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Author Topic: MAJOR problems in paradise  (Read 858 times)
dfizer
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« on: May 03, 2013, 11:17:39 PM »

Well - yesterday I prepared two nucs with two frames of brood, two frames of honey and one frame of open cells from each of my two strongest hives.  I have a polystyrene nuc box that has the circle rotating entrance guard.  See photo -
 


Since I am unable to move the nuc boxes away from my yard I set the setting where no bees could escape (the mesh setting) yet let air still pass through.  I did this fearing that if I had left it wide open that they would go back the original hive which was only a few feet away.  Well - big mistake.  Today the temps got up to mid 70's and I was driving 3 hours each way to get my two new Russian queens.  When I got back and opened the first nuc the bees seemed fine, albeit irritable.  When I opened the second nuc there was a few bees kind of staggering around and hundreds if not thousands of dead bees.  Upon closer inspection I found what happened; the bees clogged the air vents and more or less the entire nuc died of over heating.  There are a few bees that survived but the vast majority perished.  Needless to say I feel absolutely AWFUL!  I feel like I have earned the next recipient for worst beekeeper of the year award.   Sad

Now on to post mortem mode.  My question is - what do i do with the frames of brood and eggs that are in the nuc?  Is it likely that they got too hot and are cooked too?  How would I know if they got too hot?  How hot is too hot?  What kind of temp's can brood take?  I really can't begin to imagine how hot that nuc got but it was hot enough to kill most of the bees.  I know I have to clean all the remaining dead bees out of that nuc tomorrow but don't know what else to do.

I am now kind of panicking wondering what to do with the frames that are left in he nuc?  Should I start completely over - new brood frames, new open eggs / larva frame, new honey frame?Huh

Since it was almost completely dark when I discovered this I just put the new queen in the box with the bees that were still alive.  I scraped off as many of the dead bees as I could and made sure the entrances are now open - free of dead bees.  I now just need some advice for what to do come day break tomorrow. 

UGH~  This is so sad!

David

       
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 11:27:03 PM »

First thing bring that nuc into a warm area for the night, close it up with the vent. Then in the morning I would open a strong hive and from brood frames, shake 2 or more frames of bees into that box.
Most of that brood will probably survive as long as they have not been badly chilled.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
dfizer
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 11:46:34 PM »

Ok - gotcha.  Just moved them in and will shake in some additional bees tomorrow.  I'll also clean out the dead bees tomorrow.  I assume that the bees need to be from the same hive as the original bees came from, is this correct or can I use some bees from another hive?
David
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 03:01:16 AM »

Sorry for your loss.  Iíve had similar failures in the past, so I know how bad you feel. Sad  You do have to be a little careful with the insulated boxes IMO.  The bees can really heat them up if the bees are panicked for some reason.  Typically that occurs because they canít get out.  Iíve had a foam nuc get up to 90F in December because their bottom entrance had become blocked with dead bees.  The bees inside panicked and the nuc just got hotter and hotter and more bees died. 

I think they actually die more from exhaustion (trying to get out but canít) than from excessive temps, but thatís just my hypothesis.  I would second Sawdustmakers advice.  I doubt the brood frames got cooked to death.  I recall reading stories of high temperature varroa treatments in the Ukraine (or somewhere over there) where the hives were cooked to about 115F to kill the varroa without killing the bees.     
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dfizer
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 02:11:40 PM »

The update is a relatively good one.  I pulled all the frames out of the nuc and cleaned off as many dead bees as I could then put them back in the nuc - much to my surprise - there were a few bees that had survived.  Not many though but a couple of hundred is better than none.  After I put everything back in I did as suggested and shook a couple of frames of bees into the nuc.  I took these bees from frames that had brood.  I moved these nucs across the yard = about 150 yards away and faced them in a different direction from how the parent hive faced.  I did all of this early this morning - around 730.  Now it's 1400 and there are very few bees flying into and out of this nuc.  The other one has lots of activity.  I believe this hive's bees are doing a lot of cleaning up after yesterday. 

I will check back with them in a few days to see if they are recovering - This is a very bad feeling but all things are healed with time.

Thanks -
David 
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bailey
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 06:31:49 PM »

My second year I went to do a combine in the summer. Put the good hive on top of the queen less hive with newspaper between. Put top on as normal.    Cooked the good hive on top. Should have left a propped top cover.  Felt like crap for a while caus it was my fault.
It happens.  You won't make the same mistake twice. 
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.
dfizer
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 08:16:05 PM »

This is a bummer but at least all is not lost.  I just checked the nucs and for the most part they are doing well.  At this time of night 1930 there was still a few bees returning to each nuc.  I am planning to release the queen on Tuesday in nuc 1 if she as not already been released and since i added a new bunch of bees to nuc 2 on the same day I put the new russian queen in I put tape over the end of it - I will release her on Wed assuming the weather is ok. 

It's such a shame that so many bees died.  Lesson learned and assured that this will not happen again. 

David
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 09:07:39 AM »

This is why I almost never confine bees.  Unless they are dying from robbing, it should be avoided if you can.  You are not the first to learn this lesson the hard way...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
dfizer
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 10:18:18 AM »

Good point and although its a real pity that this happened - it's taught me a valuable lesson which will prevent this from happening in the future. 

Now I move on!

David
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johng
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 11:45:03 AM »

If you are making splits and leaving the splits in the same yard you will have better luck if you move the parent hive over and put the split in its spot. You will loose bees from your splits back to the parent hive. The splits normally can't afford to loose many bees. But, the parent hive will never miss a few.

You asked if the bees needed to be shook from the same hive. No, you don't have to when making up splits you can use bees and resources from several hives. They get all confused so they don't know who to mount a defense against so there is no fighting. This makes it easier to introduce a new queen or queen cell.
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dfizer
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 02:13:39 PM »

If you are making splits and leaving the splits in the same yard you will have better luck if you move the parent hive over and put the split in its spot. You will loose bees from your splits back to the parent hive. The splits normally can't afford to loose many bees. But, the parent hive will never miss a few.

You asked if the bees needed to be shook from the same hive. No, you don't have to when making up splits you can use bees and resources from several hives. They get all confused so they don't know who to mount a defense against so there is no fighting. This makes it easier to introduce a new queen or queen cell.

Thank you for the information.  Here is the situation currently - I moved the splits over to their new location on 3.MAY.2013 that day I added Russian queens to both nucs.  For the queen cage being inserted into the nuc that had the catastrophe, I taped the candy plug end so that I could make sure they accept her.  Today I lifted the lid and quickly checked that nuc.  What I found was bees covering the queen cage.  Since this was occurring I decided to checked the frames for a queen and found none.  How can I get this nuc/hive to accept this queen?  Should I take the queen out for a day then put her back in?  Because they were all over the front of the cage does this mean they are not accepting her, I think it does?   

The other question i have is since these nucs were moved to the other side of the yard last Friday should I keep them there?  I like the idea of returning bees going into the nuc but each of these nucs have new russian queens.  How would the returning foraging bees treat the new queens.  One nuc (nuc 1) has released their queen and she is doing fine - the other is the situation described above. 

I think at this point the best thing to do is to let nuc 1 with the newly released queen do their thing at its current new location.  The nuc (nuc 2) with the bees all over the queen cage is the one I am confused over.  What to do.....  I do not want that queen killed.  Perhaps I should start over with her and the split?

David 
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