70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!
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  1. #1

    Default 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    So....SE Nebraska. Big storms last night. 70-90mph winds. I had 2 hives get knocked over. I fixed the broken pieces and flicked out what water I could. Put the hives back together. I couldn't find either queen, but both hives still had visible eggs and bees were covering those cells. My concern is that there were many bees that died. I think in one 8 frame box maybe only a softball-sized ball of bees. Am I right to assume I should add some bees to those hives? Anything else I should do? :/

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,470

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    I think you should wait three days. Let them settle back and then look for eggs. Then you'll know what problems, if any, you need to confront so that you can determine what steps you need to take next.

    If you have regular high winds then consider some ratchet straps. We get a lot of heavy spring winds so I keep ratchet straps on them during the spring time. Ratchet straps are cheap. You can get a set of 4 ratchet straps for about ten bucks at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, or Harbor Freight. They are also handy to have around for moving a hive so get some and keep them on hand before the next wind storm.
    Zone 6B

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,718

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    I would consider combining the two weakened hives. I agree that you should wait a few days to allow them to try to get back to normal and it will give you a better idea of your options. The first priority will be to determine if the queens are alive.
    If you have other strong hives, you could do a split into the weakest hive. You can't really add bees effectively. You could add frames of brood but but do not unless the donor hive is very strong or you will wind up with two weak hives.
    Last year I had a bear knock over two hives. At first, I thought the queens were killed. It took one a couple weeks to resume laying and then they superceded her so she may have been injured. J

  5. #4

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    If you have regular high winds then consider some ratchet straps. We get a lot of heavy spring winds so I keep ratchet straps on them during the spring time. Ratchet straps are cheap. You can get a set of 4 ratchet straps for about ten bucks at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, or Harbor Freight. They are also handy to have around for moving a hive so get some and keep them on hand before the next wind storm.
    Thanks. In this case, all the hives are ratcheted. The storm blew over the entire hive, stand etc. They broke and fell apart after impact I'm guessing.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    I had 70 mph winds/rain a month or so back. The hives survived. It got me thinking however. When I set up more permanent apiary sites in the future I am considering planting hedges around them. Looking at anchored hive stands as well. Some heavy timbers and some cement should do the trick. In the meantime you could use some wooden pallets and use some fence posts/pallets to create a wind break. Many years ago I had a tornado miss the house by about 100 yards. It was in the air descending and touched down about a mile past us. It then traveled over 70 miles on the ground a lot, but not always. The house was shaking and vibrating enough to see the walls moving. I was lucky, many of my neighbors not so much. Spent the next month sawing storm damaged trees and helping neighbors find equipment that traveled miles. The local farmers had a betting pool to see whose calf huts flew the farthest.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Sorry to hear about your hives. Sounds like you did what you could and that storm was going to have it’s way. Glad you are ok. You could anchor your hive stand (or hive for that matter) to the ground with mobile home auger-style anchors next time.

    I agree about waiting a few days to assess the damage. You may have queen cells starting by then or you may see eggs, that will tell you what you need to know. If you choose to let them rebuild and they have lost a lot of bees, I would downsize their hivespace as needed and feed them if you are in a dearth. Like a nuc or swarm.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    724

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    Hmm, since the whole thing blew over, I wonder if those 'dog tie out' thingys, that screw into the ground would help. If you don't have a real heavy base that the hives sit on, one of the dog tie out thingys on either side of the hive, screwed into the ground, then strapped may help.
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

  9. #8

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    Those are great ideas. I think the anchors are next on my list.

    I did a hive check today and found both queens laying like crazy.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
    Posts
    301

    Default

    That is great to hear - glad they made it through!!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    309

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hogback Honey View Post
    Hmm, since the whole thing blew over, I wonder if those 'dog tie out' thingys, that screw into the ground would help. If you don't have a real heavy base that the hives sit on, one of the dog tie out thingys on either side of the hive, screwed into the ground, then strapped may help.
    I can tell you those tie downs work VERY WELL for my fabric carport for 6 years. I dont have tornado winds but we had some 65-70 winds here and there !
    -Linda

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Trumbull, CT
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    I have mine ratcheted to the hive stand but when big storms are coming I also ratchet all the hive components together in case they fall. They would stay together, hopefully.

  13. #12

    Default Re: 70-90mph winds knocked over 2 hives!

    Quote Originally Posted by LEAD PIPE View Post
    I have mine ratcheted to the hive stand but when big storms are coming I also ratchet all the hive components together in case they fall. They would stay together, hopefully.
    That's a great idea. Thanks!!

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