I left my hive sealed up - UGH!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
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    167

    Default I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    OK guys, I’m so ticked off at myself. I made a HUGE mistake and I deserve any verbal abuse that I get. I went to a hive on my hunting lease last night to apply the last round of oxalic acid vaporization. That’s when I noticed the towel still sealing the door of the hive from the second round of treatment I did 7 DAYS AGO. I yanked the towel out of the door and dug out a pile of dead bees from the bottom of the hive. I briefly opened the hive and a large majority of the bees were still alive and well. I just hope the queen made it. Temps have ranged from 70 to 90 - no bueno. I do have a screened bottom board so that may have prevented total loss.

    I will give them a few days and report back. The moral of the story is don’t be an idiot. Also it’s good not to get into too much of a hurry.

    Ryan

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
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    281

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelsonhoneyfarms View Post
    OK guys, I’m so ticked off at myself. I made a HUGE mistake and I deserve any verbal abuse that I get. I went to a hive on my hunting lease last night to apply the last round of oxalic acid vaporization. That’s when I noticed the towel still sealing the door of the hive from the second round of treatment I did 7 DAYS AGO. I yanked the towel out of the door and dug out a pile of dead bees from the bottom of the hive. I briefly opened the hive and a large majority of the bees were still alive and well. I just hope the queen made it. Temps have ranged from 70 to 90 - no bueno. I do have a screened bottom board so that may have prevented total loss.

    I will give them a few days and report back. The moral of the story is don’t be an idiot. Also it’s good not to get into too much of a hurry.

    Ryan
    How far open was the SBB?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,480

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    In this busy world in which we live, distraction is not uncommon. The surprise at seeing the rag still stuffed in the entrance and the thought of the worst case scenario likely made quite an impression on you. So much so, that it is a mistake you will probably never repeat.

    I'll bet your Queen is alright.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,098

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelsonhoneyfarms View Post
    That’s when I noticed the towel still sealing the door of the hive from the second round of treatment I did 7 DAYS AGO.....Ryan
    Use painters tape instead.
    The bees will chew through and free themselves - no problems.
    Tape them in; optionally make 1-2 little slits with a knife (to help bees just a little - and yet still sealed in); go about your business.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,804

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    If the screened bottom was open it would seem to not be a case of asphxiation but rather high temperatures because of crowding and workers not being able to haul water for evaporative cooling.

    In such a situation would the queen be more or less likely to survive compared to other classes of bees? Would she have greater or diminished tolerance?
    Frank

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default

    So I had slid in a mite board to do a mite count (which I didn’t do), so the SBB was closed, but not sealed completely if that makes sense.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,825

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    Ouch! Hope it all works out well. Chances are the bees did their very best to protect the queen, so bees still alive in the hive would make me believe the queen was still ok. Wishful thinking? Perhaps.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,161

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    We all do things like that. I feel the same way when I do it, but stop kicking yourself. Hope it works out. J

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,062

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    You were lucky indeed. Very surprised they survived, even with the SBB, as dead bees will often clog it.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    Anyone who has the courage to admit a mistake is a credit to his bees. No doubt you've done countless other things that kept them in good health. After reading this I did another round of OAV and left an inspection board in one hive. (Yes, the pan went under and almost melted a circle in it)

    None of us start out wanting to make mistakes. But that's what makes us human. And I'll take that over perfection any day of the week.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default

    Friends - many thanks for the advice and encouragement. Out of town now but I will update once I get back and do a quick check. More to come...

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    I commonly use a wet rag (one quarter of an old sock) to block both the upper and lower entrances. I think that Greg's suggestion of using a piece of painter's tape with a knife slit is an excellent idea and suggest that we should all adopt that as the standard approach. It is definitely a fail-safe approach.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,098

    Default Re: I left my hive sealed up - UGH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Creek Steve View Post
    I commonly use a wet rag (one quarter of an old sock) to block both the upper and lower entrances. I think that Greg's suggestion of using a piece of painter's tape with a knife slit is an excellent idea and suggest that we should all adopt that as the standard approach. It is definitely a fail-safe approach.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Anymore I tape them in right and left, and don't look back.
    If a hive is strong, I may double-triple-quadruple the tape - to slow them down.
    Double is fine most all uses - will keep them busy.
    Also using toilet paper plugs (but works best with my style entrances - the round ones).
    Adjust to your needs; adjust for a slit-entrances as needed.
    Carry a roll of the tape with you at all times.

    Another good use-case - robbing.
    If a hive under attack - I immediately plug/tape them in.

    This does two good things:
    - immediately stops the robber traffic - cold
    - attracts and focuses the residents on unplugging themselves at one single point (from BOTH ends - inside and outside);

    Plugs/tape in turn creates a pile of the residents in one place AND they over-whelm any robbers at that spot - a very good thing;
    They normally will focus at the knife slit point as the weakest point - they concentrated where they sense a small air lick.
    You, effectively, create a large detachment of the entrance guards to kick the robbers out - otherwise, there are not many guards in smaller hives.
    The returning foragers pile up at a single point of entry from the outside and quickly overwhelm the robbers (otherwise the forages dispersed - then the robbers win out).
    The residents are also irritated by an obstacle and, thus, throw away any robbers with increased energy - they are pissed off until they unplug the hive to restore the traffic.
    Works great in absence of robbing screens.

    Sort of like so (these are smaller cases - plugged in proactively - not a big bee piles):
    20190925_163954.jpg
    20190925_174140.jpg
    20190925_163934.jpg
    Last edited by GregV; 10-11-2019 at 08:06 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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