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Author Topic: One tough little colony.  (Read 1946 times)
RHBee
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« on: February 03, 2013, 04:39:35 PM »

Today marks a milestone in my beekeeping experience.  I collected a small colony from a tree limb. As best as the land owner could remember they appeared in late August. I estimate two medium frames of bees with queen. All are black with grey bands. I cut the comb to fit medium frames what there was of it and secured it with rubber bands. Only about 6 square inches of honey and pollen left. Today it was 50degF and windy, minimal conditions for a removal as I understand. I put them in a 5 frame nuc deep and put 21/2 quarts of 2 to 1 on top with some mega bee and HBH mixed in. I reduced the entrance to a round 3/8th inch. Considering where they are coming from I think their chances of survival has increased. I really am surprised that they lived as long as they have in the open. My other hives attempted to rob them but were unsuccessful so far. The guards are good at what they do and seem pretty alert. I hope I got them in time, I hope that my beekeeping skills are adequate to help them thrive.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 07:12:33 AM by Ray Bayless » Logged

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Ray
wouldliketobee
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 06:01:18 PM »

Good luck Ray, sounds like it went well.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 07:31:57 PM »

Hopefully they will make it.   I wonder how large the hive was back in the fall.
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RHBee
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 09:46:46 PM »

Hopefully they will make it.   I wonder how large the hive was back in the fall.
Judging by the amount of comb and if bees generally build enough to cover it completely I would guess about the size of a soccer ball.
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Ray
cdray
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 11:15:59 PM »

I always pull for the underdog! I hope they make it!
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 11:27:03 PM »

Last year, March 8, I collect an open air hive from a tree branch that the gate guard saw land there as a swarm in the beginning of January. She said it started out the size of a base ball. Never worried about it because it was so small and she forgot about it until employees saw it 2 months later and it was bigger than a football. I did not find the q but made a new one from her eggs. I really like this hive because it extremely gentle. It is now 1 deep and 2 supers. Sometimes the little guys win.
Jim
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RHBee
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 06:53:02 AM »

Thanks for the positive statements everyone. Time will tell how things work out. Obviously I'm kinda taken by their tenacity. I don't see how they defended their stores against robbers being totally exposed like that for so long. I also don't understand how they survived the cold wet rains without shelter.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 07:11:21 AM by Ray Bayless » Logged

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Ray
Jim 134
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 07:55:12 AM »

I also don't understand how they survived the cold wet rains without shelter.

You don't have to  grin


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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RHBee
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 08:53:31 AM »


You don't have to  grin


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
Your just saying enjoy and run with it, right?
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 09:10:13 AM »

.
I start every summer mating nucs with one frame of bees.
When the queen starts toi lay, I add a frame of emerging bees. So 3 frames hive starts.

3 frame hive is too small. You may join them or add emerging brood frames. What ever.

Tough little colony?  It is worth or queen. Very slow to build up.

.
.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 10:02:42 AM »

Your just saying enjoy and run with it, right?

For as long as you can !!!!! and this to shall past  Cry



       BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
RHBee
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 10:30:18 AM »

I guess I just can't think like a bug. Every last bee is gone. Now ain't that just sumthin. Does anyone know why?
I can't understand this one. Guess jim 134 is a bee whispserer or medium.  Teach me. Right now if being ignorant is bliss I'm happy as h**l.


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Ray
D Coates
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 11:01:09 AM »

It sucks.  Hang in there.  They apparently thought they were better off obsconding than how you set them up.  Might you have been better served leaving them alone until Spring or cutting off the limb and putting it in a box for protection?  Possibly but not for certain, it was a small exposed hive that could have already been circling the drain.  We've all had things that didn't go as intended.  Personally I use them as a chance to reconsider my actions to minimize an exact repeat.  Sometimes it's simply not meant to be but there's always stuff you can learn from a "failure".
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RHBee
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 04:45:23 PM »

D Coates-Yeah you're right. I sounded like a whining kid. In my defense I had just finished my second of four 12hr night shifts. I decided to pop the top just to check on them and found an empty box. I guess what I should have done was used a queen excluder under the box or confined the colony for a week or so. After they had settled in and built-up some comb I think it would have made a difference. You're right again lessons learned.

Ray
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2013, 05:37:36 PM »

the top just to check on them and found an empty box.

Does that hive has food there? If not, it is robbed and robbing has killed tough bees there.
Feeding a small colony may wake up some bigger colony and they destroy in couple of hours
small one.
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RHBee
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2013, 06:56:42 PM »

Finski, No my friend there was still honey in the comb. The feeder was still on top and full. No bees from my other hives inside the box.
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Ray
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2013, 02:13:20 AM »

.
OK, disapeared bees case...
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RHBee
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2013, 02:38:02 PM »

You guys aren't going to believe this. I was poking around my hives and spotted that same little group under the back side of one of the hive stands. They are in total the size of a softball. Once again I put them and their queen in a nuc. I literrally had to scoop them up by hand. This time I completely closed off the entrance, put 5 frames of drawn comb (2 honey and pollen and 3 empty brood frames), I put 2 quarts of 1-1 with HBH. I even scrounged up the small amount of comb they had and put it in there with them, it had some honey and pollen also. Wow, it's 2:30 and I gotta get up in two hours. One more night shift. This beekeeping is a lot like work.
BTW: I have never seen bees so gentile. It muse be because they got nothing to lose.
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Ray
D Coates
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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2013, 03:06:56 PM »

Knock the hive size down to 2 drawn frames.  Too much room is hard to defend and consumes energy that should go to getting brood going.
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hardwood
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« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2013, 05:44:40 PM »

Boost them with brood from another hive if you can.

Scott
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