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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a call the other day from a friend who has a friend with a house that is a second home that has bees that have moved in. I went today and checked on them and sure enough the bees have an entrance where the ceder siding butts up to the rock fire place. I went into the basement where I can see the floor and there is no way they are in the floor. I was thinking they were in the wall and I told them I would try to investigate it further this weekend. Then the home owner called me and told me that the rock on the outside is not the fireplace that there is actually aprox 6-12 inches of open space between the rock on the outside and the actual fireplace, so now I am thinking that is probably where they are at, what do you think? Also this is my first year and judging the field bees going in and out there appears to be much more flying than I see from both of my hives that are two months old put together. So I was thinking these bees have been there a while but the owner says 1 month ago he was hammering and replacing a rock that had fallen out that was just three feet away from where they are and he never saw a bee and it was on a sunny warm day. He also said that they were there two weeks ago was the first time he saw them. He lives in another state and comes in every 2 or 3 weeks for the weekend. I would like to help him and I am thinking the cone method would probably be the best bet. I read MB's page on the cone method and 1) I don't have any spare frames of honey to put in a hive, 2) The house is about 23 miles from me, how often would this need my attention? 3)With my colonies just starting out would it be wise to take a frame or two of brood and put in a hive, or not? The house is unoccupied most of the time. What would be the best thing to do? You all have not steered me wrong yet! I value your opinion. Also he says he will do whatever I recommend even if it means some demo, but I hate to do that if it is not needed. Thanks for your help!
 

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Ruben-

I have a cone removal going on right now. It is about 2 miles from my house, so it is handy to go check. I rigged a wooden ladder up with a platform for a small hive. I added two frames of fresh brood from a strong hive(no queen) I then used a screen cone on the opening in the house. After the first day I noticed they were re-entering the end of the cone and also entering and exiting at another location.

I calked the other location and added an extention to the cone. That was two weeks ago. I now have about 8 frames of bees with new wax, and a queen that they raised in the new hive. The house is about empty of bees. In another week I will go back and seal the main hole and remove the ladder and hive.

I have a picture of it on my website below under "swarms"
 

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I would think the day after making the cone and maybe three days after. Then if they arn't coming and going from another place, then go back again in about three weeks and gather everything up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So if I were to put a cone over the entrance(which is in a great location 2-1/2 feet off of the ground) then set up a hive with one frame of open brood and one frame of capped brood, and maybe go ahead and put my top hive feeder on it and come back the next day to make sure there are no other hole they are getting through and that the cone is working good, then check it after three days and then maybe once a week, would this plan work good? Also will taking the two frames of brood from my good hive that was started on May 1 hurt that colony too much? I did rob a frame of brood from this hive about three weeks ago to help a queenless hive, I don't want to push it to far. Could I maybe get by with just taking one frame? Do they need eggs to make a queen or can they do it from open brood? I know I'm just full of questions tonight!
 

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I'd like to chime in although I'm new at this.

Ruben, Don't rob your existing colonies too much. Somebody else could say what too much is,but you might already know yourself. I'd do the cone thing and add one scanty frame of young brood with a few bees, then fill the rest (2 deeps) with whatever frames you can come up with, and if you don't have enough then buy the plastic ones just because its quick and easy. The little bit of brood will help keep the bees that come in, and the other frames will keep the colony from making a big mess.
 

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One frame should do the trick. If the cone is working properly, then you will have an abundance of bees to boost the one frame very quickly. Add a feeder if there is no nectar flow.

IF your main colony is strong, then it shouldn't hurt it to get one frame of brood. I would try to get one with just a little brood. Fresh eggs would be a bonus, but make sure not to get the queen. Hope this helps.
 

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I use one frame containing eggs.
I shake off all bees and use just the frame.
The cone bees will go in and cover the brood within 30 minutes of setting the cone and box.
Be sure the entrance is within 12 inches of the BASE of the cone. The location of the point , or exit, of the cone is unimportant. I have not had a failure to make a queen yet.
 
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