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Author Topic: Picked up small swarm. Would love to save them.  (Read 577 times)
Kellys
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Location: north central CT


« on: October 05, 2013, 12:57:06 PM »

Okay, a very newbie beek. We've had bees the past two years. After hurricane prep and a bear last fall, we decided to sit out this year and start fresh next year.

Well we got at TINY swarm yesterday. It was on a maple tree and very exposed. Clearly it wasn't going to survive. So I'm hoping to overwinter these girls successfully. ANY hope? They had build one comb, hanging on the tree, I cut it and put it in a 5 frame poly nuc box with a couple of empty frames. Any suggestions besides feed? I'm on that one Smiley there is maybe a softball sized cluster of bees.

I'm in north central CT.
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kathyp
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Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 01:33:25 PM »

make sure there is a queen.  make sure they have a small space. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Kellys
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Location: north central CT


« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2013, 01:46:17 PM »

They are in a 5 frame Nuc box. I'm fairly certain that the queen is there. THere was a small comb, I cut the branch it was on (it was only about 5 feet off the ground) and placed it in the box...the scouts/ foragers that were out came to the branch where the comb was, and then were seeking out the box, so I'm feeling pretty good about the likelhood of a queen.  I am thinking to put them in the garage, with the opening facing out a window, or a tube to the window. It's not heated, but it is insulated, so they would be out of the wind and the temperatures would be a shade more stable.
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dprater
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Location: South Carolina


« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2013, 05:53:25 PM »

Well' if you had not put them in your nuc you know they would not make it so good for you. I live in the south so not much addvice from me, year # 2. First of the year I had lots of problems with my hives and a little bothered by the losses of Q's and a few hives, then it came to me to not take it all that serious, have some fun, try new things,  lose some some will stay, unless your making you living beekeeping its all just a experiment like life itself. I get lots of help from this forum also.

dan
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BlueBee
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Location: Mid Michigan


« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2013, 10:29:58 PM »

Well, I tried to winter my half frame mating nucs last winter.  About 600 bees per mating nuc.  Yes, I counted!  The mating nucs dropped like flies in November until I super insulated the last 4.  Those 4 survived some pretty cold temps until late January when another wave of 0F took them all out.  

IMO, the only way you’re going to get 600 bees, or less, through a Michigan winter is with electric heat.  See the other thread on that subject.  Feeding just fills up brood rearing space.   Food won’t save a colony that small from the cold.  Cold will kill them no matter how much food they have.  What they need is heat; either more bees, or the right amount of electrical heat.

I ended up with about 3” of insulation around the mating nucs in January.  They actually were looking pretty darn good.  I thought they were going to make it, but that last wave of 0s did them in.  Next time I try to winter mating nucs, it will be with electric heat.  It’s just much easier to regulate and control than a 3” thick foam box.  You get into some pretty large thermal time constants when the form gets thicker than 2”.  That brings on new problems for the bees.  Thick foam also crushes a lot of bees when putting lids back on.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 11:01:11 PM by BlueBee » Logged
kathyp
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Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 06:39:15 PM »

you might check ebay for something like a water bed heater.  i think they can be had for a pretty low price.  worth a try if it's only 10 bucks or so.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
sawdstmakr
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Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 08:59:26 PM »

Your idea of putting them in the garage is pretty good one. How warm is the garage during the winter.
I have over wintered queens in an observation hive that ended up with little more than a couple hundred bees in the fall. The last one looked like it had about 60 bees on the exposed frames by January but they slowly built up during the next 2 months and ended up swarming. Surprisingly it swarmed with only the 2 deeps filled with brood and 6 empty medium frames above them.
Jim
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derekm
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Location: glow in the dark Hampshire UK


« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 03:20:24 AM »

Turn the box so the narrowest end is at the top and the entrance is at the bottom. Reduce the space in box down to 3 frames with two 1 inch thick pieces of foam covered in gaffer tape. make sure they a tight fit to the sides and inner covers. Tmake a slip over cover of polystyrene that covers the the new top and sides out of 6 inches of  polystyrene leaving the bottom open. Seal all joints in the foam cover with tape inside and out. Make this cover with internal dimensions 3/8 bigger than the nuc box external so it can go on and off.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
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