Bees in the quilt box
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Deer Lodge MT
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    859

    Default Bees in the quilt box

    Well a couple of weeks ago we went out to make sure our hives had plenty of food to get them by until spring. One hive had chewed a hole in the canvas of the quilt box.

    When we checked on them today we were attempting to remove the bottom entrance to get some of the dead bees out of the way. Noticed that there was a lot of wood shavings on the bottom board. This tells me it’s going to be a mess in there.

    Anybody run across this? I’m going to change things up for next year to prevent this but I’m afraid of what I might find come spring when I can actually dig into the hive.
    4a

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    1,468

    Default Re: Bees in the quilt box

    Yes but somewhat limited number of bees.

    I use #8 hardware screen and then a layer of burlap on top of that and then shavings. Sometimes get a handful of bees that somehow squeeze through the #8 hardward cloth and tunnel a bit on underside of burlap.

    Have since added a piece of aluminum window screen(maybe a foot square) on top of #8, in the center and no more problems
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,291

    Default Re: Bees in the quilt box

    I am using #8 hardware cloth and I keep my shavings in a small pillow case. It absorbs moisture well and if the bottom is damp I flip the pillow case over and the moisture is removed. I have extra pillows to swap out, but am finding that is not needed if I just keep flipping the pillows over.
    Last winter I had bees getting into the QB because the hardware cloth was not laying flat on the "ledger" I sealed it better and poked a hole on the vent screen to allow them to get out. I did a better fix over the summer by gluing a narrow strip of trim around the edge of the hardware cloth which allows it to seal better. I also put foam weather stripping on the "ledger" that the hardware cloth sits on. I also have 4 finish nails on top of the trim to help hold it in place. Finally, as an experiment, I put duct tape around the bottom of the QB box and an inch onto the hardware cloth to discourage the bees from trying to explore the QB. So far, this seems to work. J

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Idaho Falls, ID
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    685

    Default Re: Bees in the quilt box

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    Yes but somewhat limited number of bees.

    I use #8 hardware screen and then a layer of burlap on top of that and then shavings. Sometimes get a handful of bees that somehow squeeze through the #8 hardward cloth and tunnel a bit on underside of burlap.

    Have since added a piece of aluminum window screen(maybe a foot square) on top of #8, in the center and no more problems
    That is exactly my setup.
    -- Joe
    "Make your own decision and embrace the consequences." -- jwcarlson

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
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    859

    Default

    I’m planning on using #8 hardware cloth. I’m more concerned with the mess I might have this year.

    I’m not sure how many bees are in the quilt box now. A bit too cold to really mess with too much.

    Not sure what the best course of action is outside of taking the quilt box off when it get warmer and letting the bees fly back to the hive.

    Guess I just let the bees remove the shavings on their own that have fallen in between the frames
    4a

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,291

    Default Re: Bees in the quilt box

    I wouldn't worry about the shavings. Clean that up in the warm weather. I would open up one of your vent holes to let the bees escape. After they are out, put some window screen, hardware cloth, burlap or something on the bottom to prevent more from entering the QB. Once the bees are out, seal up the vent hole. Don't repair the hole until the bees have a way to escape. They are probably going back down at night.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,175

    Default Re: Bees in the quilt box

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    I use #8 hardware screen and then a layer of burlap on top of that and then shavings.
    I do mine the other way around, I have the wire cloth above the canvas. The bees propolize the canvas (lets them control the ventilation) but if they chew a hole in it the wire cloth keeps the shavings in place and the bees out.

    I make a frame from 1-1/2" x 3/4 pine that is 1/8 smaller than the inside of a hive box. I drill a pocket screw hole in the middle of each side of the frame Then I staple on the wire cloth, and the canvas, wrapping the canvas around the sides of the frame. I elevate the frame on 3/4" scraps and then set a hive body over it and secure it with the four pocket screws. Elevating the frame 3/4" leaves space to put some candy or pollen patties if necessary. If I find myself needing an extra hive body I can easily remove the frame and turn the box into a super by just removing the four pocket screws. (I haven't had to do this yet, but I have the option.)

    Since the purpose of quilts is to control winter condensation mine came off last weekend. YMMV.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 03-17-2018 at 04:32 PM.
    Zone 6B

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