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Author Topic: Bees in a dresser Need help please  (Read 3597 times)
annette
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« on: November 17, 2009, 05:50:53 PM »

Got a call from this women (named Shawna) who happens to be the project manager for our 4H beekeeping club. I am teaching this club beekeeping and somehow someone contacted Shawna that there was a dresser filled with bees sitting at a construction site about 1/2 hour away from me.

Anyway Shawna went down there today and reported back to me that the bees filled up only about 1/2 of  the top drawer of the dresser. Not a whole lot of bees, much honey and some brood. They are bringing in pollen

She wants to bring that dresser back to her house tomorrow and save those bees. The construction site men said the project is finished and the bees have to go.

So I am asking you all for advice.

If there is a small population of bees would it be best to just do a cut out and place everything into a small nuc and feed them??? I would tie in some of the honey into frames also. And if you agree with this scenario, how would I tell her to feed them for the duration of the winter??

It is a bit to cool at night now for sugar syrup.  Since she will have to feed them all through the winter, so would it be best to just place newspaper on top of the frames and dump that bakers sugar on top??

She doesn't have anyother beehives so combining is out of the question.

Please send any advice because she is bringing the dresser to her home tomorrow, and wants to place them into the nuc on Thursday since we still have some decent weather.

Thanks
Annette

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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2009, 05:58:54 PM »

any way she can leave them in the dresser until spring?  that would be my first choice, but her winters may be milder....
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annette
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2009, 06:13:51 PM »

any way she can leave them in the dresser until spring?  that would be my first choice, but her winters may be milder....


No our winters I believe are colder here. Gets really cold at night for several months. (20's and 30's)
This was my thought also, but if the numbers are really low and the draw they are in is not even filled up, they would have so much room to keep warm. Although, they would have all that honey already in there near them and probably would not starve to death.  My feeling is to just leave them alone.  Thanks for this input.

Annette
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 06:26:01 PM »

that would be my choice.  if you try to move them, they probably won't make it. if you leave them, they have a chance.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
annette
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 06:29:10 PM »

that would be my choice.  if you try to move them, they probably won't make it. if you leave them, they have a chance.



I really did not want them moved, but apparently they have to be moved.
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2009, 06:32:44 PM »

can the dresser be move and the bees left in it?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2009, 06:49:07 PM »

I would agree with Kathy that leaving the bees in the dresser over the winter would be much less distruptive vs. trying to get them into a nuc.

...Tim
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2009, 07:15:20 PM »

Agreed.... Take the whole dresser home and leave it as is until spring.
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 07:57:48 PM »

The dresser's finish can not handle rain water.  Cold yes but not rain.  The individual boards used to make the planks will separate if expose to too much water.  So cover the top with something from the home Improvement store: treated plywood, tin, fiberglass roofing slats, etc.  The sides will shed the water so should last much longer than the top.  I would make the material used stick out 6 inches or so from the sides if I could.
Can you stuff some of the empty space with quilting?

The idea of a dresser hive is awesome.  If only...

P.S.- show pictures!
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2009, 08:08:30 PM »

OK I will forward all these responses to the women and I am sure she will agree to just leave them as is. She will bring the dresser to her property tomorrow.

Thanks for the help
Annette
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JP
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2009, 08:18:46 PM »

My vote is also to leave them where they are until the spring. Insulating the dresser area they occupy may be in order. If they have as much honey as you say, they should be in good shape come spring time.

I don't remove colonies this time of year unless they absolutely 100% have to go, but rest assured I inform the customer they most likely won't survive the removal process.

Today I looked at an external colony on a ligustrum bush. The people are taking my advice constructing a border around the colony to block the wind and letting it take its chances. Late February, early March if they survive we will remove them then.


...JP
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2009, 08:20:17 PM »

If the dresser is not something she wants to salvage it might do well with some felt paper stapled to it, as a wrap. Also some sort of High density insulation on the top that would overhang the side to shear the water.
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annette
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2009, 08:23:33 PM »

I forwarded all the info to the women.

Thanks JP & Sparky
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lakeman
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2009, 09:01:41 AM »

any way she can leave them in the dresser until spring?  that would be my first choice, but her winters may be milder....


No our winters I believe are colder here. Gets really cold at night for several months. (20's and 30's)
This was my thought also, but if the numbers are really low and the draw they are in is not even filled up, they would have so much room to keep warm. Although, they would have all that honey already in there near them and probably would not starve to death.  My feeling is to just leave them alone.  Thanks for this input.

Annette


You say they need to have feed, with all of that honey why??
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lenape13
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2009, 11:24:31 AM »

I would let them bee for the winter, if possible.  Protect them from the cold and damp as much as possible.  Keep a close eye on them and feed if necessary.  HMMM, what an interesting observation hive that would make.... rolleyes  I am in the process of building a bee barn for just such an occasion when I might have to nurse a hive over the winter months.
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annette
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2009, 12:03:30 PM »

any way she can leave them in the dresser until spring?  that would be my first choice, but her winters may be milder....


No our winters I believe are colder here. Gets really cold at night for several months. (20's and 30's)
This was my thought also, but if the numbers are really low and the draw they are in is not even filled up, they would have so much room to keep warm. Although, they would have all that honey already in there near them and probably would not starve to death.  My feeling is to just leave them alone.  Thanks for this input.

Annette


You say they need to have feed, with all of that honey why??

You are correct, I was still thinking of the cutout.

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Mason
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2009, 12:08:39 PM »

I envision a new style of hive!

what if you could check the bottom brood box without removing the top boxes?  Basically stackable drawers with frames in them.

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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2009, 09:58:00 PM »

Annette, well?Huh  Do you know what the outcome was of this, I would love to hear what happened, have a most wonderful day, with health.  Cindi
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2009, 11:46:30 PM »

I envision a new style of hive!

what if you could check the bottom brood box without removing the top boxes?  Basically stackable drawers with frames in them.



That is an outstanding idea!

***off to drawing board***
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G3farms
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2009, 12:36:17 AM »

Sit the whole dresser in the shed or barn until early spring, if you need to feed them pour sugar into the draw, or take a hole saw to the top of the dresser for a quart jar feeder.

G3
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