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Author Topic: bees clustering on SBB  (Read 3549 times)

Offline ArmucheeBee

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bees clustering on SBB
« on: August 27, 2008, 09:35:51 PM »
I did a cutout on Aug 18 and the bees have been doing fine inside and the queen is good.  But several 100 bees are clustering on the outside bottom of the screened bottom board.  They are even flying past the front entrance and going under to the SBB.  This has been going on since the 18th.  What do I need to do to get them to move and use the entrance?  The others have been doing fine, these just never seemed to get it.  Should I make a little "Entrance" sign?
Stephen Stewart
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Offline annette

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2008, 11:00:10 PM »
I had a similar situation when I moved my bees last month. I had many bees clustering under the SBB for weeks. They have finally settled down. It will take some time, but they will finally end up inside. Actually the bees did go in at night, but during the day they would do just what you are describing.

I think they should be ok in time.


Offline ArmucheeBee

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2008, 11:15:50 PM »
I wasn't too worried at first but the cluster is about 2-3 bees thick in the middle and spreads about 8-9 inches across.  It was about 1.5 hour of daylight left when I checked.  Just seems like several hundred bees that could be working inside to me.   

I wonder if my queen went out there????   She swarmed the afternoon after I hived them at the cutout house.   I have not checked for her in about 8 days.   What about scoping them off at night and pouring them into the hive?   
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Offline annette

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 11:38:57 PM »
Can you go back when it is dark and see what they are doing??? See if they have gone into the hive?? Yes, you definitely have a different situation than me.


I do not know what to tell you if they are not going inside at night. Let"s see what others will say about this.



Offline JP

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2008, 11:44:45 PM »
You can mess with them at night but you better be fully protected, much better in the day time.

You may have a queen in the midst under there, check in the morning and see if you can find her.


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Offline ArmucheeBee

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2008, 06:50:49 PM »
I watched this hive again this afternoon.  Several drones were coming out of the correct entrance and flying off, but I saw several come back and land under the hive on the SBB.  There may be about 300 bees, 2-3 deep here now.  I'll check tonight and see if they go in, but I doubt it.   Does this (drones) signal any dire consequences such as swarming???   I can not really suit up and address this until Friday Afternoon.  Also, I have been feeding them with a Miller feeder.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2008, 10:55:00 PM »
I watched this hive again this afternoon.  Several drones were coming out of the correct entrance and flying off, but I saw several come back and land under the hive on the SBB.  There may be about 300 bees, 2-3 deep here now.  I'll check tonight and see if they go in, but I doubt it.   Does this (drones) signal any dire consequences such as swarming???   I can not really suit up and address this until Friday Afternoon.  Also, I have been feeding them with a Miller feeder.

One of the reasons I went to bottomless hives.  Too many of the returning foragers were going in under the hive, transferring their haul, and then clustering there at night.  Got to be a good sized clump after a while, but they wouldn't go inside the hive, it turned cold and I lost bees..  Removed the SBB, leaving just the slatted rack and the bees can festoon under the hive all they want but they are no longer "locked out" of the hive by the screen.
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Offline ArmucheeBee

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2008, 09:30:32 AM »
Are the slats a bee space too?  I mean can they go through???  I worry about SHB (already getting in some how) and wax moths getting through the slats too.
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Offline rast

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008, 08:05:04 PM »
 Yes, slat spacing is 3/8 between slats. I understand Brians methodology and should work well with strong hives, but I prefer to keep my SBB's. What will work well in colder climates, will not always work in Fl. and vice versa.
 I also would check for the queen under the hive, just not at night. When I changed to SBB's and slatrack's on two of my hives, one took about three days to stop going under it and one never did go under it. I am talking about a significant number of bees, not a handful.
 If there is not a queen under it causing the problem, get the bees off of it and block it off until they learn where to enter.   
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Offline ArmucheeBee

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2008, 09:54:19 PM »
This afternoon I pulled off the top boxes and put them on a solid BB then put the SBB on top of one of the boxes and smoked the bees off.  Could not see the marked queen but there were a ton of drones.  I think they were the problem.  So they went into my top box and I switched every thing back to the original SBB.  I have to go back into the boxes in morning for a comb problem (on the general board now).  So I can check to see what they are doing on the SBB then.  Drones seem to take a lot of energy from the hive.  Thanks for all the suggestions.
Stephen Stewart
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Offline SgtMaj

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2008, 02:55:17 AM »
Should I make a little "Entrance" sign?



I couldn't resist doing a cheap photoshop of that... it just painted such a funny picture for me.

Offline TwT

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2008, 09:41:11 AM »
hahahaha, I like that one  :-D , nice
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Offline bassman1977

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2008, 12:21:17 PM »
Brian,

Do you have any pics of your bottomless hives?  Also, I don't know how often you move your hives around, but what is the practicability of bottomless hives if you have to move your hives once or twice a year?
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2008, 02:54:04 AM »
Brian,

Do you have any pics of your bottomless hives?  Also, I don't know how often you move your hives around, but what is the practicability of bottomless hives if you have to move your hives once or twice a year?

When it comes to cameras I am totally illiterate, I always press the wrong button, or at the wrong time, of something goes wrong...so no pics.

I took all your questions into account when I designed the hive stand.  I can slide mite boards and/or screens beneath the hive when moving them.  I move them stand and all.  I do save a few solid bottom boards for catching swarms.

Maybe Understudy or Cindi took pictures of my hives when they were here on Labor Day weekend. 
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Offline bassman1977

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2008, 12:58:49 AM »
Quote
I move them stand and all. 

Sorry, I should have been more specific.  In moving, I mean vehicular transport.  Still works with this application?
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: bees clustering on SBB
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2008, 10:17:13 PM »
Quote
I move them stand and all. 

Sorry, I should have been more specific.  In moving, I mean vehicular transport.  Still works with this application?

I don't have any out yards so I don't move them anymore than relocating within the same yard.  I adjust the spacing.  I have room for 12 hives with 3 feet between hives and rows.  To move them in a vehicle I would just put screen over the openings on the stand and use a hand truck.
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