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Author Topic: Trying to save bees in winter  (Read 1592 times)
wouldliketobee
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« on: January 08, 2012, 05:42:39 PM »

Got a call today from a former coworker, his brother in law cut down a soft maple tree this week with a beehive in it, I went and got the log with the hive in it , it has been on its side for a few days ,for now I stood it upright and covered the top, I realize their chances are slim to none but their chances were none where they were at. I would say at least half of the comb was lost. I'm thinking of trying to provide some sugar or candy in a box on top other than that I don't know what else I can do without cutting them out, I thought I should wait until spring to do that, any suggestions would be appreciated, I had fun doing it, even if it turns out to be a waste of time.
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 06:25:55 PM »

Maybe leave it upright until spring.    With the lost of half of the comb, and in the winter, chances are slim for making it. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 07:09:53 PM »

Kudo’s for trying to save the bees!

I would imagine the tree trunk gives the bees a lot better insulation than a thin wood hive, so I wouldn’t count them out.  Insulation means less honey needed for winter too.  I would make sure there isn’t a place for water to infiltrate the top of the log and hope for the best.  Give the log a southern exposure if possible. 

Success or failure, it’s still a great experience.   
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 01:19:36 PM »

If the queen lived the catastrophe take a piece of plywood cut a whole the size of a inner cover and put fondant on top then a honey super with an outer cover  make sure there is an exit on bottom of log for the bees to get out this is what i would do if they are strong enuff they will make with enuff stores. chris
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 01:31:59 AM »

One thing that concerns me is the queen surviving all the damage, also I couldn't really see what the comb looked like up in the log all I could see were the bees , I mounted a 5 frame nuc on top of log with a hole the same size the hole in top of log, I'm not sure if I want to put empty frames full of candy or just fill the box , also thought I might see if they use the entrance in nuc before I do anything else, the bottom of log is cut in a v shape , It would be easier to make bottom entrance if it was cut straight but I hate to put them threw too much more stress I may just try to close bottom up best I can and leave a small entrance.Thanks for the input.
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 09:03:48 AM »

I would give them frames of candy or frames with honey whichever you have but you are right i wouldnt really go disturbing them too much more than likely they queen is in there chances are good being the queen usually stays in the brood area of the hive. If she was dead on the ground more than likely all the bees would accumilate around her. So id say she is inside that log 
good luck till spring Chris
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derekm
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 09:28:32 AM »

need to rebuild the tree a bit..
Lid needs to be very very well insulated..4 inches of foam (you are replacing many feet of tree)
bottom entrance (thats what bees have in trees).
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
wouldliketobee
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 01:35:02 AM »

I remodeled the bee log today, I gently lifted it straight up with the tractor using a chain and put a custom bottom board on, I still need to work on  the top when I get a chance, it is going to be alot colder the next few days hopefully I can complete it in the next day or so.
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 08:54:32 PM »

what i would do is but a deep hive body on the top with a hive top cover on the inside take insulation bats and fill it to the top to insulate the top of the hive and if you want you can put a sugar patty with holes in the bag for the bees to access it.  Chris
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tedlemay
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 09:21:17 PM »

sounds like your doing a great job. i would definately figure out how to feed.
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 10:22:21 AM »

Using a mirror and flashlight I checked on the hive from the bottom ,they are still alive, they don't seem to be going up to the sugar I placed on top I think they are too far below it I can't see them from the top because the hole spirals down, I know it goes all the way down since I poured a little sugar down the hole. It looks as though they have only a little comb left, they will surely starve unless they go up, any ideas on enticeing them up , I know it's early but I am tempted to insert a tube near the cluster with warm sugar water that I would put in daily I know all this seems like a waste of time and effort but I like I challenge and I'm having fun. I think my only other choice would be to cut more off the top of log to put sugar directly above cluster but it may do more harm then good.
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tedlemay
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 11:34:42 AM »

if you lay the log down could you work some fondant up next to them? just an idea , may or may not work.
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2012, 01:23:07 AM »

I'm going to try boreing 2 -1 and a quarter holes close to where the cluster is and insert 2 plastic pipes and run these pipes into a small box that I am going to try feeding syrup in , just to see if they will come to it I may put fondant in there too ,If this doesn't work I will lay the log over  or pick it straight up with tractor and give them fondant.
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tedlemay
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 10:24:49 PM »

hang in there. maybe it will be worth it in the long run. at the very least it will be great experience!
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 11:55:11 AM »

I think fondant/candy or dry sugar would be safer this time of year. 

Syrup and 'freezing' temps don't always come out to well in my experience. 

Fondant or dry sugar won't freeze (your bees) and if there's a way to stuff/pour either as close as possible to the cluster they will find it.

thomas
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
wouldliketobee
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2012, 01:35:15 PM »

I mainly want to see if they would take the syrup this way I will probaly wait to start doing that , I'm thinking of pouring fondant into small pans then inserting small wire baskets into the candy so it would set up in basket, kinda like a suet cake basket for birds only bigger, then run a wire down through hole in top of log ,hook basket to wire at bottom opening and pull it carefully up close to bees and tie it off. I think this would disturb them the least.It might be the weekend before I can try it, thanks for all the suggestions.
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