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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Walker, LA
    Posts
    21

    Default Ferral bees in old water heater

    I went up to S Miss. Where a workmate had an old water heater with a hive. I've brought it home and am trying to do something with it.

    I put some PVC pipes in the openings. The intent is to get them used to entering hive thru the pipe for a couple weeks. So far they r not liking it. Will give them tomorrow to figure it out. If they still are not entering thru the pipe I will have to figure out a plan B.

    If they do continue to enter hive thru pipe, I will drill hole in side of a langstroth hive and place the pipe in the hole and plug the other.

    The intent is to make them work so hard to enter exit hive that they will start building on the foundation of the new hive and not try to enter the water heater/old hive. Here are some pics. Any advice is greatly appreciated as I am a complete NewBee! Pardon the pun








  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,485

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    You can mesh over whatever tube your not going to use for ventilation and put a hogan trap on the other. Make the tube as short as possible, I wouldn't plug it, the black drum has to be hot in summer.

    If you don't have access to frames of brood for hogan trap, I maybe cut it open, the drums are thick and alot of work
    Last edited by burns375; 04-06-2014 at 06:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    I would break out the sawzall and start banding comb into frames.
    John Sampson-Tucker County, WV
    14 hives - All cutouts and swarms

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Walker, LA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Didn't consider ventilation. Good idea about the mesh. There is a 3rd plug and the heater element that can be accessed for ventilation. I have it in full shade currently hope that will address the temp issues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    I have always wanted to try drumming bees out and here is the perfect opportunity. Take pictures or video if you can, good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Walker, LA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    The metal on The heater is pretty thick. Am afraid if I start cutting it would be too traumatic for the queen. Don't want to lose her as there is no back up

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,833

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Put a trap on it and take 3 or 4 colonies from it each year. Good way to build up your hive count or sell some nuc hives to help pay for your beekeeping.

    E-mail me and i will send you a document that shows, step by step, how to trap them and it has photos of traps in progress. cchoganjr@scrtc.com

    This will be an easy one.

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Walker, LA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Checked on them this PM and they were really struggling to get thru that little pipe. I felt sorry for the little girls with the legs full of pollin.

    I set up the cradle with the langstroth nice and plum. They are already checking it out.

    I cut the pipe shorter from 8" to about 2.5 ". This might ease their struggle in and out.

    Got to get a buddy over to pick the hive up and place on the cradle.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,494

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Did he say how long the hive has been in there? That is pretty cool.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Walker, LA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    The guy who gave them to me has only known of them for 2 years. You can tell there is no paint remaining I would imagine it has been in the woods for at least 10 years. It wieghts about 150lbs (probably 100lbs of comb and bees).

    Outside of that there is no telling how long the bees have inhabited the heater.

    -D

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Toccoa, Ga
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Thanks for sharing! Very COOL!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Walker, LA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Came home today to discover no bees. What a disappointment. Not sure if these are Beatles tha destroyed the hive or the just left and the Beatles move in. Can someone throw me an educated guess?


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,485

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Sounds like they absconded. The comb could have fallen off inside. How close did you get the cylinder to its original position once moved, was it rotated at all. Next time trap at the original site. Beatles take of advantage of stressed and weakened hives. I've seen feen fallen tree hives bombed out with beetle larva, only takes 2 days for eggs to hatch, then its over. Rarely they are the source of a hives demise up north, just a slight nuisance, may be a different story down south.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,494

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    I was worried that it may have been rolled somewhat or bounced around too much in your move.

    I did a cutout of a booming hive last year, when I got into it is was full of hive beatles. They absconded and the SHB larva hatched, what a mess. That was nasty. I don't blame them for leaving.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,833

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    I say likely that they absconded due to too much activity, (moving, restricted entry, different orientation, etc), then the beetles took over.

    cchoganjr

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Walker, LA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    We put tape on the top of the heater to keep it right side up, but 2 hrs back of truck on I-state may have been too much. Guess I need to cap the holes on the heater so the beetles can't bother my new swarm I caught today.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,494

    Default Re: Ferral bees in old water heater

    Congrats on the swarm!

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