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Author Topic: New at Bee Keeping  (Read 498 times)
Roscoe
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« on: May 05, 2013, 10:08:12 PM »

My 80 year old neighbor called me up and told me he a bee hive moved into his sprinkler valve box.  My Grandfather was a bee keeper and I used to go with him to the hives as a kid so I thought I would give it a shot.  Bought a box, waited for early evening, fired up my Grandpas 60 year old smoker and put the hive in the box.  Afterwards, I got to looking at the bees, and i am not sure that they are the regular honey bees, maybe a cross.  Relatively docile though.  I was stung twice, but a very mild sting.  I think I got the queen in the new box.  Anyone able to help me be sure.  There are still a lot of bees around the sprinkler box.  Will they go away.  I moved the hive box to another location.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Moots
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 10:12:55 PM »

What's "a lot" of bees?

Also, why didn't you leave the hive box there to give them an opportunity to go in and then move it after dark?
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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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tefer2
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 10:19:33 PM »

Welcome to the forum Roscoe.
You would have a better chance to capture the the rest by leaving the catch box till night.
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Roscoe
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 10:22:29 PM »

I tried to count them, but they would not hold still long enough.  As I mentioned, I am new.  There were three main honey comb chunks "I will work on my lingo as I learn"  They were all about the size of a salad plate.  I suppose if I put the bees in a bag, between the ones in the new hive and the others in the sprinkle box, there was maybe a gallon of bees.  About two thirds were in the new hive and they stayed there and seemed to bunch up.

"Also, why didn't you leave the hive box there to give them an opportunity to go in and then move it after dark?"

I did wait until after dark, but my neighbor wanted them gone so I did as he asked.
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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 10:32:08 PM »

Roscoe,
LOL....Wasn't looking for a hard count, just some type of estimate, to some people 10 bees qualify as "a lot", for others a couple of 100 don't get that designation. 

Anyway, I assumed swarm, but apparently this was an established hive.  Did you make any attempt to do a cut out and save the comb by rubberbanding it into your frames?
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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
Roscoe
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 10:40:34 PM »

No, I just bought a new hive box, took three frames out , lifted the lid off the sprinkler box, which the combs were attached to and used a concrete trowel to shave them off and put them in the box.  The hive is now at my friends house.  I am in a gated community.  This was the best I could do at the time, as my neighbor just wanted me to exterminate them.

Thanks for the feedback. 
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Moots
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 10:54:36 PM »

Roscoe,
Appreciate the effort you made,  I have no doubt your heart was in the right place.  However, what you've done may be equivalent to exterminating them.  Sounds like you've taken a small hive and basically split it in two.  Leaving two thirds with no comb and the remaining third with most likely insufficient numbers to care for the existing comb.  Not to mention we're not sure where the queen is...

Don't sweat it, consider it experience for next time...Doing it wrong is one of the best ways to learn how to do it right.  Smiley

Considering the situation, I wouldn't give them much of a chance of making it.  But hey, you never know...stranger things have happened.

Good luck to you and the bees!
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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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Roscoe
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 10:55:18 PM »

Is it too late to rubber band to frames?  I was stressing a little bit, as my bonnet was a booney hunting hat with a drop down mesh for mosquitos.  They were getting in, but were relatively polite, except for a few of them.
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Moots
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 10:59:36 PM »

Is it too late to rubber band to frames?  I was stressing a little bit, as my bonnet was a booney hunting hat with a drop down mesh for mosquitos.  They were getting in, but were relatively polite, except for a few of them.


Not sure where you are located or what the temperatures are like.  But, it's certainly worth a shot...

There's a ton of video's showing cutout's on youtube if you want to check them out.  Or search this forum JP, Hardwood and a few other members post video's from time to time. 
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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
Roscoe
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 11:09:57 PM »

Thanks Moots.  I am in San Diego County, but have relatives in Morgan City.

Overcast and cool, for us right now.

If this does not work out, I will get a starter colony.  Bee Keeeping has been in my family for some time.  I used to go with my Grandpa to do whatever bee keepers do when they go to the hives.  I got swarmed on one time when I was 100 feet away and couldn't open my eyes for a couple of days.  I have some of his bee keeping equipment, including two 60 or more years old Bingham smokers.  As a kid I remember large copper looking canister with a spout that he did something with.  Wish I knew where that was.  Anyway, I will give it a try.
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10framer
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 10:19:53 PM »

the way i read this was he got two thirds of a cluster that was about the size as a gallon bucket.  if that doesn't include the mass of the comb that sounds as big as a 3 pound package to me. 
try the rubber bands as soon as possible.  the longer you leave those three combs loose the bigger the mess will be.  it sounds like you caught a recent swarm.  if you go back the remaining bees will be in a cluster and you can scoop them rigt into a bucket and carry them to the hive.
buy a good veil and a smoker.  read, watch videos and ask questions. 
if i understand what you're describing i think you have a pretty good chance at keeping those bees alive.
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 08:18:46 AM »

My big question is, Do you have frames and foundation in the box? I'm thinking not. Without frames and foundation, you are in for a heck of a mess if they do live.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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10framer
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 08:58:06 AM »

No, I just bought a new hive box, took three frames out , lifted the lid off the sprinkler box, which the combs were attached to and used a concrete trowel to shave them off and put them in the box.  The hive is now at my friends house.  I am in a gated community.  This was the best I could do at the time, as my neighbor just wanted me to exterminate them.

Thanks for the feedback. 

he's at least got frames
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iddee
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 12:38:50 PM »

But did he put the 3 back?
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
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