UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    Posts
    29

    Default UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Thanks to many of you for your advice on these hives. Things went fairly well even though we majorly pissed the bees off and took some of their heat! Some of the frames broke in one of the boxes, but we put it back on for lack of a better idea. We will come up with a plan to change a box or two out with new frames each year. The bottom board on one was clogged to the point of no access and one was nearly so. A one inch round hole was all they had for the most part. We built new bases with new bottom boards and included a queen excluder and honey super on each. Things look to be much improved. The hobby farmer who they belong to wanted to keep them to pollenate his extensive garden and orchard. We surely made some mistakes, but am mostly happy with the results. Please check out the you tube video. We lost some footage but I think it will give you a pretty good idea. Thanks again to all who contributed to my post back in July. You may pull up thread from July titled "Hives not opened in 10 years" to get the story.

    https://youtu.be/3VkqTIg1-uI You may have to cut and paste this or highlight and right-click.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,214

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Thanks for posting. I do have a few comments.

    1. Why did you reverse the boxes? I definitely would not have suggested that at this time of year. Bees create a structure in their hive and you totally messed it up. Reversing is something you can do early spring to manage swarming, not in late August. I'd be tempted to put it back in the original order.
    2. Get a smoker and learn how to use it! I'd have never attempted this without one.
    3. Those were strange inner covers. It appeared that they were flush on the top (no rim). Make sure to use standard equipment.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Why are you not using a smoker?
    -- Joe
    "Make your own decision and embrace the consequences." -- jwcarlson

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Should of called beestudent, he doesn't need a veil or a smoker!
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,875

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Quote Originally Posted by dynemd View Post
    Should of called beestudent, he doesn't need a veil or a smoker!
    Beestudent, Lmao

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,694

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Agree with above. Use a smoker to help calm the bees down. Even better, Michael Bush is in Nebraska and part of this forum. PM him. Definitely reverse the boxes to their original positions. Take off the queen excluder, at this point you don't need it. Keep an upper entrance for them will help with ventilation. Find local bee club and get help.
    Proverbs 16:24

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,834

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    I would have fumed the bees down onto new frames and drawn comb and into a new box and removed some of the honey. Don't see that you accomplished much.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,128

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Thanks for posting the video. Definitely use smoke next time! Just a suggestion, I would start swapping boxes in the spring when the cluster is probably in the top box. Put a new deep with frames on top and let them expand into it. You could then start taking off the bottom boxes, one at a time as they fill a new box on top. I know it's a lot of work shuffling the heavy boxes around but they would be a little lighter in the spring and not as many bees until they get built up. If the landowner will let you manage the hives, I'd put up 3 or 4 swarm trap hives about 50 to 100 yards away and harvest queen cells to expand on the "treatment free" genetics you have there.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,542

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    You guys have big cojones to work without smoke,,,, and no veil for the first one!


    Those are awesome bees!! Packed hives, lots of honey...... you hit the mother lode with those!
    I'd be chomping at the bit to raise some queens from those hives. At the very least a couple walk away splits, if they come through winter strong, and see what you end up with. Just be careful you don't go over board with them. Don't want to mess up a good thing.

    Great job!!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Well, I guess we have more to learn than I thought. Is it pretty much consensus that we should put the boxes back in order? Did use the smoker some that was not in video, but it seemed not to help so much. It was very windy and we thought it would be in vain. We will know better next time. Inner cover is vented one one end. Thanks for the responses even though it's a little embarrassing how little we know. Live and learn.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Everyone here started as a novice and learned as they went along. I know I sure did. Usually the bees will forgive your mistakes if not repeated too frequently. Did you notice that these bees took care of themselves pretty well for a long time?
    In medicine we have a saying "Primum non nocere" First, do no harm.
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Verde Valley, Arizona,United States
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    All in all I think you accomplished something. I had an experience of removing three hives from a place four boxes deep. missing frames wrong frames everything was a mess. sometimes you just dont have the stuff with you to do it the way it should be done. But mine were mean and had smoke thick. must be nice to have bees you can work with.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    That is why you have Bee Source to guide you through with
    so many eager and experienced keepers to help you out. What I like to do is
    pay the farmer to allow you to put the hive there. Then in the
    Spring time come back to graft some queens from this hive. Bring a
    bee buddy if you have one to help you out. And allow the virgin queens to mate in this local area.
    After 10 years many swarms are in the area for the good drone genetics. These mated queens will be valuable to sell or for your hive
    expansion next year. I'll bet they sell fast too.
    Now that you have more hives to spare I'm sure the farmer is happy to keep some for his flowers.
    Make nucs out of the mated queens. In the queen forum the sticky note will give you some information
    on queen rearing. Asking question is the only way to learn so no need to feel embarrassed about it. We all are new once before.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    South Western Ohio
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Interesting video. After 10 years, it would seem that bees do not need as much human involvement as we think
    Tim
    "Amateurs built the Ark; Professionals built the "Titanic".

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Today we went in after work and observed the hives and they were busy as ever. We decided to follow the advice here and put the hive boxes back in order. We were slow, careful, we smoked but there is no way not to make them very mad when we are that invasive. We scraped out a LOT of old burr comb. The bottom brood box was much lighter than the others with very little activity. We decided to leave it despite evidence of nests (mice?) in case the queen happened to be in there...which I doubt. There were also hundreds and hundreds of what I think we're cherry pits throughout the bottom two boxes. Strange. Anyway, I am hoping we made all right with the world again but can't help wonder if we did more harm. I plan to check on them in a week or so.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,542

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Those cherry pits were probably brought in by the mice or whatever rodent was living in there.
    You'll want to clean that stuff up in the spring. Maybe take that bottom box away and see what you can salvage from it come April or May, when you get some warm weather. That would be a good start to change out some of the old equipment and replace with new.

    They will likely be just fine without any 'help' from you for the winter; it looked as if they have a pretty good supply of honey.

    I wish I could find something like that here. We have had a very hard time of it with the mites.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Prestonsburg, Ky,USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Video cracked me up

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    It's a good thing we didn't film today's escapades. That would have cracked you up more, Mountain Man!

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    1,026

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    That young lady holding the camera- I think you should keep her.
    Bill

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    902

    Default Re: UPDATE: Hives Not Opened in 10 Years...Video Posted

    Thanks for posting this. You had 334 views just a few minute ago!
    Brent
    Zone 6a, Started April 2014

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