Starting over after absconding

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by BeepsBees, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    Hi,

    So, my bees have absconded. It is my fault. Please no hate. I didn't know.... My hive was inspected and found to have way too many mites. I then treated them the same day with powdered sugar (Top bar hive BTW). the next morning there was larvae at the bottom from them going into house keeping mode. I had a ton of ants under the hive after the larvae and sugar. I misunderstood my inspector as I had mentioned cinnamon or borax to kill the ants... she said cinnamon was a myth and that borax might kill on contact, but recommended I just put the legs in water. I already grease my legs so that works fine, but anyway I wanted to kill the ants on the ground so i sprinkled a small amount of borax. They almost immediately absconded. At first we thought it may have been the stress of the veroa and opening the hive twice in one day, treating ect. but after asking around, my inspector was sure it was the borax. So... they swarmed to a tree in my front yard. She thought they may go back to the hive after. I was hopeful. They didn't... They left the next day. There are still bees lingering around the hive and coming in and out like normal, but i see no queen cells. Its maybe 20/30 of them inside at any given time. I am wondering if these are just the bees that emerged from the brood and that they will die off with no queen. My question is..... if i get a new queen would this small amount of bees be able to take care of her? If not..... can i save all the comb in the hive for when i do get a new colony? Someone told me to freeze all the comb until I get a new hive. Freeze it with the brood and all in there? And I feel bad for the bees in the vhibe, just snatching the comb and freezing it, but if i must I will. couldn't I just leave the comb in the hive and add swarm lure? Since it is swarm season I am thinking I could possibly catch a swarm nearby. Why can't I just leave the comb in my top bar hive in hoped of catching a new one? Why should I have to freeze it? If the comb is in my freezer(and i don't think I can fit it all) then wouldn't my hive be less enticing to a swarm? is there time to order a queen and put her in there with the few bees that have hatched? If I plan to start a new hive with the old comb, dO i have to go through it all with a tooth pick and pick out the larvae? How long after the bees are gone will the veroa die off if I leave the comb? What is the harm of leaving the comb in my hive rather than freezing it? Thanks so much. I am a noob. I feel foolish for the borax. Lesson learned. Please help with some ideas on how exactly to start a new hive
    THANK YOU
     
  2. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    very surprised with the amount of activity around my hive. They are very active and like i said maybe 20/30 in the hive? I looked outside just now an there like 8 or more flying around outside of it. Could that many have emerged in 2 days? and be that active? I see no queen cells. Should I order a queen and maybe they will take care of her? Still not sure what to do with the old comb in preparation to start a new hive. Id like to save it. I don't think i can fit it in my freezer & I don't really understand that concept.
     

  3. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    DISREGARD. They were ROBBER BEES!!
     
  4. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Sorry Beep. You are going to have to treat with something better than powdered sugar in the future... Check out the shop towel info on Randy Oliver's site. www.scientificbeekeeping.com. I suspect the bees flying in and out are robber bees, stealing the honey left in the hive. Buy a package and install it asap, before the wax moths destroy it. There are probably some packages available down there now. Just leave the comb alone, the package will clean it up. But prepare yourself to do some serious treating if you want to keep bees. Oxalic acid is a natural product in honey so that's my go to treatment. This summer I will be using Randy's towel method. It's easy and reportedly effective. Before and after you treat sample for mites and make sure it worked. I have a friend who lost 2500 hives this winter, so don't feel like you're a failure, this winter was terrible for many of us, me included. It's a part of beekeeping they don't tell you about. Hang in there!
     
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  5. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    Beep, I had complete die outs for a couple years on my way to sustainability. It is sort of a rite of passage for people who are serious.

    While I dissent on oxalic acid being the only method for varroa mite control, it certainly is effective and highly used. Other bee gurus have other philosophies and you have to find what works for you.

    I think the takeaway is
    • you are not one of the lucky who can ignore varroa mites;
    • you are going to have to do something.
    • if you are not able to quickly install another package, freeze the frames NOW; wax moth is an experience you can save for a later year.
    • Keep going; think about another hive or two so that the risk is spread and one failed hive doesn't feel like the end of the world.
     
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  6. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    Beep, I had complete die outs for a couple years on my way to sustainability. It is sort of a rite of passage for people who are serious.

    While I dissent on oxalic acid being the only method for varroa mite control, it certainly is effective and highly used. Other bee gurus have other philosophies and you have to find what works for you.

    I think the takeaway is
    • you are not one of the lucky who can ignore varroa mites;
    • you are going to have to do something.
    • if you are not able to quickly install another package, freeze the frames NOW; wax moth is an experience you can save for a later year.
    • Keep going; think about another hive or two so that the risk is spread and one failed hive doesn't feel like the end of the world.
     
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  7. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    I agree with most of what you said, however, I never said is oxalic was the only method... there are many that I have used, thymol, formic, amitraz. It is, IMO, the easiest for a new beekeeper to use and is pretty foolproof, i.e. no queen loss, effective, not dangerous to handle, etc.
     
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  8. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    so, since I couldn't fit my combs in the freezer I took them out to separate them and put them in the sun. There were already SHB all over the dark combs. Gross. So a lot of them died in the sun today... as it went down I see there are still some left. I'm keeping them in the sun again tomorrow, and then before it rains I'll put them under
    My overhang. I've brought pry comb inside since it's not affected by them at all. I'd like to try my luck with swarm lure. Any advice? I was told I could put the empty comb in there while I try to catch answark, since the wax moth won't mess with clean comb. I will keep the affected ones out to catch sun and air. I hope those SHB larvae die in the sun soon. Nasty things.
     
  9. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    so, since I couldn't fit my combs in the freezer I took them out to separate them and put them in the sun. There were already SHB all over the dark combs. Gross. So a lot of them died in the sun today... as it went down I see there are still some left. I'm keeping them in the sun again tomorrow, and then before it rains I'll put them under
    My overhang. I've brought pry comb inside since it's not affected by them at all. I'd like to try my luck with swarm lure. Any advice? I was told I could put the empty comb in there while I try to catch answark, since the wax moth won't mess with clean comb. I will keep the affected ones out to catch sun and air. I hope those SHB larvae die in the sun soon. Nasty things.
     
  10. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    so, since I couldn't fit my combs in the freezer I took them out to separate them and put them in the sun. There were already SHB all over the dark combs. Gross. So a lot of them died in the sun today... as it went down I see there are still some left. I'm keeping them in the sun again tomorrow, and then before it rains I'll put them under
    My overhang. I've brought pry comb inside since it's not affected by them at all. I'd like to try my luck with swarm lure. Any advice? I was told I could put the empty comb in there while I try to catch answark, since the wax moth won't mess with clean comb. I will keep the affected ones out to catch sun and air. I hope those SHB larvae die in the sun soon. Nasty things. At what point would I treat new bees with oxalic acid. I ordered some. And when can I open it after I catch a swarm if I do at g one
     
  11. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    so, since I couldn't fit my combs in the freezer I took them out to separate them and put them in the sun. There were already SHB all over the dark combs. Gross. So a lot of them died in the sun today... as it went down I see there are still some left. I'm keeping them in the sun again tomorrow, and then before it rains I'll put them under
    My overhang. I've brought pry comb inside since it's not affected by them at all. I'd like to try my luck with swarm lure. Any advice? I was told I could put the empty comb in there while I try to catch answark, since the wax moth won't mess with clean comb. I will keep the affected ones out to catch sun and air. I hope those SHB larvae die in the sun soon. Nasty things. At what point would I treat new bees with oxalic acid. I ordered some. And when can I open it after I catch a swarm if I do at g one
     
  12. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    Im new at bee keeping and the first year I lost my hive to mites, so last year I started over with a new nuc..I treated for mites with OA vapor and it seemed to work well, this year on the warm days the bees were busy buzzing around and bringing pollen into the hive, I have my hive on a platform with 2 4x4 posts holding it up, I greased the posts and poured waste oil around the posts( yeah the tree huggers may cry about that) and let it soak into the ground, no more ants period crawling up to the hive...by you using borax, you could poison the bees, as anything that crawls through it will bring it up to the hive, as the grease and oil are not like borax and even with contact with the bees shouldnt harm them to any extent..it seems any of those "natural" ways to control mites or pests really dont work.more fluff than fact... and as more people report those methods are so so in working, it just proves that...hopefully if you clean up the area and hive the bees may return for you...this year at least by me the weather has been freaking crazy..last week it was 60 and sunny and even in febuary it seemed warmer than now,now its freezing again and snow on the ground and more snow on the way..im waiting till it stays warm before I open the hive to see exactly whats been going on inside all winter and how many bees are in there..
     
  13. Gypsi2

    Gypsi2 New Member

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    I have a pipe stand with cinderblocks holding it up, and pondliner on top of the ground underneath. I can use antblock bait under the pond liner as long as I can keep my hens from getting to it (going to have to bring some rock back there for that) but I get Tangle foot and put tape on the pipes of the stand on either side of the legs, then tanglefoot on top of the tape. A few bees get caught, but not many and it works for a month or 2 before I have to redo my barrier.
     
  14. Gypsi2

    Gypsi2 New Member

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    I'd cut some comb OFF those bars and get in freezer, or just get a bigger freezer. I picked up a chest freezer for the bees brand new for less than $200. It will handle lengths up to about 36 inches anyway.