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Moved A hive made a couple mistakes

1593 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  gruntworker
Ok, a friend of a friend had a bee hive in their backyard and was going to kill the hive. I have been looking to get a hive for years and told them I would remove the hive for free. The hive was located in a medium size tire. I brought it home and decided to try my hand at relocating them. I have actually waited a few days because i enjoyed watching them so much I feared this day knowing that I may not be successful. But today was the day.

1. Smoked them
2. vacuumed

This part took a very long time. I had no idea how large this hive was. They had filled about 70 percent of the tire cavity.

They seemed very docile which was a bit of surprise for a Phoenix resident and within no time I was vacillating between step 2 ans 3.

3. Remove comb
a. Most in a 3 gallon bucket
b tried to save 6 chunks and rubber band to frames. These chunks had brood and 1 had a queen cup. I kept this because i feared I wouldn't find the queen.

4. Dump bucket of bees into a medium supper

5 Replace frames.

Most of this went without incident but pulling comb out of a tire wasn't easy and this tired was packed. I removed the tire placing it into several very large bags and throwing it away.

I never saw the queen so i hope that I have her. The only indication that I may have her was that there were bees trying to crawl into my bucket vacuum to join the rest of the colony. I guess there may have been other reasons this may have happened but I am new to the hobby with mostly book and forum knowledge.

My big mistakes that I know i made.

There were a lot of bees. When I poured them into the hive they sat in a large clump. I was unable to get some of my frames in because of the shear mass of buzzers. I left 3 out. I also put another super on top because i feared that they would not have enough room.

Should I reopen them tomorrow and place the 3 frames back? Should I take off the extra super?

I had planed on laying out there old comb Sunday to left them take the honey off. Then I was going to feed them to help them fill out the foundation,

And advice?

Thank you in advance.,,
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Leave them be for a few days
I would not put honey comes near them just yet

When you dumped them where they all wet looking,kinda sticky looking?
If so, that usually is a sign of high Death toll.
I see it when over packed and or, over heated

If that is the case pull the box's off and dump the bottom board of dead bees
Helps what's left of them get the upstairs going
All three of my hives were from cut-outs last year. (All three colonies from the same barn!)

I was also advised to leave the surplus comb chunks out so the bees could "rob" them clean. I did that and it was a huge problem. It made for an insane honey riot. Thousands of honey-drunk bees died or drowned in the leaking honey. I expect I drew feral bees and those from other apiaries, too, which is a disease and mite risk. The bees were in such a manic state over that much loose honey that they were in complete disarray.

On about the second or third day I had had enough and picked up all the honey comb and stuck it in 15 or 16 of those giant aluminum foil turkey roaster pans (the kind with the snap on plastic lid) that you can buy in the grocery store. This was the best of the combs. I also had three plastic storage bins full of the what I judged to be the lesser-quality stuff. I have a spare freezer and eventually got it all stowed away and kept it frozen until a few weeks ago.

Luckily it rained very hard about two hours after I had waded into the riot and picked all loose comb pieces. That washed the remaining honey away. The next day, I had a calm apiary with bees going about their normal bee-business.

Even after packing it all up until my freezer was full I still had some left over so I did two different things with it.

Some gnarly, but intact (not leaking, or at least not leaking grossly,) chunks I set directly on the top bars inside the hive to let the bees break it down there where they could keep their cool about it - or at least I didn't have to witness the chaos. This also prevented other "foreign" bees from getting it as it was inside the hive. I put in one ot two chunks at a time, most as big as half a thick sandwich.

The other way I used up the comb, in a controlled manner, was to lay a largish piece of comb (these were leaking so I didn't want them set down and dripping on the frames) on a cookie sheet which in turn was set on a hardware cloth sling I mounted inside an empty shallow super. Then I set the super on the hive and let them have at it. The whole thing wasn't deep enough for drowning, and once again, it was safely inside the hive, not out in the open. After the bees had licked it clean, I found the drones hung out on the comb in their "attic space" - which my husband dubbed the man-cave - so I left it there. It didn't acquired gross burr comb, or any brood or honey storage. It just was a club for the drones. I finally took it off when I buttoned up my hives for the winter.

Now we are in a very different climate, with different challenges. I live in northern NY which means that I don't have much of issue with small hive beetle. Leaving that much unused comb might be a big problem if SHB is a threat to you. The other issue is that I see you are in AZ, and perhaps in an area where there are Africanized bees, which we don't have. The AHB is a reputed to be a much more aggressive robber so they could make open feeding even more of a problem, but they also might make a much more determined assault on the hive if they could smell all that open drippy. honey, the bees were working on inside. In that situation it might be less-dangerous to your bees to open feed, even with the ensuing rumpus.

But the very best use for your honey comb, if you have the space to give it a period of freezing, is to keep it until next fall (or winter) and tie it in to bump up their winter stores. Or as I am doing now, tying it in to frames and adding it when I do my first inspection this Spring. I have already been setting large size chunks on the top bars for a few weeks and the ladies are licking them clean. I fed sugar bricks all winter; added pollen patties about a month ago and now am working through the chunks of honey. It's been exceptionally cold this spring and the bees have been prevented from flying and there's hardly any nectar or pollen, yet. Still I know they have brood to feed and having nursed them through this awful winter I want them all to be well-fed as begin their year.

After it's been cleaned of honey, don't throw the wax away! I would melt it down and use it for waxing any plastic foundation, from full-sized to just starter strips. This gets the bees to draw the frames or new comb out faster. And the wax that came with your bees won't have had any mite-killing pesticides applied to it so it will be "cleaner" than wax you can buy. Of course the bees may have brought pesticides into the hive from their foraging, but that's another story. Amassing enough wax to apply to my foundations is also why I am giving the comb-lumps to the bees to deal with.

Starting out with bees is both a thrilling and a humbling experience and I think all beekeepers are worried about their mistakes. I call my bees survivor bees, because they survived my first-year ignorance and frequent clumsiness. Bees are pretty tough little bugs, so in most cases whatever you do won't be fatal to the colony.

I hope you have as much fun with your bees as I have had this year.

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Ok there was a lot of sticking going on. It was dripping out of the tire. I hopeI didn't lose too many in the bucket but it was deep with bees. I felt if I kept the vacuum running it would help to cool them so I ran it at intervals. It was an overcast day so I hope most of them survived. I never saw the queen but they seem to have all made it into the box so I am taking this as a good sign.

. What do you guys think of me placing the comb in my internal hive feeder?. I could do that instead of sugar water until they clean off all the honey. Let me add a preemptive thank you for your help. I appreciate it.
All three of my hives were from cut-outs last year. (All three colonies from the same barn!)
Just read this again and i am very thankful of your time. Took a glance yesterday but was fully focused on playing with my son. I am going to print this of and use it as encouragement an as a guide.
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