What is in the hive to lure them in? Brood? A Queen? More bees? If you don't have anything but comb in the other hive they will never move in. They will just hang on the cone. Even with a queen in the box they probably won't move in. If you have it put some frames of open brood and some bees in the box to lure the others in. Also put the box higher than the cone if you can. They still may not move in.
If you don't have anything to put in the hive (brood, bees etc.) then brush them off into the box and take a couple of miles or more away. You will need at least a queen and preferably some brood, to get them to stay.
I have never had much luck getting them to give up on their old hive. I have the best luck putting the box a couple of miles a way and brushing all the bees off every night and putting them in the box that is two miles or more away. After the hive in the barn is depopulated enough, then you can bring the box back and let them rob out the hive in the wall. Bait it with some honey on the entrace and let them rob it.
It's a small colony in the box, brood, bees, queen, the whole works. There's definitely a lot more bees in it now than when I started, but I'm still plugging little cracks every day when the barn bees find a way back in. My main goal is to get as many of the field bees as possible before opening the wall.
[This message has been edited by dcross (edited September 12, 2003).]
The barn bees will continue to try to get back in for some time. I've never seen them entirely give up. But if you have brood and bees and a queen in the box some will also move in there as time goes on. It's a slow process. The cooler weather will probably act as encouragement for them to move into the box. I would figure a couple of weeks to really get them settled and have most of the population of bees out of the barn. And that is dependant on finding any new holes they have found/chewed since the last time you were there.
In that case, I'd try to tie even the honey comb into frames (which I usually don't bother with). I have real good luck with those thick hair ties on medium frames. I'm not sure they will stretch far enough for deeps. Mediums are nice to tie in because the pieces are smaller and there is more frame to support them. On a cool day honey comb isn't too hard to tie in, at least compared to a hot day, when it's impossible! You can tie it with rubber bands, or cotton string or use the swarm catching frames.
I'd also take whatever honey you scrap and feed that. They can put honey away much faster than syrup.
I have had a cone on a bee tree for six weeks now and I am amazed that every time I visit, about once a week, there is still a constant stream of bees comming out of the cone. Lately, I have not seen but three or four bees collecting on the cone, most go right into the box on their return from the field.
I have kept a top feeder on the box with plenty of syrup to give them something to do during the drought that has ended now. I will requeen this week.
The hive I placed and the small nuc colony inside are really booming. It now has two full mediums of PC and is about ready for a third. I plan to leave it on for a total of eight weeks, until the end of this month. I hope by then I can remove the screen and the tree colony will be weakened enough to let the boxed bees rob it out.
I think that the key here is to keep a top feeder on until you are sure that they have enough stores for the winter. A pollen pattie wouldn't hurt either.
And since you don't know about the condition of the bees, I would also put a grease pattie on too.
Smack dab in the middle of the country.
Just wanted to update this, took the combs out of the wall today, the cone never did get many of the bees out, just too many holes in the old barn boards. The extraction went really well, since there was no brood, we just shook the bees off in front of the other hive, saved all the capped honey and laid the rest out for the hive to rob, then gave them 2 shallows of honey for the winter. Only 3 stings with no gloves, wish I could have found the queen, they had built about 2 deeps worth of comb since Aug. when they moved in.
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