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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Redlands, CA USA
    Posts
    101

    Default "Run away" split of top bar hive

    My top bar hive is in a pretty good location for forage and is expanding rapidly--never seemed particularly aggressive. Thought it might be wise to take out a few combs for a walk away split, but it turned into a run away split. I had smoked them, and went through the entire hive comb by comb, trying to make sure I had pulled out some eggs and young larvae, as the cloud of angry bees grew. Got stung a few times but I have a pretty good tolerance for bee venom. Got all the bars back in place, but the bees stayed after me for about 25 yards and several minutes until I sprayed windex on the most persistent guards.

    This is my treatment free feral swarm experiment though I have culled drone combs twice. Mite load was 3.5% on a washing, and lots of mites in the drone larvae. I'm now convinced I have some Africanized influence. When my newly ordered Ultra Breeze arrives, I'm going to try and requeen, but euthanasia seems reasonable based on this experience. There is probably over 100 lbs of honey in the hive, any suggestions for salvaging all that organic goodness if I decide I'm raising a monster?

    Going to Tuscon next weekend for some ideas.
    9 months, 12 colonies, TF (so far)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: "Run away" split of top bar hive

    Mean bees are mean bees...I give a couple of chances, then re queen with gentle stock. If you want, you could order two queens and make your split using one of your store bought queens. After they go through a couple of brood cycles, go and harvest your honey. The hard part of this suggestion is finding the old queen whole being attacked by mean bees. Try to re queen on a warm day with light wind, early afternoon, during a flow. That way a lot of the old foragers will be out of the hive. Not sure when your flow starts in CA. Oh yeah..use smoke
    16 y, 30 hives ULBN, treat when needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Redlands, CA USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: "Run away" split of top bar hive

    Kind of a constant low flow where there is water, as in irrigated plots. Where I live, we haven't had a good rainfall since I started with bees...
    9 months, 12 colonies, TF (so far)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: "Run away" split of top bar hive

    You were messing with the brood --- bees don't like that much. If you were stung, the guards are smelling that and will follow. I would not assume the hive is too hot, based on your commentary. Redlands being near the San Bernadino's will have African, but these could also be legitimately irritated bees. It is also a droughty spring and the bees sense the dearth.

    African bees will boil out of hive and form a "bathtub" ring 3" or so thick around the top of the box. Unless you see that boiling --- every bee alerts and runs out of the hive -- just assume grumpy European tourists.

    Breaking down a big hive into smaller units will calm them down and will let you requeen the bulk of them. If the original queen still makes unpleasantly hot bees, consider shaking them through a queen excluder nailed to bottom of box (to isolate the queen).

    It is possible to fumigate a hive with Dry Ice and kill/anesthetize the bees with no residue. Dry Ice is heavier than air and sinks down. I would consider that step an extreme one, based on the current description.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: "Run away" split of top bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jfb58 View Post
    My top bar hive is in a pretty good location for forage and is expanding rapidly--never seemed particularly aggressive. Thought it might be wise to take out a few combs for a walk away split, but it turned into a run away split. I had smoked them, and went through the entire hive comb by comb, trying to make sure I had pulled out some eggs and young larvae, as the cloud of angry bees grew. Got stung a few times but I have a pretty good tolerance for bee venom. Got all the bars back in place, but the bees stayed after me for about 25 yards and several minutes until I sprayed windex on the most persistent guards.

    This is my treatment free feral swarm experiment though I have culled drone combs twice. Mite load was 3.5% on a washing, and lots of mites in the drone larvae. I'm now convinced I have some Africanized influence. When my newly ordered Ultra Breeze arrives, I'm going to try and requeen, but euthanasia seems reasonable based on this experience. There is probably over 100 lbs of honey in the hive, any suggestions for salvaging all that organic goodness if I decide I'm raising a monster?

    Going to Tuscon next weekend for some ideas.

    REDLANDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THATS MY HOMETOWN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    just moved here 3 years ago. ohhh what i wouldnt do for some cucas right about now hahahah. Hows things in Sonkist city ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Redlands, CA USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: "Run away" split of top bar hive

    Good place to raise kids, of course they wind up calling it Deadlands. Probably hasn't changed too much in the last 3 (or 60) years. Great for 9 months out of the year. I spent four years in St. Louis--it is nice to get seasons.

    Citrus is starting to get hit by the asian psyllid, but a lot of groves had already given way to housing developments. There are a couple of big time commercial beekeepers, but no clubs within an hour drive.
    9 months, 12 colonies, TF (so far)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: "Run away" split of top bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jfb58 View Post
    Good place to raise kids, of course they wind up calling it Deadlands. Probably hasn't changed too much in the last 3 (or 60) years. Great for 9 months out of the year. I spent four years in St. Louis--it is nice to get seasons.

    Citrus is starting to get hit by the asian psyllid, but a lot of groves had already given way to housing developments. There are a couple of big time commercial beekeepers, but no clubs within an hour drive.
    yeah i know all too well about the citrus disappearing back home i went to the old sonkist building church (calvary chapel) most of my life...well on and off. we know how that goes lol. i remember being a kid and having massive orange wars in the groves. what beautiful place to grow up. most of us native redlanders have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. being from beverly hills of the inland empire hahahaha. my wife and i always dreamed of having one of those old victorian houses when we got older. well we did...its just not in Redlands...too expensive their.

    it has changed quite a lot though since i grew up there. from a small town to a bigger city with more problems. id say it lost a lot of its homey charm in the mid 80's like alot of small town so cal did. it will always be what i think of when i think of home.

    blessings and have a bean,rice and cheese for me from Cuca's !

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