bees in my old boxes

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by gator, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. gator

    gator New Member

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    Hello again:
    This is what i have going on. I purchased 100 used hive boxes with frames,most with no foundation in them and went thru them all looking for bad frames and boxes. I have them stored on my trailer with the top covered with plastic in my shed. I used some of the bad box to store some frames that need new foundation and such. We left Thursday for the weekend and i returned today and a swarm moved into a stack of 4 boxes with a hole in the 3rd box fron the top. I pulled up the plastic and the bees ar full to the top of the 4th box. the shed has no door so they can come and go as they please but what do i do with them to move them outside to a new hive out of the way. i have 5 full boxes of honey to feed them for the winter this will be my first hive.
    Thanks.
    Gator
     
  2. rast

    rast New Member

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    Thats what I would call great beginners luck.
    Are they using comb that is in the boxes or making their own? That would have to be a huge swarm to use 3 or 4 boxes. If they are thin and spread out, you will have to consolidate them for your coming winter. The only reason I would consider moving them now is that they can't heat 4 boxes up there in the winter. If you have never worked bees before (100 boxes?) they will crawl all over empty boxes and frames, but not "use"them. Try to find the strongest concentration of bees and put that box on a bottom board where they are at. You really need the queen in this box if you can find her. If the swarm really is that large, a second box of bees on top of that, Then a box with some frames of honey in it. Put a cover on it and let them settle in before you try to move it. I wouldn't worry about good or bad boxes at this point. Let them get established and then we'll worry about putting frames of bees in good boxes.
     

  3. gator

    gator New Member

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    Thanks rast:
    i watched them tonight and they are flying steady into the hole on the 4 box pile. They are confined to the 4 box pile and i was considering taping off the holes tonight and moving outside with a bottom board and top and putting them by the other hive that i set out before i left for the weekend because there were bees all over the day i left hoping they would move into the outside hive but all they are doing now is taking the honey out of it.
    Would that be ok or should i see what they are going first. I can see new comb in the top box when i opened the plastic and i do not know what condition the frames are in the 4 box pile i dont want them to make a mess of the boxes.
    Thanks.
    gator
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sounds like you jumped in head first with the purchase of 100 boxes, way to go!!

    Rast is giving good info for you, I would also ask if they are are on comb or foundation, if not they can really make a mess of things.

    good to hear you have some frames of honey to feed them and get them through the winter. How are you storing the frames of honey? need to be careful with it or wax moths will ravage it.

    Do you have a veil and smoker already?

    Keep us informed of how you are doing with them.

    G3
     
  5. gator

    gator New Member

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    I do not know the condition of the frames in that stack, that is why i am so concerned about getting them settled into a good hive. I just went in the shed with a flash light and peeked in the holes and under the plastic and it is packed. Got a great deal on the boxes but had to buy they all. And i have suit and vail but have never worked bees buy me self. All my honey is stacked and covers in a ice shanty until i can get a building up to store all my boxes and equipment.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As Rast said, that would have to be a monstrous hive. I think if you smoke them a little and remove the top box, you will find 3 nearly empty or empty boxes. I would set the top box on a bottom board, set the 3rd box on top of it if it is full of bees, then set a box of honey on top of that. Put a lid on that and give them 3 days to settle.

    Come back and tell us what you found when you removed the two top boxes.
     
  7. gator

    gator New Member

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    Thanks.
    Should i leave the hive in the same location for 3 days or should i move it. And how far away is ok so they do not return to the shed. Thanks i do not know what i would do if i did not find this site. You guys are a great help.
    Gator.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Leave it there for 3 days, then move it 3 feet a day until it is where you want it.

    If it isn't hurting anything, the shed may be the best place you have for it to spend a Wisconsin winter.
     
  9. gator

    gator New Member

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    Hello:
    Removed the top box this morning and found that there was only a large cluster in the top box and just a few bees in the others. the top box has no foundation in it but they are making comb between the frames so i put the top box on a bottom board and put an empty box with 4 frames of brood cells and 6 frames of new foundation then the box of honey. will this be ok or should i have treated it as a swarm trap and dumped the box into the new box and put the honey on the top. They seemed to be very eazy to work with and the bees are useing the new hive with lots of bees coming in with there leggs covered in pollin. I have pic but have to figure out how to attach them.
    Thanks.
    Gator
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They will continue to cross comb the box until it is full. Sometime you are going to have to get it all out and straightened in the frames. The longer you wait, the harder it will be.
    Comb can be cut out and tied straight in frames and the bees will attach it and keep it straight.
     
  11. gator

    gator New Member

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    Went into the box and removed all empty frames and put all new foundation and some brood cell frames. thay had 3 combs the size of small plate made and i put them at the entrance so they can take the honey and wax back into the hive. They settled back down in only 15 minutes so i hope that is ok.
    Gator.
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Now you're ready to start building for winter. Congrats......
     
  13. rast

    rast New Member

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    First, advice given on an internet forum may be good for only the area it comes from. A swarm down here this time of year where I live stands very little chance of building comb from nectar. Where you live, you may be having a great flow right now. You may also have a fall flow. That they have built comb sounds promising. I would consider feeding, I know you have a super of honey on them, but that and pollen is what they are going to need to raise brood. I think that feeding would be good insurance.
     
  14. gator

    gator New Member

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    Thanks for all the advise. I just went and looked in the shed and they seem to be all calm. I just hope the Queen is still in the hive and that she did not get out when i changed the frames. When do you suggest that i check for eggs and brood to see if the queen is active.
    Thanks.
    Gator.
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    This weekend, or after.
     
  16. gator

    gator New Member

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    Hello;
    Opened the hive today and checked out the boxes. There are about 6 frames covered in the bottom box ,I see pollin and honey but i did not see brood or a queen in the bottom or the second box . I did not look in the top honey box.
    I did put a queen excluder between the 2nd and top box. What should i do. do? do i buy a queen and requeen the hive or should i wate and see if may bee i missed her in the hive.
    thanks.
    Gator.
     
  17. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Remove the excluder and wait one more week. You will likely see eggs then.
     
  18. gator

    gator New Member

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    Went in the hive today with Dan the beekeeper that i worked with before and we found in his words to be a beutifull queen and he also showed me that she was laying like mad. The pollin is coming in very steady today and it feels great to know that everything is going ok. We also took out the excluder as Iddee suggested. I am looking forword to working with my first hive.
    Thanks. I will keep you updated on this hive.
    Gator.
     
  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That's what I like to hear! Congrats....
     
  20. rast

    rast New Member

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    "That's what I like to hear! Congrats...."
    me too
    "Thanks. I will keep you updated on this hive."
    Hold to it.