Adding an established hive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by ndm678, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    While looking for a beek with some empty frames, I found someone who is selling off his hives before a big move. I have a two super hive of Carniolians arriving tomorrow night. I had some questions about the process.
    1. What should I cover the entrance with? Would a piece of window screen work? If so, how would I attach it (tape, staples)? Hive is on a solid bottom board so I'm reluctant to block it off completely. Will be in transit for nearly an hour.
    2. Once the hive is unloaded and set, do I open the entrance? I would think they will be fired up from the move, maybe I should wait an hour or so... Would I put something over the entrance to force them to re-orientate (tree branches, hay, ect.) ?
    3. When can I take a peek inside? From what I'm told, the honey was harvested recently, leaving them not much food. I may need to add a medium or super. I have both with bare foundation. The hive has plastic frames, can I mix and natch wood frame wax foundation with plastic?
    4. Should I feed them? We will have rain for few days after they arrive.
    5. How close should they go to my weak hive? I plan on robbing some brood frames for the weak hive.
    6. Queen is 2 years old. When should I consider a replacement?
    Sorry for all the questions, but this situation unfolded very rapidly.
     
  2. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Yes. I've just crammed it in the entrance (no tape or staples)

    I would. If you moving them more than a couple miles, they should be fine regarding re-orienting.

    I'd inspect before bringing them home. If the hive has drawn comb - regardless whether plastic or not - it doesn't matter what you add. The only time you don't want to mix is when adding frames of foundation. If you add a super with mixed foundation, they'll tend to ignore the plastic.

    Depends on what their stores are.

    Doesn't matter whether it's six inches or across the yard. If you're concerned about robbing, 50 yards isn't going to make a difference.

    Depends on your beekeeping style & phillosophy. A lot of beeks will replace at 2 years (and make some very good arguments why it's a good idea). Me? I don't replace a queen until she gives me a reason to. If I've got a good queen in a colony producing lots of honey, I'm not inclined to replace her.
     

  3. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Thanks Indy :grin:
     
  4. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Also my entrance reducer can be flipped to close it off and I just duck-taped it in place...
     
  5. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    This is what I was going to do, but my reducer is home made, I failed to put a "completely off" side to it.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Window screen or #8 hardware cloth for closing off the entrance. Make sure the boxes are stapled together or strapped for the trip.
     
  7. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Gonna use ratcheting straps.
     
  8. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I have found it if you used a block of wood the width of the entrance, and use short wood screws to drive through the block of wood in to the bottom board. for relatively short trip of an hour that will not matter, and of course I use ratcheting straps, after removing the inner cover to make sure I have a good seal with the outer cover ratcheted down , when you get on site make sure you have your smoker working , reinstall the inner cover, and remove the entrance block give the girls about a half hour to calm down they still may be more than willing to take you to task as you start working them, particularly if you are working on them at night but I would not leave the block in place all night long.
    Barry
     
  9. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    I figured they would be fired up after a move like that. I'll have my wife stoke up the smoker before I get back. Could/should I just wait until the next morning to put the top cover back on? I figure I'll get back around 9pm ish. How long should I wait before I do good, deep inspection? I rode over and did a quick check last night (more of a disease and pest inspect) I am also considering feeding them to encourage some brood rearing. They don't have much brood right now, but from what I've gathered, carniolians aren't exactly know for their late summer brood production. I need the brood to boost my weak hive before winter. How long before I can start adding brood to the weak hive?
     
  10. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    The new hive touched down at 9pm. Had a nice steady rain for loading, unloading,and carrying across the lawn. I need to invest in one of those hive movers :???:. I can't tell if the rain helped or hindered the operation. The bees were quite agitated from the beginning. Me= 0 stings. Wife= 2 stings, Father = 2 stings, Cat = 2+ stings. I removed the screen (for blocking the entrance) and got mobbed. I decided to wait until the AM before opening the top entrances.
     
  11. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    When I moved my 2 hives no rain and opened the entrances right away. Only had one mad bee and I had my suit on so it went well...cept it was dark and I swore she was inside my veil but she wasn't...
     
  12. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    just a warning, when moving a large hive with lots of bees they need ventilation, a hive can die real fast if you close up the front entrance with wood and tape, I use a full screen top when moving hole hives.
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Soooooo, sounds like everything went well then? :lol:
     
  14. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    It's still raining here,I opened the top entrances (2- 1" holes) this morning and got run off pretty quickly. I need to put the top cover back on but I'm thinking of waiting until the weather improves. Saw several dead bees on the porch of my original hive. Fights on the porch of both hives. I put a feeder on the new hive, I'm guessing the fights were more out of confusion than robbing, but I can't be too safe.
     
  15. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    I inspected the upper deep. I spent most of my time cleaning, there was burr and brace comb holding nearly every frame in its place. It wasn't nearly as messy as I first thought, but it was still a chore. This deep had a softball sized collection of capped brood on frame #5, the rest of the upper deep was capped honey. I don't know if it was wise or on, I put a medium, with empty frames, on the top. It's unlikely for a august swarm, but I can't be too careful. I didn't make it into the bottom deep, yet. It took me nearly 1 1/2 hours to clean the upper deep, I figured the girls had enough of me for one day. I also removed the feeder because they weren't consuming it. I collected a lot of wax from cleaning, most of it appears dirty. Can I do anything practical with this wax? It just seems too dirty to work with, but I hate to throw it away.
    My weak hive's population boomed, almost doubled in size. Most of the population increase is the result of drifting, but I guess I'll take what I can get. There is still fighting on the porch, but its way down. I moved the feeder to inside the hive (I put the jar over the hole in the top cover and added a medium to house it), I also put the entrance reducer on. I was unsure if the carnies I saw in the hive were friend or foe. After I did this, I saw some guard bees move to the porch and patrol there, it seemed to make it easier for them, so I left it in. This hive has nearly a frame of capped honey/sugar water, this frame was next to the brood nest, so I moved it out and moved some empty drawn comb closer.
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Can I do anything practical with this wax? It just seems too dirty to work with, but I hate to throw it away.

    tecumseh:
    save it since it has lots of use in various ways relative to the bees. in the raw form you need to somewhat protect it from wax moth but once you have enough melt it down in a cheap crock pot and then strain to get out the nasty stuff. for small quantities a filter used to filtering paint works petty good (but generally only for smaller quantities-clogs too quickly for larger quantities).
     
  17. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    I collected all the shards and placed them in a plastic container with the lid slightly open. I didn't want it to mold, I assume it would since some honey was mixed in it. I gave a chunk to an older gentleman looking to coat his old bureau rollers. I don't think he was looking for raw, dirty, comb with drops of honey, but that's what he got.