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Author Topic: Newspaper Combine? More Bravo hive problems...  (Read 1107 times)
Moots
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« on: March 23, 2013, 10:37:51 PM »

OK guys and gals, bare with this newbie...I'll supply as brief of a recap as possible before asking for any input that y'all may have. 

Started with two Nucs in mid January, Alpha and Bravo...both good looking Nucs, but Bravo was the stud of the two.

Moved both to their hive boxes in early February and started feeding via internal covers...got suspicious because Bravo would not take syrup and Alpha was sucking it down.  Long story short, have went back and forth thinking that Bravo was having serious problems.  Inspected yesterday and I'm now convinced, things are not good.  I either have a drone laying queen or I lost my queen and have drone laying workers in my newbie opinion.

While Alpha is booming, Now three boxes tall, basically all full of bees with lots of activity and drawing comb and storing nectar nicely in the top box.  Bravo has maybe 3 or 4 frames of bees in the bottom box, have a frame of foundation that they haven't even started drawing out.  When I added box three to Alpha about 2 weeks ago, I put box 2 on Bravo, wishful thinking on my part  Smiley, They done nothing with it.

In Bravo's first box, I see some larva, but EVERY bit of covered brood is drone brood....very spotty.


So......
I need a game plan, I've had a couple of conversations with Schawee about my situation who's been super nice and helpful and we've actually devised a game plan to move forward.  I'm just wanting to throw it out and get some feedback on the details of it.

I know there's several options for handling this type of situation.  We've decided my best bet is to do a newspaper combine with Alpha hive and to try to do a split and introduce a new queen in about three weeks. 

So...How best to do that?  Kind of thought we had a game plan, but the more I think about the details, I think it's problematic.

Therefore, this is my latest thought...

Reduce Bravo to one box since it's really only 3 or 4 frames of bees and they've done nothing with the second box anyway.  Put that box as the bottom box with a single sheet of newspaper (I assume one sheet)...with some slits (how many?) and sprayed with sugar water (or left dry?).

Place all thee boxes of existing Alpha on top of it.  I have a small top entrance that I assume I could leave in place.  If I understand correctly, this would cause the workers of Alpha to pass through Bravo and help the merging process.

Originally, we were thinking of adding Bravo between boxes 2 and 3 of Alpha, but Alpha is so full of bees, I don't think that can work.

Sorry for rambling on....Just want to try and do this thing right......

Thanks for any and all advice!  Smiley
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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bailey
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 10:57:56 PM »

Easiest and fastest bet is to just place the weak hive on top.
Pull it down to one box.

Open the strong one and place a single sheet of newspaper over the strong one.  One one inch long razor cut
In the paper.  No water.
Place weak hive on top.
Prop top of weak hive open with a nail or something like that.

Remove all components of weak hive from rack except for the combined box.
Move the remaining hive to the center of the rack so both batches of bees have only one option.

They will chew through the paper in a day without any problem.

Then open box after 2 days , remove any remaining paper.
Go through top box and pull any dark brood combs that aren't full of larvae.
Freeze the comb to kill any wax moth eggs.
Then place empty brood comb into those swarm traps.

How does that sound?
Bailey.


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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
Moots
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 11:07:32 PM »

Bailey,
Thanks for the detail....that sounds great!

One more question.  When I pull those frames...I just replace with foundation I assume?  

I'm thinking/hoping the weather should hold tomorrow, if so I'll get it done.

Thanks again!

As for your scouts giving you false hope today....after 16 hits, that's not too bad to accept, glad it wasn't me, I would have creed.  LOL!   grin
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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vmmartin
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 11:49:00 PM »

Are they close to each other?  If so, and I felt real sure that Bravo was queenless with laying workers, I would shake the three frames of bees off and remove the Bravo box.  Let the bees from Bravo join up with Alpha.
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gov1623
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 12:00:39 AM »

Im with vmmartin on this one. If Bravo hive has laying workers ( there would be mutiple eggs in one cell) Then your best bet is to just shake all the bees off the frames and remove the box. I did this a couple times last year and the bees will join up with the closest hive.
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Who Dat!!!
Moots
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 12:03:45 AM »

VM,
They are...I only have the 2 hives and they're on the same hive stand, maybe 6 or 8 feet apart, max.

What would be the advantage of doing it that way as opposed to an actual combine?
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
gov1623
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 12:38:42 AM »

Michael Bush's websight has really good info on laying worker hives.
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Who Dat!!!
RHBee
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 06:21:15 AM »

Moots,
At the end of all this do you want 2 hives or 1?
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Later,
Ray
Moots
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 06:35:14 AM »

Michael Bush's websight has really good info on laying worker hives.


Gov,
Thanks, I had read some stuff from Michael on this but went back and reread it in it's entirety.

Michael Bush on laying workers

My goals are to first do no harm to Alpha, which is booming....But to give Bravo the best chance of being salvaged in some capacity.
Of Michael's two preferred methods, I think the first is rooted in convenience and the second isn't a good option for my situation. for several reasons.  First, I don't trust my ability at this time to pull the most appropriate frames to give to Bravo. Second, I think Bravo has had a problem for quite some time...Considering that, and the number of total bees, I think the clock is against me on this one.

Therefore, I was eyeing #7 as a possibility???

I actually made a double screen board a few weeks back to have just in case, so I have that as an option.

Not sure on a few things...
First, is this the best option given my situation and goals?
If so....Do I just move Bravo atop Alpha at its current location, or do I move them both and meet in the middle of the hive stand? Or something else?
Do I leave Bravo's entrance facing the same way, which is also the same as Alpha's...or do I make the entrance in some other direction?

AGAIN...Sorry for so many questions and rambling on, just trying to make the best decision I can. Any and all feedback appreciated.  Smiley
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
Moots
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 06:51:22 AM »

Moots,
At the end of all this do you want 2 hives or 1?

Ray,
At the end of it all, I'd prefer two hives instead of one. But as I stated in my most recent post... My goals are to first, not harm Alpha. And second, salvage Bravo, is some capacity. If that means it just becomes part of Alpha leaving me with the one hive, I'm fine with that also...
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
bud1
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 08:01:48 AM »

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« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 08:23:19 AM by bud1 » Logged

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Moots
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 09:57:18 PM »

Just wanted to give a quick follow up....

After much thought and second guessing and lots of good advice, I decided to just shake out Bravo Hive.  Did it this morning about 11:00 and checked on it a couple of time throughout the day.  From best I can tell it seems like everything went as it should...

Looked like plenty of the bees joined up with Alpha without issue and once I had them all shaken out it was obvious that I had tons of drones.

Thanks again to everyone for all the advice and input.

Planning on cleaning up the comb from Bravo and deploying it in some of my swarm traps...hoping that will change my batting average and maybe get me a hit.  grin
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
bailey
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 10:20:53 PM »

It will
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 02:29:18 PM »

Good to here everything went well for you.
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blanc
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 06:10:03 PM »

Jeff,
Seems you just need some brood in there to raise a new queen. Unless I am not seeing this right I can give you couple brood combs for the weak one.
Blanc
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The fear of the Lord is clean,enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea ,than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
blanc
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 08:10:56 PM »

Jeff,
Seems you just need some brood in there to raise a new queen. Unless I am not seeing this right I can give you couple brood combs for the weak one.
Blanc

DUUUUU!
DId not see that you already shaked them out Jeff. I need to read before I post.  Sad Ever need some help tho give me a shout out beings I am only 30 mins away.
Blanc
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Psalm 19:9-10
The fear of the Lord is clean,enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea ,than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moots
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2013, 10:37:01 PM »

Jeff,
Seems you just need some brood in there to raise a new queen. Unless I am not seeing this right I can give you couple brood combs for the weak one.
Blanc

DUUUUU!
DId not see that you already shaked them out Jeff. I need to read before I post.  Sad Ever need some help tho give me a shout out beings I am only 30 mins away.
Blanc

Blanc, Not a problem, some times it's hard to keep up with all the threads.  Smiley

I sure do appreciate the offer.  Bravo hive had me concerned for quite a little while there.  I had went from being convinced it was having a problem and giving them  a frame of brood hoping they would make a queen, to thinking everything was OK again.  By the time I was convinced again that it was having issues, my bee numbers were down and it had turned into quite the drone laying machine.  grin

After weighing many options, I felt like the numbers and the clock was working against it and my best option to salvage the situation was to do a shake out.

So, we'll see how it plays out....

But again, thanks for the offer, it's truly appreciated.   Smiley
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
tryintolearn
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 09:21:06 AM »

i made the mistake of spraying newspaper with sugarwater a few years ago and wow,  did it turn out bad.  cost me a few hundred bees.  who knew those grls could fight so hard. 

last time i did a combine i used one sheet of paper and no slit....just paper.  much much better turnout that time.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 09:56:57 AM »

>In Bravo's first box, I see some larva, but EVERY bit of covered brood is drone brood....very spotty.

Sounds like laying workers.  I'd move the Bravo hive, then shake each frame off and put the frames on a box on the other hive.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

If it had more bees, I'd try to resolve it by putting in open brood... but there probably isn't enough to salvage.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 11:23:26 PM »

I keep just a few hives and I never like to jeopardize what little hives I have. If I have a really strong hive that is doing so well, I just don't like to introduce a problematic hive into it. I like the shaking of the bees. That is what I probably would have done.

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