Greetings from the Chihuahuan Desert, and a n00b question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Hudspeth, Texas, USA
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    2

    Default Greetings from the Chihuahuan Desert, and a n00b question

    Total n00b here. We are located in the Chihuahuan Desert about 60 miles east of El Paso, TX.

    Found a swarm that decided to take residence in my pumphouse. It's not just a swarm becauase they are building comb.

    My wife and I have often toyed with the idea of keeping bees. So, we've decided to take the plunge. We have to wait until we can purchase our supplies, so we are just leaving them be(e) until we are ready to move them.

    Of course, this means that our first exposure will be capturing a wild hive as a cutout. I have always learned best from being thrown into the fire, so I guess that's how it will be! Lol.

    Thankfully, they are not aggressive. I have been able to go into that pumphouse unassailed several times with absolutely no protective gear at all (no hat, tee shirt and shorts). Of course, they are just setting up shop in there so there's not a lot to defend yet.

    QUESTION:

    Since the colony is weak (it's a rather small number of bees), I'm thinking of letting them stay in the pumphouse until spring and then moving them. I was thinking to feed them now so they can build up in the space they are in and then cut them out later.

    Would it make more sense to cut them out NOW, and feed them heavily so they can overwinter in a hive box or leave them in the (partially heated, and insulated) pumphouse until spring?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
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    4,141

    Default Re: Greetings from the Chihuahuan Desert, and a n00b question

    Welcome to Bee Source. Just my opinion but I would leave them alone until Spring, depending on the humidity level in the pump house. If it's fairly dry, they should not have any problems surviving. Feeding would help them survive Winter. Good luck with them. I'm sure you'll get additional advice.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Hudspeth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Greetings from the Chihuahuan Desert, and a n00b question

    I put a bowl of white sugar out there. Not really a great place to put a liquid near them.

    What else can I do to keep them fed and happy through the winter?
    Last edited by 2twisty; 10-16-2016 at 07:21 PM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Greetings from the Chihuahuan Desert, and a n00b question

    When you say heated pump house, how warm are we talking? If it's really warm the bees might use more food and try to raise brood all winter, causing them to use more food than normal. Usually there is a brood less period until late winter, then the queen starts laying again as it gets closer to spring and the build up for the early nectar flows.

    If you have a place for a quart jar in the pump house, you could punch small holes in the lid, balance the jar of syrup on a couple of pieces of wood where the bees can get to the lid, and feed 1:1 or 2:1 (sugar to water ratio) syrup. I would use 2:1 syrup this late in the year, less processing for the bees to get a finished product. You would have to heat the water to get the extra sugar to dissolve, but 2:1 would get them bulked up faster. Search this site for additional info on feeding syrup, if you need additional info.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    10,025

    Default Re: Greetings from the Chihuahuan Desert, and a n00b question

    Welcome!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    [email protected]

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