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Author Topic: Rescue Operation Working But ...  (Read 662 times)

Offline FatherMichael

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Rescue Operation Working But ...
« on: September 15, 2020, 04:58:59 pm »
Not out of the woods yet.

There are eggs and new brood in various stages of development but very few bees to take care of things.

There is still time for building up so going to feed them like crazy.

Got the new insulated nuc and may overwinter in there when it starts to get cold.

Offline rast

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 07:50:11 pm »
 The "various stages of development" are going to have to get on the ball to help raise more bees.
Fools argue; wise men discuss.
    --Paramahansa Yogananda

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 08:04:00 pm »
The "various stages of development" are going to have to get on the ball to help raise more bees.

Yes, it is going to be tough.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 07:52:11 pm »
This is the weakest hive I've ever had.  So stressful as the days grow short and nights are cool.  There was very little capped brood, or larva in the hive today.  Without glasses I cannot see eggs.  I saw one very small black bee.  Weird.  ???

I figured out a way to reduce space, could insulate against the cold, boost them with frames of brood from strong hives, and feed until they do not take it any more.

Should I risk strong hives to help this one so late in the season?

What is the minimum number of frames that can make it through the winter.  we have mild winters here.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 08:22:42 pm »
Sorry your hive is so weak. I hope it?s not too late in  your area for build up. The black bee has been discussed here, probably before you joined beemaster. A very good topic as I remember. Was the black bee shiny or did it have a dull appearance?
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 FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 09:01:46 pm »
Sorry your hive is so weak. I hope it?s not too late in  your area for build up. The black bee has been discussed here, probably before you joined beemaster. A very good topic as I remember. Was the black bee shiny or did it have a dull appearance?

Didn't notice that about the small black bee.

Will four frames of bees make it through the winter?  Six?

I'd sure like to preserve this high dollar queen.

Offline rast

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 09:53:13 pm »
 Four frames would be kinda risky and it is gonna depend on how hard your winter is this year. I don't know your version of a strong hive, but I would risk a frame of brood out of a "strong hive" to save your $queen$.
Fools argue; wise men discuss.
    --Paramahansa Yogananda

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2020, 10:09:38 pm »
Four frames would be kinda risky and it is gonna depend on how hard your winter is this year. I don't know your version of a strong hive, but I would risk a frame of brood out of a "strong hive" to save your $queen$.

I think that is what I will do, rast.

Thank you.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2020, 09:51:51 pm »
I'm slow on the uptake, yes, but now I see that there are too few adult bees to keep two frames of brood warm enough.  That is probably why there is so little brood?

Will reduce space with insulating material and add one modest frame of brood from a strong hive and another when those have emerged.

Maybe that's a good plan?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2020, 10:47:28 pm »
I don't know. I wrote the following in the old post on Aug 30 almost a month ago. You might go back and also read my reply 66 the following day. Time is about up in my area. I do not know about yours. I am still rooting for you.

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Re: Rescue Operation
Reply #62 on: August 30, 2020, 07:04:46 pm
The reason I ask about the approximate amount of bees is because you had ask about consolidating to a nuke. The queen should be laying if nectar and pollen are both coming in at a good amount. (As dictated by the amount of bees capable of tending to this brood.) If you do not have a robust amount of bees then the nuke may be a good tool as an aid for a faster buildup before winter. In my opinion, I would do just that, consolidate into a nuke. Open feed pollen substitute Ultra Bee, (because of SHB, you certainly can't afford that problem with an already weak hive), and sugar syrup to help as both pollen and nectar (or sugar syrup) is a must for building much needed brood.

In your case the sooner the better, fall is fast approaching. A nuke will make it easier for the bees to keep the box warm in raising brood if you do not have many frames of bees in this hive. A smaller space in your case will also make it easier for bees to fight off SHB and wax moths. A good way to feed this nuke in your case, (again in my opinion), is an in box frame feeder, (at least a gallon size with the built in ladder system to avoid drowning bees), or a hole cut in the top, the correct size (70mm) for an added quart or larger feed jar. I would also treat with OAV, (just in case and in due time), as this hive will need all the help it can get. Wishing you the best.
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 Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2020, 10:58:51 pm »
I will add, I would skip the in frame feeder being its a month later, in case of the cooler weather. The inframe feeder may work against the bees in cooler weather? I have not studied this but it would seem the bees would not only have to keep the brood warm but the wet feeder also. If not the cooler feeder will or may work as a cooler in the brood area? You do not want the short supply of bees to have to deal with a further disadvantage? A boardman feeder may be a better choice now?
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 TheHoneyPump

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2020, 11:29:43 pm »
I'm slow on the uptake, yes, but now I see that there are too few adult bees to keep two frames of brood warm enough.  That is probably why there is so little brood?

Will reduce space with insulating material and add one modest frame of brood from a strong hive and another when those have emerged.

Maybe that's a good plan?

Adding brood adds more work.  As you described the situation, you have bees that already have too much work.  So ... Do not add brood! Instead, add bees. 

There are two methods of adding bees to a weak hive from a strong hive or group of strong hives.

Option 1.  Shake them some bees
1. Put a ramp board or cloth to the entrance of this weak nuc. Something that bees can walk up and walk in on.
2. Next go into the heart of your strong hive(s).  Into middle of their brood nest. That is where the nurse bees will be. Pull a frame full of bees. Make sure their queen is not on that frame.
3. Take the frame of bees over to the nuc and shake the bees off as close to the entrance as possible, onto that mini ramp you made. Give the frame a single very firm very hard shake. Go put the frame back in the mother hive.
Repeat 2 and 3 as many times as necessary based on the following formula:    3 frames of bees is required to look after 1 frame of brood.  If you have 2 frames of brood in the nuc, shake 6 frames of bees out front.  If you have 3 frames of brood in the nuc, shake 9 frames out front.

The young nurse bees will walk right in and join the household forces of the weak hive. The older bees will take flight and go back to their mother hive. So do not be shy about shaking lots of extra bees. Take as many frames as you need to from different hives to do the shakes.  No worries.  Nurse bees mingle and join up together just fine with no fuss or fights.  It is the older bees that fight.  By shaking out front, those older bees will just fly off so there are no fights to be had. The nurse bees are too young to fly, they will just march up the ramp together and go right into the hive.

Option 2.  Exchange hive positions
Move the weak hive to the location of a strong hive and move the strong hive to the location of the weak hive.  When the bees take flight going about their daily beeziness, bees leaving the strong hive will return to their old location, which is now the weak hive.  Thus boosting the population of the weak hive.


Give that weak hive bees by method 1 or 2 above.  Do not give it brood.  It needs more workers, not more work.


PS:  If you do not see a very significant pickup in the amount of brood being made and health of that brood within 10 days after adding a bunch of bees, then the problem is the queen in there is a dud and needs to be offed by the hive tool.

Hope that helps!
Good luck with it.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 11:43:38 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2020, 12:53:20 am »
Mr HoneyPump, in my opinion your advice seem like the best advice that could be offered if this hive is to be saved especially being it's this late.
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 FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2020, 03:58:48 pm »
Thanks BF and HP.

Yes, come to think of it, frames of brood when it was hot did not seem to help that much.

Okay, more bees it is.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2020, 06:08:08 pm »
If this has been small and slow, ongoing for awhile, and you have previously put a decent amount of resources to it already - and is still small;   Then I may further suggest you be looking for evidence of pest/disease or poor queen that is holding them back.  Eg varroa mite (PMS), EFB, poor nutrition, poor queen .
In otherwords, if you do not see a noticeable and significant jump in vitality 10 days after adding plenty of free-bees, then dig down looking for something sinister.
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Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2020, 09:02:34 pm »
Thanks, HP.

I'm running out of time.  The overnight lows are in the 50s for the foreseeable future.  The bees are not taking syrup any more.  And I've not treated my strong hives because daytime temps are predicted to be in the mid to high 80s for the week.

I do not want to compromise the health of the strong hives and have reconciled to losing this weak one.

Nevertheless, hoping to save the queen, I'm thinking about reducing the weak hive.  There is at most one frame of brood, two of bees, and several of food.  My question at this point is how many frames of food should be included in a reduced box.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2020, 10:41:03 am »
Father,
I would put them in a 5 or 6 frame Nuc with a feeder hole. Fill a jar with dry sugar add a little bit of water and use this to ensure they have enough food to make it through the winter.
Jim Altmiller

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2020, 11:44:39 am »
Thanks, Jim.

Cold front coming through right now; so, won't disturb them today.

I've learned so much from this struggle.

Love this forum for the great advice.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2020, 06:09:11 pm »
Ugh, this weather is crazy!  Forecast is 85* on Oct 11?  Really?

So, no MAQS treatment for a while.

But that means there is time for this troubled hive to build up a little.

I could move it out to the Bostick farm in a reduced space (the polystyrene 6-frame nuc is ready to go) and shake it a couple frames of bees from untreated hives, who would have time to recover before the warm fall ends.

Does that sound like a plan?


Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2020, 08:46:56 pm »
Reduced the 8 frame weak garden hive today to 6 frames with polyisocyanurate panels, covered with two layers of wool Army blankets and a black leaf bag, and calling it good (the cover is highly insulated).

Keeping them here in the back yard is a change from the idea of transfer to the new Bee Box nuc.  Seems to me that it is too cool at night for such a drastic intervention.  Here I can watch them more closely and they do not need to reorient in a new location.

The queen is producing: there are many more bees than the last inspection, brood in all stages on three frames, and three frames of food.  I removed two frames of food in order to reduce the space.  Will keep the food warm in the house to give when needed over the winter and will be ready to provide a sugar source this winter, as per Jim's recommendation above.

There is a fall flow on with Sunflowers, Spanish Gold, and Goldenrod.

The two hives in at the farm are

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2020, 09:28:15 pm »
Sounds like that hive has a good chance to survive.
Good job.
Jim Altmiller

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2020, 10:57:33 am »
Thanks, Jim.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2020, 06:31:28 pm »
The rescue operation is going well so far with a lot of new bees from this $queen$ and reducing the brood space.

I really think the added insulation on the sides and covering with a couple of army blankets lets them stay warm during cool nights.

There is a small but consistent brood pattern, praise the Lord!  They might make it.

Thanks to all for the good advice on this site.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2020, 07:00:03 pm »
Your persistence is paying off. I am glad to hear the good news.
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 FatherMichael

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2020, 08:18:15 pm »
Thanks, Ben.

The warm fall is helping and I set out a community feeding station.

When we get into winter weather I'll need to do what Jim said about sugar candy, eh?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Rescue Operation Working But ...
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2020, 08:32:42 pm »
Thanks, Ben.

The warm fall is helping and I set out a community feeding station.

When we get into winter weather I'll need to do what Jim said about sugar candy, eh?

Yes that will be a good insurance policy for sure. 
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.