Bees moving to neighbors hive?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Bellingham, MA
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    4

    Default Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    With warm weather in the northeast yesterday I took the opportunity to check on the hives quickly to see if they needed an extra frame of honey. I have 11 hives and last year most were new. One hive however was my most populous hive and was gang buster all season long. I pulled brood frames and honey off of it all season. I wintered them with close to 100 lbs of honey/sugar syrup and they were choke full 2 deeps. The hive next door was returning itself in September and went into the winter with about 6 full frames of bee. Well upon opening the large hive was empty with a scattering I’d dead bees. However the hive next door that was 6-7 framed going into the winter was filled to the brim with bees... I felt the need to mountain camp this hive due to the sheer volume of bees in it.

    So my question is has anyone seen bees migrate from one hive to a hive 3 feet away during the colder part of the fall going into winter? Also any thoughts on what could cause such a thing?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
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    646

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    Mite crash!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,243

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    That occurred to me too. What was your mite control program?
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,641

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    Might be a queen loss issue also.
    Rod

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Bellingham, MA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Hit them OAV in spring and fall (sept) four times five days apart. Verified drop with alcohol wash. Mite levels never got above 2%. I suspected it was a mite crash but I guess I need to pull the frames and look for more evidence.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,579

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    I agree with Jack and Frank. And the bees that moved in brought their mites with them. Now is a perfect time to get an OAV treatment done and have it kill almost all the mites in a hive.

    You started off great with your treatment program, but should have done another round mid October. As long as the bees are foraging, they are bringing back mites. And if they are robbing out a crashing hive, they could be bringing back a lot!
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    892

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    OAV is not effective in the fall and is only effective in the winter when there is no brood. I had to switch because of it's ineffectiveness when brood are present. I treat with a thymol product the first week of August and just completed a round of OAV this weekend.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,579

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    OAV is not effective in the fall
    It all depends on how you define effective. If a "one and done" treatment is desired, OAV is not the right product. But if I can treat in September or October and have a 1000+ DDC, I would say the OAV was very effective at killing the mites that were not still under the brood cappings. Follow that up with additional applications until the DDC is under 50, and I have achieved my goal.
    BUT, that does not mean I am done. Continued monitoring by more OAV lets me know if my mite count is increasing due to my bees robbing out the hives of someone who only treated one round in the early fall. The final treatment comes at winter solstice. Not to keep the bees alive for the rest of the winter, that die has already been cast, but to give them a clean start in the spring.

    So, instead of telling people OAV is ineffective in the fall, talk to the ones for whom it is effective and find out what they are doing differently.

    Sorry to unload on you. Please do not take it personally.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,243

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    Yes, I think the statement needs qualifying. I have not had any high counts for quite a few years but I shoot for very close to zero mite drop counts and it does take multiple OAV applications to get there. Each one is very quick and simple though, with the external vaporizers that Snl, Johno an Joerg Biermann have for sale. I like the idea of not having to open the hive like most treatments require. Mine have been bundled like mummies for a month or more.

    Some treatments are more like one shot deals, but each has some drawbacks. None of them can touch oxalic acid for cost!
    Frank

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    Sounds a lot like what is stated in the "Anatomy of a Mite Crash" thread in the sticky section of this forum. When I see a booming hive late in the season, I take special care to treat for mites. They seem to crash most often.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greenwich, New York, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Last year I had that happen exactly. The hive that moved out was queenless. The hive next door was queewright. Both had good stores of honey. The queenless hive had large northern hybrids. The queenwright hive was Italian. The result was a overwintered hive very strong with mixed bees. The northern bees aged out by April but the hive was in great shape. The empty hive keep frozen will provide good splitting boxes for next Spring. Save some frozen honey frames for the Spring as a backup against Spring starvation.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    >So my question is has anyone seen bees migrate from one hive to a hive 3 feet away during the colder part of the fall going into winter?

    Occasionally. Usually there is a queen issue.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: Bees moving to neighbors hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtblr22 View Post
    With warm weather in the northeast yesterday I took the opportunity to check on the hives quickly to see if they needed an extra frame of honey. I have 11 hives and last year most were new. One hive however was my most populous hive and was gang buster all season long. I pulled brood frames and honey off of it all season. I wintered them with close to 100 lbs of honey/sugar syrup and they were choke full 2 deeps. The hive next door was returning itself in September and went into the winter with about 6 full frames of bee. Well upon opening the large hive was empty with a scattering I’d dead bees. However the hive next door that was 6-7 framed going into the winter was filled to the brim with bees... I felt the need to mountain camp this hive due to the sheer volume of bees in it.

    So my question is has anyone seen bees migrate from one hive to a hive 3 feet away during the colder part of the fall going into winter? Also any thoughts on what could cause such a thing?
    put the full deep from the dead out on top of the hive brimming with bees. Have need to feed,,, and have hive "choke full" ,, seems the answer is to use the full on the needful. Mountain camp if you wish but bees do better with Combs of honey.
    Just my 2 cents
    GG

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