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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    This hive is all I have..just built it. I wish I new of someone about to split a TBH that needs a colony for a Lang hive. Our stories do sound similar Bakk! Anyway...should I go ahead and try a couple of drops of the lemongrass oil now?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,892

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    > should I go ahead and try a couple of drops of the lemongrass oil now?

    I'd give it a shot. It seems you don't really have much to lose ....
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,008

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    I'm grabbing at straws here, but could you put them back in the box with some feed and some pollen patties, and turn your sprinklers on for a few days they will think it's raining and maybe stay inside. or you could just leave them in the box you caught them in for tonight and go to the lumber yard tommorow and buy some pine boards.

    Are your Top Bars Cedar too? Maybe they don't like to build comb on the cedar but dont mind the box being cedar and that is why other people get away with it?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    Thanks for the suggestions. Well, I just put 10,000 of my closest friends back in their home. I could have sworn I heard a small crowd say, "Not AGAIN!" Everything is cedar. Maybe I'm as hard headed as they are but I dont think its the cedar. It's dried out and I cant even smell it anymore, the ants didnt mind it, and even soaking cedar oil around my door to keep the skeeters away doesnt last very long, plus there are too many cedar hives out there working great. Now..maybe THIS colony doesnt like it but who knows. Anyway, I rubbed two drops of lemongrass oil on one of the back bars, filled the feeder jar, and closed the hive. I like the idea of the pollen patties and queen excluder on the entrance so I'll do those when I get them in the mail Wednesday. It wouldnt be a big deal to leave it open, but I dont want them ending up in one of my neighbors' attic or wall. Maybe thats it...too many neighbors. Once I know the queen can't leave I'll open the entrance and see how they do. If they just dont do well I'll make the pine hive or set them free. Thanks again for helping on this drama. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong!!??!!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Marin, CA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    Haha, awww RacerX... Bummed to hear they left again!

    I've got a couple questions for ya:
    Did you close the hive up completely?
    How long does your feeder last? Or how long has it been lasting rather.
    You mentioned there was comb left behind... Did you mean they built comb in the cedar hive you have, and THEN left to go hangout in the tree?!
    And how did you transfer them from cardboard box to the hive this last time?

    I want to hear this story become a success!

    Don't peek in on them!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,277

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    I had a new colony abscond on me last year after building some comb, I discovered it was because of 3 small shims of pressure treated lumber I was using in the hive, I could tell it was from the treated lumber because the bees would not go near it. I removed the shims, added untreated shims caught the swarm again and they have been satisfied with their new home.

    There is definitely something about your hive that the bees do not like.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    There is definitely something they don’t like...hive, too many houses, neighbor’s dog that sometimes barks...
    The hive is completely closed now but not near air tight. Its now in full shade from about 2:00 till dark about 8:30. It has a tin top roof that should deflect alot of heat.
    The feeder is a 1 pint jar and lasts about 3-4 days for about 2 lbs of bees. No clue if that’s alot or a little.
    They did build comb, nice and straight. Only about 30 sq inches. This was from last Tuesday till Sunday when the hive was closed trying to get them to make a home.
    Most of them were still clumped on the limb so I put the limb in and gave it a quick shake. The ones still in the box I just poured in.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    RacerX,
    You said 2# of B's ? recommend reduce size, 3-4 TB's
    "Nature does nothing uselessly." Aristotle

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,042

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    Racer, give me a call. I live 35 miles SW of you. I am sure we can get you started. I'm thinking of a NUC box to start. I have several available. Even have a swarm in a bait box I haven't brought home yet. Will PM you with contact info.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    If its 2 3's # should be around 8,000 bees if none have died. Even if it is 10,000 that's not very many so fewer bars and the lemon grass. I have a swarm trap made for top bars to fit would only take about 20-30 minutes to build out of pine and you could try it and see if they stay. If they do once comb and brood are present just transfer the bars.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    Thanks Lburou. I may need some help.
    Maryland and rtoney: At first I had the hive down to 10 bars, they left, then to about 20 bars, they left, now back to 10. Should I disturb them to reduce it further?

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    If they are wanting to leave and not building comb you are not really disturbing anything. I would build a quick pine box that your bars will fit, put them in and see if they will build. A lot easier then catching them each time they leave. Then if they leave I would let them go and wait for the next swarm or cutout. You can't keep the love of your life if she don't love you.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    There is Nothing Wrong with all cedar. An Oregon company for many years has sold ONLY ALL cedar top bar hives and warres and no one has absconding problems. It cannot be the cedar. If there was glue or paint or treated wood or metal in part of it,that's a whole different deal, but it is not the cedar. My husband made me a brand new all cedar top bar last winter that I've used this last 6 weeks. I'd put some lemongrass in it too. To me it stunk to high heaven of both fresh cut cedar and lemongrass, and my bees have been Totally happy since day one!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,599

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    Good to know about the cedar. I did not know for sure myself, I just wondered. I have a fellow down the road here with a lumber mill that makes everything for outdoor use out of cedar... he claims it repels insects. So, I was wondering about the use of it for bee boxes. Thanks for setting me straight.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    I've made my second hive out of cedar so I sure hope the bees like it (not in use yet). It just seems like the bees this person captured don't like something about the hive he has. A quick nuc made out of pine was just a suggestion to try to help him stop playing catch with the bees.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    While I agree there is nothing wrong with cedar (I've built many boxes out of scraps of cedar), there is something they don't like about yours. Is there an open floor? Too much ventilation? Too much light? Something that got on the wood at some time that you are unaware of?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    do your entrances face the wind or are they in the lee? Is the hive level or close to level?

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    caution on the lemongrass oil, if you use to much they will leave. My guess is there is probably too much aroma in the hive with the fresh cedar boards already and you need less aroma not more

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    UPDATE: Hi everyone...sorry...didnt get an email so didnt know I had responses!!??!! I have a closed floor, but I do have observation windows, but they are covered. Wood came from Home Depot and dried before I built the hive so I dont smell the cedar...not saying the bees can't. The hive is in my backyard against the "none used" side of the house. The wind does swirl if its windy but not bad. The hive is level to the eye. I used only two drops of lemongrass and rubbed it on the last bar. My guess is my neighborhood is a little too busy for them. Its quiet, so I'm hoping they decide its home.
    The bee patties and the plastic queen excluder came in the mail last Thursday. I gave them the food that night, and let the sugar water run out...probably Saturday. I cut the excluder to fit over the entrance holes, installed it Friday morning, and let them out. I have limited my visits to twice looking in the window since Friday, and as of this morning, they are still clumped around what little comb they made a week ago. Not sure how much it has expanded. There is coming and going from the hive. I'm assuming the queen excluder is working since they stayed past the two day mark for the first time! Once I see good brood, I'll remove the excluder. If they leave then, I would have felt bad for making them stay. Please let me know if you see any red flags. Just noticed some of the names that have responded and I am humbled. Thanks again for taking time to help me out...

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,892

    Default Re: Package bees keep leaving...

    > I gave them the food that night, and let the sugar water run out.

    If "food" refers to patties, most patties are a high percentage protein, and low percentage of carbohydrate. That mix is generally a substitute for pollen, but bees also need carbs, usually from nectar / honey. My point is that "pollen" patties are not a substitute for syrup. I'd keep offering syrup until they stop taking it.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

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