Bees in a log

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by AcmeBees, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. AcmeBees

    AcmeBees New Member

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    Well I'm new, so please point out any major issues.

    My father in law had a tree come down end of last summer and had a colony inside. This winter has been milder than usual and the reports were that the bees seam to be OK.

    This event and my wife getting me a starter beekeepng set spawned the following.

    I attended a beginner beekeeping class given by the local club and Penn State University. At this meeting I asked some of the mentors about the bees at my in laws. My intention this year was to buy a local nuc and with the help of a mentor try to get the bees from my inlaws and try to have two hives. Their opinion was that I needed to go get the bees off the ground and ensure they were ventilated and dry. They also suggested that I cut what was the bottom of the tree and mount a vented board so the truck could be uprighted. Then cut the top of the trunk down closer to the bees and mount a bottom board with a hole sawed in the middle. Then secure every thing so it won't fall over. This a pic of the log laying on the ground. The bees are just to the right of the stick where the snow is slightly melted. Which I saw as a great sign.
    [attachment=4:zdlwt2dl]P2030006.JPG[/attachment:zdlwt2dl]
    The area the log is down is a marshy area at the head waters of a small lake. So I thought it was a good idea to move them and not wait. You could see where they were they were in the lower dip of the log and worried about the water that might be in there.
    We swept the snow off marked the top of the log and cut it 4 ft either way. (8ft truck bed). The upper cut was beyond any comb. The lower cut revealed some old empty comb and a quart or so of water ran out. We simply picked it up and slid into the truck for the 20 miles or so trip.
    [attachment=3:zdlwt2dl]P2030008.JPG[/attachment:zdlwt2dl]
    Once home I prepared the wood work for the task at hand. I cut the upper end until I was getting close to where the bee cluster was and mounted the bottom board with the hole to the top. The bottom of the log was pretty rotted and opened up. I could see comb with honey a ways up there. I cut the bottom a couple inches before th honey. Here is where I became concerned about my game plan. I have read that the bee cluster will move back and forth and up but never down to get their food stores. With that and the fact they are surviving laying down, I decided to scrap the upright idea. The tree fell in the summer and I think the bees had time to reconfigure the comb and food supply to the horizontal.
    So I capped the ends off with wood with a hole for ventilation, and mounted my bottom board with the hole above the bee cluster. Got the entire thing up on a pallet and secured everything and even wrapped a tarp around for a windbreak.
    [attachment=2:zdlwt2dl]P2040016.JPG[/attachment:zdlwt2dl]

    [attachment=1:zdlwt2dl]P2040019.JPG[/attachment:zdlwt2dl]

    Last thing I did was drill a 7/8 hole down from the hive body and gingerly broke through above the cluster. I had some lights on to not get them too cold. I had a little jar of warm 1:1 syrup and gave them a drink. They came up and seemed to like the food and the light.

    [attachment=0:zdlwt2dl]P2040021.JPG[/attachment:zdlwt2dl]

    After a while I turned the light off and put them to bed. I did all theis yesterday and peaked in on them today. They are staying down in the log and seem happy.

    My hope is once it starts to warm up they will take over the hive body and start making brood. Then I'll get rid of the log and put them on a normal screened bottom board.

    Thanks for reading. I hope I didn't do anything fatal. Did I mention it was 16°F last night!!

    Bill
     

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  2. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    Great pics :coolphotos: and post AcmeBees :thumbsup: :goodpost:

    Keep us up to date as things progress on.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Looks like you did the best you could. Just feed on days above 45 F. and let nature do what it will.
    Welcome to the forum and I hope they make it for you.

    Be sure you have frames in the hive body when they have access to it. They can make a big mess in less time than you would think.
     
  4. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Good luck and keep us posted. Jim
     
  5. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Very interesting, thanks for posting. Looks like the bees were lucky you came around.
    Jim
     
  6. jb63

    jb63 New Member

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    Nice pics.Your good to get it out of the marsh before is got soupy.And welcome.
     
  7. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Looking good, Bill.
    Seems like you're doing all you can. All removals are different, and I'm amazed at the innovative ways I've seen posted here.
    Like Iddee said, make sure you have frames in there. It may be helpful if you could get 2 or 3 frames of drawn comb, maybe from another beek in your club, to mix in with your new equipment.
    You may already be aware of it, but there is a beekeeping seminar coming up this weekend in your neck of the woods. Go to www.pastatebeekeepers.org for info.
    Good luck.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a big welcome Acme...

    I have some one here (nearby) that is doing the same thing. I will suggest he take a peak at this thread for pointers.

    thanks for adding the pictures..
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Well done! :thumbsup: Good decision not to stand the tree up. You were probably right in that they had reconfigured things to meet their needs during the summer and any change would have upset that.
    Thanks for sharing, complete with pics. :mrgreen:
     
  10. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    good job....nice pics....your hooked now....welcom to the fourm :)
     
  11. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Nice removal :thumbsup: Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  12. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

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    Nice pics Bill! You can keep that white stuff up there with you...Keep us posted on the outcome.
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    AB---
    Maybe you were a professional beekeeper in an earlier incarnation?
    Amazingly well done -- thought out like an old timer.
    You're gonna really do well. :yahoo:
    Welcome to the forum :hi:
     
  14. AcmeBees

    AcmeBees New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the kind words. I was scared to post this because I am a little unsure of myself. My fear other than doing the bees harm, was I would get posts telling me what a terrible thing I did.

    I will contact the guy who I think will be my mentor and buy a few frames of drawn comb. That's good thinkin. All I have is new wax coated plasticomb.

    I will update this as they progress. I'm so excited I could bust.

    Thanks again
     
  15. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Keep posting with the progress and any questions you may have, no matter how trivial they may seem. We are here to help out not bash anyone, the only way to learn is by asking questions, reading, watching and getting your hands dirty. No need to be shy around us!!

    Looks like you did the best thing you could for the time being, big thing is getting them out of the wetness and wind. A little syrup wont hurt but just be a little easy on it, for them to be able to use it they will try their best to condense it which will cause condensation problems. Wet bees are dead bees in the winter.

    Stick the frames with foundation or drawn comb as said into the hive body to get them to move up in the spring, and get started off building comb "inside" of the frames instead of across them.

    Good luck and keep us posted on them, and welcome to the forum :hi:
     
  16. AcmeBees

    AcmeBees New Member

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    I put the frames in this evening, they are staying down in the log like they should.

    They used less than an once or so of feed. (I probably spilled half of that) What's the difference between inside the frames opposed to across them?

    Thanks
     
  17. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Some keeps will put in empty frames (no foundation of any kind) and the bees will sometimes build "wild" comb that is neither straight or inside of the frames, it can be build across several different frames making it impossible to remove one frame at a time without having to cut the comb in half.

    Will try to find some pics to make it easier to understand.
     
  18. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    could not locate a pic, somebody else have one of some cross comb in some frames.
     
  19. AcmeBees

    AcmeBees New Member

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    Thanks G3, I think I know what you mean now.

    Well, I know it has only been a couple days, but the temps got close to 50°F today. I found three dead bees on top of the hive cover pictured above. Is this something to be concerned about? Did they come out for some cleansing flights today and couldn't find their way back before the cold got them? Did they just crawl out and die?

    I know three dead bees shouldn't be a shocking event, just wondering.

    I have the entrance reducer turned to the smallest opening. Aprox. 1" wide. Is that correct for my weather conditions?

    So anyhow, you guys said ask!!

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  20. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I think you did an excellent job getting that cut, moved and set up. After all that effort, I really hope they pull through! Great pictures, too. Keep us posted on your progress. :)