week then back to a location you prefer) to avoid drifting of bees back to the old location.
    You maybe can wait longer, until just before the dandelions open and then put the third box on as well. But if they are strong already now then you have to make sure they have enough room when temperatures rise abobe 59F, that is when the queen will start to lay eggs in a grander scale. Strong means that at least 10 frames are covered well with bees. You make that decision when you open the hive. The bees are most likely in the top box with the bottom box empty so you can tell how many bees are in there by just lifting the top lid. But before you do that make sure you use smoke at the entrance, then smoke through the hole in the inner cover (if there is one) and then smoke as you pry open a gap between the inner cover and the hive box. Like that they will be calm. When you move them into new boxes put the frames with bees in the bottom box. With only 5 frames covered with bees I would wait until just before the dandelions start to open. Send me an email if I was not clear enough but the natural pointer of temperature and dandelion should help you judge the timing right.
    Quote Originally Posted by lscott View Post
    The streaks are firm.I touched them thinking they might be honey.FWIW I don't care about collecting the honey.I just want to make sure the bees survive and thrive.They seem to be doing just fine in this box and I would not want to disturb them anymore than I already have. But if the box is on it's last leg I'd love some expert opinions on what to do.Thanks for all the concern and replies.

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