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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
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    146

    Default I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    I am a beekeeper of less than one year. I have two hives. Anyway, I had a large limb fall on my property yesterday. Today, when I was checking it out, I realizes that the limb was hollow and it broke. There is a hive in it. I think 30% of the hive is down, the rest of the comb is in the tree, 30 feet up.

    There was a ball of bees on the ground around some pieces of comb. It is 40 degrees here and going to be in the upper 20's tonight.

    I got an empty deep and medium hive body, and a bottom board. I put some a fair bit of their comb that appears to have honey in it, and I put it in the center of the medium body, and put EMPTY frames with foundation (thats all I have available) around it. Then I put the deep hive body on top since the comb is taller than a single medium. I put an inner cover on it and a top.

    I put it near the ball of bees and I scooped as many up as possible and dumped them in the hive body. It appears as though the rest have moved into the hive. I was going to use a couple of medium frames from my existing hives to supplement them, but there isnt much honey for them, and Im not willing to sacrifice the safety of my good hives yet.

    Anyway, I didnt know what else to do but they would die for sure otherwise. SO...the wild bees are in the new hive with whatever honey they have. I was going to make sugar syrup for them tonight and put a hive top feeder on it in case they needed it.

    What else do I need to do? but move it to the apiary and wait for spring and continue to feed them as long as they take syrup?????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Do you have the queen? Too cold for syrup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,062

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    I'll take a shot.
    Sounds like you did well under a real time crunch. Marching in may be a good sign for getting the queen. You might consider banding the comb into frames on a good day. I would cut off the tall comb or move it all into the deep trying to get all the comb in the top of the frame and cluster as best you can in a single body. They will not do much with wax until it is warm.

    An insulated top and a spacer with dry sugar or candy might be better than syrup, but I do not know your temps.

    Any chance of living through an attempt at getting the branch bees? Not worth risky business though.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,556

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    I agree with SaltyBee, you may have the queen since they all marched in the box. I also think you should remove the medium and move as much of the wild comb that you can salvage into the deep, tie it into frames with cotton twine. If you can, then leave the box where it is at or setup a table there to put it on if you like. Beware if you have high winds. I'd try to keep it there close to where it fell. If you do have the queen, the rest of the bees from 30 feet up may come on down to the new box and set up home in it. Wait for warmer weather and see how they are fairing. If you get daytime temps up into the 65 or higher range, you could set out some sugar syrup or install a feeder for them. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Im going to go ahead with my syrup. I already made it anyway, and temps in Texas will get into the 60's several times a week in the winter. They will have to wait a few days before I can do anything more. Thanks for the advice you guys! Ill get to it when I can!

    Any chance of living through an attempt at getting the branch bees? Not worth risky business though.
    I honestly don't know if there are any more. I did not see any buzzing around at the top so....maybe I got them all. If not, there is no way to get to them without a cherry picker. If anything, Id like to fashion a long pole to pull out the rest of the comb full of honey for them.

    I went out to check on them just now, and there is definately a 'ball' of bees in there, so it looks like the whole mass actually crawled in. Tomorrow, I will see about arranging the single deep, put on the hive feeder, etc. Or, perhaps I should leave them alone and let them get accustomed to their new hive for a few days before messing with them. Thoughts? I don't want them to bail out, and Im assuming they won't, since its pretty much the only option they have at this point in the year.
    Last edited by brazosdog02; 12-23-2013 at 05:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,062

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Mess with them or not? Hard to say without seeing, probably hard to say then as well. If the comb is pretty much as they built it it will not hurt to leave it alone. If it is broken up and the honey is flowing all over the bees or may collapse then fix it as soon as you can. Honey that has already drained to the bottom will not hurt them.
    If they are not flying, they are not leaving. If it warm enough to fly they will be on the syrup.
    They do need empty comb to cluster as well.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    OK. I dont have the materials to make any pollen substitute either. Should I buy some? If so, what do I get from Dadant? They have no brood. They have little honey. They probably have a queen. And Ive been told that they arent going to make it, but.....i can't help but try. Im so new at it that I don't know any better.

    Will this work?

    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...roducts_id=866

    Will it increase their odds?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,062

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    I do not think it will increase the odds. The odds are pretty much do they have the queen or not.
    Best odds are to consolidate the comb you have by tying into frames as said. Lauri's sugar bricks are probably the best feeding method over patched together comb.
    Sub will not be needed until they start to raise brood, which should be soon if they have a queen. Dry or pre-made patties would work fine if you have a queen.
    The sub would get your other hives off to a faster start if you wanted to do some splits later.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
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    146

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    They have no drawn comb on the foundation in the hive. I will try to pull some frames from my good hives when it warms up. Since I put this hive near/under their hive that fell, will they scavenge their pollen or honey stores from up in the tree??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,062

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Are you clear with what Ray was saying about tying the comb pieces into empty frames with string or elastics ? Adding to that comb with frames that your other hives are not using would help. Until you see they have a queen, you are right ot not risk existing hives.

    Yes they will rob out their stores from above (So will every other nearby hive). They will move wax around to patch up the tied combs. They will rob the foundation to patch as well. Keep an eye on the branch to see if bees are there.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
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    146

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    I understand what he is saying. I'll have to split the comb so its o wider than a frame. It's like 3 frame widths wide, layered. When I get back, I'll try to do that. I have empty deep frames so it will work fine. I do see bees in the free above buZzing around. Not many though.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,062

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Sounds like just wait and see time.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
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    1,099

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    If you still have them in both a deep and a medium, I'd put them in just one or the other, depending on the size of the cluster. They will have an easier time retaining heat.
    Also, when you add the frames of comb with their honey tied in, the combs of honey need to be together for the bees to cluster on and move about eating the honey over winter. The cluster cannot move much when it is cold and an empty frame between frames of honey can allow them to starve.
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,556

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by brazosdog02 View Post
    OK. I dont have the materials to make any pollen substitute either. Should I buy some? If so, what do I get from Dadant? They have no brood. They have little honey. They probably have a queen. And Ive been told that they arent going to make it, but.....i can't help but try. Im so new at it that I don't know any better.

    Will this work?

    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...roducts_id=866

    Will it increase their odds?
    For this time of year, this would be a better product...
    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...oducts_id=1327

    Winter patties, higher sugar content, should work great for you in this situation. With this product you should not need any syrup in the hive, which would possibly cause greater amounts of condensation inside the hive. I gave the link to 10 pounds of the winter patties, but they do have 40 pound packages as well, which might be what you need for these to make it through into spring. However, you may not want to spend too much on this project until you are pretty sure you have the queen in your box. Same goes with robbing from stronger hives, I would not want to weaken any known good hives for a possible dink this time of year.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
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    146

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    I dont have cotton twine, will Jute twine be good?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,556

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Yes, Jute twine would be just fine. I don't like to use rubber bands myself, they don't seem to hold it tight enough and sometimes don't last long enough for the bees to get the combs mended into place.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Ok. I have two frames of their comb TIED in to empty frames. However there is still a huge chunk of their comb in the hive. It's probably three or four frame widths and it's attached to tree bark on its back so I cannot separate it.

    Can I leave this here while they use it and then in the spring, take it out and put in frames with foundation for them to work on? I can set it outside the hive so they can rob their stores from it.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    It is hard to picture the arrangement but if the comb is inside the hive and you can make a tight cluster in a single box I would let them use it. The priority is to have safe useable comb for the bees as closely packed as you can reasonably make it. After that is it just waiting for spring and helping them out with feed if they need it.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
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    146

    Default Re: I caught some bees....please read and help with advice!

    Ok. They hVe that. I'll wait for spring.

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