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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Johnson County, TN, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    About a week and a half ago a neighbor called to say he had a wild swarm of bees in the top of his pecan tree and asked if I wanted them.

    I said yes.

    He asked if I had ever caught a wild swarm before and I said: No but I've watched youtube videos

    I got an old langstroth box, suited up and he lifted me in the bucket of his tractor up into the tree. I got the swarm.

    They were settling in quite nicely... until this morning...

    The box was knocked over, a good bit of the comb they had built was eaten.

    Questions:

    1) What do you imagine did this? I am in bear country. A bear? Could a skunk or smaller critter do this?

    2) How can I recover this hive? Is it even possible? I put the box back upright and frames back in this morning. I do not know if the queen is still alive / around or not. The hive was quite unhappy as I was reassembling.

    Here is a picture of my set up pre-disaster. I did not take a post disaster picture.

    P1010387.jpg

    I lost a langstroth hive last year to a bear. So this year, I built the "bee pergola" that you see in the picture above. On either side are top bar hives that I built and they are in steel bar cages. Plus, the whole thing is inside a fenced area with a great pyrennes on patrol (she was, unfortunately, inside the house last night).

    The langstroth hive is obviously in the middle there.

    So far, nothing has bothered the top bar hives in the cages.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    407

    Default Re: Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    Bear without a doubt.Nice setup you have there.Goes without saying...leave the dog outside.
    I had this happen a few times even with a dog on patrol.The bear would run in ,knock over the hive,grab some frames and be back over the fence by the time the dog woke up and got after him.
    An electric fence,plus the dog, has solved my problem so far.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Johnson County, TN, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    Thanks!

    I was really thrilled about catching my first swarm and am bummed that a bear got it.

    I am hoping to recover. I figure if the bees settle back in I'll see if I can spot the queen and if I cannot order another queen and hope for the best...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    If it is a bear, he will probably be back. rest assured that the cages you have so skillfully built around the top bar hives will not stop him. they will be mere Childs play to a bear. Who are pound for pound 5 times stronger than a man. leave the dog out every night. and consider a proper electric fence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Johnson County, TN, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    I do figure the bear will return.

    The hive I lost last year was inside an electric fence (supposedly made for bears) and that did not stop the bear.

    I agree the cages will not keep out a determined bear but hope it will slow them down enough for the dog (or me) to be alerted. The bee hives are visible from my back 2nd floor deck.

    Anyone with any thoughts on recovering the colony?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chandler, IN
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    Wait a couple of days then check for the queen, can your tbh frames be interchanged with the lang hive? if they can use a frame from one of them to help boost/re-queen the lang. As for the bear; two words: Target Practice (from the second floor of course).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Johnson County, TN, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    Target practice:

    Thanks for the advice about the queen. They seem to have gone right back to work. It was a large swarm - about twice the size of a 3# package.

    Unfortunately the frames not interchangeable. I did not expect a third hive and was / am a bit unprepared.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Johnson County, TN, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Something got my hive: Suspected critters and how to recover it if even possible?

    Now something new is going on!

    I think as a consequence of the bear invasion.

    At the front / entrance of the right hand TBH there is a crazy amount of activity.

    Picture below but does not do justice to the amount of activity going on...

    Anyway, is it possible that the bear-invaded langstroth hive lost their queen and have decided to move into the TBH and combine with that colony? Would that be in keeping with bee behavior?

    beeactivity.jpg

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