night hiving
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Thread: night hiving

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question night hiving

    Hi, all,

    my friend just called me, saying his hive swarmed and he wants me to have the swarm. That is super nice of him, of course, and I generally don't argue when someone offers me something.

    that being said, if all goes well I will pick up the swarm, I think it is going to be in a cardboard box, later this evening, and by the time I get home, it might be 9 p.m. or so.

    I was thinking about hiving them tonight, because tomorrow morning is not possible because I leave for work @ 7 a.m. (Though I dunno is that something y'all would do?)

    Any tips on hiving at night / in the dark?

    thanks,
    Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: night hiving

    Depends.

    IF I had to do it, I'd:
    1)prepare the receiving rig before hand so that you can just dump the bees inside in a couple of strong shakes (and no playing around - the bees will start crawling all over the place after darkness sets in - including yourself - may get ugly IF they get under your clothing).
    2)set the receiving rig so that you can place the box *inside* after the bee dumping (e.g. extra box on the top) so that the straggles can make it in at their own pace (IF this was June, you could leave the box outside by the entrance - a non-issue since it is warm)

    If you can not do these - just put the box somewhere cool (not too cold; not too warm); make few holes (or staple a mesh) for ventilation; tape them securely inside; and don't worry.
    May spray some water inside - so they have drink if needed.
    Install them tomorrow - no fuss.
    The main thing - ventilation.
    Ventilation is even more important than keeping the temp correct.
    About 60F should be about perfect to store them for few days even; directly in the box.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: night hiving

    My vote would be for the second half of Greg's post ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #4
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    Default Re: night hiving

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    My vote would be for the second half of Greg's post ...
    LJ
    Me too!

    Really, there is no rush.
    Them swarms are very tough and can hang out for days in a row on a branch someplace.

    PS: the ventilation is very important;
    for me - I would NOT even tape the box not to risk it;
    I'd have the box open some for the air (I have a large mosquito netting left from the children's' stroller times - I'd just wrap the entire box into the netting so to keep the bees inside that way)
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: night hiving

    I think I'm going to have to tape it.
    Due to domestics I don't have access to my dad's truck, so I'll have to transport the box in my hatchback.
    Can't have any loose bees in there!

    I'm still kind of stuck with the install in the dark thing, because tomorrow is no better for what time I will get home from work + some other obligations.

    I could try tomorrow morning, but I leave for work before sunrise.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Me too!

    Really, there is no rush.
    Them swarms are very tough and can hang out for days in a row on a branch someplace.

    PS: the ventilation is very important;
    for me - I would NOT even tape the box not to risk it;
    I'd have the box open some for the air (I have a large mosquito netting left from the children's' stroller times - I'd just wrap the entire box into the netting so to keep the bees inside that way)
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  7. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
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    1,198

    Default Re: night hiving

    Q. Is there anyone else who could do the transfer during the day time ?

    I don't know what plans you had for those bees - but if you had a nuc box with (say) one or two drawn combs - old ones would be handy - along with empty frames - then maybe you could cut (or punch) a small hole in the top of the cardboard box - immediately cover it with something you could withdraw in a few minutes time, then simply place the nuc box over the cardboard box. Place it diagonally on top if you need to (for stability) - withdraw whatever you've used to keep the bees in, then walk away. Hopefully the bees will move upwards into the nuc box and set-up home there. A comb of open brood would be an even better 'holding magnet' if you could lay your hands on one at this time of the year.
    LJ

    Or - could you take whatever box you intend to house the bees in over to your friend's house, and ask him to install the swarm into it - then pick up the bees at a later date ?
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
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    Default Re: night hiving

    In essence what you have in the swarm is a package of bees with a queen. Packages are often shipped over a couple days, so long as they have syrup available to keep them fed and hydrated. Ventilate well and hope for the best.

    Another option is to take your hive parts to your friends house. Hive the bees there. Then pick up your hive when it works out.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    I always have an idea what I shouldn't have done after the fact.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: night hiving

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    .... tape it

    I could try tomorrow morning, but I leave for work before sunrise.
    Just poke all bunch of un-passable holes with pencil (or the like tool) - they will be fine.

    I would always opt out for the evening so to force them spend the night in the new home (better acceptance).
    In fact, I would also opt out for intentionally keeping them in the box tonight (also better acceptance).
    So if must, don't rush and prep everything, everything tonight.
    But do the transfer tomorrow night (after some pretend practice so not to hesitate when actually doing it).

    Basically, people are in some kind of rush with the swarms as if they gonna die or suffer without a home.
    No need for the rush and a bad approach.

    We routinely kept them in cool/dark storage at least one night.
    2-3 nights in storage was very common too.

    Don't rush the swarm, let them "think about it", let them be home-sick a bit - all will turn out well.
    Not 100% of course; but pretty darn close.
    Last edited by GregV; 03-12-2019 at 06:36 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: night hiving

    Hey, y'all,

    I'm sorry guys, I went ahead and did it anyways. It was either going to be tonight or tomorrow night. A big non-bee factor for me was I've been in the dog house for quite a while now, so keeping out of my lady's hair most of tonight was also on my agenda.

    No major mishaps driving home. they had settled into a corner of the the cardboard boxes my friend had put them in. After a little preparation on the receiving hive (I would call it a horizontal deep hive, but it isn't that long), I unceremoniously dumped them into the hive, replaced the missing frames, put a lid on it. There were a few stragglers in the box, I dumped them on top of the hive. The ones that didn't go in, I scooped up with a piece of paper and put them in the entrance hole. Done.

    I'm quite pleased to have some bees again. Hope they stick around....

    -Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  11. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: night hiving

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Hey, y'all,
    .........I've been in the dog house for quite a while now, so keeping out of my lady's hair most of tonight was also on my agenda.....
    -Thomas
    Well done.
    The "dog house" things do matter.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

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