Drifting problem with new splits, new location
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Moving new splits to my home yard, i'm losing bees. These are Italians placed close together with robber screens. I want to keep them close so i can put them against each other for wintering later.
    The last split (last week) had a good number of bees, but not so much now. I didn't want to go moving, adding bees, or anything right now as it just had a mated queen released in the last couple days.
    I still have 5 hives that will need to be moved here for winter, and two of them are new splits that i wanted to get back here at the house soon to keep a better eye on them.
    Putting them on the same stand next to the other hives is concerning me but i really want to keep them close for overwintering reasons...
    I had put yellow paint on the last nuc that i brought home, but it doesn't seem to have helped. The other nucs on the same stand also have robber screens so i figured they would not drift since it's just as hard to get in them but the bee numbers are down none the less....
    Frustrating, would like some advice here. I know i need them, but these robber screens seem like a problem for the bees, they act so lost and have such a hard time getting back in...
    Thanks

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,768

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Not sure of your specific question but drifting will have one population decreasing while another increases. I've not found robber screens to decrease bees but find the bees acclimate quicker if the screens are installed later in the evening to force reorientation the next day (always some that are a little slow on the uptake).
    Assuming the new nucs were primarily nurse bees and installed just prior to being moved, the numbers are reduced during the day as many convert to foragers and go about their daylight business. Check toward evening and see if the numbers look closer to right.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    Not sure of your specific question but drifting will have one population decreasing while another increases. I've not found robber screens to decrease bees but find the bees acclimate quicker if the screens are installed later in the evening to force reorientation the next day (always some that are a little slow on the uptake).
    Assuming the new nucs were primarily nurse bees and installed just prior to being moved, the numbers are reduced during the day as many convert to foragers and go about their daylight business. Check toward evening and see if the numbers look closer to right.
    Thanks, thinking now, i don't really know what kind of answer i was expecting. Just got frustrated that i lose bees to other hives when i bring them home.
    A month ago i made two splits - one had a lot more bees than the other. I brought them home and the strongest one became the weakest hive i have within a day or two. It is still the weakest in the yard but now has built up enough that i think i can get by without adding brood or bees.

    So when i brought this new nuc home the other day i got concerned right away when it started to look like a ghost town just like the other did. I went out and checked it this morning though and it does still have about 3 frames of bees. I found the accepted queen and put the lid back on and moved the hive over closer to the one i thought they were going to, thinking that maybe i could get some to come back over. lol I guess putting it close to other hives on the same stand is asking for it.
    Well tonight i went and watched for a while and there was some coming and going so maybe it will be ok. I read somewhere about using objects like a limb or something, maybe i should try that as well. I got two more to bring back the end of this week and i really would like for the foragers in them to stay put...

    To be honest i really don't know what i'm seeing most of the time. I go out there and watch one minute and everything looks fine. Go back out in a hour and see all kinds of ruckus going on in front of a hive - buzzing all around, clustering on a part of a robber screen, acting frantic, etc.
    Then go back out later and everything will be fine or the same thing will be happening to a different hive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,768

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Any foragers transferred in setting up a split don't stick around long unless the hive is moved immediately. After I transfer frames with bees and shake in additional nurse bees it seems like more bees than when I check later, I've always attributed to better organization on their part; ie a pile-o-bees looks to be more than when everyone finds their nitch in the hive and spreading out to do their jobs.
    Not sure why they would be drifting as you describe since indicated they have a queen. Are you sure all the buzzing around and clustering on the screen isn't orientation flight and/or light bearding? If the nucs are drifting, are you seeing corresponding population increases.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,515

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    You can easily move them closer to each for wintering later on, so close proximity right now isn't that important now. You can shift them 3 - 4 feet in one go as you consolidate them near close out.

    Try facing them in opposite directions, i.e. alternating the colonies one facing north and the next one facing south, for the time being. That gives more definition/privacy to each colony's space and may help with drifting until they get really fixated on their new location. It takes me 9 days to rotate them around to all face the same direction when you're ready to get the squared away for winter. (I move them about 60 degrees, three time, on three day intervals. In a pinch I will do 90 degrees, twice.)

    Tilting a barrier in front of each hive after the initial move from another yard forces them to reorient - I use plastic political signs, and if you make the split elsewhere (more than three miles away) and then allow them to collect their foragers and displaced bees afterward, the populations should remain steady in your new location.

    If your other location is close by it's possible the foragers are returning there rather than going to another hive in their new location. In that case you need to use a left-behind box each evening starting the evening of the move to capture the confused bees. (See Michael Bush's website re moving hives.)

    You can also try swapping the places of two hives to balance the relative forager strength.

    Nancy

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    Are you sure all the buzzing around and clustering on the screen isn't orientation flight and/or light bearding? If the nucs are drifting, are you seeing corresponding population increases.
    I think that is what's going on. I check and never see any fighting, never damaged stores inside hive. We have a good morning flow right now and i was just out there and none of the 7 hives are having a problem finding their way back in.
    In the example i posted from the split a month ago it was a very clear reduction in bees, a couple other established did seem to pick up speed but were already going pretty good so was hard to tell.
    The new split i just assume will take the same path but could be wrong and hope so. Will make some adjustments this time though.
    Thanks for your feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    You can easily move them closer to each for wintering later on, so close proximity right now isn't that important now. You can shift them 3 - 4 feet in one go as you consolidate them near close out.

    You can also try swapping the places of two hives to balance the relative forager strength.

    Nancy
    Thanks Nancy, I took for granted that it would be possible to move them further away and work them back in and have plenty of time to do so. I will try that with the two coming back friday.
    The current split of concern maybe i should swap places or just slide them both down. Looks like it's down to just a few foragers and that they have already adjusted to the scent of the other hive.... Reason i say they are only 4 inches apart now that i slid it down, and for example i was out there this morning and some would drop down the robber screen and into the new split and fly back out and go over to the other nuc. Pretty consistently. Did see a couple go in and stay though.
    Really don't know being new to this, but it seems like maybe the longer a bee may be accustomed to the scent of the hive the better the chances it would not drift? Maybe that is why as the nurse bees - which have been in the hive longer, graduate to foragers - are better likely to stay with the hive and gets established that way?
    Just thinking about all this.....

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,453

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Where are you moving them from? Is the location nearby or something? I've never moved splits into a yard and seen them drift out if they've been moved far enough to not return home.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Perhaps the bees in the splits you are bringing home have older nurse bees and foragers in them. They can tend to drift to stronger queen right hives. As they come back from foraging, they are wanting to find their old queen right hive and the queen is missing, the hive does not smell like it is a queen right hive, so they may drift to better smelling hives next to them. The younger bees in the hives should stay put after the move.

    Also as JRG13 says, how far are you moving them? I'd say if it's less than five miles you may lose some back to the original yard they came from.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Where are you moving them from?
    40 miles away at our property

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Perhaps the bees in the splits you are bringing home have older nurse bees and foragers in them. They can tend to drift to stronger queen right hives. As they come back from foraging, they are wanting to find their old queen right hive and the queen is missing, the hive does not smell like it is a queen right hive, so they may drift to better smelling hives next to them. The younger bees in the hives should stay put after the move.
    I'm new at this but that does seem to be what it looks like when watching them. I made these splits right at daylight so as to get as many bees including foragers when i made them to give them a strong start, so maybe they were attracted to the more established queenright hives next door?
    Noticed the nuc next to it had a lot of bearding this evening which it hasn't been doing so i popped the lid and it is now loaded with bees. So much that i put another box on them.
    Then i looked in the recent split and it still has bees but nothing like what it came home with. Forgot to put oil in the bottom tray and there were larva all over in it. It was getting dark but i assume it is hive beetle larva. Was doing treatments tonight so i didn't take the time to dig any further. Did leave the mite board out in hopes it will catch some beetles right away.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Quote Originally Posted by cbay View Post
    ...I'm new at this but that does seem to be what it looks like when watching them. I made these splits right at daylight so as to get as many bees including foragers when i made them to give them a strong start, so maybe they were attracted to the more established queenright hives next door?
    Noticed the nuc next to it had a lot of bearding this evening which it hasn't been doing so i popped the lid and it is now loaded with bees. So much that i put another box on them.
    Then i looked in the recent split and it still has bees but nothing like what it came home with...
    Yea, I think the older bees are drifting to the stronger queen right hives close by. So long as you still have bees enough in the splits to attend the brood and make cells, then you'll be fine. You can always add a frame or two of sealed brood to boost, after the new queens get laying and established.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    I don't like a ghost town situation either. To get around this issue I put the strong home yard hive to a separate
    location. Then put the moved hive in the strong hive location. This way all the foragers from
    the strong hive will be absorb by the moved hive even though some original foragers went back to their old location. Do not worry as the strong hive that got moved will issue their own foragers (oriented) in no time. I got mine oriented in late afternoon after the parent hive got moved 2 feet away facing the same direction in the morning. This is just one tactic out of many to avoid a ghost town hive situation.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by beepro; 08-04-2017 at 02:51 AM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    I don't like a ghost town situation either. To get around this issue I put the strong home yard hive to a separate
    location. Then put the moved hive in the strong hive location. This way all the foragers from
    the strong hive will be absorb by the moved hive even though some original foragers went back to their old location. Do not worry as the strong hive that got moved will issue their own foragers (oriented) in no time. I got mine oriented in late afternoon after the parent hive got moved 2 feet away facing the same direction in the morning. This is just one tactic out of many to avoid a ghost town hive situation.
    I was afraid to do this beings i was introducing a queen and didn't know if this would overwhelm the hive or something and make acceptance go down? Two of the last three were not accepted - as i didn't realize things get tougher when the flow stops....
    But now that i have the one weak split that is now accepted i guess i could go ahead and do this?
    Thanks for sharing Beepro

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Queens are easier to introduce successfully into hives or nucs that are not overly strong. I think you did fine Cbay, not all the bees drifted away, you had some three frames worth on one at least that you said up above. That's plenty to introduce a queen. After she's laying good, then you can start moving in frames of emerging brood from your strong hives to help boost them up. That will give the queens younger bees to help her brood up more easily.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Dups!
    Last edited by beepro; 08-04-2017 at 07:02 PM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    At every attempt to boost a weak hive there is risk involved of killing the new queen or the
    bees are fighting with each other. I've attempted this tactic many times without killing the new laying queen. I can only
    do this when the queen is laying otherwise the virgin will be doomed for sure.
    To make it more effective I just moved the double deep 6' away facing the moved nuc hive. Put a temporary cover on
    the entrance. Now the returning foragers from the double deep have no where to go but in to the nuc hive. Don't put the nuc hive on the exact
    position of the moved strong hive because you want them to find their way into the nuc hive making them feel that way.
    If they fly directly into the nuc hive at the exact location then thinking that a foreign queen hive has invaded their space they
    will killed her if the queen is not strong enough or that they don't like her. So put the nuc at the side somewhat. After 2 day or when the foragers are used to the nuc hive then I will moved the double deep back next to the nuc hive on the same row. The second option is to put the about to
    emerged cap broods into the nuc hive without the attaching bees. These cap broods will be emerging about 2 day later to boost the hive population. To do this the weather must be warm enough not to cause the chilled broods at night time because not enough bees to cover them. Don't put any older bees attached otherwise your new queen will get balled for sure.


    Returning foragers to the nuc hive: Original deep in white space position next to nuc; double deep 6' away cover entrance w/gap; the nuc hive.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    About the queen introduction situation. I have a very strong queen she's been laying for 2 season now and still going strong. I tried to get rid of her in a
    little bee experiment by exposing her to 6 individual queen right nuc hives. None of the workers try to ball on her. Afraid that she might end up replacing the original queen, I took her out into her own nuc. Now you see that when the queen is very strong she will not be rejected by any bee. Every season just before winter sets in I will evaluate next year's production queens. Only the strong queens can overwinter better and brood up earlier than the rest. This way the strong queen genetics is ensured in my apiary. I mean why keep the weak queen if she will be rejected by the hive later on. Many don't know that a weak queen going into winter is the main cause of a failed hive when overwintering. So only keep the best one. Then next season your local bees will be stronger. After many years of natural selection you will have a hardier bee against the mites. Many cannot wait that long so they speed up this process with AI just like the you tube vids. Also, Michael Palmer on you tube has good infos on making a sustainable apiary. I learn a lot from his lectures and adopted his strategy to my own local bee environment. If you don't want to have anymore hive rejected queen issue, which is a big headache to me, then consider raising some good quality queens. Then again I use a half-frame cage queen method warp with a wire window screen. No delay in laying from day one!



    Nuc hive at 7pm absorbing all the original foragers:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    I use a half-frame cage queen method warp with a wire window screen. No delay in laying from day one!
    I like the idea of using one of them and can start to see the benefit i think. I have my two splits back at the house now (the ones that didn't accept), i used enjambre's suggestion to face them opposite way on this scenario and it appears to have helped - as there is coming and going much better than expected.

    On the acceptance: Foraging has went to a crawl around here. Rainy conditions with several inches coming for the weekend... So for now the new queens are sitting in the ups box in the house waiting for better conditions. Monday i plan to put them in and leave the cork over the candy for a few days. I put sugar syrup on them yesterday to help as well.

    Little crazy in the yard right now, a lot going on for a newbie...

    Thanks for all the feedback i really appreciate it. Wouldn't have a very good chance at some of this stuff without this site.

    Chris

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Drifting problem with new splits, new location

    To take advantage of the rainy weather I would take all of them
    back to the home yard. It is better than doing it at good weather because they
    will not fly. Put a small branch on the hive entrance so they can reorient when the weather is clear. You have to time it out so that there is 2-3 day of rains.
    The half-frame queen cage is just a wire #8 window screen taped to fit over one side of an empty drawn frame. If you can find a frame with some nectar and pollen to use then even better. Put some attendants 20-30 with the queen. You have to put the big fat young nurse bees so that they will not try to kill her. The older bees will balled her if you put in the wrong type of bees. Any young nurse bees with a big fat abdomen will do as they are ready to feed the new queen. After the 4th days when the eggs hatched then gradually crack a small hole (one bees space only) between the screen and frame to allow the bees to mingle. Try not to get the bees too excited in this process as excited bees can balled the queen too. They're simply too happy!
    This way you don't have to wait for the rains to stop. Simply open the hive and put the queen frame in the middle of the hive. Less than 5 minutes will not harm the hive.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •