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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A flash flood put my beehives 6 inches underwater. They have the remainder of a deep hive body and a second deep above. What now? Do I need to move them urgently or is there a chance that they'll stay in the hive. I opened up ventilation and an escape for them on the top. Some are flying about but they don't seem to be leaving right now. Will they dry out when the water recedes? No good spot to move them within the yard.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

Is there no way to take some concrete block out there and set them up on those? Or some other method to raise them up? Can't say if they will stay or gor, but if it is a flash flood and will recede in 24 hours, probably not much you can do but cross your fingers and hope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

Thanks. That's what I am thinking. I will raise them up in the morning as we will get more of this weather tomorrow. Don't want to risk messing with them standing in three feet of water but will if I must.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

don't know about you but if those were my bees i'd be out there right now getting them out of the water
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

Thanks Shawn. As we speak the water has dropped and the bottom entrances are open. I am going to wait for the sun to come back up and then tomorrow get it done in a less panicked and more permanent manner. This flood was a total surprise in a non flood prone area. With no substantial rain forecast right now (until tomorrow) and the water level dropping I a bit calmer about the situation now. The water went from a 2 inch puddle to two feet in about 30 minutes. Attached is a picture...enjoy. I just hope that whatever the damage to the brood in those bottom six inches isn't enough to substantially set the hives back for the season and that the bees don' Yard Backyard Water Flood Garden t decide to abscond.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

With that much water in the yard, what about the things in your shed and house. Hope they all faired well.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

I had a couple of Langstroth hives in about the same situation two years back when my pond flooded. I was able to put on waders and move them around 75 yards to high ground the next day. Man did they boil out the top when I opened them up for moving. Fortunately I never saw any major setbacks or lasting damage. Not so much for me. I did not wear a suit or jacket, just my regular clothes, chest waders and my helmet w/veil. As I was carrying them box by box, on one of my trips my veil climbed up and exposed the back of my neck. One of the little darlings stung me on the back of my neck. I was waist deep in water and had no where I could set the hive down, plus my smoker was left behind at the original location. Of course both hands were full holding the box. In a few seconds I get hit again, and again and again. Before I could slog over to high ground, set the hive down and get covered up, I got popped about 15 times in an area big as my hand. One of those days the bees make unforgettable.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

Oliver,
It might be time to construct a new hive stand this summer instead of stacking more blocks which can get a bit unstable.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

We had it happen to us but also had a fair bit of silt through the hive which the bees never cleaned out of the comb.
If its just standing water it will probably be ok but if theres any sort of silt in the comb you may have the same problem as we did.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

A flash flood put my beehives 6 inches underwater. They have the remainder of a deep hive body and a second deep above.
6 inches under​? Then the brood is toast and the bees are dead. Sitting in 6 inches of water must be what you meant, I'm guessing. Still, whatever in the hive is sitting in water will be dead. You'll need to dismantle the hives and shake that water out of the combs. Strong hives will handle that, but I'd want to get in their after the water goes down and see what's what.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

Man hate to hear that happening. Really hope the house was high enough to avoid damage. Hope all turns out well. Let us know how you deal with it and the results.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

Bees are very hardy creatures. I left a lid off during a freezing cold rain and ice storm one night. Found it the next morning with the top layer of bees frozen and a 1/4 inch of ice on top of all the top bars. This hive had only three frames of bees at the time. They are flourishing right now.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

I DEFINITELY feel your pain
This was my first year using an outyard near the suwannee and it received record floods. Had to hike/drag boats and paddle out to save the hives. Lost 1 of 5 at this yard.


The bees were very gentle considering how badly they were damaged.
 

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Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

My quess is that they will do the same thing they would do in a flooded tree trunk... move up, staying dry, then move down after the flood and clean things up. You will most likely lose any brood that was submerged for too long due to temps... not sure if the bees will do anything with them or not, I don't have the experience to say. But for sure, you could wait 3 weeks, then start systematically removing capped, dead brood a chunk at a time and let them repair your damage with new wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Advise requested- flash flood what now

Everyone, thanks for providing some advice and reassurance last week. I have an update that I would like to share. I was able to get thoroughly into my strongest hive today to determine whether to proceed with my original plan to split it and see how bad the damage was. I was surprised to see that there was little brood loss. Actually-no obvious damage besides a spotty pattern and the hive was going gangbusters! Silt was not an issue and I decided to let things be in the bottom deep and take a split off the top deep hive body. I will have to get into my other three hives but I suspect that they will be similarly unaffected. The bottom brood boxes were half full of water last week but for only about 2 hours so perhaps it is a lesson learned that I can file away for the storms of the future. In any case I will at least know that the hives should be placed higher in that spot in the future (or at a different location). Again thanks!
 
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