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Author Topic: Bees Nearly Drowned in Transit/Distraught New Beekeeper :[  (Read 4458 times)
Piper
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« on: June 05, 2006, 03:48:31 PM »

Installed my first package of bees into our top bar hive this past Thursday. Installed within hrs. of picking up at PO. Some were obviously dead, though not too many, and they had a sticky look about them, which  later I discovered had practically drowned from the feed can. Since I didn't know this at the time, I installed them, direct released the queen, and proceeded to watch their activity over the weekend. All seemed fine-- they were coming and going, many with pollen sacs full, but there was a little clump that stayed at the entrance on side where queen was released. I also observed quite a few carying dead bodies out, which had me wondering what's up with that? Being too curious to contain myself I peeked into the observation window of this hive (it's a TBH with wood panel that covers a window into the hive) and TONS of the bees I had installed were still laying in middle of hive looking dead cry  There is a pretty big clump that continues to stay on the side where queen was released, and looking from the inside, quite a few are there just clumped. Looked like they didn't want to even go in over the dead bees to get to the feed bag. Anyhow, turns out alot of my bees must have been smothered by the feed leaking out of can. Must have been turned on it's side.  I'm going to attempt to file claim, the company I purchased from was very helpful over the phone. Just wished I'd filed claim earlier, but didn't know exactly what had happened til now. My question is this-- how do I know the queen made it with the other bees that didn't get drowned?  They haven't left the hive-- is that a good sign? Can I start my little colony with half the amount?  Sorry for the ramble, still pretty traumatized about all those poor dead or nearly dead bees this morning.  I removed them from the hive.. which hopefully didn't upset the others even more.  Any advice?
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yvette97206
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006, 09:41:32 PM »

So so sorry!  That's one of the saddest stories I ever heard.  Have you seen the queen at all?  Do you think she's mushed up in that ball?  I'm new too, so I have no advice for you...but just wanted to offer my condolences cry   I would have curled up in a ball and cried!

Y
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2006, 10:00:49 PM »

They probably drowned from the syrup.  I've seen it many times.  The "this side is up" is ignored and the syrup runs out of the can all over the bees.

Not much you can do except leave them alone for a while and check back in a couple of weeks to look for eggs and brood.
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Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
newguy
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 10:15:24 PM »

yvette97206
    if that is one of the saddest stories you have ever heard you should try watching the evening news tonight.  there is bound to be a sadder story than some dead bugs. rolleyes
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yvette97206
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 10:24:13 PM »

New Guy-
When I first joined this forum, my signature stated "...because Honey Bees Don't Drop Bombs"...after my first post, I was chastised for using political speak in a happy bee forum...

So, although there are MANY things on the news that make me sad, not the LEAST of which this president who apparently has no problem with sending innocent people off to die for his agenda and doesn't mind spilling national security secrets that may have jeopardized not only the life of the agent he compromised, but the security of our entire country...

So, yes, New Guy, in this particular forum, her bee story is the saddest thing I have ever heard.
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newguy
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 10:33:25 PM »

yvette
  it would obviously be to easy(and fun) to push your buttons so ill refrain, and just say:  cry  rolleyes  cheesy
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yvette97206
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2006, 12:36:08 AM »

newguy Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006    Post subject:  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
yvette
it would obviously be to easy(and fun) to push your buttons so ill refrain, and just say:    
 
 
Said the new guy who couldn't spell...
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 03:20:47 AM »

Hold still while I get the fire extinguisher!
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Joe
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2006, 08:02:13 AM »

The same thing happened to me a few years ago. I ordered a 3# package of bees and upon receiving them I noticed that almost 2/3rd's of them were dead.  I also believe that they drowned due to the feeder can being turned on it's side.  The queen was fine and I didn't file a claim, I just took them home and installed them into hive.  They did really well and that hive is still strong today.
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Piper
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2006, 09:39:24 AM »

Hi folks.  Thanks for the responses from everyone.  It is rather sad, but hopefully will have an ok ending.  Glad to hear Joe had a similar story that ended well.  Bee keeping is so far removed from what's on the daily news, and that's what I love about it.. a window into a whole other world! I'll leave them alone this week, and see if anything changes.  Clump is still, even bigger than before, and I have no idea yet if queen is mushed up in the middle of it.  All dead bees have been removed, and there is still syrup left in one of the feed bags I left inside the hive.  Bees are still coming in and out, and I've noticed a few actually sipping water out of the birdbath.  I just hope they decide to unclump and start setting up house in their nice newly built hive.  If they decide to stay, I'll be happy.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2006, 10:25:27 AM »

>>Installed within hrs. of picking up at PO. Some were obviously dead, though not too many, and they had a sticky look about them, which later I discovered had practically drowned from the feed can.

Note to Packaged bee suppliers:  Please label fragile and this side up.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
newguy
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2006, 01:03:06 PM »

yvette
a well placed blow, i read my post sixty times and still could only find a missing apostrophe. i guess i cant spell. ill keep looking. if you want, take your last shot, im done. i think someone is going to get annoyed.
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drgenegarris
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2006, 01:22:36 PM »

Quote from: Joe
The same thing happened to me a few years ago. I ordered a 3# package of bees and upon receiving them I noticed that almost 2/3rd's of them were dead.  I also believe that they drowned due to the feeder can being turned on it's side.  The queen was fine and I didn't file a claim, I just took them home and installed them into hive.  They did really well and that hive is still strong today.


I purchased two packages from Rossman Apiaries this year and both syrup cans had one small hole punctured in each can.  I think that it would be hard for bees to drown with one small hole.  What is the 'standard' amout of holes in a feeder can.
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Piper
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2006, 01:54:57 PM »

I'll have to double-check, but I believe this one had 2 small holes.  Not from Rossman though.. I ordered thru beesupply.com in Georgia (they were the only company that could still ship me a package). Don't have a beef with them though, they have been easy to get ahold of and willing to help. Sadly, there was a label on top of my package that indicated "this side up" but I guess it's hard to keep it right side up during transit.  Can't wait to get home tonight and see what they're up to now.. have already gotten addicted to watching them buzzing in and out.
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Joe
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2006, 02:53:30 PM »

I can't remember from whom I ordered my bees but I seem to remember a hole about the size of a quarter with a piece of cloth stretched tightly in it. I'm not sure how they drowned myself but I remember that the bees were well covered with sugar syrup.  Of course the bees could have died prior to getting soaked but the weather was warm and unless the postal workers did something purposefully or not to endager them I can't think of anything else that would have caused it.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2006, 06:06:09 PM »

I think the problem is in the Postal System.  They often ignore their own guidelines on handling seemingly having a perpensitity to send items marked fragile through the rock crusher instead of the hand sorter.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Piper
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2006, 09:04:38 AM »

Well.. they are still there!  I'm thinking my queen is alive and well!  Problem is they are NOT building off of the top bars.  They appear to be busy building an irregular comb in the front corner of hive.  I know I need to correct this.. but not sure how.  Seems a pity as they are all still clustered there together in one big heap and have been through so much what with the drownings and half the colony dying!  I was so glad to see them still hanging around, but want to be sure I get this going off to as best a start possible.  Whewww what a beginning to my bee adventure!  This has not been boring in the least!  Should I let them alone for now continuing as is in their corner (tomorrow it will have been a week since I installed them) or get in there and do something to fix this?  Thanks all.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2006, 09:50:49 PM »

I would fix it now before they go too far....
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Piper
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2006, 12:14:25 PM »

Hi-Tech, I'm new at this, as I'm sure is apparent, and it's hard to find other folks with top bar hives.  Should I cut out/throw away the comb they've started? Is that what you'd recommend?  And if so, how would I encourage them to build correctly on the bars?  I'm going to put in the false back since they're a smaller colony now, and had already painted the underside of the bars with beeswax, is there anything else I should do to have them build correctly onto the bars?
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2006, 11:04:57 PM »

My top bars were slotted and i inserted a 1 inch peice of plastic foundation into the slot. They started building on it right away. Maybe take the wax you pull out and form it into a raised area down the bar?

I installed my package in the very back of the hive and they are building comb from front to back. installed in early May and they have built complete comb on 6 bars.
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