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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    87

    Default adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    My neighbor decided that he didnt want his hive any more and I agreed to adopt it. He hasn't given the hive any attention in at least 6 months. Im not sure if he has even taken the top off during this time. Im a new to beekeeping though i do have bees on order that will arrive in the next few weeks. In any case, I went out to check the neighbors hive today expecting to find honey to harvest as I live in Austin Texas and have heard that bee keepers often harvest honey by this time in the year. What I found, though, was a crowded and somewhat aggressive colony with no honey. Some of the comb seemed to be irregular in form. I did see a few spots that had nectar and were uncapped but it was pretty sparse. I took several photos. Can anyone with experience, especially in central Texas look at the photos and give me your best assessment of the situation? Is this normal? Will there likely be honey later in the summer? Is there anything I can do to help this hive out?

    You can see the photos here: https://picasaweb.google.com/1153781...LLrycG1j4_MrAE

    Many Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,848

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    Make sure the frames are pushed together correctly, there's too much space between a few, probably the one with the cross combs. Just cut those sections off, pusthe frames all the way together best you can. I'd feed those bees, was there any brood?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    I need to find neighbors like this

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenzero View Post
    I need to find neighbors like this
    that's what i was thinking.
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    Well, the frames are too widely spaced, for one.
    It is difficult to keep the bees calm in an unworked hive as everything is stuck together tightly, including lid, frames and boxes.
    I would have a well lit smoker going and slowly take it apart comb by comb. Have a 5 gallon pail or some such in which to place the honey from any comb that is not as it should be.
    Get down to the bottom box, If there is no brood, add a frame with eggs.
    There seems to be a fair amount of bees, so my bet is that there is a queen.
    Good luck.
    AND, the bees are often easier to work on a nice sunny morning, rather than late in the day when the field force may all be home. Slowly and gently are the key words for this operation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    Thank you for all of this great information. Yes, the hive was pretty aggressive but im sure part of that was my inability to keep it slow and quiet due to the difficulty of getting the frames out. I also imagine that, to some extent, the bees must get used to the presence of a keeper and, after months of neglect, are a bit more wary.

    Now on to another question: What is the best way to carry this hive into my backyard?
    Ive heard that you transport bees at night so my plan was to pick a cool evening sometime in the next couple of days, put a strap around the hive and carry it over with my fiance. Should I cover the front entrance/exit so that none of the bees can get out? Does this sound like a good plan?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    Feed them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,589

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    I didn't spot any brood. Queenless perhaps?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,848

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    Well, i think he was only showing frames from the top box, looked like a double deep set up to me, so hopefully there's brood in the bottom.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: adopting an unattended hive in Austin Texas

    Yeah, I was only looking at the super frames, not the hive body. It hadnt occurred to me that it could be without a queen. I will take another look this evening and report back.

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