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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default 5 frame nuc robbed out

    I started 10 5 frame nucs this past August. 9 are doing well. half are doing very well. One I found this past weekend robbed of nearly everything they have. no nectar no pollen no nothing. population is poor but they have a queen. no brood. I suspect eh brood situation is due to no stores.

    I sealed up the hive to prevent any alternate entrance from robbers and will have a robber screen added. we area at out first frost date for the year. My first idea is to simply take frames of bees from other hives (I have 19 of them to pick from) and simply give this hive a population that can survive winter.

    I also thought of simply combining them with another hive but am interested in saving this queen more than anything. there are not enough bees to make a difference otherwise.

    Anyway what I was goign to do was simply take frames from this hive and swap them with frames of stores and bees from any other hive.

    Any reason I should use a newspaper combine or just swap frames?

    Any other suggestions?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Enough bees to make it if you swap stores instead of bees?
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,401

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Swapping resources might work, or they might get robbed out again. Giving them combs with bees may inspire continued robbing (field bees on the combs may pick up the robbing gauntlet and take their stores home - to their originating colony). Better to just include some emerging worker brood with the comb exchange.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
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    1,017

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    You really need some brood to get the nurse bees in there plus 2 frames of honey. I found out the hard way that in a dearth a robber screen and the entrance down 1-2 bee widths are a must.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Now that you have close to 30 hives, and are most likely busy, I say cut your losses. Shake them out at the first frost and put the frames away for next year to use on splits. If you just have a handful of hives one is a large proportion of your stock and worth the time; With as many as you have now, I say move on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,110

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    I'm with Adrian. Take the loss now. If the queen was special I would cage her, dequeen a healthy hive and do a standard candy release into it. If she isn't that special then it probably isn't worth the effort to save a weak, probably diseased hive.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,923

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    I dunno, you could feed patty, find some open nectar frames, put an inner cover on, put the box with frames of open nectar/bees on top of the inner cover, put the top on, and they should all move down with the queen and hopefully move stores with them. Then just remove the box after a couple days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,639

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    I'm with Adrian. Take the loss now. If the queen was special I would cage her, dequeen a healthy hive and do a standard candy release into it. If she isn't that special then it probably isn't worth the effort to save a weak, probably diseased hive.
    makes sense. i would tend to blame the queen for not producing a thriving colony, maybe she was poorly mated.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    I'm with Adrian. Take the loss now. If the queen was special I would cage her, dequeen a healthy hive and do a standard candy release into it.
    Assuming all of the nucs were in essentially the same area, and given the same start, then that queen is NOT special, no matter how much you may want to think she is. 9 others did just fine, this one raised a weak colony that didn't stand up to the test of real world.

    I absolutely would NOT put her in a healthy hive, replacing the queen that built up that healthy hive. That's just asking for two weak / dead hives instead of one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    I generally agree with you. BUT if say - you had a queen that had earlier headed a hive that was gentle, produced lots of honey (or single malt scotch) and never tried to swarm, then it is possible that she would be special enough to be worth saving. Probably a long shot though. I favor being pretty ruthless right about now.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 10-15-2013 at 05:35 PM. Reason: UNQ
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,060

    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    I have considered the queen could be a dud but do not think that is the case. I've had one last year and will admit the situation looks similar.

    I managed to get the robbing stopped. Put a candy board over the tip of them since the nights are now dropping into the 30's. Bees are still able to fly during the day and in this area our last flow actually begins after our first freeze. If this colony where to forage on this last nectar flow they will need a stronger population.

    I tend to be of the school not to throw good after bad. My main reason for wanting to salvage this queen is for the genetics. I spent the entire summer gathering as many blood lines as I could get. And she is just one of 8 I manged to get. She is not the only one of that line though.

    I will leave the candy board on. give them pollen patties and put on sugar water when the temperature gets high enough to do so. The nights getting so cool may make it a bit tough but these bees still have some time to build up their own population. I think I will let them sink or swim from here.

    Someone above mentioned getting busy. and that is true I have to start organizing my management of hives so that individual colonies do not dominate my time. As my apiary grows. colonies that hold their own will become more and more critical. I do have several very strong colonies and my attention should most likely be on them not the stragglers.

    Thanks to all for the input.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    If it is the different lines that interests you or just seeing what becomes of a hive over time, follow that road. Sometimes the best product of the hive is enjoyment.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    ya never know. i had a queen heading a colony that has not been productive for two years and she was slated for replacement. after she swarmed the colony bounced back to become one of the strongest in my yard.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
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    Jul 2011
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    McClure, OH
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    You never know - if they pull through that will be some good wintering genetics you want to keep. You might want to add the syrup in a ziplock baggie right on top of the frames. In this way the cluster will warm it up, although since you already have candy board, I don't think you need to bother with syrup.

  15. #15
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    I ad the syrup mainly as a water source and something they can take straight to the comb. It is starting to get to cool most days to even put it on and when we do they do not always take it. It is starting to look like winter will arrive in time this year. we sometimes get a very late winter and do not see really cold weather until December. We can also have snow one day and 65 degrees the next. We very seldom will see hives buried in snow though. We had a 30 day period last January that kept the bees from flying. and that was the single longest cold snap of the entire winter. In all bees can be wintered here on light stores I just don't like having to count on it.

    Right now it is 31 degrees but today could get as warm as 70 degrees. then it will cool down again tonight. And that is about how winter will look around here for maybe the next two months. Eventually days will only reach the 40's or 50's but that will only last a couple of months. we usually get about 2 to 3 weeks of really bitter cold in January or February.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Wow, Daniel, those are some wild swings!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    It is and it can actually make you sick if you are exposed to it. 24 hours later I can now tell you our low yesterday got to 30 our high was 72. It is now down to 40 and still falling. Most likely it will make another swing much like yesterdays.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #18
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Daniel, do you have any wrap/insulation on the hives? I am curious on how you have them set up for those temperature swings.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    I don't wrap my hives. I leave them in full sun. So far as I can tell the heat gain each day (We get lots of sun) is what keeps them warm through the night. that and clustering. I consider keeping them dry more of an issue than warmth. And moisture is not much of an issue here. I feel sorry for those in Oregon and Washington. They get a lot of the same weather patterns and have wringing wet conditions. Keep in mind for the most part my bees are only exposed to real cold conditions from about 6 at night until 8 the following morning then the hive is gaining heat again. They must be clustering to get through the nights but most days I am sure the cluster can break up and they move around at least inside the hive. I get the impression that in other areas bees must cluster and remain that way for weeks on end. We had a somewhat unusual late December early January last year where it got cold and stayed that way night and day for about 4 weeks. that is harsh winter for us. It does not get real cold here. It also does not get real warm. Annual average low tends to be around 30 highs in the 80's what is real strange is we can see both in the same day. I have in one day seen it t-shirt weather turn to snow then to rain and back to t-shirt weather. All in less than 4 hours. It is common to have the temp drop from the 70's to the 40's in a matter of minutes. The most drastic I have ever seen is the temp going from the 90's to snow in less than an hour. and that was in July. That had to have been good on the bees. I have notices in the past two years my bees do give me some forewarn to some of this weird weather. a bright sunny warm day and the bees will not leave the hive. next thing you know the cold air blows in and their is rain or snow for a couple of hours. then the bees come out.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: 5 frame nuc robbed out

    Many years ago I was part of Aquaculture license #1 in Maine. we were raising coho at the time. July and August were pretty slow with the warm water. Every year the night before that first Canadian cold front blew through the fish would just explode into feeding again.
    Never knew how they knew it was coming, pressure still rising or still falling, wind from the south, temps still high, no common thread year to year, but they were never wrong.

    Creatures are amazing.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

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