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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
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    217

    Default bees under the eaves

    This is a hive located under the eaves of a cabin. It looks as though you can see the comb. Bees are outside? Not in the eaves, these have built comb hanging down here. Is that unusual? This looks like an easy capture to vacuum up the bees, and cut and put the comb in frames, then put all into a box.
    Is this the way to proceed? Can they make it if we get them all and feed? Fall and then winter will be coming to this area East Central Missouri, these bees won't make it. They are about 18' off the ground. It's possible there may be a colony up in the eaves too. Hard to tell as this comb structure was covered pretty good. The ball of bees is slightly smaller than a basketball. How many bees do you think are in there? First year been just trying to save these girls.
    What do you all think?












  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Elizabethton, Tn
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Looks like a late swarm as comb appears to be fresh. Box em up and feed like mad. Never seen an exposed hive that far north.
    It takes a family to raise a family, it takes a village to really screw that up... Djei5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    One thing is certain... they won't make the winter where they are located now!
    Cut them out and feed (internally over the inner cover).
    Late swarm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Thanks for the input. The Homeowner wasn't sure when they had showed up but thought it was at least a few weeks. Is this a situation where they need to be collected asap, or can it wait a week or so?
    Thanks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    I did one like that last year at this time of year. if I was to do it over this is what I would do. First leave them. Build a box around them till spring. Maybe make up some type of bottom feeder to put on the bottom of the box. If they make cut them out in the spring.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Quote Originally Posted by My-smokepole View Post
    I did one like that last year at this time of year. if I was to do it over this is what I would do. First leave them. Build a box around them till spring. Maybe make up some type of bottom feeder to put on the bottom of the box. If they make cut them out in the spring.
    What happened to the cut out you did last year?
    I'm intrigued about your box idea, but these guys are over 16' up, so it would mean climbing up and down ladders to feed, build box, etc.
    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Won't hurt to wait a couple of weeks... they are still storing up for the winter where they are. I'd remove them and place in a hive where you can adequately care for them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    A follow up to this thread. We went and extracted the bees from the home yesterday. What we found was not what we had expected. There were several thousand bees there and we vacuumed them up, and removed the comb and put it into frames with rubber bands. They are all now in a 10 frame lang, closed up, and fed 2:1 syrup from a boardman feeder. Entrance is closed off to smallest hole, with some grass in it. I'll check them later in the day to see how they're doing. We put them into the box at night.
    The comb did not have ANY stores in it. Very few cells half full of pollen, no nectar, no honey, no eggs, larvae or brood.
    There was a small hole, from which a lot of bees were streaming out. The home owner had assured us that this log home construction was tight, and no way bees could have gotten into the eaves. But they were coming from somewhere, my guess is they had a section approx. 2' x 2' and maybe 5" in depth into which there may have been more colony. We did not discover the bees until an hour or so into vacuuming.
    Why would they build comb outside of an enclosed hive area? "Supplemental" housing? It's out in the open and exposed for the most part.
    At this time we have no idea if we got the queen. If indeed they were also inside the overhang, my guess would be she's in there. Or maybe we got lucky and got her. There was a cluster near the end of the vacuuming process, which was about the last to get taken up. Circumstances prevented us from being able to examine slowly for a queen, so we'll just have to check later after a few days of calm.
    Do we just feed them a lot now? We've thought about pulling a shallow frame of honey stores from the super on one of our other hives. There is a couple frames there. They have a two deep config with plenty of stores now.
    Any suggestions or thoughts of what we found?
    Thanks.









  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    If you have the resources I would stick a frame of eggs and larvae in with them and see if they start queen cells that way you will know right a way if you are queenless. You probably don't have enough time to raise your own queen, but at least you would know if you are queenless, and then proceed from there. If queenless, you could order one or think about combining.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    The largets part of the hive is in the eve...... tight? NO.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    The largets part of the hive is in the eve...... tight? NO.
    If you're referring to the joints on the cabin as being tight, yes they are. This thing is well built. There was a hole .375" square that the bees streamed out of near the end of completion of the vacuuming portion of the extraction. The homeowner wrote to me to tell me he has seen no bees after about 2p.m. yesterday, so we must have gotten most all of them. They are settling in now it would appear. packed up into the frames on their comb that is attached with the rubber bands. I put an empty box on top, with a board man feeder near the slot in the inner cover, so they're sealed up to feed that way. I also have a boardman out the front, with the reducer on small hole. They are taking the syrup this way as well, and then are bearding off of the outside. This afternoon I saw the mortician bees bringing out the dead. I saw 4 dozen or so that did not make it in the bottom screen.
    Tomorrow will be day 3 so we're still thinking about giving them a frame of brood and eggs, and a shallow frame of honey.
    But won't be able to do that until day 4. So far so good though I think. If we do give them the frames, we'll do a thorough inspection to look for evidence of a queen of course, and for comb construction.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Palmyra, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    get rid of the boardman out front it will start robing .
    take the inner cover out and directly over the frames place the feeding jars with 2 wedge bars from the frames or something similar size (pencils) under each side of the jar lid. then you can place as many feeding jars you want feeding them completely in side the top box.
    keep the small entrance on, and yes do add extra frames from other hives .
    good luck with them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    UPDATE: It's been two weeks since we vacuumed up these bees, and cut out the comb and brought it all home. Today I did an inspection. No smoke, just pulling the frames we have in there with their original comb rubber banded in place. I've been feeding from two board-mans inside the box in an empty deep, on top of an inner cover. I opted to not put the feeders directly on top of the frames. It's worked out well. They have answered our question about being queen-less as evidenced in the following photos. At day 3 or 4 I kept seeing a big ball of bees out front, clumped on a chunk of wood. I dumped this clump into our 'package cage' which we had saved, and then put it inside the box to let them enter into the hive box. Next day I removed the empty cage box. I think the queen was in the clump, because after that things started changing. They started gathering pollen and bringing it in, and started taking more syrup. I've heard about the rubber banding the comb, but never seen good images on what it would look like. I sorted through the comb to ensure I was banding it in place with the proper "upward angle" of the individual cells. They've been using it since. I don't have other deep frames of empty comb, or any brood to spare, but did give them a shallow frame of honey from another hive. They are saving it. I have a call out to local beeks for any empty comb in deep frames they'd be willing to sell, trade or give. Keeping my fingers crossed they come on strong, looks like the queen has been busy.













  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Looks promising. I've seen two external colonies in Peoria area this year.

    I see you're in Quincy, you might know my dad, Bruce. Started going to the bee club meetings this spring.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    DLMKA if you're talking the local Mississippi Valley Beekeepers Assoc meetings, that is where we go. I don't know a lot of the people by first name, but will ask. It's a good group of people and really helpful to us just getting started.
    What is your opinion on why a colony would start an exposed nest site? Someone commented to me that they may get enough ambient warm air from the house to make it through a winter. I don't really know. I do know these guys seem to appreciate the box. They're going gang busters. Just hope the population boom is right around the corner.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Honey Hive Farms,

    Like your pics..

    Couldn't tell in the picks, but are these bees in a 10 frame box? If so in my opinion, you should have them in a 5 frame nuc and feeding them a lot of sugar water 2 to 1 and getting ready with sugar mush as it gets colder. There isn't very many bees here and to get them to make it through winter will be a job in Illinois.
    Also offer the pollen,,,
    Put a wind break up before it gets to cold
    Keep the moisture out of the hive by cracking the telescoping cover about a pencil size opening
    Have second 5 frame nuc box ready if they were out of room with just 5 frames (bees like to go up so the 5 frame hive may be a little help here)

    Look for queen and eggs, and offer them anything you can to keep them going.

    Good luck

    Tim Moore
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Quote Originally Posted by BeePappy View Post
    DLMKA if you're talking the local Mississippi Valley Beekeepers Assoc meetings, that is where we go. I don't know a lot of the people by first name, but will ask. It's a good group of people and really helpful to us just getting started.
    What is your opinion on why a colony would start an exposed nest site? Someone commented to me that they may get enough ambient warm air from the house to make it through a winter. I don't really know. I do know these guys seem to appreciate the box. They're going gang busters. Just hope the population boom is right around the corner.
    Yeah, Mississippi Valley. I grew up in Quincy and my folks still live there. I just moved a bunch of nucs out to my dad's farm north of Siloam Springs.

    In the spring when it was raining almost every day a swarm could have left and got caught for several days under the eave there and just started building comb after not being able to find a better location.

    I removed one from under a balcony on an apartment building that was open, got a call on an open air colony hanging on the bottom side of a limb of a maple tree and some friends got one from the bottom of a concrete bridge over the Mackinaw River. Know of at least one more down by Springfield another friend removed.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    Thanks Tim,
    Yes they are in a 10 frame Lang. I did build a 5 frame nuc, but it's not fully to code, more of a swarm trap usage, only .375" board used. There is a lot of larvae, and some capped brood. I'm expecting the first hatch-out within 7 to 10 days now. Within two weeks there should be quite a population increase. Only thing is the bees there now will mostly be gone. I've thought about the overwintering and have asked my mentor for some deep frames of empty comb to give more space to fill, expand into and use for cover. Being a first year beek my supplies are limited. I guess I could build a better 5 frame Nuc and transfer, but then would have the decision of which frames to move. Maybe 2, 5-frame boxes? stacked? The queen is good and busy now. Cooler temps (50) this morning have me concerned about the brood temps and there being enough bees to keep them all warm.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: bees under the eaves

    At this point I wouldn't disrupt them other than keeping feed on as long as it's warm enough. Moving thing around is only going to set them back.

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