Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,
My name is mike, and I haven’t posted much or often. I have a unique situation, probably not unique here.
Last year I got my first hive. I babied and fussed over it as any new beek might. June rolls around and I sustain a back injury that takes me down for months. I tried for all I was worth to get out and check on them, but I just couldn’t and had nobody that could help. The summer and fall they dwindled and the hive died out over the winter. A year went by and my back got better and I lost about 80 pounds and am much better. At the beginning of the season, I opened the hive to find a mouse nest, ants, chewed comb. Looks like a mouse family lived the good life over the winter, getting fat on honey. I decided that when the weekend came I would take it all apart and clean it up, and maybe next season I would try again. Six days went by, and I go out to do the job I should have done already,and there’s a buzzing coming from the hive with no top and believed to be empty.......there’s new bees! There weren’t many so I put the top on and went to make a plan and see what happened. I went out the next day and they were gone. Lots of big black ants I the hive. Ok the hive was not strong enough to fight them off, so again, I left the top off with plans to break it all down the next day. I put it off for a few days, and now there is a thriving colony in the hive again! They’ve cleaned the frames I pulled out and seem to be doing well. The hive is trashed from the pests and there is severe cross combing in the second deep, due the the fact that I couldn’t lift so much as a honey laden deep frame last year. I’d like to help the bees as much as I can. Should I still break it down and try to repair cross combing, clean out the rotting bee carcasses? Should I just leave a few drawn out frames and put in some fresh ones? I wasn’t expecting to have bees this year, but I’m elated that they’re here, and for free. I want to do better by them. It made me so sad that I couldn’t help them last year. I know this was a long post, but any help would be greatly appreciated. I promise I will do better this year and the bee seem to want me to try. Thank you all so much for the help as well as propagating the pollinators
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Are you sure it is the swarm and not just robbing? One way to know is to check after dark- if they are still there then it is a swarm. If they just moved in, you can give them another week to establish before you go in and take the nest apart, but if you dont fix the cross comb now, you will have hard time making further inspections and may not be able to manage the hive properly down the road. Don't worry about cleaning - they can do that themselves, but wild comb may be a problem. Can you reduce them to a single for now while you are fixing the second box? I guess it depends on how big is the swarm.
Also if you have extra board/lid, you can just separate the 2 boxes without looking for queen and they will move into the right box themselves, then you can fix the other one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Glad your back is better. Now to the bees. Treat them as any new hive. Once the are settled usually a week or so. I'd get it cleaned up asap. Fix all the cross comb issues. Not knowing how big or strong ? The hive was. I'd give them.the correct space, and probably get em into the bottom box, and if they need that 2nd box, I'd stagger foundation, then drawn comb. I like the natural drawn comb, as the bees know what to do. But, the foundation staggered in helps to keep em from drawing as much cross comb ect. Flow will be over in a couple weeks, so I'd plan to feed em. I like open feeding away from hive a bit. Say 75 ft. At least. More is best, to keep robbing from happening as bad. Give em small amounts of pollen patty to promote brood growth. Feed helps em to.draw comb, and well as feeding them. Look at the.mite situation. Check the mite levels, and treat for them asap. Will help emsurvive, and thrive. I like o. A. There are lots of products out there. Most are temp sensitive. O.a. doesn't seem to kill bees, isn't as temp. sensitive. Use precautions with any mite treatments. Also, find a local bee club, ask for help or a mentor. Would help you allot. Look at splitting hive when they.are ready. As you will want.2-3 hives to hopefully make.it through the winter. Start building a little equipment ahead. Always think ahead. The bees grow fast, and die faster at times. Good luck, and happy bee keeping... rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,557 Posts
If they are there permanently then you probably at first saw some scout bees checking the place out. If there is a swarm that moved in then apparently they decided a fixer-upper was just what they wanted. I'd leave the swarm alone to settle in for a few days. As soon as you see eggs and larvae then fix the cross comb and clean off the bottom board for them. Mouse damaged comb is something I would remove the bulk of and let them replace it with new comb.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top