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Author Topic: Tornado Hit My Place Last Night  (Read 2152 times)
Rebel Rose Apiary
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« on: June 28, 2009, 10:05:19 AM »

The weather forecast was for severe thunderstorms only and not even a tornado watch was issued. They said that there would be 60 mph + winds and damaging hail, heavy rains and flooding in low areas. No weather spotters were out, so I thought all would be well. Not so....

It had been too hot all day yesterday and when the cold winds hit all at once, I knew it was not going to be good. Then the skies started turning that sickly shade of green and I started to watch! My old cat went ballistic, as he always does when a tornado is close; I took him with me for years when I was storm chasing..so he knows what is up. I had just enough time to grab him and head for the bathroom. I could hear it coming and sure enough it was right over head in seconds...not minutes.

I heard lightning hit, could feel the house shake like it was coming apart and had those thoughts that since this was after 4:pm, when most of th F4's and F5's are born, that this might be it. The roar was undgodly! This was the loudest tornado that I have ever heard and it beat the tornado at Andover, KS in sound!

Finally I heard it go and although the rains were so heavy I could not see much, between the lightning flashes I could see the outline of a good sized wedge tornado heading east; this one came from the NW!

I called 911 and then went to check...a electrical pole was leaning over the highway in front of the house and ready to go at any second...made the second call to 911 and told them about that.

I then checked the horses, other livestock and went to check the hives. Sure enough one of the hives took a direct hit from a maple and was crushed under the tree. The neighbor had better pay for that one! I then looked at the other hives and found them all twisted and in the wrong places....I got up at daylight and put them back up again....covered with honey!

It could have been much worse, but still, I lost the rest of the honey crop...no sales for me this year unless there really are miracles. The hives in the other yards were all blown over too....what a mess to clean up today.

Brenda

 
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EasternShore
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2009, 10:09:09 AM »

Geez...hope you can get all your girls back in order..so sorry to hear this kind of stuff.
Glad your ok...
Mark
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 11:36:19 AM »

WOW!!! I love tornado's and chasing them too but when they get into civilization I get worried...  That is terrably sad to hear about your girls but it sounds like you were lucky that it wasn't a direct hit on your house then you wouldn't be able to put the hives back together.....  I'm glad to hear that you are OK and all that was lost was a crop of honey and maybe a few shingles.  Good luck on the repairs.

David (who once use to chase twisters in northern Texas)
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2009, 11:42:10 AM »

Oh, Brenda, I'm so sorry to hear about your honey crop! What a mess!

Sending positive thoughts your way...
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2009, 12:00:38 PM »

And I've been worrying about our 30+ mph gusts. Roll Eyes Sorry to hear 'bout your damage. Tornadoes are fascinating, but I sure hope I never see one up close like that!
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G3farms
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2009, 12:09:56 PM »

Truly sorry to hear about your losses. Sounds like you are having a real hard time this year for sure. Glad you, the cat and the livestock made it out OK.

I wish you some very good luck in the future in all of your adventures.

G3
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2009, 12:40:07 PM »


David (who once use to chase twisters in northern Texas)

It has been hard trying to figure out which frames go with which hives. I am not sure how much of the brood, if any, that will survive. There was water over my ankles last night and the brood all appear to have been under water, as they are soaked. I am not sure if the workers will accept the 'wrong frames' if I get them mixed up....and I am wondering what they will do with the frames of dead brood, etc.

I had to come back to the house and get away from the mess out in the field. It looks like someone took a weedeater to the field and then rolled the frames of honey and brood in it...plus there is sand all over the frames.

I chase storms in Texas too! (Kansas, Texas, etc. I was everywhere) This one got here too fast and I did not have time to get prepared. No tornado warnings at all last night! This one was a big wedge...wide and nasty. Lots of damage around this area. I am betting they will call it 'straight line winds'.....since they did not issue warnings.

I am disgusted and the bees seem to be taking it better than I am. So far, they have been really gentle and even the hot Italians are not making a fuss!
I cannot find one queen anywhere!  :'(There are a lot of bees in balls, but so far, I have yet to locate one queen.)

Brenda


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G3farms
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2009, 12:54:13 PM »

WOW a bigger mess than what I was imaging! I was thinking of the hives just turned over, but scattered all about is a real mess. Best of luck getting them put back together. Brood under water does not sound good but you never know. Stay strong and keep after it.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2009, 01:21:40 PM »

I just checked some of the larva and they are dead...chilled or downed, but dead none the less. I guess that I will let the workers clean them up, as I am not sure what else to do at this point....I have been getting the hives back up since daylight...so it was time to take a break.

The hives in the field look like they were tossed like dice! Frames are scattered and battered like bear have been into them.

Now I still have yet to locate a queen..... Cry

I also spoke with the man from AmerenCips...he was checking on the leaning pole out front....they will not be able to get a new pole up until late this week...as there was a lot worse damage up north of me around the Canton area. Geesh, I would not want their jobs!

Thank you all for the good words, as they are much appreciated.

Brenda
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Cheryl
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2009, 01:24:30 PM »

My prayers go out to you, Brenda. It could definitely be worse, but that sounds glib, and does not undo the damage done. Wish I could help you pick up the pieces.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2009, 04:35:29 PM »

RRA--So sorry to hear about this! First the spraying, now this. It sounds like a really rough summer for you. I hope your hives can pull themselves together in time for winter... Best wishes!
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2009, 05:11:05 PM »

sorry to hear about your misfortune. I have often wondered about what bees do in severe weather. In the late 80's I had a small tornado past through between my house and my next door neighbors house.Now I live next to a creek (110' feet wide).My hives at that time were sitting along the bank  of the creek facing west. The tornado came in cutting a path through the woods passing directly over the hives. these hive were setting on cement blocks with 4 x 4 rails 3 hives per set. The top covers and inner covers came off the hives and some were being held against the sliding glass door when my wife looked out. These hives could have been easily pushed off but never fell. The fire company roof was peeled off and dropped on the neighbor girls car.Long story I know ,but here is my observation .The bees seemed to have all moved down into the lower box none visible just after the storm passed.Has anyone else noticed anything like this
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2009, 06:57:29 PM »

Most of the hives were tossed like dice, so they came apart. The frames were all laying in straight lines.....really weird the way the storms leave some things alone and then hit something right next to it.

The timber that used to be out in the field to the west of me is gone...sweet corn and green beans are out there now. That timber was big enough to keep most of the winds off of the hives...used to....

The only bright side of things is that I now have enough limbs piled up for a good weinie roast.

Brenda

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sarafina
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2009, 08:13:08 PM »

Oh Brenda - I am so sorry about your hives!

When Hurricane Ike hit us last September, the first thing I went to look for was my beehive (only had one last year).  I had piled a ton of rocks on it and it was enough to keep it from toppling over.  We had a tree come down in the back yard and the "V" of the branches fell on either side of the hive - I could see it still intact through the tree branches and it made me so happy.  I am sorry your outcome wasn't better and I wish I live closer so I could come help.
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2009, 09:17:08 PM »

I'd like to say something uplifting, but I suck at that. I'm sorry about your hives
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2009, 09:33:16 PM »

I'm so sorry to hear about your bad news.
I hope every thing works out for you.
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2009, 09:42:31 PM »

Dang Brenda, so sorry to hear of your losses. All you can do is pick up the pieces and consolidate. I wish you a speedy recovery, but I know it will take a while to get back to where you were.

Tornados and bees are cool, until they get into your house and hives!


...JP
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2009, 10:30:59 PM »

    Sorry to hear about the bees and the damaged hives.  I may hate losing colonies like that, but I'ld rather lose a colony than a person every time, just glad you're safe.  Hopefully they will bounce back.
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2009, 12:32:16 AM »

Brenda,

That sounds like a really close call.  It's sad to hear of the damage to your bee yard but I'm very glad to hear you are OK and your house is intact. 

Best wishes,

SH
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Irwin
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2009, 11:05:37 AM »

This is hit two for Brenda the flood's got a bunch of her bee's earlyer now the tornado got the rest.
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2009, 07:27:28 PM »

Irwin,

I said that I had tow strikes already....if I lose anymore, I am out for this year.
If things are good with the fall flow, I might get enough honey for myself, the bees to over winter on and some to donate to the food bank. The food bank honey is something that I do every year and they really appreciate the honey.

Brenda
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2009, 01:22:04 AM »

After all the condolences it's time for some constructive help.  It may be too late now but in case it isn't and for future reference be aware that when wind storms knock over hives and scatter frames the bees are very confused.  That confusion lets the beekeeper put the hives back together, any-witch-way and those that recover do and those that don't don't. 

If the brood frames are water logged they're toast so it's best to just cut out the combs and replace the foundation, if that is what you use. 
Mainly concentrate on the live bees and stores, getting those into hives with any brood frames that don't look too damaged.  The bees will clean up some brood but a hive full of bad brood can be too much for the bees to overcome without putrification setting in, causing disease.
It's possible to end up with more than 1 queen in a hive, no queen to a hive, or having lost all the queens.  A few days can tell the difference.
Don't worry about hive numbers, concentrate on placing 10 frames in each 10 frame box, 2 deeps, or 3 mediums to each hive, and then see how they recover.

That's the best a beekeeper can do, the rest of the season will be spent nursemaiding those hives that show survival tendencies to a state tha might allow them to successfully overwinter.  Sorry for the disaster, but it's now time to get to work.
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2009, 12:54:20 PM »

Brian,

Thank you so much for the information. I guess I accidently did what you suggested....I put what I could salvage where I hoped/thought it went and most of the brood and honey was ruined.

Some of the frames had half a frame or more of undamaged brood, so I put them with with the good brood. The frames of honey looked too bad to me to put back in....wet, sandy and covered in weeds...plus the tree limbs beat the heck out of them and ruined most of the foundation....most look like King Kong used them for a trampoline.

You have set my mind at ease, as I was not sure how to handle this one. I had thought about combining the hives and making one out of two....but I am going to wait a week and see what they look like then.

I have been looking for the queens and so far, not one has been found. I think that I will look inside to see if I can either find the queens or if there have been any new eggs laid.

I have been feeding my hives since the storm and they are going right through the SW. There is not much blooming here right now, other than some wild daisies; the yellow ones that have the big black seed head something like a coneflower...I cannot remember the name.

Brenda

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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2009, 01:07:11 PM »

sorry about your mess.  that just sucks.  please keep us posted on the recovery. 

they are tough little critters so hopefully they will end up in better shape than it probably looks they will right now.
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2009, 03:33:55 PM »

All I can say now is that they are hungry and taking up the SW like crazy!

There is not much here for pollen and nectar....I cannot find anything more than the daisies! I fed all of the pollen patties early this spring, so I cannot fed them any now.

Brenda
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