First Hives

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dbure, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This has been my first experience with bees and it was truly a fascinating experience!!! :Dancing: Last night I picked up 4 nucs that I had ordered and hived them today. I would say I did it all myself, but I had alot of help from my husband. :thumbsup:

    After we got them set into their new homes and gave them something to feed on, we sat back and watched the excitement. It looked like one hive in particular was extremely active and we noticed that numerous bees congregated on the landing board. It seemed as if they all were discussing what the password was to get inside. :mrgreen:

    As the sun started setting, everyone appeared to have sorted things out and the bees were all moving in for the evening. What kind of perplexes me is that most of the day there seemed to be a few stragglers that stayed in the bed of the truck which we carried the nucs home in. About 10 of them wanted to huddle together and stay in one particular spot. My husband opened up an empty nuc box and coaxed them into it and then carried them over to where the hives were set up. But it was not long before it seemd they had returned. It is getting dark outside right now and they are still clinging to that spot on the truck. The weather today was clear and sunny with temperatures around 80 so I don't think they were huddling for warmth. Has anyone seen this before and why this small group might be doing this?
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Are you sure there is not a lost queen bee sitting on that spot on the truck? Best to go check!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful exciting day! 4 hives is quite a handful to start out with- I'm envious. :)
    Keep us all posted on your bee progress.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sounds like a mystery. sounds like something fun to figure out?
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It probably was some type of sent from where the nucs had been. Many times when getting swarns off a limb, wall, fence,ect,some of the bees will keep going back to where i removed them from. I found that if you spray something on the spot they are returning to(one time i used WD-40, all i had in the truck)that it will kill the queens pheromone,and they won't go back to that spot. I now carry a bottle of bee-go and a Q-tip, the bees nor i don't want to go back to where i put a drop or two of that stuff. :mrgreen: Jack
    PS, Or you could just move the truck, sorry i couldn't help it. :lol:
     
  5. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank each of you for giving me some ideas as to what might have been going on. Omie suggested that it could be a lost queen, but after close inspection I could not determine any difference in size or shape between each of them. They all looked like little workers which makes me think that brooksbeefarm might be right about the pheramones. This morning there were none of them on the truck and my husband just took it to work. If they come back today their ride will have left without them. :mrgreen:

    I did check on the hives this morning and it was pretty quiet out there with just one or two bees hanging on to the boxes. I put a gallon of feed in the top feeders for each one of them yesterday to make sure they had enough to eat and noticed that a few black ants were climbing on the boxes and scouting around. Someone in another thread had mentioned they use cinammon to keep ants away and so I sprinkled some around the bottoms of each box. The boxes are raised up so I figure that any area touching the ground should have some on it. I hope it works because I don't want the ants to rob them of their food. Last year I made apple jam in my kitchen right before going away for a weekend trip and made the mistake of leaving some utensils in the sink without cleaning them. Have you ever see a black ant colony all at one time on your kitchen counter? :shock: It was not a pretty sight.
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One little tip about the top feeder-
    *If* you are in a position to check on your hives every few days, it may be better to fill the top feeder only halfway. That makes it much easier to lift and put to one side if you need to check the bees on the frames underneath it. It also keeps the sugar syrup fresher. Just be sure to check it frequently to make sure they don't run out.
    Obviously if you are gone for the week you might want to fill the feeder all the way.
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have had bees linger around in the back of the truck when moving hives, doing cutouts etc. They are just lost bees the scent is luring them back to the truck
     
  8. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Omie. I will remember to do that next time because I will want to keep an eye on those little guys. The cinnamon I sprinkled around the bases this morning seems to be working at keeping the ants at bay. This afternoon I did not see any ants crawling up the sides which was a good sign. The bees were coming and going from each hive and were active as they should be.

    In another thread I was reading someone's suggestion about using cedar oil in the bottom of the hives to help deter moths. That gave me an idea before we placed the hives in their places. We started out with an 8x16 foot cleared area and laid down weed blocking material then topped it with cedar mulch. The weed block should drain water away when it rains as the whole area is slightly inclined. We then laid 2x2 foot concrete steeping pads from Lowe's out for each hive to sit on. Each of the hives are fastened to blocks of cedar to raise them up off the concrete pads so that water does not accumulate underneath. This should help with airflow too. I don't know how well the cedar mulch will repel the moths but I will let everyone know if I seem to have any problems with it. So far the bees don't seem to mind it at all.

    I think that Riverrat and Brooksbeefarm were both right about the pheromones in the truck. I can see the military using that as a weapon. Just drop some pheromone on the enemy and release the bees. :chased: :mrgreen:
     
  9. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That my friend is from ancient warfare, only whole hives were dropped from the parapets.
    I made some splits tonight and there was a small clump of bees in the bed of my truck when I pulled out. Still there when I got the splits home, just spread out.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    rast writes:
    I made some splits tonight and there was a small clump of bees in the bed of my truck when I pulled out.

    tecumseh:
    leakers and drift would be my guess. soon them 'lost girls' do find their way home. magnified to the level of semi load commercial bee keeping... the leakers and drift can multiply itself to the size of the largest swarm you have likely ever seen. these can form in the most unlikely places.
     
  11. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How exciting! Welcome to the club.
     
  12. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    And bees that fell off/scraped off the frames as I was putting them in boxes in the bed of my truck.

    They find new homes when hauled from there to here.
     
  13. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0

    I got a swarm call to go to the walmart in the next town over. There was what appeared to be a large swarm on the top of shelving on the east side of the store about 20 foot in the air. I got up there had a heck of a time getting them hived. When I came down the manager said there was a truck load of bees out in his parking lot he had asked to leave about 30 min before he called me.
     
  14. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know the truck that came through and dropped off my nucs had little bees buzzing all around it. It was not a very large truck and looked like a rental. Not sure if the bee supplier owns it or rents it, but I'd hate to be the one who rents it afterward. :mrgreen:
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    riverrat writes:
    When I came down the manager said there was a truck load of bees out in his parking lot he had asked to leave about 30 min before he called me.

    tecumseh:
    at some point I will tell you tecumseh story of the 'parting of the red sea'.

    dbure writes:
    It was not a very large truck and looked like a rental.

    tecumseh:
    a white van?
     
  16. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello every beebuddy. :wave:

    It has been almost a week since I set the new nucs into their hives and all seems to be going well. On the first day I gave them some sugar water to get them started but it looks like they are leaving and returning to the hives laden with pollen. The temperatures here went down a few nights into the 40's but the days are now in the upper 70's and low 80's. How soon would you take those feeders off? I know everyone may have differing opinions on this, but some of you have much more experience than I do. Would you also open up the entance more? Right now it is about 1 1/2 inches and there seems to always be a bottleneck. I think those little gals are better at traffic directing than any human I have ever seen. :mrgreen:
     
  17. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mine is to keep it on there on a nuc til you know you have a flow and they stop taking it. Pollen can be found when there is no nectar.
     
  18. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    1 1/2" entrance is plenty big enough. Lots of folks have a 1/2" entrance on a newly installed hive at first. A new nuc has a hard time defending itself against marauders, and a small entrance is way easier for them to guard. You could enlarge it in 2 or 3 more weeks once they get established better.
    You also should continue giving them sugar syrup for at least 2 more weeks- it helps them build new comb as well!
     
  19. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Rast and Omie. I had planned on going out today to do an inspection and the weather was just too bad. It's wet and the temperatures have been dropping. Yesterday it was so very humid here before the storms came through and it looked like they were coming and going on top of each other. I guess that is why I thought maybe the entrance needed opening some to help with ventilation.

    I have solid bottom boards with landings on the front and plastic hive top feeders that have the accesses on the ends for them to come up under to get to the feed. When weather is humid like it has been due to these storms, would you think there is enough ventilation in there to keep the moisture from building? I know it has to escape somewhere and I assume it goes out through the crown board under the roof and some through the entrance? It just never looks like there is adequate ventilation. Since this is how hives have been designed for a number of years I would think it works better than it appears to. My husband also gave each hive a very slight tilt forward to keep rain from running up inside.
     
  20. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dbure's snips followed by tecumseh (>) comments.

    I guess that is why I thought maybe the entrance needed opening some to help with ventilation.
    >yes at some point you will need to do so. when the population builds and you notice lot of bees hanging outside then is a excellent time to think about removing the entrance reducer.


    When weather is humid like it has been due to these storms, would you think there is enough ventilation in there to keep the moisture from building?
    >moisture is almost never a problem in Texas like it is in the north. most especially for new equipment that has not been proplised there is enough air leaks between the various levels to provide for the adequate ventilation for moisture. in a good honey flow you typically will get a small wet splash at the top of the hive. this is normal and only represent a problem if it turns to ice.

    It just never looks like there is adequate ventilation. Since this is how hives have been designed for a number of years I would think it works better than it appears to.
    >you observation is well made and I would not disagree with this statement. I know I add ventilation to my standard equipment using a variety of means to get the heat and humidity out of the hive. there seems to me to be several disease vectors that are associated with a humid environment and (I believe) almost all bee keepers would reduce health problems by paying more attention to ventilation.

    My husband also gave each hive a very slight tilt forward to keep rain from running up inside.
    >excellent. standing water on the bottom board may represent little problem beside drowning a hive beetle but the down side is that it assist in the decay of the bottom board.