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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinehurst, NC
    Posts
    32

    Sad My bees are in a tree

    Went out this morning and the sound of buzzing was very loud. There were bees everywhere. About half hour later they had gathered on a limb that I cannot possibly get to. Why would they swarm so late in the year?

    This is a top bar I started in early june. They had built out about 8 full bars and two partial. When I looked at them two weeks ago, there was some brood, and some stores, but not enough. I have been feeding them, but not opening up the hive portion too often. The feeder is on the other side of the follower. I opened it up this afternoon and there was about 50 bees, 4 beetles, and 6 or 8 dead bees in there, no stores and only a small amount of brood. This happened in two weeks!

    The second hive has built out 13 full and one partial. The difference is the second gets much more sun.

    The swarm is still on the branch. This pic is form this morning, it is larger now. I don't see how they are going to make it through the winter, though winters are fairly mild here.
    Swarm sm.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    It's still to warm to be feeding, unless your hives are just bare in stores. Hopefully there is a fall flow coming
    or happening now. Look in the hive and see if they packed it all into the broodnest. With nowhere for the queen
    to lay they'll swarm. Feeding them now tricked them into thinking that times are bountiful. They're probably
    thinking that times are good all around and that they can get established before winter. Two weeks is enough
    time for them to start and cap off queen cells and take outta there. I don't understand why people feed as long
    as there's any honey/pollen in the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    Not to fun of you, but I could have posted about the bees on my truck. They were HOT, I had brought home some suppers to cut into chunk honey and the card board box that I cover the suppers with had honey on it. We are in a drought Like I have never seen in my 60 year, things are blooming with little nectar.
    But getting back to the truck. I went to get a smoke and my cigars were in the truck. I could not go near it for the thing was a buzz with bees. I got stung once today just checking the feeders. My three hives went through 3 gallons of syrup in less then 4 hours. Of course they had help from the yellow jackets and wasp.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinehurst, NC
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ogborn View Post
    It's still to warm to be feeding, unless your hives are just bare in stores. Hopefully there is a fall flow coming
    or happening now. Look in the hive and see if they packed it all into the broodnest. With nowhere for the queen
    to lay they'll swarm. Feeding them now tricked them into thinking that times are bountiful. They're probably
    thinking that times are good all around and that they can get established before winter. Two weeks is enough
    time for them to start and cap off queen cells and take outta there. I don't understand why people feed as long
    as there's any honey/pollen in the hive.
    There are no queen cells, there is no honey stores at all, there is very little brood. All the bees are in the tree. Maybe 50 left in the hive. There seems to be alot of debris in the bottom. Along with 6 or 8 dead bees.

    First bee hive this summer. I missed something very significant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    Have you seen any robbing going on? If they're completely out of stores and absconded, sounds like they got robbed out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinehurst, NC
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    yes, there was robbing a few weeks ago. So I reduced the enterence to about an inch and half. There are no other vents, so this concerned me a bit, but the bees did not mind. I thought the robbing had stopped. I have not seen anything like the first day when it was very obvious.

    The only difference between this hive and hive 2 is that hive2 gets much more sun. 8am to 5 pm. It is about a mile down the road at a friends. This hive gets sun 11am to around 3 or 4pm, then filtered.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    Last fall I was trying to feed my hives. The feed was getting robbed up as fast as I could put it out.
    I found out later that it was a feral hive in an abandoned building a few blocks away. That feral hive
    later swarmed and the swarm came over and landed on one of my hives. I found the queen in the swarm
    and got rid of her. The rest of the bees mixed in with mine and became part of the colony. It's hard to tell
    what's going on when feeding. Robbing doesn't always look like wholsale war.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinehurst, NC
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    So it is possible that they left just because of the robbing? How do I stop this from happening again? Hive is empty.

    I am totally blown away at how fast this hive went down. It has not been super active from the start, but they put up 9 bars of comb in 2 1/2 months. Started as a package.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    I'm not sure of what happened. My advice with robbing is to have the colony in the smallest space possible
    for it's size. Reduce the entrance to as small as possible, or use robbing screens that confuse their attackers,
    and try to remove any easy prize that the robbers are able to get to. The bees don't see the feeders as their
    property like they do their own combs. With my hives I have #8 mesh along the entire bottom of the hive.
    So when I suspect robbing, I can drop the bottom of it and let the bottom board hang from one side.
    This exposes the whole bottom of the hive as a decoy to robbers. Then they spend alot of time trying to figure
    out how to get through the mesh and are kind of diverted from the enterance that has the guard bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Santa Anna, TX
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    I had a similar thing happen to me as well...

    Just today I went to check on my top bar hive to see how the combs and bees are doing. I pulled out the first top bar and noticed the queen bee on the comb. I did notice a particular sound they were making.
    All a sudden they took off and went on a oak tree branch 15 ft above me. What would cause a leave
    of the hive all of a sudden? There are not many bee's left in the hive. Has anyone experienced this and
    what can I do to get the bees back in the hive? Any advice would be helpful, thanks!

    Here is some of my info: This is my first year with bees and a top bar hive. I've had the bees for about 4 months or so. I live in Central Texas. I've been trying to visit the hive at least once a week to make sure they are building the combs straight on the top bar hives and straightening them out if needed.
    They do have about 4 bigger combs with caps, honey, and I did see new bees just being born.
    We have been feeding them sugar water the last couple of weeks due to the drought and very little flowers and food, oh and
    lack of experience with bees, we figured to have food in front of them at all times. The most recent things we have done is placed Diatomaceous Earth around the legs to keep ants from getting into the hive and now we have placed the legs in some coffee cans with motor oil in them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: My bees are in a tree

    I have no Idea why y'alls hives absconded. If they were under pressure from mites, beetles or wax moths or
    ants, you should be able to tell. Were there that many ants? It sounds like that was a common factor
    with both yours and Sean's hives. Can someone else come in on this?

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