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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Marengo County, AL, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Should i or should i not?

    I have located me a honey bee hive in a old abandoned church buiding wall. They are about 10 feet up from the ground. I got lucky last year on what I collected a cut out in a storage building. Last year's cut-out has amazed me how well they did! The existing comb filled up one nine inch brood box (July 1, 2012). By end of August they had filled up another nine inch brood box and I added a queen extractor and a 6 inch box. I didn't have much luck with a couple of swarms last year.

    Anyway, I was wondering about this church wall of honey bees. Would it be out of the question to go on a 65 or 70 degree day in January? I would bring my brood box and tie the comb to the frames like I did back in July. Also, I could use a feeder jar to help them through til March. My thoughts are they will think real hard about leaving in the winter. And they may not be as aggressive in the winter. By the way we are lucky to get a snow every other year.

    What are your thoughts? I guess, I could wait til April, but hope to get a few swarm calls! I have got two Langstrom nine inch boxes looking for tenants and ready for bees.

    Dan
    from Lower West Alabama

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,132

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    I think your chances of success would improve by waiting a bit. If you do a cutout, the bees will need to generate wax to rebuild/attach the cut comb. Their ability to do so may be improved as spring draws closer.

    And if you are worried about them absconding after the cutout, brood, either theirs or from your other hive should help deter them from that idea.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Marengo County, AL, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    Thanks, I never thought about them having to re-attach the comb. Makes perfect since.
    Thanks Again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    969

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    Quote Originally Posted by West AL Honey Bee Guy View Post

    Anyway, I was wondering about this church wall of honey bees. Would it be out of the question to go on a 65 or 70 degree day in January?
    Even with your warm environment, I would wait.

    A few months would guarantee success.

    Shane

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Marengo County, AL, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    Thanks, I guess I am getting too anxious for spring!

    I was so disappointed in my 3 swarms last year. Not sure what I did wrong. When I slamed the cardboard box down on top of the open brood box maybe I slammed them down too hard? Or maybe I should have removed some of the frames?

    This a hobby that seems to not cooperate. Ants where also a big problem. Thinking about building concrete slab with metal posts with bracket for hives. Then maybe I could treat the ants better?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    The will be more aggressive . Bees are more agitated as the flow ends and they know they need food.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    Two thoughts on the swarms. First, I never slam bees anywhere, to much chance of squishing a queen. You really should either gently shake the bees out into a hive with half the frames taken out -- they will all collect in the hive as soon as the queen is in there -- or dump them out on a sheet that is tacked to the front of the hive and stretched out on the ground. A bit more risky since the queen may take flight, but the bees will march right up the sheet and into the hive once they find it.

    Second, I don't use a cardboard box to collect swarms except as a very temporary expedient -- the bees are much happier in a wooden nuc with an old brood comb in it along with a full set of frames. They will set up housekeeping immediately -- some of the bees will be doing orientation flights as the rest march in!

    Another hint -- in spite of the fact that bees swarm on a strong flow as a general rule, you should feed them a partial protein patty and some syrup for a few days to help them get established. Very likely, the swarm will supersede the queen shortly, although not always, and you can expect them to lag somewhat as a rule when they do. During that time, feeding them will permit them to raise a large crop of brood right away when the new queen starts to lay because they will have a well established hive chock full of protein and "honey" stores and not be dependent on what they can haul in. The extra syrup will encourage them to build and fill comb, always a good thing.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    Here is a thread that might help Cleo has some items/ideas that might help. Go through and read the thread and referenced links. It may be a viable solution for you.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...pout-Questions
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Marengo County, AL, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    I have already made my mind up to bring my brood box with me on my next swarm. This will mean one less disturbance when you put them in the box.

    The idea to feed the bees (I have a jar with clip) during the winter has been debated here in the south. My feelings right now is to maybe feed them on our coldest week long cold spell. It will stay down to around 32* (low can be low 20's) for the high on a 4 or 5 day stint. I also ventilate even in the winter, and I am not sure that is a good idea either?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: Should i or should i not?

    Quote Originally Posted by West AL Honey Bee Guy View Post
    My feelings right now is to maybe feed them on our coldest week long cold spell. It will stay down to around 32* (low can be low 20's) for the high on a 4 or 5 day stint.
    Do not feed syrup when the weather is cold.Wait until you get some temperatures in the 70's with nights 50's and up and that for several days in a row.Two things to consider...the bees won't take cold syrup and ,if they take it on a warm day followed by a cold night,it puts too much moisture in the hive.If they are starving use dry sugar on top of newspaper ;and dig a hole.

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