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Thread: Kroger Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Roanoke, VA
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    1,520

    Default Kroger Bees

    Got a call about a Kroger that was being torn down for a WalMart to move in that had bees in it. It looks like the wall was knocked down and then the rubble was piled up against the wall. I only found one 3 inch in diameter piece of comb, with a little capped brood in it. No other signs of the hive, but probably about 2 or 3 pounds of bees. On the outside of the building about 20 feet in the air is some bees clustered near what I assume is the entrance. I guess what happened was the wall came down and the bees that I got in my box were nurse bees in the hives that managed to escape. The bees on the wall must be workers that are either at the old entrance, or they are close to the old entrance. Too dangerous for me to get up there with a ladder due to the rubble below.

    It is possible that there is a big hive still in the wall, but i will have to wait for them to clear out in front of the building before I will be able to take a look.

    I shook most of the bees from the blocks, at first it only looked like a tiny amount of bees, but as I pulled the blocks out there were a lot of them in the little piles beneath the blocks.

    The small cluster on the wall must be foragers coming home.
    IMAG1271.jpg

    Some of the bees are walking up from the ground into the box.
    Walkers.jpg

    I made a bridge to allow them to walk from the rubble to the box.
    bridge.jpg

    The were not to bad when I first got there. When I shook them in the box they immediately started fanning like crazy and marched in. Only one piece of comb in the box I brought with me. I probably spent about 45 minutes with them. When I was ready to leave they started head butting me a bit, not sure if maybe some of the foragers had found the box and are defending it or what.

    I will check it in a few hours. I doubt there is a queen. I will probably just shake them in the yard in front of a hive, I won't know for a day or so if there is enough to even bother with a paper combine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    Sounds like you made the best of a bad situation.

    Shane

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hiltons,Virginia
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    great job on the bees that nuc box looks familiar.


    poor valley bee farm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
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    988

    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhoto View Post
    great job on the bees that nuc box looks familiar.


    poor valley bee farm
    Those are some great nuc boxes. Wish I had a few more just like them. The moving screen is icing on the cake!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
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    1,520

    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhoto View Post
    great job on the bees that nuc box looks familiar.


    poor valley bee farm
    Ha! Good eye!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Roanoke, VA
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    1,520

    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    One of the reasons I grabbed that box was the moving screen!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Roanoke, VA
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    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    Quick update, I wasn't sure what to do with the bees. I knew it was a decent amount of bees, but I needed to go through them to see what I had. I figured if it was not as much as I thought I would shake them out or do a paper combine. If it was a good amount I would try to give them a shot and purchase a queen. If I was going to keep them I wanted to grab a frame of brood from another hive. It was hotter than hades and I had family stuff to take care of so I didn't get in there until about 7:30. I figured I should at least do a quick look to see if there was a queen in there. Low and behold:

    2014-07-22 19.31.46.jpg

    Sorry it isn't a great picture, but daylight is fading and they are in the shade. I think that she is pretty young, she doesn't look damaged at all. The bees had pulled 6 very small piece of comb down from the two adjacent frames. I quickly put together a few frames and went into one of my other hives. I pull out the first frame in that had a little brood on it, knocked of the bees and gave it to the hive. I'll have to put together a feeder for them, I'll probably just use a bottle feeder on top. The funny thing was the one frame that I put in the box yesterday was a medium frame that I had pulled out a few weeks ago when we were setting up a starter hive for grafting. This was a pollen frame, but the one side was mainly empty. I should be able to go in on Saturday, if so I may get lucky and see some eggs in the hive. I need to pull out another frame of drawn comb with some capped brood to give them, I will get that from another hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    Great work! Thanks for saving these bees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,520

    Default Re: Kroger Bees

    Mostly luck. The upshot was it didn't take very long. I would have loved to have been able to save some brood, but it would have been a mess since it would have been in the cavity of the blocks.

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