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Thread: Rookie mistake

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Pittsburgh Pa USA
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    Default Rookie mistake

    Looks like I did a huge no no. I was planning on harvesting a super today, so yesterday I put on my triangle ecscape board. Trouble is, I forgot that the ventillated innercover (which I put over the super) has a top entrance. Woke up this morning, looked out and there were thousands of bees all over the hive, covering top entrance and flying , bees dropping to the ground, apparently fighting. I took a wet sheet out and threw it over the hive and almost immediatly they went after another hive that has the same vent. innercover. Took anothger wet sheet out and threw it over that one. I have 3 other hives without top entrance, and no problems.

    Is there anything else I should do? Sometimes you just have to experience something to learn how a small mistake can turn into bedlam.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
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    819

    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    Well at least we can all learn from your mistake as well. LOL

    Thanks for posting because I would not have thought about it also.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  3. #3
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    Aug 2010
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    Pittsburgh Pa USA
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    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    A quick update on my mistake. Got roughly 7 pounds of honey from a super that was (before the robbing) filled to the max with beautiful capped honey. Kind of a heartbreaker, but I have learned a lesson, and I hope by my posting, other beginners will not make the same.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    good post ParanoidBeek, one of the things I love about beekeeping is the lessons you learn every day both good and bad and the lessons never stop coming no matter how many years you keep bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by ParanoidBeek View Post
    A quick update on my mistake. Got roughly 7 pounds of honey from a super that was (before the robbing) filled to the max with beautiful capped honey. Kind of a heartbreaker, but I have learned a lesson, and I hope by my posting, other beginners will not make the same.
    I'm still lost. I don't see what the problem was and what the wet sheet does.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
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    424

    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I'm still lost. I don't see what the problem was and what the wet sheet does.
    He sealed off his honey super from the hive that would protect it, and left an upper entrance into it. Some bees found it, and since it wasn't defended at all they started mass robbing it. I haven't heard of the wet sheet before, but I believe he was basically using it to close off the entrance. Since the bees were already in robbing mode, they just moved over to the next hive they could rob. A full medium of plugged out honey can weight around 30 lbs... So in a very short amount of time he lost about 20lbs or more of honey to the robbing bees. I had a similar situation happen with a dead out this last winter / spring. Lost 15-20 lbs to robber bees before I got the honey off of it.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  7. #7
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    Aug 2010
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    Pittsburgh Pa USA
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    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    The problem was, when I put the escape board on, and let the top entrance open, there were no bees left in that super to defend against robbing. And other colonies took full advantage.
    The wet sheet, is something I read in here in case of robbing. It keeps the home bees in the hive and others out. At least thats the way I take it. It sure seemed to slow things down, but I wasn't quick enough. So, instead of 25-30 pounds of honey, I only got 7.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    Ah I see. That leads me to another question. What prevents robbing when you pull the frames or boxes off if you have other hives? Last year I only had one. Now I have two. So is the second hive going to go after the honey in the first hive when I open it up or does this take a while?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
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    Aug 2010
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    Pittsburgh Pa USA
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    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    Only my second year, but it hasn't been a problem. Doesn't really take that long to take off a super or two. Pros take hundreds of supers of in yards with no problems. You will be fine, I'm sure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sale Creek, Tn. USA
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    173

    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    Rookie beeks, BE WARE. You cannot handle honey out-of-doors during the daytime ! ! ! I used to extract on an open porch - AT NIGHT. That works fine if you clean-up well. I hosed the porch down and cleaned all the utensels and extractor BEFORE sun-up. It makes for a long night, but it works. If you are in a utility building - IT MUST BE SEALED - BEE-TIGHT ! ! !

    Honey taken off the hives needs to be covered. I hear the SHB will get it if you leave it several days unextracted.
    Raymond

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    532

    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    If you are taking honey off when a flow is on the bees will ignore it but if the flow is finished and youi dont cover your honey you will have robbers sniffing around in a matter of minutes.
    Once robbing starts it's really hard to stop !

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Rookie mistake

    I don't pull boxes because I don't have but two. I pull frames in the evening and walk them away from the hive. Then I let the bees go back to the hive at night and put them in the refrigerator. This way I can extract when I want and how much I want indoors in the Fall when it is cold and the bees are hunkered down.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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