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New visitors at the house. They are beeing well behived.

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by mywaynow, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Found this in a small tree I planted in my back yard. Rainy and cold and I am guessing they are enroute to some new home. Never seen this before.

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  2. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Today half the colony is on the ground and the other still in the tree. Wondering if I should be doing something with the temps going into the upper 30s tonight.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    No idea whatsoever...never seen anything like it. I know bees swarm when they go to look for a new home, but I never imagined they stayed over someplace like that on the way. Maybe they think they're home now, and they're just going over the plans for the new hive with the Queen. !! Rick
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  5. Ncountry

    Ncountry Member

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    That is really neat .I have only ever seen bees swarm twice.Once in a tree in my dads yard, We were a little worried when they moved to the open attic over the porch.. By 9 am the next morning they were gone though. Another time 3 of us were stripping shingles on a roof job, and we heard a buzzing sound It was just like the movies. The sky was full of bees .Thinking that maybe we had hit the motherland of all bees all three of us ran off the roof to the truck.Lucky for us we were only 1 story up, lol. Turned out that they were just doing a fly-by nobody was stung .
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    When we kept bees we saw lots of swarms. They break out of the hive to relieve overcrowding. Some scouts are out looking for a home. If you know a local beekeeper, contact them. Often the swarm can be coaxed into a super (bee hive) and saved if the weather is getting bad. I have captured a few myself.

    The bees are pretty docile in this state. They gorge themselves with honey before departure and are just huddling to keep their queen warm. What is fascinating is when the scouts come back with a report of a new home. The bees regroup, circle the air, then take off like an arrow in the direction of the new home. It's quite a sight.
    save$ and ScotO like this.
  7. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I went ahead and constructed an african style hive. It is the long version, shaped like a feeding trough. I scooped up the ones that had fallen onto the ground and put them in the hive the first night. The next night about 2/3 of that group were on the walls of the hive. I added about 1/3 of what was still on the tree via a small shovel. Next night I got all but the last 15% or so into the hive. Two days later the bees were back in the ball shape inside the hive, so I know the queen is in there. Today it is about 60 and the activity in and out of the hive is pretty heavy. Maybe they will stay. Time will tell.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Neat, is that a top bar design? Hope they make it.
  9. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Yes, top bar. It is 42 inches long, about 16 wide, 18 deep. The limited time I Ihad to research it led me to place a few 1.375" wide slats in the front to be used for brood. and the remaining are 1.625". There is a triangular strip of pine attached to each slat that is 1/4 inch more narrow than the slat. I will get some follow up pics when I attach the legs and set the hive, hopefully tonight.
  10. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    This exact same phenominon happened to my one buddy from work last week. They were clustered up in a ball on a branch above his driveway, there were so many of them that the branch nearly snapped off. He called a local beekeeper who was supposed to come and get them. Not sure how he made out, I'll have to find out on Monday.
  11. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    I had the same thing happen in a tree above my driveway. Noticed them one day, about the size of a soccer ball, and the next day they were gone. I googled "bee ball" and found that honey bees form swarms like this to kill off there enemies (hornets). Apparently, they "cook" them by forming the ball around them. Google "bee ball" and see the results.
  12. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    MyWay, I can't WAIT to see more photos. I love honeybees, they are wonderful insects. If you have a garden you will be amazed. Also, they will not sting unless they feel that they or the hive is in danger, so you can work in your garden or yard while they are buzzing happily around you. Congratulations on your new brood (we hope)!

    Also, you might want to give them a little sugar syrup to get them started, just make sure the other critters don't get to it first.
  13. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I believe I would wet myself if I saw that in a tree behind my house.
    bluedogz and smoke show like this.
  14. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Just wanted to update this deal. The temps have been touching areas where the bugs are starting to fly around now. I decided it was time to remove the tarp that I had put around the hive in order to help hold heat inside it. I noticed the lack of buzzing in the area and upon opening the hive, found the place was vacant. No dead bees of any concern level, just a couple dried up carcasses. I am wondering if the chainsaw running in the immediate vicinity all winter had anything to do with the abandonment.

    Nice thing is they left me with quite a bit of honey. Of the 26 or so bars, there was honey in about 12 of them. Three had quite a bit. I cut away the empty comb and pressed the honey filled comb as a harvest method. No need to leave comb for an empty hive. Looks like a take of 5-6 quarts of honey. Cool seeing the different color honey and different flavored honeys that came from different combs. I took all the bars with the propolis and comb ends back to the hive and put everything back together. The hive is hoisted back up into the poplar tree and is attracting visitors as I type. There were a couple honeybees investigating the place before it was secured in position. Maybe some returning for the gold, or some looking for a new place to spend a summer.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  15. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Another update. I left the hive hanging in the tree, with some of the comb still inside. I hoped it may attract more bees. Well it did. I was out cleaning up the other day and noticed some activity at the entry of the hive. More bees! One problem. They are Hornets. Big ones. It also seems they are not happy when I am anywhere within 15 feet of the hive. Next problem is the hive is right at my wood pile. Looks like a showdown is coming.
  16. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    So the hornets have kicked out the honeybees? Hornets construct paper nests, They are probably using the remains of the wax hive for food and such. Jeez, I hope you can convince them to move on.:eek:
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    !!! !

    I read this thread with much interest. This whole beekeeping thing fascinates me. How do you guys avoid being stung?



    Honeybees left on their own, over the winter. Read prior post.
  18. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Went out at 6 am this morning with plugs in hand, hoping to block off the entry and nix these things. No such luck as they were already very active. They are living in there, not scavenging comb/wax. Maybe try again tonight. I am also thinking of shooting a compressed air cleaner into the opening with hopes it cools them down to a hibernation level.
    Joful likes this.
  19. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    If you go back about 4:00 this afternoon, most of them will be out and about still, so you might be able to do your dirty work then.::-)
  20. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Attempt #2; fail. Went out at 5 am this morning. Had a plan hatched from a conversation with the propane guy as he filled my tanks. Propane is COLD. My thought was to use my propane torch to fill the hive with the cold gas, rendering the fools incapable of movement from the temperature. Walked out with my tank, torch and flashlight in hand. Stopped 15 feet from the hive and lit up the hive; no activity. Great! Knelt down and attached the hose to the tank, making a little noise as I did that. Now I am hearing a buzz. Light the hive again and there are 15 of the buggers at the entry and a few in flight. Either they smelled me or heard me. I was slightly outnumbered and aborted the mission. Tank is still there, awaiting the next attempt which will likely be tonight. I may also try the wet vac attack during the day today. Depends upon my courage and time.
    Joful likes this.
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    This is the most fun I've had reading any thread in a long time. Carry on! Keep us posted.
    firebroad likes this.
  22. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Game, set, match. Took the wet-vac and a step ladder out to the hive. Used the ladder to support the rigid tube and set it at the hive entrance. Ran it for about 4-5 hours. Every once in a while I would visit the scene and pop a stone onto the tin roof of the hive. The hornets were so large that they would sound like ping-pong balls hitting the vac body. Around 11 pm I went out and stuck wood shims into the opening of the hive. Ran the truck exhaust into the vac and sealed it up. Won't touch either for a week. I will document the internal activity of the hive when I do open it up. Should be this weekend.
    Adios Pantalones and MasterMech like this.
  23. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    :) Good job, wish I was there to witness this...or not.:eek:
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    ::-) ;lol
  25. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Mowing Sunday and came to find the little buztards are still kickin' in the hive. They have found another way in/out. Saga continues.

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