Results 1 to 20 of 25

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    McCormick SC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    Hi all,
    Let first thank all of you for the help I have received from just reading and researching the forums and from people answering my questions.
    I have 2 TBH that I started with packages on the 18th of may. They both did very well and started building comb right away. After 2 weeks of feeding sugar water, I opened the hives, one at a time and found that one had cross comb and the other had followed the triangle strips perfectly. The one that had built correctly, I moved the started combs to the back of the hive. I had given them 12 of the 36 bars. from then on, they have been doing great!!!
    The cross comb hive, I gently removed the empty new combs and applied them to the guides. I put them right behind the large 2 bar comb that had clear sweet honey in it. When I went back a week later, they had again added onto the cross comb. They left the fresh, soft bright white comb, that I put onto other bars alone. There was about 4 of them. I tried again to separate some of the cross comb to put onto other bars and the whole comb fell into the bottom of the hive. I tried to pick the whole comb up because I knew there where girls under it. It was just crumbling because it was so soft. I managed to get it apart and put onto bars but with casualties. It broke my heart. I know it sound weird but, once I realized how much of a family and how they take care of each other, it seems like they are more than just bees. I finished and closed the hive up. A week later I opened it up again to see if they had recovered and started to take to the re-attached combs. They had started filling some of the other combs but, they were again building on the same 2 bars. There were only 2 combs, connected so I figured it wouldn't be hard to separate them. I removed them and when I went to press the top of one of the combs to a bar, I saw larvae squeeze out. I knew then what had happened the first time I dropped the big cross comb, I killed the queen and they were trying to re-queen. I figured this because, they hadn't stored anything but clear honey and a little pollen. I attached the comb and hoped for the best. About 2 days later, the hive was empty. With a bag of sugar water still in it.
    The second hive, by now, had built so much comb that I had to open up the whole 36 bars. I figure the remaining bees from the first hive, went to the second.
    This bring me to today. It has rained everyday, (not sprinkled but flooding rains), for the past 3 weeks. I have not been able to open the hive since June 23rd. Today is the 17th day. I have been watching to see if the girls are collecting pollen and even in the rain, I see one about every 20 minutes come back with her baskets full. So, I have been keeping sugar water in a covered feeder under the hive. They are emptying it, (1 quart), every 3 to 4 days.
    The dew points have been around 79 and they are constantly fanning the entrance. The humidity is stifling. I know most of the bees are home and cant open the hive in the rain so, what should I do? They way they were building the last time I checked, every bar probably has a comb on it.
    When do I attempt to open it? Do I need to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    Frstmer, sorry to hear that it has been such a difficult start. I imagine that left to their own devices they will do less damage than you might do by trying to rush things when conditions aren't right. The weather will break, it always does, and when it does the field bees will all be out working and the hive will be nice and quiet so you can spend some time doing a full inspection. Best of luck to you and your girls.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    The weather will break. If you're seeing bees flying in the rain, they're still able to work. So yes, the hive is likely bursting with activity! You don't mention if you have windows to see what they're up to or not - so I'm presuming you do not have windows.

    If the weather clears for even just 30 min or so, you could open the back of the hive and make sure they still have some room. If they are completely full, you could try to do a split of this now very strong hive. Especially if there is capped brood, open brood, pollen and honey in the hive. If you're REALLY in luck, the bees will have started a queen cell for you - and then it's just a matter of splitting the hive before it swarms. That is what I am looking at - my first hives are nearly full, there's really 3mo left of 'good' weather....so if these new hives (started April 20th) have filled out in just 3mo...it's likely they'll do pretty well with a split. (By pretty well, I mean survive our winter season healthy and strong).

    However, that means I need to build 2 more hives! Oh no! Shhhh, don't tell my spouse - we're also in need of building a new coop due to a high chick hatch rate this year! I think I'm nearly as busy as our bees!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    McCormick SC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Life is Good! View Post
    The weather will break. If you're seeing bees flying in the rain, they're still able to work. So yes, the hive is likely bursting with activity! You don't mention if you have windows to see what they're up to or not - so I'm presuming you do not have windows.

    If the weather clears for even just 30 min or so, you could open the back of the hive and make sure they still have some room. If they are completely full, you could try to do a split of this now very strong hive. Especially if there is capped brood, open brood, pollen and honey in the hive. If you're REALLY in luck, the bees will have started a queen cell for you - and then it's just a matter of splitting the hive before it swarms. That is what I am looking at - my first hives are nearly full, there's really 3mo left of 'good' weather....so if these new hives (started April 20th) have filled out in just 3mo...it's likely they'll do pretty well with a split. (By pretty well, I mean survive our winter season healthy and strong).

    However, that means I need to build 2 more hives! Oh no! Shhhh, don't tell my spouse - we're also in need of building a new coop due to a high chick hatch rate this year! I think I'm nearly as busy as our bees!
    Thank You Life is Good,
    We had a high chick hatch rate this year also. I have gotten most of them out of the coop and into the brooder and from what I can count, we have about 48 new additions. I still have 4 hens brooding and more wanting to. I'm having to remove their eggs.
    I am pretty sure the hive is going to be full when I open it. The last time I opened it, (June 23rd), they were almost to the back of the hive. I am going to take pics this weekend, (if the tropical storm gives me at least a 30 minute window. I will need some help and advice on a split, if one is needed. I will go ahead and put a window in the abandoned hive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    McCormick SC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    These are some pictures that I took when I went to see if they had released the queen. I removed the cork when I hived the packages and this is 1 week later. I took these with a 8 meg pix phone so you can increase size and still be clear. I believe when the cross comb fell, when I was trying to remove the queen cage and separate the cross comb, the queen was crushed. The other hive had already built onto about 6 bars. All these wee taken after being hived for 8 days.

    comb.jpg20130525_140111.jpgcomb2.jpgcross comb feel on bottom.jpgcross comb that fell.jpgcross comb.jpgcross comb2.jpghive #1.jpghive 1.jpghive 3.jpghive 7.jpgone week 2.jpgone week 3.jpgone week.jpgreatached.jpg.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    I'm near Augusta, GA, and like you, tired of the rain. I have chickens, too, and their runs are swamps and the eggs are muddy when we collect them. Yuck! We've decided not to incubate any more eggs, and even to reduce the number of coops we have. Needless to say, we'll be having a lot of chicken dinners! I also caused a comb collapse when I first started beekeeping that killed the queen. It was a terrible feeling. Glad you have another hive that's doing well. Are you making sure to put empty bars into the brood nest from time to time? Since you have an empty hive, making a split is the obvious solution to a full hive, but be careful because a full hive doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be, or should be, split, especially if their food supply is low. I have one hive that is very full of bees but very low on honey and pollen. Splitting that hive will only set it back at this point.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    McCormick SC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeneralsBees View Post
    Frstmer, sorry to hear that it has been such a difficult start. I imagine that left to their own devices they will do less damage than you might do by trying to rush things when conditions aren't right. The weather will break, it always does, and when it does the field bees will all be out working and the hive will be nice and quiet so you can spend some time doing a full inspection. Best of luck to you and your girls.
    Thank you,
    I figured it was best to let them do what they do best while it was raining. When I get a break in the weather, I will open it and take pick for all to see. I believe the tropical storm is going to move over us this weekend so, I hope I get a break.
    I don't have a window but, while I have a chance, I am putting one in the abandoned hive in case I need to split the other one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    Glad to hear your hive is okay! I was really concerned when I saw no bees but SHB. You had mentioned the bees were mad and head-butting though, which I didn't associate with dwindling and few bees so I asked.

    I agree with shannonswyatt, I would not brush them off the comb unless you need to do something particular or are harvesting it. I wouldn't move them now if they are weak, but most seem to agree that more sun helps fight SHB. It gets pretty hot and humid where I live so I compromised and put mine in partial sun. They get a little morning sun and then full sun midday for a few hours. They beard but seem to be doing fine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    McCormick SC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    Glad to hear your hive is okay! I was really concerned when I saw no bees but SHB. You had mentioned the bees were mad and head-butting though, which I didn't associate with dwindling and few bees so I asked.

    I agree with shannonswyatt, I would not brush them off the comb unless you need to do something particular or are harvesting it. I wouldn't move them now if they are weak, but most seem to agree that more sun helps fight SHB. It gets pretty hot and humid where I live so I compromised and put mine in partial sun. They get a little morning sun and then full sun midday for a few hours. They beard but seem to be doing fine.
    Thanks colleen, I didnt know how else to inspect the combs or get good pics with them the girl covering them. I know now not to do it again. I will not move it this year. I will start next spring moving it about 10 to 15 feet every few days so I dont disorient them.
    Shannon, I dont have a smoker but I guess I will need one. I got stung twice taking pics but I worry more about them dieing after stinging me, than I mind getting stung. I will have to refill feeder in about 3 days and will fan some pine needle smoke in the entrance when I do. I just hate doin that to them but like someone mentioned, as long as they are emptying the feeder, They probly need it.
    Thank yall

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads