Hive rescued from Bears....what next?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by No_Bivy, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    I got a call from a friend saying a lady north of me is having trouble with bears. In fact they were still there. This was at about 5:45 pm....just before dark. So I called her up and headed over to the chaos

    When I arrive the family dog has the bear back into the woods....well more like three bears. Adult and two yearlings. Not a good thing to get in the middle of a bear family, but at least the dog had scared away for a little while.......so I went to work

    The elctric fence she had was pretty crappy and they had reached over it knocking the hive off its stand. They carried the supers up to her porch and began to feast. Meanwhile she is watching in horror from the window. She did manage to put a cover on it, but the bottom board was not stapled so is was laying seperate. I should have trusted my gut, when I asked if it was upside...it looked like it, but she said it wasnt. So I pick it up and out slides a "cube" of frames. Totally glues together by propolis...lucky for me. I picked it up and got everything back together. These bees were very MAD! I got stung a dozen or more times. Bee keeping in the darks sucks.

    I waited for about 20 min for them to settle down. Meanwhile the dog is doing a good job keeping the bears in the woods, but I knew this would not last... :beg: I looked around on the ground for a clusters of bees I missed then covered the entrance with a moving screen and loaded up.....off I went to my be yard and the safety of a 15k electric fence :drinks:

    Since this all happened in the dark I wasnt sure what to expect the next day. I released the screen in the am, temp was 39 and bees boiled out. I went to work for the day. The temp was 54 at 3:30 so I decided to take a peek. A pretty good sized colony. Very little stores in the brood box....I think she had a queen excluder on, so maybe they could not move up to the supers anyway, and have consumed what was there. They were activily putting some honey back into the cells. I could not find the queen, but I am a newb and probably missed her. I placed some sugar syrup in the hive inner cover and covered it with the two empty supers......then left them alone.

    so my plan is to wait a couple of days for them to settle, then go back in when temps warm up. Supposed to rain this weekend. If I cant find the queen I was thinking about uniting this hive with one of my other hives. I have seven, with one being kinda weak. All my other hives are in pretty good shape since they have polishied off around 580lbs of sugar :shock:

    What should I do next? I figure this colony may not survive the winter. Any suggestions?
     
  2. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    half gallon of sugar syrup gone in less then two days so far. Temp hit 63 yesterday, went in and still could not find the queen.

    no replies....did I step on toes or something?
     

  3. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I got no experiences with bears. So no help from me.

    As for feeding, that means little to me also, from the sense it makes no difference how light they are. As long as there is enough bees to cluster the winter, I can always add enough food (Like a 50 pound fondant block) to have them make it till spring.
     
  4. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    how about if they are queenless?...better to unite with another hive?
     
  5. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    If no queen can be found, that would be better than a dwindling dead hive. Even if they made one, it would be about three weeks till the mating flight. At least around here, that's not going to work.
     
  6. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    no brood so I cant see how they would make one.......three weeks? how can there be a matimg flight this time of year?
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If there's no brood, there's no queen. It's been too warm here for her to shut down completely. You may as well combine them with another hive, if you see no sign of disease.
     
  8. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    So, the local bee inspector(Jack Hanel) says there may not be any brood this time of year here.......when do queens stop laying all together?
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    This has been too warm a fall for her to stop completely. I'm two hundred miles from you, and a lower altitude, but we haven't even seen 32F. yet. You haven't had any week long freezes. Check your other hives. They will all have brood.
     
  10. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    I was avoiding disturbing my other hives since winter will be here soon. Our nighttie temps have been around freezing
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Then you will just have to take my word for it. They do have brood.

    PS. It's safe to open them for a short while anytime it's sunny and above 50.
     
  12. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    I believe you......so is it to late to unite them with my weak hive........then feed the heck outta them?
     
  13. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    oh so.....lets say I unite..

    I put the weak hive on top.....Queenless hive below, seperated by news paper....Bees on top chew thier way down? then they become one colony. Do I remove a brood box after this process or leave them alone?
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Queen right hive on bottom.... Remove one box in 48 hours or there after, if you have enough empty frames to fill it.
    Everything else, yes!
     
  15. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    My weak hive has 7 frames that are good....3 are just hangin out there.....lookin kinda rough

    Should I take three frames from the bear hive....brush bees off and place in the weak hive....then unite?
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would unite first, then in two or three days remove the top box and 10 empty frames, where ever I could find them. Leave all the full ones on the hive.
     
  17. No_Bivy

    No_Bivy New Member

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    keep on feeding throughout the winter right?
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Until the hive is heavy when you try to lift it. All winter, if needed.
     
  19. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    mr no bivy:
    first off let me say I amy quite happy to not have bears here. I don't even care to know much about bears.... if you know what I mean????

    might I suggest the following...
    if you have a queen excluder do a paper combine (paper under queen excluder) and provide a entrance at the top of the stack on the opposite side as the entrance for the estabished colony. place feeder above queen excluder so that bees from below (once they have chewed thru paper) will have to go up to get to the feed. continue to feed for a week to 10 days and then inspect the top box for brood/eggs/queen. the down side of this type of combine/seperation is really cold weather where a queen 'might' get stranded on one side of the excluder with no worker and freeze.

    if you find the top box has no queen then just pull the excluder at your convience. if the top box has a queen then you can seperate... quite typicaly I place the top hive in the location of the old established hive (oriented towards the same entrance as the established hive) and move the older hive off a few feet. this just act to throw the field bees (those that are flying) into the 'bear disturbed box'.

    I would suspect??? that the queen's heritage may have a lot to say as to whether she will or will not have brood at this time of year. if the weather is not so cold a bit of feed typically creates the urge to begin laying no matter what the queen's origin.
     
  20. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Winter solstice is about 30 days away. Bees shut down based on flow, temps, and a host of other triggers. And one is the shortening day. I would imagine as we are heading for the shortest days, I would imagine except for unique circumstances, most queens are shut down.