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Author Topic: Holding bees captive.  (Read 798 times)
RHBee
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« on: February 09, 2013, 11:00:55 AM »

I learned a lesson with that small colony I retrieved last week. I've read about it before but failed to take it into consideration. Bees don't always stay where you want them to so, you have to manipulate/manage their ability to move out.
Currently, I have no entrances open on the nuc. The bottom entrance is blocked and the top entrance has screen covering it. I have them on a SBB so ventilation is not a problem.
I don't remember if there was a specific length of time before they are vested enough to stay put.
Can you guys throw out some information my way?
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Ray
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 11:24:18 AM »

Is there a queen present?
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S.M.N.Bee
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 11:50:31 AM »

Do you have a frame of brood you could give them?
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10framer
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 12:21:18 PM »

i would think 2 to 3 days if you have the queen and have fed them enough to start drawing comb.  a queen will start laying in comb that isn't drawn nearly deep enough to raise brood after a swarm settles to kickstart the colony.  i would think these bees would do the same.  this is just me assuming based on some things i've seen.  i've only ever had one swarm leave the hive i put them in and i've caught a lot of swarms and done dozens of removals.  the removals may not have all survived but that's usually because the homeowners neglected to mention that they had sprayed wasp and hornet spray into the entrance before calling me.
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hardwood
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 12:46:32 PM »

I wouldn't leave them closed up more than a couple of days...especially if feeding. Gotta let 'em out to poop. One of the best ways to stick them there is as S.M.N. suggests, give them a frame of OPEN brood.

Scott
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RHBee
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 01:54:22 PM »

Is there a queen present?

Yes, she was at the center of the ball. I saw her go down into the frames.

Do you have a frame of brood you could give them?

I'm pretty sure I do. I have 5 other pretty large colonies within 100ft. I'll check. I haven't opened them up this year but, judging from the activity and the evening orientation flights there is brood present.
One question about that, Your supposed to transfer the nurse bees along with the open brood, Right?
There isn't enough bees to keep a whole frame of open brood warm at night.

To answer your question 10framer about feeding them, yes, I put 5 medium frames with honey and pollen plus 2qts of 1 to 1 on top in an inverted bucket feeder. All the comb I put in is completely drawn.


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Ray
RHBee
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 03:57:08 PM »

I opened up my most active colony. One word---Packed. Bees everywhere, burr comb had top and bottom brood chamber stuck together. Yes, there is open brood and lots of drones. Spring got me.
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Ray
RHBee
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 06:07:52 PM »

Just a quick update. I got a pm from duck suggesting the use of a queen excluder to lock them in. I didn't have one for a nuc but after a few more pm's we came up with an idea to just put a piece of excluder over the entrance. Today I did that and the robbers showed up. This colony is very small they can't take the pressure so I came up with another idea. I had a nuc moving screen laying around so I modified by drilling 3-3/4inch holes in the top and then attaching the section of queen excluder over the holes with screws. It took the colony a little while to figure out how to get in and out but they did and it keeps the robbers out.
Thanks duck for taking the time to help out. That's what this forum is all about, more ideas equals more solutions. Thanks to everyone. I'll let you know how things work out.
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Ray
RHBee
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 08:10:56 PM »

This is the same little colony I was posting about. I have removed the queen excluder but left the modified moving screen in place to ward off robbers that are always present. They sure are relentless, they must be able to smell weakness. I put in a deep frame of brood. We'll see how it goes.
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Ray
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