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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    buffalo.mn usa
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    8

    Default found bees in my wall

    hi everyone.
    I was working on a remolding my laundry room and found a honey beehive.I can't stop working on it because I can only work on it in the winter .so I built a top bar hive, opened the window to cool the room down .and moved the hive into it new home .it's 20 below right now so I not sure if I should I move them out side out or should I move them into the basement where it's about 55 degrees. There was about 10 lbs of honey ,is that enough for them to survive the winter.
    thanks
    dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
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    363

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    If you put in your basement they will come out to fly and you will likely have a few thousand bees throughout the house.

    10 lbs definitely not enough to survive where you are--they probably would have died anyway so don't feel bad if they don't make it. Did you keep all the combs in order so the cluster is still intact? The problem w/ moving in the cold is that it is too cold for them to re-organize everything to their liking. If you kept all the combs w/ bees on them together when you moved them that is the best you can do.

    I'd stick them in a sheltered location outside then lay a layer of paper towels or newspaper on top of where the bees are. Dump as much sugar as you can on this area and keep it stocked. Best you can do at this point. Search for mountain camp method for more info on this style of feeding.

    Perhaps some more experienced folks--and those that actually have top bar hives--can give you better advice.

    Merry Christmas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,195

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    Zebby, welcome to beekeeping! An unorthodox beginning.

    I vote for putting them in the basement, but somehow rigging them in a darkened area or they will fly around. If you put them outside they will certainly die as it is so darn cold, and they weren't set up to overwinter outside. A hundred years ago wintering bees in cellars was common, and back then it was thought that about 55 degrees was the optimal temperature.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    ya your going to have to feed.you can put them in the basement as long as it stays dark or have bees flying around in the basement like jclark said but the plus side is the'll be warm enough to feed on the damp sugar on top..hope they had a queen or the'll die anyways.good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,195

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    I found the link I was looking for. An interesting read on wintering bees in cellars, even if you choose a different route.
    http://organicroots.nal.usda.gov/dow...RC00000278/PDF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    buffalo.mn usa
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    8

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    thanks for the information .i'm going to move the into the basement .feed them and hope for the best .I wasn't planning on being a bee keeper but I think i'm hooked
    thanks
    dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,058

    Thumbs Up Re: found bees in my wall

    Dave

    FWIW, I have a NUC sized box of bees that I cut from a brick column late October. The box allows air circulation, but is tight enough that bees do not get out unless I have the entrance open. I keep the box in my shop where the temperature ranges from 40 to 55 degrees.

    At night (meaning when its dark) I use a red led flashlight ($6 on amazon) to open the top of the box and refill the frame feeder and replenish a small amount of pollen substitute. They are taking the sugar water and the pollen patty....They have had brood since the queen mated late November.

    They will have the box full by spring. Keep in mind that bees do not fly in the dark, but they will crawl.

    I think you can keep bees in your basement if its cool and dark as long as the box they are in allows air circulation and the bees can't get out. Feed them and they could survive. My box is small enough that I can easily carry it outside on warm days and they do fly around a bit. I put them away at dusk when they have gone back inside. I use a rotating disk on both ends to manage the entrance and air circulation.

    I enjoy it. I did have one bee fly four inches and sting my hand in the red light, so its not foolproof, I just keep the light source further away now and no more stings.

    They will not survive in that weather outside.

    Best of luck Dave
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,058

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    P.S. To make bees feel at home, you need brood comb and a queen. Did you see the queen? Is she in the box? No queen and your bees are doomed.

    I should say that it doesn't have to be dark in your basement as long as the box is bee-tight with air circulation. Only needs to be dark when you open the top to feed. HTH
    Last edited by Lburou; 12-25-2013 at 10:43 AM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    buffalo.mn usa
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    8

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    I did find the the queen .she looked good as far as I could tell. I did get some of the combs hung back up .I hunt so I already have a red light .can I just put a screen over the entrance hole and like you said open it at night to feed .thank goodness it's winter I have a lot to learn before spring
    thanks Lee

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    buffalo.mn usa
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    8

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    should I feed them honey or not some say yes others say no .I have a salt water reef tank and it's the same there everyone has a different option. I just want what's best for the bees it's not there fault they were in the wall, it's mine .

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,195

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    Zebby, not honey. The reason is that honey can carry diseases that do not hurt humans, but infect bees. Also honey is expensive compared to sugar water. Make a thick sugar solution for them. If you search 2:1 sugar solution with the search button at the top you should find out how. That will give them enough energy to start with. You can feed them by rigging up a mason jar with a few holes in it and invert it. If you can rig it up over the bees, they will find it and suck it down.
    If you have any pieces of comb left save them - search "bait hives". If a swarm moved into your wall there is a good chance that there will be more swarms in the future, and you may catch more bees if these don't make it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,058

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    If you know the source of the honey is a hive that is disease free, its okay to feed it to your bees. The honey you buy at the store is a risk you don't need to take. 2:1 is the way to go, like Adrian said.

    Screen over the entrance is probably okay. You have to make it up as you go along, adapt and improvise.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
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    363

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    If you do keep them in the basement I'd make sure to follow one line of advice in Lburou's previous post. Take them outside when you have days above 45 F or so. They need to fly in order to relieve themselves (poop). Just take them out and put them in the sun and remove the screen if you use. Go back after dark and re-screen and bring in.

    If you have a warm snap of several days at these temps just leave them out. If you've fed them they will handle nights in the upper 20s just fine.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Gaithersburg, MD
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    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    Double post. Sorry

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    Zebby, if you had to estimate, what volume of bees are you talking about? A cup, a quart, a softball sized cluster, a football sized cluster?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    buffalo.mn usa
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    8

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    Adrian i made a top bar hive for them and it s more than half full.when i opened the wall .the hive was 15 inces wide by 6 ft long and 6 inches thick.the bees came down about half way.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    If you will PM your address to me I'll send you one of thos circular disks that allow you to manage the entrance in just one moment. Sounds like that many bees will run out of food quickly unless you solve the challenge to feed them.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,195

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    That is good. The reason I was asking is because, given enough resources, a larger colony is more likely to survive than a smaller colony, and has more momentum in the spring.
    Did you have a bee suit? Were you stung much?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    buffalo.mn usa
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    8

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    Adrian no bee suit just moved slow and steady.got stung a dozen times when i forgot to not scrach the itch.which were the bees under my clothes.i did find if you don t remove the stinger they itch more.i have a lot to learn .bee suit ordered.ihavent decided if i ll make my own smoker yet.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    buffalo.mn usa
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    8

    Default Re: found bees in my wall

    i did start with sugar water.do i just kepp it full all the time.

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