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Author Topic: Feral Bees in Log …. Will this work?  (Read 2852 times)
RiceLake
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« on: May 09, 2007, 10:47:58 PM »

Hi Everyone,

Last winter my uncle dropped off a log in my back yard with a colony of bees inside.  It was a big old oak tree that had fallen over in the bush near his house .

Pictures here: http//s208.photobucket.com/albums/bb74/Ricelake_2007/

The bees were in the tree when it was standing and they survived the crash … lived in the tree when it was horizontal for a year. As you can see in the picture they have had to redraw the comb. The old comb in the bottom of the log is collapsed close together. It was most likely not vertical after the tree fell over.

I think / hope these bees are already regressed / if not partly.
My goal is to get these bees out of the log and into a hive and keep them naturally.
Here is what I have done.
I closed off there entrance and  the ends of the log. I also filled the open space at he ends with fiberglass insulation so they will not fill it with comb.

Drilled two 1 ½” holes from the top of the log into there home .  Then I placed on top a modified bottom board and a deep super with top bar frames.
The entrance is at the top of the super. I did all this while the bees where in cluster when it was still cold out.

 This spring they are pretty busy bringing in pollen through  the new entrance…. I am sure they are doing well in there .

I am hoping that they will expand up into the new box and the queen will move up. And at that point I can separate the box from the log , then I can open up the log and see what they have built in there ie: cell size.

I would appreciate any suggestions , comments.
I’m not sure if this is going to work and am wondering if I may have to do this a different way?

I Have 4 other colonies in a different location, I am going to try and start to regress them back to natural cell size this summer.



Thanks,
Glen
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 04:39:44 PM by buzzbee » Logged
Understudy
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 10:54:34 PM »

You have the right idea.
However the bees don't always think like we do.

I would recommend you put brood frame(s) in the super. It will encourage the bees to move up to care for the brood. And that may encourage the queen to move.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Mici
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2007, 12:18:04 PM »

i would leave them in the log and use them as a "reserve" family, they're almost bound to cast a swarm or two in the coming years. actually i've hollowed a log to do this grin now i'm waiting for a swarm to put it in, but hell, it's your decision
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 01:38:03 PM »

I probably would have either split the log and dug them out, or propped the log on end, standing up, and put the hive body on top with out a bottom board and hope they move up.
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2007, 02:25:29 PM »

I don't think it will work out as you have planned.   They will be hesitant to expand the colony thru just the 2 little holes you have provided.  It isolates the two areas too much.   If they did for some reason expand,  it would be by building comb up from the holes, not from the frame top bars.

My bet is they will swarm before they expand into your hive.   I think your best bet is to split it open or dig them out.
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2007, 10:41:24 AM »

O K you should leave them in the log or cut them out.They like that log thats why they are in there.Bees move when they swarm or abscond.I haven't had any luck getting them to move otherwise.I would cut them out
kirko
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Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 12:04:29 AM »

.
Make to bottom board a big opening and bees will enlarge their colony up. Put first only one box over the log.

Problems in these log hives are that if you have AFB or something troubles, you are not able to se what it there.
Of course that log is the engine of varroa, and "regression" does not help you not a bit.

Feral bees? - A swarm just come from somewhere - not more.  And if hive dies, it get another swarm next year to the combs. So they have lived before varroa arrived.
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RiceLake
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2007, 12:21:22 PM »

I'm not feeling comfortable cuting the log apart so I think my next step will be to cut a 6" x 6" (15cm x 15 cm) hole into the log in place of the two holes.
Maybe even make some mini frames to set in this hole so I can remove the comb after they build up into the box ontop.

When I am doing the cutting into the top of the colony will the queen stay away from the saw while I cut the hole?.......... I don't want to kill her. (ie: do queens run away from trouble?)

-G
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 12:27:15 PM »

What kind of a saw. My guess would be that if you are cutting into comb, especially the brood nest, you could get the queen. I have used power (circular) saws and the bees act like it's not even there.  I think a reciprocating saw might cause them to come investigate you and the queen to look for dark corners, have to ask understudy about that.
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RiceLake
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2007, 12:41:38 PM »

I'll probably use the Circular saw.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 03:18:23 PM »

What you do is figure the thickness of the wood and cut into it. If you didn't cut deep enough then go a little deeper. Keep doing that until you are finally through. DON"T go sawing really deep.
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