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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Richmond, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default The Accidental Beekeeper

    My plan, which has been hatching over the last couple months, was to read a lot, accumulate the necessary equipment, and then start a couple hives next spring. These plans have taken a lurch forward (maybe).

    It would seem that a swarm of honeybees has taken residence in an empty roosting box we have set up a tree in the woods by our driveway. They spent about three days clustered heavily on the front surface, but now seem to be mostly either inside or out working.

    The woman at the honey store in town opined that they wouldn't survive the winter in a box that size (about 8" by 8" by 24" high), but we could try giving them a hive. Even if it didn't work out (i.e. they might not take to the hive, and even if so, might not have time to build enough reserves for winter), we would still have learned something and be ready for next spring.

    I probably can't get a hive before the weekend, so for now I'm mulling my options. And watching the bees.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    It depends if you feel you are ready to tackle this challenge. It would be an excellent experience for you and a nice introduction to beekeeping. They should be fine in the box for quite awhile. They just moved in and are likely to stay since they have thus far. If you hive them soon and feed a little they should get a nice start for winter. They still have the rest of summer to collect and produce honey. You just won't be able to take any. It's your call. When life gives you lemons.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Brookville, IN
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    Try to hive them and see what happens. Even if they don't survive winter, you'll have some frames of drawn comb to start with in the spring, and an extra few months of added knowledge.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Richmond, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    OK thanks! "Try to hive them" -- so easy to say, but what is the way? If I had a fully assembled hive for them, do I just set it in the vicinity and hope for the best? Should I take the roost box down out of the tree? How would you do it??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    What is a roosting box?
    I would take the box out of the tree, and shake the bees into the hive.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Richmond, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    What is a roosting box?
    It looks about like this: http://www.petsupplies.com/item/roos...ccode=GPPETSUP

    Except taller.

    I would take the box out of the tree, and shake the bees into the hive.
    OK. You make it sound so easy...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Chester Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    Open the box. Cut out the comb as best you can. Attach the comb to the top bar of your frames. I do this with dental floss. They will build more comb and attach it to the frame. This way you should get the bees, comb and the queen. good luck

    Meridith
    Blessed Be

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    If you don't have the equipment, you'll obviously have to wait until you do. If you wait much longer, I'd let them satay where they are until spring. Otherwise, treat it as a cutout. Watch JP's videos and you'll see how it's done: http://www.youtube.com/my_subscripti...c02_BLJKo_f8-Q

    Hope this helps.

    -js

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,411

    Default Re: The Accidental Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by MeriB View Post
    Open the box. Cut out the comb as best you can. Attach the comb to the top bar of your frames. I do this with dental floss. They will build more comb and attach it to the frame. This way you should get the bees, comb and the queen. good luck

    Meridith
    Blessed Be
    Large office sized rubber bands are easier to use than tieing string.

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