Closing them in for a day
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  1. #1
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    May 2016
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    Default Closing them in for a day

    We're having a party. Some are scared of bees and we'd like to make everyone comfortable. We have a small pond in our patio the bees use and their presence would make some nervous, I blame childhood cartoons. Can I screen the bees in for a day? Making screen covers is no problem and using screen to block entrances is no problem. Temps are expected in the low to mid 80s f. I could set a sprinkler to keep water at the screened entrances.
    Any words of wisdom would be most welcome,
    Thanks!
    Lee
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

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  3. #2
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    May 2016
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    In my mind I'm equating this to what a hive would go through if it was being put on a truck and moved, one day doesn't seem like too long but I'd like to be sure and know what steps I should take.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  4. #3
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Perhaps the same as a truck, but the truck is moving and the bees will be kept cool by the rush of air. Trucks transporting bees are exempt from some traffic regulations that might make them stop (weigh stations are an example), because to stop will injure the bees from the accumulating heat stress.

    Bees that can't out, often get panicky and block the screened entrances with their bodies making a bad situation worse.

    Nancy

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Perhaps the same as a truck, but the truck is moving and the bees will be kept cool by the rush of air. Trucks transporting bees are exempt from some traffic regulations that might make them stop (weigh stations are an example), because to stop will injure the bees from the accumulating heat stress.

    Bees that can't out, often get panicky and block the screened entrances with their bodies making a bad situation worse.

    Nancy
    Thanks Nancy, so you don't see a way I can do this safely?
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by Grins View Post
    Thanks Nancy, so you don't see a way I can do this safely?
    Depends on the temps and the sunlight exposure. Without knowing the hive configuration and population I wouldn't try it at anything over 70 degrees.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    And how far from the patio are the hives? Maybe you won't need to do anything, if they are a bit off. You could set a a bee drinker closer to the hive away from the patio also if you do it with enough time for the bees to find it first and its possible it could draw traffic away from the area you'll have the party.

    If you wanted to, you could also hang up white bed sheets like a fence line in front of the patio temporarily to screen that spot off.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Depends on the temps and the sunlight exposure. Without knowing the hive configuration and population I wouldn't try it at anything over 70 degrees.
    Quote Originally Posted by hagane View Post
    And how far from the patio are the hives? Maybe you won't need to do anything, if they are a bit off. You could set a a bee drinker closer to the hive away from the patio also if you do it with enough time for the bees to find it first and its possible it could draw traffic away from the area you'll have the party.

    If you wanted to, you could also hang up white bed sheets like a fence line in front of the patio temporarily to screen that spot off.
    Jim, Hagane, thanks. The temps are predicted to be in the low eighties and the hives are in a sunny location. There are plenty of water sources for the bees but they like this particular one in our patio, normally it is not an issue but there may be people scared of bees and there is no way to divert them to another water source, I've tried. We'll deal with it, perhaps centering the party indoors. I'm certainly not going to risk our bees.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  9. #8
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    There was a study done in the early 80s that said if a water source sprayed water at the entrance the bees would not exit the hive. The water spray had to start before daylight and the beginning of flight activity, but it made the bees remain in the hive. The study was done to find out if colonies could be confined when crops were going to be sprayed.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    There was a study done in the early 80s that said if a water source sprayed water at the entrance the bees would not exit the hive. The water spray had to start before daylight and the beginning of flight activity, but it made the bees remain in the hive. The study was done to find out if colonies could be confined when crops were going to be sprayed.
    Interesting..., I wonder how well it would work on a bright sunny day. I've already decided to not risk closing them in, if people are uncomfortable they can move indoors or away from the patio, like to the horseshoe pits or the croquet court.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  11. #10
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Rig up some temporary shade using tarps and such.

    Loosely prop up some light fabric over the hive(s) - so the air still moves under the fabric - NOT tight.
    I keep some old mattress covers and old sheets just for such needs.
    You can spray the fabric with water too - damp fabric cover will keep the bees even cooler under.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by Grins View Post
    Interesting..., I wonder how well it would work on a bright sunny day. I've already decided to not risk closing them in, if people are uncomfortable they can move indoors or away from the patio, like to the horseshoe pits or the croquet court.
    That is REALLY interesting! I agree!

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Grins,

    Several years ago in August I had a similar concern because I had a wedding at my house for a son and there were 70 wedding guests. I had 15 colonies in my apiary about 40-50 feet from where we had a sit down dinner party and later in the evening dancing and a band. No one was bothered by the honey bees, but what I did was make screened/ventilated inner covers for each hive, and all my hives normally have screened bottom boards and 2" rigid Styrofoam designed into the outer covers. I blocked the entrances before sunrise with a wet sock and removed it the next morning. All went well, and I'm sure that you will do fine too.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Creek Steve View Post
    Grins,

    Several years ago in August I had a similar concern because I had a wedding at my house for a son and there were 70 wedding guests. I had 15 colonies in my apiary about 40-50 feet from where we had a sit down dinner party and later in the evening dancing and a band. No one was bothered by the honey bees, but what I did was make screened/ventilated inner covers for each hive, and all my hives normally have screened bottom boards and 2" rigid Styrofoam designed into the outer covers. I blocked the entrances before sunrise with a wet sock and removed it the next morning. All went well, and I'm sure that you will do fine too.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Thanks Steve. I think I could probably get away with it with screened bottom boards but I use solid. I have screened covers but there isn't enough air flow in the hives with 4 supers on and just the lower entrance. As Nancy said, bees struggling to get out could crowd the blocked entrance and exacerbate the problem. I'm not replacing bottom boards this week just to accommodate a couple scardey cats, It might be good for them to be exposed to bees a bit, it's not like there's a huge swarm on the patio, just a few drinking from the pond.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Rig up some temporary shade using tarps and such.

    Loosely prop up some light fabric over the hive(s) - so the air still moves under the fabric - NOT tight.
    I keep some old mattress covers and old sheets just for such needs.
    You can spray the fabric with water too - damp fabric cover will keep the bees even cooler under.
    Thanks Greg, I'll save the mattress covers and old sheets to wrap my terrified guests in.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  16. #15
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    Jan 2016
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    Fox Lake Il
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    I just had an outside party in my backyard. I have 4 hives that are only about 30 feet away from the tent for seated guests..No problem at all with bees. No stings. I was more worried about wasps or hornets at this time of year.

  17. #16
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    May 2017
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    Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Just put some wire screen across the entrances on the night before the party. Take the screens off after the guests leave. The bees will be fine for the day.

  18. #17

    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    You say there " may" be some that are scared. If no one has expressed this sentiment why bother? Someone may be scared of spiders, ants, butterflies,. Some people dont like children or dogs.

  19. #18
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    May 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by Grins View Post
    We're having a party. Some are scared of bees and we'd like to make everyone comfortable. We have a small pond in our patio the bees use and their presence would make some nervous, I blame childhood cartoons. Can I screen the bees in for a day? Making screen covers is no problem and using screen to block entrances is no problem. Temps are expected in the low to mid 80s f. I could set a sprinkler to keep water at the screened entrances.
    Any words of wisdom would be most welcome,
    Thanks!
    Lee
    Day before party mix up some light( 1:1 or lighter) sugar syrup and put some out in a bucket with straw or sticks in it to let the bees find it and begin feeding on it. The day of the party fill the bucket with same syrup, make sure to put the bucket on the other side of the hives from the party, but not too close, and the bees will be so busy with the syrup I doubt they will bother you.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    Quote Originally Posted by unstunghero View Post
    Day before party mix up some light( 1:1 or lighter) sugar syrup and put some out in a bucket with straw or sticks in it to let the bees find it and begin feeding on it. The day of the party fill the bucket with same syrup, make sure to put the bucket on the other side of the hives from the party, but not too close, and the bees will be so busy with the syrup I doubt they will bother you.
    No offense intended but DON'T do this, especially if there is no ongoing flow! Once you have encouraged robbing behavior, roving bees will quickly smell out anything else worth robbing on and start in on it in a very short time. This would include soda cans and most anything else sweet.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  21. #20
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    Feb 2016
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    Monticello, AR
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    21

    Default Re: Closing them in for a day

    We just had a 6 year olds water balloon/water gun birthday party in our back yard about 40-50ft away from my 8 hives. Noone had a problem with the bees. Flys were another story.

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