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Thread: Starting out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Dunedin, Florida
    Posts
    2

    Smile Starting out

    Wow Where to begin.... We are brand new to beekeeping, my son Shane is 13 and expressed some interest in bee keeping, so I figured lets try it. Well, we found a colony of honey bees in a nearby tree. They are only about 3 feet off the ground in a hollow. We already assembled our beginner hive kit from Dadant with the 10 frames installed with plasticell. We are wondering if we can lure the bees into our hive? We have a phermone we purchased for catching swarms already in the hive betweeen the frames and I even sprayed two of the frames with sugar water to entice the bees in. Is there any chance the bees will enter the hive and make this their new home? Is there anything we can do to increase our chances of obtaining part of this colony? You can see some of the comb at the entrance inside the hollow of the tree. We're thinking maybe we can smoke them out? If we place the empty hive at the entrance to their established hive will they enter it and begin making comb? What if I purchase a mail order queen and place her in our hive and then place our hive at the trees hollow. Is it possible some of the colony will accept the queen and remain in the empty hive? We really want to leave the existing hive in the tree intact. Our hive would only be approximately 100 feet away from the colony of bees in the tree hollow, is this a problem? Any advice is greatly appreciated. We are just hobbyists experimenting. Interesting and fun if nothing else. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,831

    Default Re: Starting out

    You won't be able to entice the bees to leave the tree and go into your hive, mainly because bees are very unwilling to leave their brood behind untended. Smoking them won't do it either. Also, as beginners why not just leave those bees alone in the tree which is what you want to do anyways and get yourself a package of bees or a nuc to start out with. Should be able to find either of those in your area easily right now. John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Starting out

    Welcome! You're embarking on a fascinating journey with your son.
    Now, the short answer is no, without doing a cutout, you won't get those bees out of the tree. You can do a trap out, but that will still leave the queen and some bees in the tree.
    Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is set your equipment up as a swarm trap, and try to catch any swarms the hive in the tree. It is probably too late to get a package or nuc.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Dunedin, Florida
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Starting out

    Well like I said we were just experimenting. I just walked out in the yard and the honey bees are all over our hive. we sprayed sugar water on two frames and their is the phermone in there. I guess maybe my thinking is the more workers that go in to eat/explore the hive the better outr chances are of possibly getting them to swarm into the hive. The bees at the tree hollow were outside the entrance all bunched up. It appears like they are overcrowding which gave me the idea to get as many as possible to know the whereabouts of a new home is should they want to expand toanother home. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Shane is very excited and I hope he continues to pursue this interest. Thanks again.
    Respectfully,
    Mark and Shane

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,297

    Default Re: Starting out

    Welcome to the forum! You might get a swarm you might not. If you do though the roller coaster ride has begun. I recommend you and your son read up to be prepaired. Worst case scenario you get nothing this year but you'll learn all about it for the next year when you may want to buy a package or nuc. I always recommend "Backyard beekeeping" by Kim Flottum as an excellent book to learn about beekeeping.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Starting out

    They aren't eating or exploring, they're just gathering the sugar.

    I recommend leaving the tree alone and going the route of buying a package or a nuc. You're not going to get them out of there without serious damage to you or them in this stage of your beekeeping understanding.

    If you want them to swarm and to try to catch the swarm, move the hive away, to where you want it to be and stop spraying it with sugar. The tree should swarm before long and continuing to feed them sugar somewhere else could help encourage them to swarm. When they do swarm you may get lucky and be able to recover it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Starting out

    Welcome!

    What are you doing April 16th? The Tampa Beekeepers are having a Beginner's Seminar:
    http://www.tampabaybeekeepers.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Starting out

    These guys still have some packages left. Busy Bees Apiaries

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Starting out

    Welcome! The chances of catching a swarm from one bee tree in one hive is pretty low. Maybe you'll get lucky, but probably not. The bees are certainly not just going to switch homes. I would buy a package. Research apiaries in Florida and Georgia. Having your new colony close to the bee tree will not be a problem.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,831

    Default Re: Starting out

    Busy Bee Apiaries does have packages available, I just ordered some this morning for delivery in a couple weeks, go for it. John

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Starting out

    welcome to beekeeping, your question has been answered correctly, your best bet at this point is a nuc hive....plenty are coming available as beekeepers pull their bees back from orange blossom and start making splits. We will start splitting nucs in about 3-4 weeks. Not sure how far you are from me here in central FL but you guys are welcome anytime if you would like to come over and "crack open" some hives, beekeeping is not for everyone, and i suggest at least introducing yourself to a couple of hives before you dive right in and spend a bunch of time and money. Another great resource here in FL is on this forum AMERICASBEEKEEPER from Tampa, he teaches begginner classes at USF several times a year. Good luck PM me anytime.

    steve
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

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