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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Underwood, in
    Posts
    2

    Default Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    On Tuesday, 3 days ago, I got stung and made some mistakes. I was preparing my hives for the winter and have small hive beetle in my last inspection.
    My set up prior to Tuesday: I have two hives on a pallet about 18 inches apart. Each hive was one deep and three mediums.
    On Tuesday: I went completely through one hive and put two beetle trap per box. Got stung at bottom box. I removed one medium and moved all full frames down and to the remain two full frames to place in second hive. On top of the last super box i placed my inner cover on top of that I placed a top feeder then my outer top cover.
    On the second hive I placed the medium from the first hive one top and a bee escape below two mediums ( one from each hive)

    Today I arrived to see alot of fighting at the top of my hives. The hive with the feeder had yellow jackets at the top trying to get in. I assume there was enough of a gap between the outer cover and the feeder to allow access. Inside the feeder the entire surface was covered with dead drowned bees. In the second hive the bees were escaping the top as soon as i opened it. There was a large amount of dead bees on the bee escape as well. I removed the feeder from the first hive and the extra partial full box ( one built out frame) from the second hive as well as the bee escape. The hive are now compressed down to just full boxes.

    I am concerned the two hives are robbing each other. My plan is in the morning I am going to put on an entrance reducer, then in a few days re-add the feeders and place beetle traps in second hive.
    Is there anything else I can do, and how bad as this mistake?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    If you can move the hives it would be beneficial:

    Last year when I fed syrup at this time of year it set off a robbing frenzy. The only way I stopped it was to move the hives that were involved to opposite corners of my property (30 acres). The robbing stopped immediately of course.

    This year I left them any honey they produced from July 1st and on. If they need any feed it will be in the form of sugar candy and will go on in mid-December.

    All of my hives survived last winter just fine in a deep and one medium partially filled with capped honey. Two hives ate all the candy I would give them and the other hive never touched the stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,528

    Default Re: Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    if i understand correctly, you now have two hives each with a deep and two full supers.

    the yellow jackets and other bees were probably attracted to your feeder, especially if you added anything with a scent to the syrup.

    the bees boiling out of the second hive must have been trapped in the top because the bee escape got clogged up with bees.

    i guess it depends on what you were wanting to do with the honey. i'm not sure about indiana, but i would think that a deep and two mediums full of stores would be enough for overwintering.

    i would rather leave them that honey than have them store syrup, it's a lot healthier for them.

    i would guess that if the colonies are strong, things will settle down in a day or two.

    good luck, and welcome to the forum.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    You must be careful with hivetop feeders that there are NO entrances for bees except from below. This means no notched cover (I put the feeder right on the top box, no inner cover, telescoping cover flat on the top of the feeder). You want only the bees in the hive to know that the syrup is there, and certainly even if some hint seeps out you don't want bees or yellowjackets to get to it.

    You should never put a bee escape under a feeder, the bees can't get back into the hive when they come up to get syrup, leave the hole in the cover open, but as I said, I don't use an inner cover with a feeder. Shouldn't be on that long as a general rule.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    Getting stung does not equate to a mistake.
    I am an amateur hobbyist in a different climate than you but here is my two cents.
    I would put the hives back to the deep with one or two medium super and re install the feeders only if you feel that the hives are light to overwinter in your climate. They should feel heavy when lifting and slightly tilting from the bottom of the hive. You may not need to feed.
    I would feel more comfortable overwintering in more than a single deep while still learning how to read your hives and in fact successfully overwintering (that is the objective!) I didn't notice if you are using a telescoping outer cover with a traditional inner cover or if you are using a migratory outer cover. I recommend that you use a telescoping cover, it should seal the feeder from outside invaders. I think the entrance reducer is your best defense. Keep it down to the width of just one or two bees so the only way into the hive, stores and feeder is through that defendable space. Anytime that you recognize robbing you need to act quickly as your hive can be robbed out before the end of day.
    What type of feeders are you using? Do they have a screen divider or floats?The drowning could be from the robbers just packing themselves into the feeder with no way out. I fill my hive top feeders (screen divider type) using one gallon jars. Be careful not to spill your syrup and keep the exposed/open syrup to a minimum. In my climate when using the hive top feeder I do not need the inner cover either above or under it.
    I hope this is helpful.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Underwood, in
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    Thank you for the responses. Getting stung wasn't a mistake, but it made me panic and make other mistakes.

    The summary I am reading is that I don't need to be feeding.
    I definitely have enough honey for my area for wintering, 2 mediums per hive. So I will just put entrance reducers on and put my beetle traps on.

    Do I need to worry about swarming/ Should i still give them room to expand? I think each hive one has about 2 empty medium frames and we still have flowers blooming.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,528

    Default Re: Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    on swarming, and that far north, i would say the chances are pretty slim.

    you might have a very small swarm issue, but it would be more likely that it was with a superceded queen.

    rather than expanding this time of year, the bees are cutting back on brood rearing, reducing their numbers, and filling up the deep with stores.

    have you thought about putting a little insulation between your inner and outer cover? also, it's not a bad idea to have at a small opening near the top so excess moisture can escape.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Got stung made mistakes how to recover

    Getting stung is part of the job, no way to completely avoid it short of wearing a moon suit, and that's gonna be really really hot and get in your way.

    You need to learn to get the stinger out and to about your business rather than hyperventilate. Practice will take care of this for you, the stings I got this year didn't bother me as much as those last year. Mostly my fault, bees will sting when you squeeze them, eh?

    I'd not worry about swarming at this point, it's rather unlikely you have much brood raising going on and there are no drones, the bees are very unlikely to make a queen cell unless you mash your queen by accident, and if you do you will have a queenless hive or a drone layer, a vrigin's not gonna get mated when it's this cold. No need, therefore, for extra room. The bees are getting ready for winter, back filling the brood nest, packing in pollen for winter use, and consolidating the cluster area.

    Check the weight, and if it's close, leave the feeders off. A candy board is better than too much syrup this time of year, less water in the hive and they may not need it anyway. I have two mediums (full on one hive, about 1 and a half on the other) over a deep and the weak hive isn't taking much syrup anymore, so the feeder comes off when they get done with what's in it. Candy board for sure on that hive.

    Peter

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