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Author Topic: need some guidance on capturing.....  (Read 2648 times)
SteveSC
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Location: Woodruff,South Carolina


« on: June 05, 2006, 09:46:33 AM »

A fellow called me the other day and says he has a 8 yr. old colony of bees in the wall of his barn.  

His wife says the bees have to go.  There's honey runnng down the walls.   The bees can be accessed by taking several vertical siding boards off.  Looks like the colony is about 4' X 4'.

What is the best way to gather these bees.  A swarm is one thing but this seems to present a problem getting the bees in a hive box.  There's alot bees..many many bees.  Is there away to get them started in the hive box ( it'll take a double deep to fit this many bees in  - they look like dark Russian bees ) besides the obvious of getting the queen in there first.  Will they go in the box with the queen and leave their honey behind..?  I figured I'd get them started in by putting the queen in there and just leave the double hive box there to give them time to go in it and come back in a day or two to pick it up.  

I need advice on this situation - thanks fellas...

Steve SC
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Steve in SC


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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006, 02:41:40 PM »

You will need to go in and cut the comb out of the wall. You will want to tie the brood comb into frames and place them into your hive body. If you don't have a beevac then you can keep brushing the bees into the hive body or some other container and dump them into the hive. If you get the brood in and the queen in then the rest of the bees should find their way to the new home.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2006, 09:58:36 PM »

It's a straightforawrd cut out.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesferal.htm
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2006, 03:11:32 AM »

A 4'x4' area is a lot of space, concentrate on the brood comb by tying it into empty frames.  Keep the honey comb and use the crush and strain method of harvest.
This is going to be an all day job.  
You'll find that the further you get into the comb removal that the bees will have a tendency to ball up in one area of the wall.  If the queen isn't captured, this is most likely where she'll be.  
After all of the comb, brood and honey have been removed then gather this ball of bees just as if it were a new swarm.  Once back at the beeyeard unite the bees and brood comb with the hive containing the ball of bees.  
Put the ball on the bottom as it will have framed foundation which is what you want to transfer the hive onto.  Then as the foundation is drawn out the bees will move onto it.  As the brood from the tied in frames hatch remove those frames and replace with either drawn comb or foundation.
Good luck.
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SteveSC
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2006, 12:25:04 PM »

It took 4 hrs. to take care of the hive.  There must have been 200,000 bees there.  There were layers of comb 6" thick with tunnels and holes all through it.  We'd take off a section of comb and brush the bees in the double deep hive I had there - I wired some brood and comb honey on a few frames in the double deep.  I suspect we did get the queen in the brood box but I didn't actually see her - just too many bees and too large an area to to look.  The brood boxes were all but full of bees when we left - so if they are still there today she ought to be in there.  If they aren't in the boxes we'll be able to see where they're gathering and she's be there.   Hopefully she wasn't hurt in the transfer.  

We filled almost four 5 gal. buckets with comb honey to be cut and strained through some cheese cloth.  It was an experience - more bees than I've ever seen in a single colony.  They were not happy bee.  I'll let you know about the queen after I see what's going on today.   Thanks for the replies..      Steve SC
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Steve in SC


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SteveSC
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 08:01:28 AM »

I went late evening yesterday and retrieved to double deep hive.  It was completely full of bees - the queen must have survived.  I suspect there could have been multiple queens in these colony.  There are still bees massing in a large group at old colony site.  I think I'll put another hive box there and see if I can get anther hive out of it.

It's amazing the amount of honey this colony moved in the 24 hrs period after we took the colony apart.  They emptied all the comb in the buckets that they could get to and moved it to the hive I had set there. This 5 yr. old colony is very agressive but seems to be very efficient in honey production honey and honey relocation - maybe it's the breed ( dark Russians I think ) or it's just the shear #s of bees.  Does anyone have a thought on this..?  I could have used a third chamber but decided two is enough.  

Should I go ahead and put a medium super on the hive with a queen excluder - they look very crowded. In the top brood chamber I had drilled two 1 1\2" holes for ventilation with screen wire over the holes - you can't see past the holes - it's just bees every where.   Should I have the wire over the holes or should I remove it for the bees to have easier access to the upper chamber...?

This is seems to be a great hive of bees - time will tell.  

Thanks for the help.... Steve SC
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Steve in SC


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Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 08:51:38 AM »

You succeed to catch most. Move them away from area.

The rest bees you may catch to the box where you put a brood comb. When all are in close them insice and join them next day.

 Avoid working at evening because bees are angry before sunset.

Next thing is that smell of wax invites next swarm in place.
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SteveSC
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2006, 09:23:24 AM »

"Avoid working at evening because bees are angry before sunset"

I have always heard to try to move bees in the evening so that you'll have most of the foragers in the hive also.  Is this not the case..?  

You are right though - they were VERY agressive in the evening to the point of mass attack.  I guess you have to weigh the positive and negative.  Move them in the afternoon and not get all the bees or move all the bees in the evening but contend with angry bees.......

Steve SC
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Steve in SC


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SteveSC
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2006, 09:26:49 AM »

Can you address the ventilation holes I drilled in the upper brood chamber...?  Do they need to have wire over them or can I open them up ...?

Thanks.
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Steve in SC


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Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2006, 10:26:24 AM »

Yes, and after sunset many hives become mad. In dim light they cannot see where to fly.
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SteveSC
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2006, 10:40:17 AM »

Is that a " yes " to take the wire off..? Thanks Finsky..

Steve
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Steve in SC


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Finsky
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2006, 11:57:45 AM »

Quote from: SteveSC
Is that a " yes " to take the wire off..? Thanks Finsky..


In dark bees attach as blind. They sting at once. They go after  odor. They crawl everywhere.
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