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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sunman, Indiana
    Posts
    6

    Default I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    I robbed my three hives three weeks ago. Did OK. Since there was plenty of capped honey in the upper corners of the two brood boxes and a 60% full medium super on top, I closed things up and left the apiary.

    Four days ago I discovered a fairly large swarm attached to the fence of my goat run. I'm sure they are mine but I do not know which hive they came from. I shook them (and lifted several hand-fulls) into a swarm trap that I had available and put in 4 deep frames of drawn comb with some honey sprinkled on the comb. They have been sealed in there for four days now and I still do not know what I should do with them. I do not really want to start another hive. I do not think I should try to combine them with one of my established colonies (although one is obviously missing some of their relatives) because they might have been too crowded and swarmed as a result.

    I may dump them into a nuc box and try to get them through the winter but it's not something that I really want to do. I would check carefully for a queen and, if needed, I can come up with a queen for this box.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    You seem to be on the right track. If you have a nuc of drawn comb put them in there and feed them fast and furious. Worth trying to get the nuc through winter. If they don't make it no big deal but if they do you have learned something and have some insurance in case one of your other hives fails. Good luck.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    If all else fails you can give them to me! More bees never seems to be a problem around here.You can always feed the heck out of them and winter them over another hive with a double screen board and then sell them come spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    Join the club. I had a swam on the 24th on my best hive. What is with all these Indiana swarms so late...bee suicide? If you don't have too many hives, you could go through to see which one has the queen cells to determine which hive they came from. Feed the swarm, and in 2 weeks see if the original hive has a queen and is laying. If not you could remove the new queen and reintroduce the swarm back into the original hive with newspaper between the two hives and feed like crazy. Hopefully, you have 2 good queens and both hives make it through the winter, and you will have 2 good ones next year.
    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,009

    Default Re: I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    OK here comes another acebird: If you can find the queen kill her and dump the bees out. They should go back where they came from or maybe coax their way into another hive.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sunman, Indiana
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    OK here comes another acebird: If you can find the queen kill her and dump the bees out. They should go back where they came from or maybe coax their way into another hive.
    I did exactly that . . . well almost. I searched carefully for a queen and did not find one. So I opened the box and set it on the ground about 10 ft. in front of the existing hives on Wednesday late afternoon. Yesterday morning I found hundreds of dead bees in the grass in front of the hives. Now what have I done!? I'm very concerned because it's so late in the season and wintertime preparations should be taking place out there pretty soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,009

    Default Re: I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    If you just opened a hive 10ft away from other hives and walked away I would expect a war for what ever honey was left in the opened hive. I am not saying that at all. I am saying dump the bees and take the empty hive away to eliminate robbing that might already be in progress. Or you can selectively choose which hive you allow to rob out the stores.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: I have some bees I don't know what to do with.

    Bee's Knees,

    I would avoid "dumping" bees.

    I would also avoid any robbing.

    I your hives are light you might start feeding... and possibly plan on buying a 50 pound block of fondant this winter.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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