View Full Version : What to do ?

Oct 23rd 2010, 09:11 AM
A swarm moved into one of my swarm traps(mid Sept.) it had set empty all summer.I took it out of the tree Thurs. night (10ft. up) and took it to a bee yard Fri. mourning. When i took the top off to put feed on, it was a mess (wax mouth attack) the bees had cleaned four frames and had drawn comb half way on each frame with brood and honey and looked to be about 1500 bees, (maybe) the other 6 frames were covered with wax mouth webs and cacoons and the bottomboard was covered with what looked like black coffee grounds.I took the 6 frames out and scraped and dumped the rest out and put the four frames with bees back in.( i had set them out) I would like to save them but it's getting to late, what would you do? combine or put them in a nuc, or? Jack

Oct 23rd 2010, 09:47 AM
combine and split in the spring.

Oct 23rd 2010, 11:45 AM
This is where some BT comes in handy before the traps are set out. Spray the comb and let it dry before you set the traps out. By the way, I have been amazed at the cleanup job bees will do on moth larva damaged comb.

Oct 23rd 2010, 05:58 PM
I bought some BT from sundance and haven't used it yet,i don't know how it kills mouth larva but not bee larva? There were two swarms hives that were about 15ft apart in the trees, one was caught in June and i left it there to long.I was standing on the tool box in the bed of the pickup and when i pulled the hive off the platform, it was full and was all i could handel.( almost took a nose dive) I took it and the one in ouestion to a new bee yard (the only two there) Both hives have young queens and if i combine them i will kill the queen in the small swarm hive because the other hive is strong and i don't want to take a chance of that queen getting killed. I hate to kill a good young queen :confused: .I have some extra frames of honey but never took that small a swarm through the winter in a nuc. Jack

Oct 24th 2010, 06:34 AM
Use a double screen to seperate the two hives and stack the smaller on top of the stronger hive, this will let the heat of the stronger hive help keep them warm over the winter and the double screen will keep the bees seperated.

Just a thought, sounds like you are wanting to play with them to see if they will make it through the winter.

Oct 24th 2010, 11:32 AM
G3, that sounds like a good idea. I have done that before with good results, the only draw back is in the spring when i separate them i will have to move the top hive to another location for a few days. But that's no big deal,this is a new beeyard in a wooded area with alot of open none kept land all around and no other beekeepers for miles that i know of, and i'm planning on putting 10 hives there this coming spring. Thanks to all for your ideas. Jack

Oct 25th 2010, 05:36 AM
jack writes:
the only draw back is in the spring when i separate them i will have to move the top hive to another location for a few days.

if you use a double screen and if you create an entrance at the top of the stack facing the opposite direction as the bottom entrance.... then all you need do come spring is to set the top box off next to or behind the existing hive. no movement beyond a few feet required.

Oct 25th 2010, 07:24 AM
Tec, in the past i have used the double screen with entrance opposite of the bottom hive. My thought in moving the hive to another location for a week or two and then bring it back, is to prevent drifting. Being a weak hive now it would be weaker in the spring and i wouldn't want to lose bees to drifting :confused: Maybe i've been worrying to much about losing the work force. Iddee, has spoke of something i've not tried and i wonder if it would work in this situation, by switching the two hives location, :dontknow: if i set them side by side in the spring. :dontknow: Jack

Oct 25th 2010, 12:10 PM
OR... Just move the strong one a few feet in the spring. The foragers would return to the weak one.

Oct 25th 2010, 05:36 PM
you can always interchange the two boxes as Iddee suggested and that will also work in regards to equalizing the adult population and you can do this at almost any time. you can do the same kind of manipulation using the upper and lower entrance (kind of standard process in rearing queens by the Cloake Board method). I do however preach some caution here in that you don't want to be having too large a difference in adult population of the two hives since you can run the risk of a large field force over running a weak nuc and killing the queen in the process. I guess moderation is the proper mind set to promote here.

you might also consider the following process.
1) set up the two boxes with a double screen until early sping.
2) maybe one week prior to fully separating the two box place a queen excluder where at one time you had the double screen. I would add a frame feeder to the top box at the same time and give the unit one good swig of syrup. the queen excluder (plus the feeder helps) will tend to equalize the two adult population inside the box.
3)separate unto their own bottom boards.

Nov 1st 2010, 07:30 AM
Thanks for all the info. I took the double screen and all the equipment to the bee yard (35 miles north of home), but after looking them over again i decided to combine them. I don't think there was enough bees to form a big enough cluster to make it through the winter, even above the strong hive. I sure did hate to kill that young bright shinny yellow looking queen, but being 35 miles away in the woods it would be hard to keep an eye on them. I'll split in the spring. Jack

Nov 4th 2010, 04:30 PM
I bought some BT from sundance and haven't used it yet,i don't know how it kills mouth larva but not bee larva?

It is poisonous only to specific insects and their metabolism. That is why it must be the right kind of bacteria, like you bought. Do not use the garden variety sold in your local farm store. It only kills the wax moth larva because they ingest it by eating the comb, takes very little treated wax to kill them. It will not kill the moths. The bee larva do not eat the comb and the bacteria is not deadly to them anyway.
I hope this answers your question

Nov 4th 2010, 08:55 PM
Thanks Rast, yes that answered my question. Jack