I'm new to the forum and would appreciate any comments on my current project.
After having trees cut on our farm (Upstate SC) about 2 years ago, a hive of bees move into a hole in the wall of our farm house. Last fall I bought a couple of English Garden hives. I’m trying to lure the bees from wall to domesticate (re-domesticate them). In my youth, my father kept bees for a time. Some hives died, others may have swarmed as the hives fell into disrepair.
Plan A (In effect - I can provide photo): I have place a gum above the entrance to the wall (3 APR). The existing hive entrance is between the top of the stand and the brace. My hope is that the hive will swarm in the spring and move into the gum. I have placed feed in the gum and scented the entrance and interior with peppermint. If the hive moves I would wait approximately 21 day to allow remaining brood to hatch and the existing hive to be robbed. At some point in the spring, should I place a funnel on the hive entrance to block the queens return from swarm?
Plan B: If the hive does not voluntarily move into the gum. I plan to purchase a hive. With that hive established, I plan to put a funnel over the wall entrance blocking the workers from returning. Scenting with peppermint, I hope to have the old hive merge with the new. Is this possible without first establishing a hive? Will the blocked workers use the gum to store nectar and rest and allow me to queen the gum after a week or so?
Plan C: A new queen emerges, and takes residence in the gum. The hive divides. After 21 days. I move the gum. With active bees still in the wall, I implement plan B with a backup hive.
As the hive establishes, how many supers of brood should I try to maintain?
When producing honey, should I put a queen excluder under my upper suppers? Will bees store nectar in a area that the queen can access?
Please comment on my activities as possible.