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Author Topic: What to do what to do????  (Read 2595 times)
Mason
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« on: March 14, 2011, 03:57:09 PM »

Here is my situation...

I rescued an abandoned hive of bees.  They had built up above the queen excluder in a medium and a shallow using a hole in the top cover for an entrance.

I got them back and there were tons of bees and the shallow was full of honey.  Originally I just put the medium and shallow on a new bottom board and placed and deep on top hoping they would move up.  After about 2 weeks this had not happened.  Now I have removed the full shallow and placed it on top of the deep with the medium presumably full of brood. 

When I try to remove the frames they crumble.  The bees seem to be heavily ridden with mites.

Should I try to pull the shallow and extract the honey,  medicate for mites and feed the honey back to them?

or

Should I try to treat with powdered sugar or something and let them keep cranking out honey.

I'm hoping that since I removed the honey barrier the bees in the bottom medium will now move into the deep above them.  Then I will be able to replace that medium with something not so rotted out.

What do you think?
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Acebird
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 04:30:55 PM »

I'm a beginner but this is what I would do.

Put two deeps under them if that is what you want as a brood box and wait long enough for them to go down.  If they don't go down the queen can't be much good because she isn't laying much.  The rotten gear may have to be crushed in order to harvest the honey that should be there when the queen moves down.  Maybe you can pull the whole box off and set it nearby to let them rob it out as another option.
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 04:41:23 PM »

Get two full deeps and a queen excluder. place the exlcluder on top of the last deep. AT that point you can either shake the bees into the lower deeps before putting on excluder or shake them in front of the hive and have the excluder on before you shake them in front of hive and the nurse bees will travel threw the queen excluder into the medium super to tend to the brood and the queen will remain below. Once all the brood hatches out you can either remove the medium and install new frames or just let them store honey in the old medium its up to you but i know i would do away with that old medium and but a new one on and treat for mites at that time.  If you dont have any drawn deeps of wax i would feed them 1 to 1 syrup.  Chris
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 04:42:35 PM »

put your new deep under. they aren't going to move up much with that excluder on there and you don't want them to swarm for lack of space.  by putting the deep under, you give them and the queen a place to expand.  since the queen is not above, you don't need to worry about the upper shallow.  you can give them some time to move down and then remove that box and do what you want.  probably smoke the crap out of it and then cut the frames loose and take the honey.

how old is the hive?  mites or not, if they have done that well without treatment for a long period of time, i would not treat them now.

before you take that shallow, double check that the queen did not get up there, or that you don't have a 2 queen hive going.  queens do get above excluders sometimes.
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Mason
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 04:51:02 PM »

The excluder is not on the hive.

from bottom to top:

bottom board (screened)
old medium (chocked full of bees and too delicate to really get into it)
Deep (built out frames)
shallow (packed with honey on wire foundation and very brittle frames)

The hive has been sitting in the woods for at least 10 years when I found it.  Apperntly at one time there were 8-10 hives but only one had bees living it it anymore.  Likely a swam took up residence but who knows when.  It was a mess.  The bottom deep was completely rotted out with about 25 mice living in it.  The bees were only living above the queen excluder in the medium and shallow.  I can't believe how many bees were in that small of an area especially with the shallow completely chocked with honey.
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Acebird
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 05:03:15 PM »

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I can't believe how many bees were in that small of an area especially with the shallow completely chocked with honey.

Maybe they are getting ready to swarm and have been doing so in past years.  It could be that they are not use to having more space and will take their sweet time figuring it out.  I say wait it out and no chems.  Looks like Kathy is in agreement. grin
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 05:08:58 PM »

what you did sounds ok.  that will probably work especially if you put drawn comb in the new box.  it might have been faster to put the new box under, but if the medium is so rotten i don't blame you for not wanting to mess with it.

it does sound like you will eventually  have to do a cut out kind of thing to rescue it.  you might consider doing that fairly soon as it's easier to do before they have stored even more.  give the queen a chance to start laying in the new box if she will, then you can reconfigure the thing any way you want.
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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.....

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Mason
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 05:17:52 PM »

I suspect that the queen was not moving into the deep because of the honey barrier created by the shallow.  That's why I separated the shallow and put it on top of the deep too allow easier access to the new space I provided.

Should be interesting...
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 05:24:27 PM »

good thinking.  Smiley  keep us posted on how it does.  it should indeed be interesting!
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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
Acebird
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 06:22:31 PM »

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I suspect that the queen was not moving into the deep because of the honey barrier created by the shallow.


What is a honey barrier?
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hankdog1
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2011, 06:50:44 PM »

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I suspect that the queen was not moving into the deep because of the honey barrier created by the shallow.


What is a honey barrier?

Queen doesn't cross over capped honey in most cases to lay eggs.  That's why if you can get a super of honey between the brood chamber and your other supers most of the time she won't cross one to lay up in the upper suppers.  Notice i said most of the time cause there are times when bees don't follow the rules.   evil
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 07:07:51 PM »

Mason, being in Ga., you have somewhat of a flow going on. I would remove the medium, place the deep on the bottom board and the shallow on top of that. Using a sheet, large piece of plywood, or cardboard, I would slowly disassemble the medium right in front of the hive. The bees and the queen will march into the deep the same as a swarm will. If they are as loaded with mites as you say, I would sacrifice the brood and use the brood break for a mite treatment. If mites are not a problem, then salvage what brood comb you can and wire it into deep frames and put it in the bottom deep.

With so many SHB in your area, DO NOT use two empty deeps in the beginning.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 08:51:10 PM »

Mason, being in Ga., you have somewhat of a flow going on. I would remove the medium, place the deep on the bottom board and the shallow on top of that. Using a sheet, large piece of plywood, or cardboard, I would slowly disassemble the medium right in front of the hive. The bees and the queen will march into the deep the same as a swarm will. If they are as loaded with mites as you say, I would sacrifice the brood and use the brood break for a mite treatment. If mites are not a problem, then salvage what brood comb you can and wire it into deep frames and put it in the bottom deep.

With so many SHB in your area, DO NOT use two empty deeps in the beginning.

That is a good plan.
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Acebird
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 11:15:08 AM »

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The bees and the queen will march into the deep the same as a swarm will.


Why?  Without pheromones what is the lure to attract them to a box that they don't even know what is in it?

Thanks for the remark on the two deeps.  I was hoping someone would critique my plan and shoot holes into it.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 08:16:56 PM »

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The bees and the queen will march into the deep the same as a swarm will.


Why?  Without pheromones what is the lure to attract them to a box that they don't even know what is in it?

Thanks for the remark on the two deeps.  I was hoping someone would critique my plan and shoot holes into it.

The queen provides the necessary Pheromones, also the open brood is an attractant.  If the box is in the same place as the one removed they will return to it regardless of attractant or lack there of.
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NasalSponge
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 08:27:57 PM »

Not sure why but it is one of the coolest things to watch, swarms will do it to. Lay out a sheet in front of an empty box and dump a swarm on it, they will turn and march right into the hive. grin
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2011, 09:32:48 PM »

Not sure why but it is one of the coolest things to watch, swarms will do it to. Lay out a sheet in front of an empty box and dump a swarm on it, they will turn and march right into the hive. grin

Caught my first swarm that way; May 1959.  I'm still amazed at the sight of a battalion of bees marching into a hive for the first time.
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Acebird
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2011, 09:33:31 AM »

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The queen provides the necessary Pheromones, also the open brood is an attractant.  If the box is in the same place as the one removed they will return to it regardless of attractant or lack there of.

I am not seeing the open brood part.  The open brood should be in the box that he would be disassembling in front of the new deep.  The new deep is complete empty as I see the picture.  Am I missing something here?
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iddee
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2011, 10:04:43 AM »

The super is on top the new box. It has plenty of odor wafting down through the new box. Besides, they are likely going for the dark to get out of the light as much as the smell.
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2011, 10:24:55 AM »

>The new deep is complete empty as I see the picture.  Am I missing something here?

If the new deep is completely empty, it is NOT a brood nest.  It is empty.  It is currently nothing.
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