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donky7

hi honey i'm home

well, very new to bee keeping, I've picked up bits n bobs over last year even had a hive given by an old keeper who hasn't the full time now but would still like to nibble.

anyway 2 month ago my hive, sighted for now on my back garden ( I have the choice of 5 farms to sight, once I have a swarm) this hive had a swarm ... oh boy was I pleased, I even filmed it, 30 mins later it left....!!!

the bait hive had combs with honey in, but no idea why they left.

since then I've been feeding passing bees on the front step of the hive when yesterday, quite a large number of bees came to feed. from what I counted outside, no more then 100. lifting the lid yesterday they were still inside all huddled together.  

now I have wasp traps near as they are very active too

http://youtu.be/ThYEbk7iPqU
Pembroke

Get an entrance block in as soon as you can with a very small slot in it approx one inch wide should be enough. The bees that you have assuming they have the queen with them will need to have all the help they can get to protect the honey they have from wasps and the full entrance is just too much for them to defend.

Also remove the outside feeder if that's what it is for the same reason.

Wasps are a menace this year I have four of the pop bottle traps around my hive and each one is at least one inch deep in drowned wasps with more being added all the time.
donky7

thanks, entrance drastically reduced.
Rick & Carol

same here - fairly new colony so I was concerned they'd wear themselves out with the maurading wasps - two jars now foll of dead wasps near the entrance.

I'm working 200 miles from home art the min and lots of wasps in evidence there too
donky7

I'm not using these yet but the best wasp trap available is the wasp bane trap. I'm about to order a few.
Lorrainelovesplants

If you havnt had a swarm in by now forget it - they will not have enough time to build up and make stores to get them through the winter.  This year has been an odd one for bees and swarms but the last swarm I housed was start July.
I also use clean frames with new foundation and only 1 old frame to attract them in a bait hive.  You have no idea why the bees left, but it could be nosema or any other disease or illness.
Im taking off honey this weekend and on Monday starting my autumn varroa treatment.
Pembroke

I would also have to agree with Lorraine. What you have there is a cast. It's a second swarm from the same hive that produced the big swarm you thought was moving in but didn't. Chance are the first swarm left a pheromone trace and they followed it. The chance's of it surviving the winter are very slim but it can happen.

First off don't do anything to the hive for at least a week, don't open it, don't bother it, all you can do is observe the bees going in and out. What you're looking for is the worker bees collecting pollen in their leg baskets, that is a generally reliable indicator that the queen is laying. After this happens start feeding them with a top feeder. You will need a second super frame to lift the lid off the feeder, don't balance the roof on the feeder as it will let the wasps in and use a sugar solution that's 2 pounds of sugar to a pint of water (or if you will a kilo bag of white sugar, not brown or half and half, just ordinary boring granulated, my local Tesco currently sell a 5kg bag for 4.50). If you use warm water the sugar will melt easier and the bees won't mind it a little warm just not boiling. Feed every couple of days, the feeder goes on top of the crown board and under the roof so you don't need smoke or anything to top it up just wear your veil.

Join your local association, I'm sure they would welcome your professional expertise as when there are swarms around next year they will inevitably get called out to wasp as well. You can also get swarms from the more 'interesting' places that an ordinary member might not attempt, which then means you will have swarms that you can hive and maybe sell on to other beginners as well as getting one or two for yourself.

Oh and put on your websites home page 'We Collect Bee Swarms' you never know that might turn up a few as well.
donky7

Fantastic advice, many thanks.

prior to reading this, I had fed the bees twice now, both late last night and this afternoon, as they had consumed the entire pint from last night.

I had mixed 1 pint of warm water to a full bag of asda sugar.

when I lifted the lid last night they were all still in there, so as you suggest, maybe a cast from the previous lot.

i'll certainly learn from this experience should they not survive, my friend is attending sunday to have a proper look inside for a queen.

oh and each time I've looked and fed they don't seem aggressive, I have not yet worn a veil either.

incidentally I was called earlier this year to a wasp problem in a chapel, 3 mins after arriving, pointing to the groundsman where the entrance was and they were honey bees not wasps, a bee left his tail on my forehead... so I have experienced aggressive bees before'

many thanks for the support.
Pembroke

Here's some winter reading for you:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Keeping-B...reen-Guides-Series/dp/1847869858/

this will give you the basics.

For a more technical look at beekeeping:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Bee...-Selling-Beekeeping/dp/1904846513

Forgot to add, I mentioned your cast to my expert today, she says there is a chance it will survive but it would be better in what's called a nuc (pronounced nuke) box. This is essentially half a hive with only 5 or 6 frames in it. A small cast can then keep it warmer over the winter than a full size hive.

The biggest enemy of your bees isn't cold but wet or moisture. So a smaller space can be warmer and there's less condensation. ask your friend if he has one and get them moved before they settle in.
Lorrainelovesplants

Re turning your hive into a nuc - if you have an end board - essentially a frame that had a solid panel in it instead of foundation - confine the colony to 5 or so frames with this and reduce the entrance right down.  Also treat them for varroa and then feed up for the winter.
I managed to get a really small colony through last year - its not the cold that kills them (think about it - they have successful bee colonies in Scandinavia) its the damp.
donky7

fantastic,

my friend has offered me the use of his nuk, so that's todays mission.

the pint of feed I placed yesterday has gone already, were they hungry or is this normal..?

i'm sure Barry, my friend will aid with the mites.

thanks... Martyn.
donky7

here are a few images





donky7

bees transferred from hive to nuke'

we guessed there was more like 300 rather than 100

I witnessed a few workers returning this evening with yellow legs......... !!!

pics to follow.
rhino

You're not far from me Donky, I too have had a swarm come to my hive and have seen a lot of activity in the last couple of weeks with a real build in numbers, including lots of pollen going in, and a lot of wasps around as well but the bees seem to be holding their own.
donky7

update on my bees

new box applied, new stocks made up, wasp pots in situ.. lol



Pembroke

Looking good, keep feeding them until they stop taking it in. The reason they're taking a lot in is to replace the honey that they're consuming to make wax to build up the comb, and to feed the larvae.

They'll then need the sugar to fill the comb for the coming winter, sugar syrup is slightly better for the hive at this time of year as it doesn't set in the same way that honey will and liquid is easier to eat as it doesn't need diluting with so much water.

As the weather gets colder the queen will start laying the winter bees that will keep her warm and snug over the coming months and you should also see any drones (males) that are in the hive being put out as they will soon be useless mouths (it 'aint no fun being a male in nature).
donky7

a question, I've stumbled upon a feral nest site, as soon as its discovered by staff at the location they will want it eradicating.

has anyone ever hovered a swarm with a vac (not a standard hoover )

i'd like to remove this lot without destruction.

the location is an old part of a complex, wooden boards, i'm going to take 1 off to inspect (pics to follow)
rhino

I've seen hoovering bees on youtube, try that for a tutorial,
Quote:
(it 'aint no fun being a male in nature).

unless you're Alpha  
Pembroke

donky7 wrote:
a question, I've stumbled upon a feral nest site, as soon as its discovered by staff at the location they will want it eradicating.

has anyone ever hovered a swarm with a vac (not a standard hoover )

i'd like to remove this lot without destruction.

the location is an old part of a complex, wooden boards, i'm going to take 1 off to inspect (pics to follow)


About the only way you could do it is to hoover them up (Yes I've seen a hand vac used but only on small numbers of bees, you just need to keep the bees away from any moving parts) and cut out the comb from the nest sized to fit into standard frames. You'd probably have to find some way of stopping the comb falling out it will be quite heavy if it's full of honey. Maybe (and I'm guessing here) wrap thin wire around the outside of the frames or trap something like cocktail sticks in the bare frame grooves and then fit the comb onto them, but put some standard frames into the hive as well. Then put it all into a brood box and let them settle down. The standard frames being so that you can encourage them away from the native comb to standard comb to make handling easier. The trick will probably be to hoover up the queen, the rest will then follow more easily. It will get messy though as cutting the comb will to a certain extent release honey which will go everywhere.

If at all possible though I wouldn't attempt it now. Tell the staff about how bees survive over winter as a cluster and how if they're left alone they will leave the staff alone, then when everything starts happening in the spring (late March early April) then would be a good time to do it as there will be less bees and less heavy comb.

You would need to observe the three feet or three miles rule (move a hive less than three feet, or more than three miles) or they will return to the original site.
Pembroke

rhino wrote:
I've seen hoovering bees on youtube, try that for a tutorial,
Quote:
(it 'aint no fun being a male in nature).

unless you're Alpha


True, but as on average half of all new born are male and you only need one then it's not much fun for the rest. Sure they get a bit of life but when the hormones start kicking in it's generally goodbye calf hello hamburger.

As for bees well the male bees get fed by the workers all summer, their sole function is to find and mate with a virgin queen. If they're successful they die as their genitals are ripped from their body and if they don't mate they're useless mouths eating honey that can be used for the winter workers so they all get put out of the hive in the autumn and as they don't know how to feed themselves, it's curtains.

No males live over the winter the queen just lays more when they're needed next summer.
donky7

fantastic advice, many thanks. the comb, i'm sure is confined to a small section between wall boarding 8 inch thick, by 2ft square. so hopefully there wont be too many... I took a few pics before cutting a small section of boarding away, until bees came out ( from inside I was)

should I be lucky enough, i'll be moving the bees a good 15 miles..

heres a pic of me a few yr ago.....

donky7

images before I cut away a section.

outside view...



inside view...



before cut out section....

kaz

I'm enjoying this thread
That operation looked very drastic
donky7





next phase is to add a little smoke and open up the section.

any suggestions on how to gather and persuade them to enter my transport box ?
Lorrainelovesplants

You will have to try and get as many into your box as possible, including the queen.  Dustpan and brush might be good, but you will get a lot flying around.  Personally Id try and do it at dusk as more will be inside .  A cardboard box with a heavy cloth on top should do the trick.
I still think you are far too late in the season and will not get them to build enough reserves for winter.  I am now treating mine and removing honey and feeding others as Im shutting them down now at end of season.
donky7

i'm simply wanting to rehome them, not farm them.

do you think by moving them this late will devastate the bees ?
Pembroke

Hi Donky, Well it's not ideal to move then this time of year, although the seasons are a little later this year, and a bit strange as lots of plants round my way are flowering again if you can leave them in place until next spring that would be best but if you've got to move then then move them. Much as I'm sure we'd like to we can't save every bee or colony, but we can at least try.

Make sure you get as much of the old comb as you can and feed them with winter syrup until they won't take any more. Personally I wouldn't treat them, any wild colony that's survived in this country will be pretty disease resistant and would be good to breed from in the future and stressing them out with moving and treating may just prove to be too much.

Smallest box you can fit them in, another nuc if the colony is small, or just a brood box if not. The key is to create a space that they can keep warm and dry and keep all their food in without cramping them but also not creating a lot of space that needs heating or where moisture can condense. I would avoid insulation as some people do but that's personal preference. You'll need to start looking at mouse guards for both your colonies soon as well your hive lender should be able to point you at the correct parts.

I'm not sure how the others on this thread feel about insulation, does anyone use it?

Edited to add. To answer your question about hiving them I think I would probably try to set the hive up near the colony (smallest lightest set up you can, just a floor, brood box, crown board and roof), with it slightly elevated off the ground, either on a stand or a milk crate. Then a board ramp up to the entrance with a sheet over it, to stop them going underneath. Then collect up the bees in the dustpan / hoover and shake them out onto the ramp. The bees will always walk upwards, into the dark but you'd need to be able to move the comb as you move the bees so will probably not be able to do it alone. Make sure the queen is one of the first into the hive and the others will follow.
donky7

thanks, i',m leaning towards leaving them bee.. lol for the winter, this wil give me time to learn more with refrence and also my own cast.

many thanks....

I've also bought 1 of these to play with........

https://www.aldi.co.uk/en/special...t-detail/ps/p/ash-vac-attachment/
rhino

Have messaged you Donky.

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