Author Topic: Starting Over  (Read 192 times)

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Offline Wandering Man

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Starting Over
« on: April 16, 2018, 10:17:13 am »
Well, almost.

With the one hive becoming dangerously aggressive, and the remaining two hives still chasing my dogs, 3Reds, and me into the house, we've decided to move all of our hives to our friend's property outside of town and away from people.

Our backyard hives are usually pretty peaceful.  And I know they will become peaceful again, but we just no longer feel like we can risk them hurting someone while we are waiting for them to calm down.  This is going to be a test of just how lazy a beekeeper I am, since I will no longer be able to just look out my back window to check on the bees.

I'll either become a better beekeeper, since my checking will be intentional and scheduled.

Or I'll become a worse beekeeper because I will put off driving out to check on the hives when I need to be there to make a change.

I've ordered two of BeeWeaver's mite-resistant queens to requeen the aggressive hive and the swarm.

I'm just going to have to wait and see if I can figure out why the other two hives are still defensive.  Lots of nectar and pollen right now.  The queens were alive and laying last week when we looked.  Maybe they are angry about the Formic Pro treatment that just ended.  Maybe because 3Reds and I just disturbed them.

Could it be residual defensiveness after the aggressive hive's attacks on us on Thursday?

I'll look for signs of queen cups or queen cells while I'm packing and unpacking the hives later today, and make a decision about requeening these one year old queens.

This won't be the last time I disturb these hives this week.

Once my new queens arrive (Wednesday or Thursday), I plan to remove four frames from the sick hive and replace them with two frames of brood from each of these two hives.

Hopefully they won't get disgusted with me and abscond.  That would be three invasions into their hives in two weeks.  I don't have queen includers to trap the queens inside.

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Offline riverbee

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 08:39:50 pm »
wm,
you already are a better beekeeper for addressing/trying to figure out aggressive hives by moving them out. if they are chasing you and your wife, your dogs, you really can't risk aggressive bee ventures with neighbors or neighboring properties.
moving hives will also test your 'ability' as to how you care for them. it is hard to move hives; not being able to see them and watch activity everyday.
perhaps once requeened and settled down, you will be able to move them back.

sometimes hives can get snarky in the spring and after a good nectar/pollen flow starts, bees can settle down. you are in texas, so i would be concerned about the queens genetics.  requeening, is the best solution for any aggressive hive.

good luck and keep us posted!
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 10:46:50 pm »
We’ve got all of the bees out of our yard.

Well, most of them. I’ve left a swarm trap for the stragglers.

I figured out that I don’t have to break my back, moving a three story hive as a unit.

The honey super went as-is, no top or bottom. Then 3Reds and pulled the 20 remaining frames and put them in 5-frame Jesters nucs.

This was hard on the bees, and us, too. But, it was the only feasible way for us.

We could only move one complete hive at a time. The bees were all over us as we were working with them, but looked really calm when we returned with the next hive.











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Offline riverbee

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 11:12:26 pm »
wm, you and 3 reds did the right thing and you did great! awesome photos btw!
love the 3rd pic with 3 reds?, and the sun setting!

moving bees is always hard on the bees and hard on us......i am not talking just about the weight and the work involved. (it is more than that, it involves our connection with the bees in our own yards.)

we find ways to move bees that works for each of us because of the weight of the hives. irregardless, moving bees is hard work.

the one hive, with the red, green color scheme.....lot's of bees!

wm, it's what we do........you and 3 reds are good keeps!

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Online Lburou

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 11:29:19 pm »
Three years ago, weather conditions caused my bees to go mean.  Moved them.  Haven't moved them back yet.  Still have hives here at the house but not those hives...just lazy.  :)
Lee_Burough

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 12:05:35 am »
Thanks, Riverbee.  Yes that is 3Reds in the pics.  We make a great team moving bees.  I may decide to make that my profession.
After the fourth colony, we each had our jobs down pat, and the move went really smoothly for us.

I was surprised to to see how well the bees left the cab of the truck once I started down the road.  Except for that last trip.  As you could tell, the sun was setting.  They just wanted to curl up and go to sleep.  On us!

Lee, I doubt our hives will return.  At least not for a really long time.  However, I am keeping swarm traps up around the house.  So, I suppose we'll allow any swarm we catch to live in our backyard for a few weeks before we sell it or move it.

We now keep four colonies.  All we wanted was one.

How did this happen?
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 12:46:28 am »
One more sunset for you, Riverbee:



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Offline rober

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 09:31:50 am »
wanderer- I have hives at 5 locations. with my house at the center there's a yard at 2:00, at 9:00, & 1 at 7:00. the 5th location is within a 1/2 mile & is used as a quarantine yard. swarms & cutouts get hived & left there until I can determine mite & beetle loads. when I know they are ok they move to the other yards. the other yards are 6 miles away. even that close it sometimes is a pain to get to them are really a pain when you forget something so I've put together a tool kit & keep it in the truck. I bought extra hive tools & leave them at each yard. I keep an extra bee suit in the truck. I keep 1 gallon bucket with a snap down lid full of smoker fuel IN THE TRUCK. I got into this routine when I lived in the country & the nearest stores were 35 miles away. a 70 mile round trip sucks when you forgot a $.15 ( in the 70's ) copper 90*. & even with all the prep sooner or later I forget something. the joys of A.D.D.
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 02:26:56 pm »
Riverbee, you are right.  3Reds and I are good beekeepers.

The problem seems to be getting rid of the bees.

I've taken two swarm traps to the property filled with lost bees, and we still have a yard full of bees looking for home.
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 02:38:14 pm »
To get the bees to all gather together in one ball you need a queen in a cage / hive or a pheromone queen lure. They are not looking for any place to be they are looking for home. even moving hives at night you can leave bees that didn't make it back into the hive. it gets to cold the bees land some place for the night and continue home the next day when they warm back up.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.
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Online Lburou

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 04:55:03 pm »
Somewhere in the back of my mind it seems I read maybe more than one or two reports about bees being more defensive after the formic treatments.  They may calm down on their own, given time.  :)
Lee_Burough
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2018, 05:43:17 pm »
I’m banking on rheum calming down soon, Lee. It’s a shame we can’t make bees instantly calm.

Apis, I had left a swarm trap out to catch the stragglers. Then I failed to lock them in after dark. I thought the bees would just calmly wander off to neighboring hives.

Boy, was that idea wrong. We’ve had bees all over our yard, and now into our neighbors.

I’ve set another swarm trap out with queen pheromone, and will lock them in this evening.

The bees started crawling into the trap immediately. I think things are already calming down. It is close to 5 pm now w, so that might be a factor. Sunset is around 7:55.
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2018, 08:40:50 pm »
"All we wanted was one.
 How did this happen?"


one is all it takes wm, from there..........game on, we get addicted or whatever one wants to call it.  been that way for me since college.
i 'hoard' bees and love bees........i think we all do to a certain extent irregardless of the circumstances we are faced with, we just do our best to figure it out. as far as calming them, so many variables.

rounding up all the remaining bees.....they will cluster where their home was last.......i have tried different methods. scooping them up very late in the day......place in a small box......and disseminating back to the hive i moved they came from the next day.....  bees will cluster in the last place they called home. not sure how to explain/describe this. sometimes the small amount of foragers some say are not worth the trouble......but i just do it differently.

you and 3reds are a great team! and good keeps!

ps. enjoy your thread!
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2018, 10:14:02 pm »
It’s dark now. The bees are trapped in the swarm trap.

... I hope.

There were 8 to 10 bees hanging around the outside of the hive. I had to brush them aside to turn the closing disc from open to vent. They just took a couple of steps to the side and went back to sleep.

I guess I wore the poor girls out today.

If they are guard bees, I’m afraid they’re going to be fired for sleeping on the job.
What you say about someone says a lot more about what kind of person you are, than about the other person.
How you treat someone you like reflects your taste.
How you treat someone you don’t like reflects your character.


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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Starting Over
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2018, 09:54:29 am »
Got out to the trap before dawn and hauled it to the new bee yard.

All of the bees are calmer, but still a little defensive in the yard. I had 3 to 4 bees in my face by the time I left. None of the bees wanted to ride with me in the truck on the way home. I see that as a good sign.

I had a small cluster of bees in the swarm trap.

I took a stroll around our house when I got back home. No bees. My dogs and neighbors should be happy.

3Reds and I will make the 2 1/2 hour drive to Navasota on Friday and pick up 2 BeeWeaver bees.
What you say about someone says a lot more about what kind of person you are, than about the other person.
How you treat someone you like reflects your taste.
How you treat someone you don’t like reflects your character.


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