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Author Topic: Bees have abandoned ship  (Read 2576 times)
tejas
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« on: October 12, 2004, 10:01:05 PM »

I placed menthol crystals in my hive two weeks ago. I put them on a plastic lid on the top of the frames in the upper deep. I also placed the entrance reducer in with the smallest opening. When I went out yesterday to remove the menthol the majority of bees had left the hive and were clustered underneath the bottom board. I remove the crystals and the entrance reducer hoping they would go back in the hive. I checked today when I got home from work and while the cluster is smaller the majority are still there and I’m assuming the queen is still underneath also. What should I do the nights are starting to get cool and I’m worried about them not being inside the hive? I thought about spraying them with sugar water and scooping them into a box and putting them back in the hive. One other note when looking in the entrance I can still see a few crystals maybe 10-15 on the bottom screen from where I guess the bees had tried to physically remove the menthol them selves. Would this small amount prevent the queen from coming back inside?
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BigRog
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2004, 11:47:21 PM »

Check this out
http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=1321&highlight=menthol
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Finman
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2004, 05:28:01 AM »

Quote from: tejas
I placed menthol crystals in my hive two weeks ago............. a few crystals maybe 10-15 on the bottom screen from where I guess the bees had tried to physically remove the menthol them selves. Would this small amount prevent the queen from coming back inside?



 Give them a new box with frames and then start to feed winter sugar.
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tejas
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2004, 06:50:38 PM »

I have an update, just checked the hive and the cluster is about the size of your fist. And there is a lot of activity at the front entrance. With an abnormal amount of dead bees out front. I don't know if I'm seeing drones being cast out or a robbing situation? Also it is supposed to get down to around 40 degrees tonight and I'm guess the queen is in the remaining cluster. Should I spray them with sugar water and scoop them into a box a put them back in the hive? I need advice on what to do.
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Finman
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2004, 10:47:02 AM »

Quote from: tejas
..cluster is about the size of your fist. And there is a lot of activity at the front entrance. .


Fist size is minimum of bee colony. You must have inside a lot of bees.

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Also it is supposed to get down to around 40 degrees tonight..


That night is gone and I suppose, that tehy went indoors

 

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Should I spray them with sugar water and scoop them into a box a put them back in the hive? I need advice on what to do.


That is not wise. Bees become dirty and they loose temperature when they drye upp.
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2004, 08:32:50 PM »

Tejas,

I would bet the queen never left the hive.  It is quite hard to get the queen to leave the brood.  If that were the case,  one could simply dump menthol into the cavity to get the bees & queen of a swarm out of a wall or tree.  I wish it were that easy Smiley Although I use the paper towel method,  I have noticed that different hives can react quite differently to menthol. All my hives received the exact treatment and this was the worse reaction hive of mine this year.


click image for larger view


Within 2 days they where back in the hive.  I had one other that had a handsize cluster hanging,  but most hives, although very active trying to ventilate at the entrance, did not cluster on the outside.

Hope all is well with your hive by now.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


tejas
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2004, 09:26:21 PM »

Well I left them alone and they were back inside today. Although I do believe I have a robbing situation going on, is it common to see robbing this time of year. The hard thing about being a beginner is you are not sure what you are looking at some of the time. But I do have a good many dead bees outside on the ground and it appeared to me there was quiet frenzy going on at the front entrance. So I put the entrance reducer back in and covered the hive with a wet sheet. I will check them again tomorrow afternoon. Seems like while the bees were out of the hive it was discover by others.
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Robo
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2004, 08:21:43 AM »

Yes, this is the time of year that the potential for robbing is at its highest.  Reducing the entrance is your best defense.  Keep an eye on them, and keep reducing the entrance size (if you have too) until it stops.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


tejas
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2004, 10:39:03 AM »

Update 10/16/04 I did an in depth inspection yesterday. I put in a slated rack and a top shim for better ventilation. 3 weeks ago when I put the menthol in the hive the top brood chamber was full of capped honey and brood. Now the hive is almost empty there are a few capped and uncapped frames left but not many. I found only one frame with eggs in it and I looked close to make sure only one egg was in each cell so I know the queen is present and no laying worker. But there were no other developing larvae in any stage. I’m assuming the queen had been in the cluster under the hive and not laying for the two weeks the menthol was in the hive.
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