had to walk away mid transfer
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  1. #1
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    Apr 2017
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    Fairview, North Carolina, USA
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    Default had to walk away mid transfer

    I got my nucs on Sunday, but due to weather, wasn't able to transfer them until today. I got 1 hive transfered no problem. The second hive was much more aggressive. I was stung once, smoked the sting, but they seemed even more agitated. I got 3 frames moved. After trying to smoke them some more, and spray them with Honey B Healthy (which really pissed them off), I ended up just putting the lid on the hive and the nuc and walking away. I think we all need a but to calm down. This is my first experience keeping. Any advice?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Forsyth, Missouri
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    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Sounds like they might be Queen-less?
    Suite up good and take some time to look for the Queen.
    Good luck
    Zone 6b 1400'

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    1,114

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    I've thrown away my Honey B Healthy. Every time I tried using it, it caused a robbing frenzy.
    Prepare yourself to deal with the that.
    Get that transfer done asap.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Fairview, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Got it done. DIdn't shake out the box, left it open next to the hive. The chased me right back to the house. Phew!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    505

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    stupid question, but since this is your first go around: they werent confined in the nuc box from sunday until today, right? the nucs should have been placed at the new hives location on sunday and bees should have been allowed to fly.
    aside from that, they will be least pissed if you do the transfer in the middle of a calm, warm day. also, dont over-smoke them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,371

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Only one sting and you had to walk away Never bail out on what you are trying to accomplish (unless it's an emergency), because in my experience its ten times worst when you come back to finish. My advice would be try to stay calm, try not to squish bees, don't over smoke and/or spray them, because as your new learning experience, it only makes them more irritated.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    WaKeeney, KS, USA
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    156

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Harnessing the exhilaration has been a tough climb for me. My installs last year were easy and my bees didnt get pissy until August. They are mellow now and I can tell that my confidence in their handling has made a big difference already. You did good.

    I havent read anything positive about how the bees react to Honey B Healthy.

    Are these Italians?
    2nd year with bees. 3 Top Bar hives in my back yard.
    Zone 5b/6a. 'Crackpipe' OAV.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    I've thrown away my Honey B Healthy. Every time I tried using it, it caused a robbing frenzy.
    Prepare yourself to deal with the that.
    Good choice!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta 21 View Post
    I havent read anything positive about how the bees react to Honey B Healthy.
    Only negatives, and plenty of them.

    https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00891800/document

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    5,525

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    One sting? Golly. Did you imagine you wouldn't get stung? Because you will be, and probably, regularly and often as long as you keep bees. If that's a deal breaker, then it's best to stop now and get those bugs under someone else's care.

    Stings don't ever really stop hurting in the instant, but your body will most likely begin to adjust to the venom load, so you won't have any reactions. (Unless you are already allergic, or become so, then all bets are off.)

    If this isn't acceptable, then you need take up another hobby. Beekeeping is certainly not for everybody.

    When you closed up the two pieces of equipment and walked away, you isolated one group from the queen, which would only increase their agitation. Hopefully you got the queen in the hive on the second try and she's not still in the now-open nuc box. She won't fly- or likely even walk - into the hive and the nurse bees won't leave the frames of brood, so you, and the bees, would be in a pickle.





    Enj.
    Last edited by enjambres; 04-25-2017 at 01:12 PM.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Fairview, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    I should probably clarify that it wasn't the sting that made me walk away. Even before opening the nuc, I could instantly tell that they were not going to be as easy to deal with as the first nuc. The first nuc moved away from where I was trying to handle the frames, and were sweet enough that I could even do a cursory look at each frame looking for the marked queen (didn't find her).

    Now that I've got it all done, and I've had some time to reflect, I can pin point some key mistakes that I did (besides the very obvious one of quitting in the middle of the install).
    First, I had taped up the entrance reducer because before getting the bees, I had wasps taking up residence inside. I forgot to untape it before closing the lids. SO half of the hive was absolutley isolated from the queen (I feel like a giant jack ass)

    While working it, my anxiety would get a little high so I would step back for about 30 seconds or so to try and recompose myself. That gave them more time to get pissed at me and made the whole experience worse and longer than needed be for all of us ladies involved.

    In the end, I got the last two frames moved over, but ended up not being nearly as gentle as any of us would have liked. A stubborn bunch they are! I didn't shake the box either, but instead left it open next to the hive. I will go down in just a bit to double check the box.

    I came into this hobby knowing I was going to screw up, get stung, and still needing a lot to learn (even after years of reading, studying, classes, videos etc). But I didn't expect to screw up so early and so badly.

  12. #11
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    Apr 2017
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    Fairview, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    stupid question, but since this is your first go around: they werent confined in the nuc box from sunday until today, right? the nucs should have been placed at the new hives location on sunday and bees should have been allowed to fly.
    aside from that, they will be least pissed if you do the transfer in the middle of a calm, warm day. also, dont over-smoke them.
    THey were placed right next to their prospective hives, and I opened up their entrances right when I got home. 1 nuc box had a whole cut out for a jar feeder, so I fed them 1:1 with some Honey B Healthy mixed in. This was the hive that was highly aggravated today. Do you think the honey B healthy could be a factor as well?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    1,114

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    get rid of the HBH.

  14. #13
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    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
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    696

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Welcome to BS and welcome to BeeKeeping jjmoll
    This will be one of the worst experiences you'll have It will probably get better from here.....Some of my best Learning experiences I've had, I got stung like 50 times...LOL...You can either apply more $ or more GRIT ...and I know you'll be fine ....Seriously though , the bees will fix a lot of beekeeper error, and you'll fall in love with them

    ==McBee7==

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,753

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    jjmoll, the Honey B could have been attracting robbers, which could make them defensive. I haven't used it, but I would agree with the rest who write to get rid of it. There's a lot of robber stories here with that stuff. Watch for that now that you used it.

    Don't be concerned about your error in leaving in the middle of the project. Bees can be intimidating, but you"ll soon enough learn to like the attention from them. It doesn't sound like they wanted you dead, just wanted you gone. Just wait till that time comes that they want you dead.

  16. #15
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
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    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Were you suited up? I know some people don't wear a suit, but when installing bees (especially bees you haven't met before), it would be a good idea to be properly dressed. Even a nice hive can be grumpy when you are moving them from one home to another. But when you are suited up and can do the work without (too much) worry from stings, you can get it done at one time. I doubt you caused any serious issues by leaving them divided, but I can imagine it didn't help their attitude. The bees without a queen were probably not thrilled.

    And as a previous poster said, as a beekeeper you will get stung. But there is no shame in wearing protective clothing and trying to prevent stings. I wear a bee jacket with veil every single time I am getting in the bees. I love bees, but don't really enjoy being stung. I'll readily admit that!

  17. #16
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    Apr 2017
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    Fairview, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by StacieM View Post
    Were you suited up? I know some people don't wear a suit, but when installing bees (especially bees you haven't met before), it would be a good idea to be properly dressed. Even a nice hive can be grumpy when you are moving them from one home to another. But when you are suited up and can do the work without (too much) worry from stings, you can get it done at one time. I doubt you caused any serious issues by leaving them divided, but I can imagine it didn't help their attitude. The bees without a queen were probably not thrilled.

    And as a previous poster said, as a beekeeper you will get stung. But there is no shame in wearing protective clothing and trying to prevent stings. I wear a bee jacket with veil every single time I am getting in the bees. I love bees, but don't really enjoy being stung. I'll readily admit that!
    I had on my "farming jeans" which are very baggy and a long sleeve shirt with a sweater on top. I finally doubled up on my garden gloves to move the last 2 frames. And of course the veil! I have been thinking that a bee suit may help me gain confidence, but I honestly don't think they could have gotten me through my layers. I'm certain they were stinging my clothes, releasing pheromones and making my job more difficult as a result. But that was just one factor. I was down observing them today, and they seem happy and bringing in lots of pollen.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Litchfield, Ct, USA
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    222

    Default Re: had to walk away mid transfer

    I'm new too, but you seem to be doubting your protective gear. And if you need to double up on garden gloves than you should probably get better gloves. Get some real protective gear and start from there. I'm just trying to get up the nerve to go to nitrile gloves. If I got stung in the hands before downsizing I'd probably be a lot less inclined to downsize. I had bees covering me (queenless), but had enough confidence in my protective gear that I carried on.

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