Found an open air hive today.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    133

    Default Found an open air hive today.

    A buddy I work with called me today to tell me that he was stuck and ask if I would come pull him out. ( He was not stuck he was buried ) He said that he was about 1.5 miles down an old road and that he would meet me back out at the main road. While he was walking out he found an open air bee hive resting on the ground. So after we got him out he showed me the hive. The bees had started comb in the top of a little sapling about 3/4 of an inch in diameter, The sapling had bent over due to the weight of the comb and the bees and it was touching the ground. The bad part was it was right beside one of the mud holes
    we had went thru to get him out, and every time we went thru the hole the water would wash up and get the bottom of the comb wet. I had a plastic tote in my truck so I poked some holes in it for air and then cut the sapling loose and placed the bees in the tote. When I got home I rubber banded the comb into some frames and place them in a 5 frame nuc and put a feeder on them. i wound up with 3 frames of comb. This was the 1st time I had ever seen an open air hive. The comb was all fresh white comb, do not know why they did not find a tree cavity to use.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,712

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    OMG Greg, you know the rules. Pictures! Good job with saving this hive. Hope they make it through winter.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    They should make it thru the winter, We still have plenty of time and I will feed them good, If I see they need some help I will give them a frame of brood from another hive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,871

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregH View Post
    ..... do not know why they did not find a tree cavity to use.
    Tree cavites are hard to come by now days.
    Here is what I took down few years ago (was just starting up and looking for the free bees).
    Well, found them directly on my apple tree - an openly hanging tiny swarm and combs and capped brood.
    20160806_123154.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    only in the south......you guys have bees all over it seems
    Terrence

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    Yes we in the south have plenty of bees. And once people find that you keep bees you will get calls from everybody wanting you to come remove them from there house or a tree in there yard. I get the calls regularly but I have got to where these calls are not wort messing with, there are a lot easier ways to get bees.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,483

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    I’m in Michigan and had a swarm call once and it turned out to be a swarm that decided to do it’s thing in the framing under a balcony, had about 8 leaves of comb going the size of a basketball on the brick wall. When I told the manager of the apartment complex it wasn’t going to be a simple thing to get them out (cutout rates), they balked. I was happy that they did, bees that build open air hives in Michigan were not destined to make it anyway.
    Rod

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    We found a open air hive in October here, 24th, a nice ball of bees, one piece of comb. We cut them down and ended up with a very nice hive. They managed to make it through winter. We had drawn comb to put them on and a bunch of excess capped honey.
    Zone 6b: 27 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,712

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    I would tend to agree with GregV on this, suitable cavities are hard to come by and getting even harder. Is there any evidence to suggest that bees that build open air hives are predisposed to do so, or are they just making the best of what we know to be a hopeless situation? I had two queens return this year and start open air hives under their repective hives. Both perished before I found them but they had managed to raise some brood. At the time, I had not yet hung any swarm traps in the apiary. It was a first for me.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    Where these bees were they had plenty of places to find a tree cavity. So I can not under stand why they would choose to do what they did.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,139

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    Tree cavities is a growing problem in this area too. Many species use them, but people tend to cut the tree down when it gets a cavity. I know two people that did so this year and both trees had birds in the cavities.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,712

    Default Re: Found an open air hive today.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregH View Post
    Where these bees were they had plenty of places to find a tree cavity. So I can not under stand why they would choose to do what they did.
    I have heard that if the weather is really bad for an extended period of time, the bees may set up house and start drawing comb in the location they first clustered. Just a thought to explain the inexplicable.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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