Any chance Queen was high in box
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Any chance Queen was high in box

    We are going to have at least 6 more weeks of below freezing weather. We thought we should check hives for food stores.

    Thought the best way was to just quickly lift up the quilt boxes and place sugar bricks on the top bars. They all started with sugar bricks in the fall.

    The clusters were above the top bars and attached to the canvas on the quilt boxes. We tried to be as careful as possible laying in the sugar bricks but itís hard when the bees are right there.

    I started wondering later if there was much of s chance the queen was up that high. Figured she should be down lower in the frames, but.......
    4a

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,527

    Default Re: Any chance Queen was high in box

    The queen can be anywhere, even on the inside of a telescoping top. Did they still have stores? Bees at the very top like that may be out of food.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Any chance Queen was high in box

    Under quilt boxes, bees found on the top of the frames may, or may not, be "out of food", particularly in well-insulated boxes. Mine all still weigh in excess of 120 lbs (down from an average 155), and the bees have been lounging about on the top of the frames since mid-January. The thermodynamics of bee clusters in insulated boxes, under QBs, are very different from "standard". And of course none of us are popping off QBs in very frigid weather, so they may not be there all the time.

    Adding bricks takes some patience and skill. I prop the QB up using my hive tool set in the front right corner (bent end down, blade up and wedged in the corner of the fabric of the QB. Having it stable is critical as if it smashes down, it won't be pretty. Then I reach a hand in with the brick and gently push the bees on the top of frames back a bit, and slowly and gently set it down in the center (or center of wherever they are). If I am feeding patty, I make sure it is warm and supple enough so that I can just let it kind of just sag down on top of the bees. I rarely ever see a squashee during this.

    Then the trick is getting the QB back down without squashing bees along the edges. Smoke works, as well as quick little flicks to head the bees back down into the hive. when there is a gob of bees hanging down that might get pinched by the top of the brick, I will smoke then backwards a bit.

    After a time or two of replenishment, the bees seem to get very calm about this intrusion - I think they figure out that good things come when the hive is suddenly opened up and a giant warm paw appears with some fresh chow.

    I love feeding bees in winter!

    Nancy

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    The queen can be anywhere, even on the inside of a telescoping top. Did they still have stores? Bees at the very top like that may be out of food.
    Canít tell about stores since it was 25 and we needed to be quick.

    Funny thing is they all have been high since November. I can view them through the upper entrance and have been able to see them on the top bars all winter. They were like that last year too. Must be something in the configuration.
    4a

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