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Author Topic: Rescue Operation  (Read 379 times)

Offline FatherMichael

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Rescue Operation
« on: June 20, 2020, 08:14:08 pm »
Tough spring for my backyard hive.  Thought I'd let nature take its course but it did not turn out so well.  A very  strong hive swarmed.  I intentionally let that happen rather than do a split.  I assumed a good daughter would take up where her mother left off.  The hive was very strong when the death of my own mom occured and I was distracted by grief, dealing with family issues, and executing the will.

Went on a much-needed vacation.  Came home to find the hive severely depleted, no brood or stores, and we're in drought conditions now.

Started to feed them and BAM! the robbers came in wild, crazy, and overwhelming like a BLM/Antifa mob!

Shut down the entrance severely and fought the robbers with water spray for two days.

Went to the farm and borrowed two frames of brood with young larvae and eggs so that they could make a new queen, though I found one supersedure cell.

A member of the Lubbock club posted laying queens that he had replaced but had not pinched.  He wanted $10 each.  So, I got one and released her today after an overnight protective custody inside the hive.

The need for so much intervention now reveals the weakness of a previously held hippie philosophy, for which I repent!

Scripture says we have dominion over the earth, to fill the earth and subdue it.  We are stewards and these magnificent creatures deserve better from me.

What else can I do now to help them recover from my foolishness?




Offline iddee

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 10:58:33 pm »
One thing may be to allow 3 plus days for a hive to accept a new queen. With only overnight, they most likely killed her. If not, you were looked after by a higher power.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline Robo

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 08:13:13 am »
Condolences on the loss of your mother.   I think the real lesson here is having more than one hive.  There is nothing wrong with taking a "limited" approach to beekeeping and letting the bees swarm and provide growth to the local feral population,  burt you must be prepared for situations like you have found yourself in.   Swarming is not a perfect process and mother nature can be cruel at times.  With multiple hives,  you can better respond to such issues.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline Troutdog

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 09:23:43 am »
Condolences on your Moms passing.

Just a footnote to what the others have said
This year is the hardest year I have seen my bees have in requeening themselves.
Absolute nitemare. Normal odds are 3 out of 4, not this year.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk


Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 04:35:31 pm »
Thanks, guys.

Last spring I could do nothing wrong and the hive was a great success.

This spring is a disaster.

We've had little rain and the bees are crazy at the hummingbird feeder.  There must not be much honey flow at all, even though I see flowers around.

However, the two nucs installed at the Bostick place are doing well -- feeding them, of course.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2020, 07:24:45 pm »
They are successfully defending the reduced entrance, only 1" wide by 3/8 inch.

There is normal forging activity, coming and going, though not a lot.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2020, 09:04:37 pm »
Father Michael, I was wondering where you been?  Sorry about your loss of a loved one.  There are not words in this language that appropriately describe feelings so I use the word sorry for lack of accurate true indescribable feelings.

Bees can be merciless when it comes to robbing.  I have to be so careful during a dearth, not to spill a drop of anything sweet.  Reduce the entrance as you did, very good.

ROBBING, how I deal with:  In the evening, I have had to remove all frames, bees everything except the hive body as some robbers will not give up...  so I leave an empty hive body with empty frames just as if the bees absconded and there is no more food.  The frames of bees are then relocated to a new spot maybe only 50 feet away with reduced entrance.  I have even tried to hid robbed hives at night, camouflaged, but the robbers always find the targeted hive.  The best method for me is to take everything and move it but leave an empty original hive body in original location with empty frames.

Glad to see your back Father Michael.  Keep us informed.  May we be guided to a clear path to I AM.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 12:40:49 am »
I'm sorry to here about your grief. Best wishes to you and your family.

As for the bees - I went thru pretty much the same thing in my 2nd year (2016). I wanted to let them "be natural". Long story short - it didn't work, and all 4 hives died. Now I monitor, study, and treat as needed (oav). Things are much better now. Hopefully things will turn around quickly for you!
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Acebird

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 08:41:52 am »
I intentionally let that happen rather than do a split.  I assumed a good daughter would take up where her mother left off.
Sorry for you loss.  I lost my mother many years ago.
Had you split then (it is like a forced swarm) you could have kept up the hippy care of the hives and it would have helped you with your grieving.  Part of the reason why you don't let hives swarm is because it is out of your control.  Bees are not human.  They do not make their homes next to their parents.  The only way that happens is if you force it.  Success is very limited when you are fighting mother nature.
"non" intervention does not mean "no" intervention.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2020, 05:09:40 pm »
Thanks, Brian and Van,

Got a nice rain last night and normal activity at the hive holds.

I've seen two things for the first time, a swarm and a disturbing robbing frenzy.

Glad to have seen it but will seek to avoid both in the future with better management!

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2020, 05:13:03 pm »
You will do just fine, we are learning as we go.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 08:37:07 am »
Glad to have seen it but will seek to avoid both in the future with better management!
You have seen three things.  The difference between a first year queen and a second year queen.  The impulse to swarm is much greater.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2020, 04:50:50 pm »
I think my strategy might work.  The two frames of young brood and eggs produced three queen cells.

I'm feeding and they seem to be defending themselves okay.

Now just wait, I guess?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2020, 11:58:39 am »
I think my strategy might work.  The two frames of young brood and eggs produced three queen cells.

I'm feeding and they seem to be defending themselves okay.

Now just wait, I guess?

I guess; and hope the new prevailing virgin mates and finds her way back home after her mating. Rooting for you! And praying for you in your bee situation as well as your life situation.


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« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 01:03:43 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Rescue Operation
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2020, 10:05:50 pm »
I think my strategy might work.  The two frames of young brood and eggs produced three queen cells.

I'm feeding and they seem to be defending themselves okay.

Now just wait, I guess?

3 queen cells!!!!  Yes.

The thrill of bees is taking losses and making a better come back.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.