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Author Topic: Back to the "Barrel"  (Read 1758 times)
beeginer
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Location: Central Missouri


« on: June 22, 2004, 12:11:39 AM »

On May 11th we installed a screen cone going from a hole in the top of a wine barrel to a hole in the bottom board, see topic below, and got most of our bees to move in to a super with drawn comb.  We used a purched queen to help establish the new hive.  

Yesterday we moved the hive to its permanent location.  We blocked the enterance for the move then removed the block when it was in place on its stand.  

We did an inspection the day before and found some queen cells and some med. and large larva.  We were planning on poss. removing the queen cells after the move, but alas, we found a swarm back in the shed that housed the barrel this afternoon, when we checked the origional hive we found that the numbers appear to have dropped conciderably.  And since we have extremely little experience it is hard to tell for sure, but it seems that there were too many bees in the swarm to have come from our hive and to still have as many left as there were.

We have hived the swarm and left the hive in the shed for the stragglers to find and join them.

We origionaly used a super and about two weeks later added a hive body with plain foundation.  Now it's about 5 weeks later and the girls had done nothing to that execept for a bit of propolis to glue the two together, no drawing on the foundation.  The drawn comb has some uncapped honey, larva, and one frame has about and inch and a half of capped honey, and as I said earlier some queen cells.

Am I expecting too much to think that the super should have been pretty full and that they should have been further along on the new foundation?

And the next  question is how long will the bees left in the barrel survive with out being able to get out to get water?  Since they are under roof I don't see how it is possible for them to be getting any.  We looked for another enterance today and could not find one.  But there are still quite a few bees alive in there.
 
Sorry for the long post!  ANY input is appreciated!


http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=533
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Bupalos
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Location: NE Ohio


« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2004, 12:52:30 PM »

When you moved the hive away from the shed with the barrel, did you keep it plugged overnight and put some flying obstructions up in front of it? Bees are highly attuned to location and will find their way back to where they used to be unless you force them to "reprogram" this way. The beekeeper I bought my hive from keeps his blocked in for two days, puts on an entrance reducer, and turns them facing another direction after the move. He beat into my brains that you cannot move hives short distances without these kinds of measures.

From your description, it sounds like your bees are leaving and trying to go back to the shed and finding no hive there anymore. If you catch that swarm and pop it back in, lock them up for a bit and try to make visual cues near the hive for them. The other thing is probably that getting the bees out of the barrel that way meant you had only older workers, so they may be dying off now a month later. Also are there any tiny larvae and eggs? Did you see your purchased queen? She may have swarmed or been killed. I'd hive that "swarm" in the shed and then check after a couple days to see if she is in there and if there are enough bees to care for the brood. If so, it might make it.
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“And as when Plato did i’ the cradle thrive,
Bees to his lips brought honey from their hive.”
beeginer
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Location: Central Missouri


« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2004, 01:56:36 PM »

We did not keep it blocked over night, but did place a whole lot of grass on the landing board at the entrance.  And did tap the hive on all four sides as Harry Aebi and Ormond Aebi said to in one of their books.  It is supposed to alert them to the change.

We are not sure if we were able to spot the queen and we will be looking again this afernoon.  

The swarm is hived, at least as of this morning.  

We did not want to combine the two and end up with two queens fighting it out, so they are in seperate hives at this point.
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