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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    260

    Default tumbled hive leaking honey

    Last friday in a windstorm, what had been my strongest hive took a big tumble, end oer end and then rolled once:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Which-is-worse

    it was ratcheted together and that held, and within a few hours we had it back in place. I had one quick look in the top as we straightened it out and re-ratcheted...looked OK. Sunday could hear buzzing inside...great. Then we headed out of town for the holiday and just got back this afternoon.
    There is a small pool of honey dripping out the entrance and some honey weeping out of the seem between the 1st and second box on the side it was lying on. Not all that much all things considered maybe a cup or so possibly less(hard to judge)...but honey doesn't flow so quick at the 4-20 degree temps like the last few days. And I suspect there is more to come

    I am trying to decide what if anything to do. It seems to me the die is somewhat cast, and there isn't much I can attempt without just making things worse at this time of year and with these temps. Even if we got a warm spell in the low 40's It seems a bad idea to try "fixing" whatever is smashed up. But I am pretty new to this and thought I would ask for thoughts on the matter.

    The only thing I am considering is the bottom board and the slatted rack...which must be a sticky mess. Are they going to become a liability (trapping bees) on the warm days when the bees take cleansing flights? Or if it is warm enough to break cluster and fly will they just clean/eat that mess up. With a couple helpers to lift it seems I could swap them out without too much disturbance.... but is it worth messing with?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    I'm guessing the bees will clean it up once it warms up enough to break cluster.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    The honey issue is not something to get overly worried about right now. The bee's will clean it up although in my opinion, it wouldn't hurt to give them less to do. I would be worried about damaged comb that might have fallen down or got wedged between frames or frames that have slipped off and messed up the bee space. If it were me and if I had a relatively warm day, I'd pop the top and take a look. It won't take long to figure out what you need to do. If you have a lot of damaged comb, you could pull it out and replace it with frames or foundation. If there was honey in those combs, you could string or elastic it back in place so that the bee's could work it properly during the winter. Looking ahead, I'd be thinking about what those bee's will do on a few warm days and besides cleaning it up, they'll also build new comb and if you don't catch them early, they'll make a mess out of misplaced frames and broken comb. I don't mind quickly inspecting or even working a hive (if I really have to) on a cold day but I avoid windy and overcast days as much as I can. I've pulled frames and bee's out of snow, put a hive back together, re-opened it a day later to add frames and the bee's came through fine. You may not need to do much at all but I always prefer knowing for sure.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    I have an idea that might help. Seal the entrance with screen. Move hive in a warmer garage/basement, tip it just slightly in the direction that the honey was leaking, put a container down to catch it (feed it back later). This will warm up the bees so they can start cleaning. And warm up the honey so it can drain out of hive quicker. After you think it’s clean move it back outside, let them cool down before you open the screen.

    Can you see your bottom board with a light, is there lots of honey and stuck bees?

    If its not bad maybe just tip it slightly and collect the honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    I am sure there is some damaged comb...the honey is coming from somewhere. Somehow, I was under the impression the bees wouldn't draw/repair comb until temps went up considerably and steadily. My thought was to try and get into the hive and straighten that stuff up at the end of the spring thaw. I am having a hard time believing I wouldn't cause a lot of damage working with brittle frozen comb in temps they can barely fly in (we might get a handful of days above 40 betwean now and mid march)...but like I said I am new and open to correction. The hive is 3-8 frame deeps high. so it would take some manipulation and time to go through check/fix it all and put back together.

    Hopefully the damage is not too extensive (and the queen did not get hurt) It may well be limited to some of the "freshly" drawn frames in the uppermost box. Nearly all the other are several season old.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    OK. I just thought that taking a look and prepping for whatever damage you could fix might help the situation out. I once had a hive that got nailed by a bear but appeared to be intact. Come late winter the insides were a mess and I had to rip up a lot of brood comb to straighten it out. The queen is laying long before the weather gets warm enough to pull the hive apart.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    the timing on brooding had definitely crossed my mind as well. If we were to get a freak warm spell soon I would go for it....it has to get done at some point.

    Perhaps that is the question I should be asking of the experienced here: When would I be doing the least damage or running the smallest risk?

    It is encouraging to hear folks dismissing the concerns of the honey coated Bottom board...my worrying mind had images of endless stuck bees on the next day warm enough for cleanising flights. Also without a top entrance it seemed likely they would have a harder time clearing the dead/debris with a sticky bottom.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    As long as they can get out of the hive (as long as the entrance isn't 100% blocked) leave it alone. Yes you may end up with a mess of cross comb or what have you in the spring if it's totally messed up in there (which I doubt), however the chances of somehow killing the queen now or doing more harm than good is at it's greatest here in winter. In the spring if you kill the queen, well she will probably have been laying already and they can make one from an egg/larva or you could order one, now if something happens to queen it's just a death sentence for the hive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,939

    Default Re: tumbled hie leaking honey

    windfall, do you have a top entrance on that hive?

    edit: i see that you don't from your last post.

    very inexperience here, but sealing off the bottom and drilling a half inch hole in the top box might be something to consider.

    i too, would be worried about them getting stuck on the bottom board.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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