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Author Topic: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?  (Read 287 times)

Online The15thMember

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Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« on: July 23, 2020, 06:21:10 pm »
I have a hive that is building comb under their hive stand.  I split this hive 2 weeks ago after they had a failed swarming event (the swarm lighted in a very high tree and then fortuitously returned to the hive).  I'll inspect tomorrow or Saturday to get more info, but I did pop the top and they don't look like they are out of space.  They aren't building comb on the cover or anything.  Any idea why they'd be doing this? 
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Offline AR Beekeeper

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 06:45:43 pm »
I think it is probable, that the queen that should have been with the swarm that returned, has run under the hive.  She would attract a portion of the bees that was in the swarm and they have established their nest under the hive.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 10:29:25 pm »
I think it is probable, that the queen that should have been with the swarm that returned, has run under the hive.  She would attract a portion of the bees that was in the swarm and they have established their nest under the hive.
Oh darn, I bet that's what happened.  That would explain why the split is also queenless now.  I'd like to recover this queen, she's a really good one.  I guess I could try and do a little cutout and put her and her bees in another hive and then combine them with the split.  Any other suggestions?     
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 08:54:54 am »
???
If you split them how would they not be queenless if you didn't add a queen?
Were there no queen cells at the time of the swarm attempt?
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 10:36:50 am »
???
If you split them how would they not be queenless if you didn't add a queen?
Were there no queen cells at the time of the swarm attempt?
After the swarm returned I did a walkaway split, and I assumed the queen was present in the split and not the original hive based on how the hives were acting.  There were queen cells in the hive that swarmed, and earlier this week when I checked on the split, there were queen cells in there as well. 
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2020, 12:20:07 am »
So I'm kind of struggling with the logistics of dealing with this situation.  I'd like to get the queen under the cinder block (presuming I can find her) into the queenless split, but they have queen cells that may be hatching already, so I'm thinking that if I wait until their new queen is laying it'll be easier to find her, pinch her, and replace her with this good queen.  But I'm out of equipment and don't have any nucs, so I have this crazy idea.  Could I cut these combs out, rubber band them to frames, and put them in a box above the split on a solid inner cover, so the bees can't get to each other, and give the top box a top entrance, and have them there just for like a week until I can find the queen in the bottom box to remove her and then combine the two?  Is this totally insane?  Any better ideas?     
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Offline AR Beekeeper

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2020, 07:24:00 am »
Your plan could work, but you would be replacing a young queen in the split with an old one, one that for some reason was not in condition to go with her swarm. 

Remember, 80% of all prime swarm queens are replaced within 2 months of the swarm leaving the colony.  It would be late in the season, if the bees fail to re-queen your hive dies.  My average life span for queens is 14 to 16 months, then they are superseded or the colony makes an emergency queen.

If you find the old queen from under the hive and want to save her in a box above another colony, then try it.  But, I would not use her to replace a young queen in your original split. 

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2020, 07:37:14 am »
> Remember, 80% of all prime swarm queens are replaced within 2 months of the swarm leaving the colony. 

> But, I would not use her to replace a young queen in your original split.

Nor would I. You might want to place a double screen board in between the two in case the one should be superseded, as AR pointed out that possibility, and the new one does not return mated. (Being it is getting late). You would still have the one and recombine if necessary? Only thing Member, the worker bees on the blocks may be confused wanting to return there instead of the new location on top when out forging In either case? I do not know how that would work out in this particular situation with your suggestion or mine? You might consider balancing the two with capped brood frames, loaded with nurse bees along with food frames from the bottom making sure The queen on the bottom is not accidentally placed on top, (keep her on the bottom). It if imperative that you acquire some extra equipment In my opinion.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 08:09:54 am by Ben Framed »
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Offline amymcg

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2020, 08:18:36 am »
Tough situation. You definitely need more equipment, just because you never know what is going to happen next with bees.

Your idea may work well for now and could get you by until some equipment could be obtained.

You might consider getting a resource hive which is basically a 10 frame box with a divider in the middle so you have two nucs in one box. Place both colonies in the resource hive.

This past winter I used the D Coates plans and made four nuc boxes to have on hand. They?ve been invaluable this season.
Let us know how this turns out?


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Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2020, 09:01:50 am »
Just put them in another box but don't combine.  There is no guarantee they will stay anyway.  You will have to close off or block off the voids in the cement blocks because they will want to return.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2020, 10:59:22 am »
Thanks so much for all the comments, I really appreciate hearing everyone's opinions on this. 

Phillip and AR: I'll definitely be sure to evaluate the old queen vs. the new queen before I make any decisions about who to go with.

Ace: Absolutely, I will turn the cinder blocks onto their sides.  We wouldn't want a repeat of the LW shakeout incident that just happened to me. 

Amy: I know I need to get some more equipment on hand.  Money has been a little tight lately, so I didn't want to purchase anything I didn't absolutely need for this summer, but it's hard to tell with bees.  That resource hive is a neat idea, and seems like a cheap and easy way to make a "nuc" in a pinch like this.

I'm going to go ahead with my plan as a temporary fix and then go from there based on what I find today.  Who knows, maybe the old queen isn't even down there anymore.  Maybe I'll accidentally kill her removing the combs.  As Phillip mentioned, maybe one of the new queens won't return from her mating flight.  Too many variables to make decisions right now.  I'll get them cut out of the cinder block, and answer the rest of the questions once I have more information.  Thanks again for all the help, guys, and I'll keep you posted.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2020, 04:43:06 pm »
The cutout went probably as well as it could have gone.  I was kind of a mess, and there was no way we were going to be able to find a queen, but she was there somewhere, since there was brood in all stages in the combs.  Don't know yet if she survived the transfer to the box.  We turned the cinder blocks on their sides, but only after we had everything back together did we realize that they could still get under there with the way my bottom board is, so we may have to go back and put something on top of the holes. 
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2020, 11:20:13 pm »
Yep... beekeeping seems to have both a cloud and a trail of extra equipment which must be kept on hand...
random pieces of plywood that a beek might "need" to cover cinder blocks...even then, needing to borrow from a friend or head to the hardware store.

I'm starting to see this as a housing development for insects.  Between the screening fence, the deck, the hive stand, my work table, bucket of tools and oh that's right....the hive and all its components.... it seems to have almost as many moving parts as a housing development for people. 

Really, my cat was not as much trouble as I thought he was, after all.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive Building Comb on Hive Stand?
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2020, 09:12:54 am »
so we may have to go back and put something on top of the holes.
Do it now before the hive gets larger.
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