Keep moving bees back or start a split?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Gypsi, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I moved my bees back from my neighbor's across the street at night last Friday. I left a nuc, then switched it and left a different nuc, Tuesday night was the first night I didn't leave a different nuc when I brought the bees home and set their nuc in front of their hive. I was surprised to hear from my neighbor that he had a cluster of bees over there yesterday, but I gave him a swarm trap and a veil, I had other hives that needed attention.

    I think most of the foragers from my deep/medium hive of vsh bees are over there, having failed again to reorient. (I know the 10 feet/10 mile rule.)

    My neighbor would like to have a permanent hive over there, I wouldn't mind it if he would take care of them. Gets old carrying wooden boxes around, and may have to cover for mosquito spray. I want him to do the feeding and covering.

    All this being said, it is August 23rd. I'm in Texas, it's still hot, a flow is starting. If I give them a frame of brood, and equip him with a smoker and a feed jar, do they have a shot? (Several cups of foragers I'm afraid)
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Start a hive at this time of year with one frame of brood and no queen? Doesn't sound too likely for success to me, whether you feed them or not.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Well he's an adventurer. But as a matter of fact, there is a queen. It was a swarm, probably off one of my hives, and it is August 23rd and we are just starting fall flow around here. It won't pick up much til the real rains come (if they come) in September or October.

    I kept moving them back for 2 days, and didn't take a box back, and I don't know if it was a swarm at the beginning, but it was a swarm today. Lots of nurse bees, as soon as I scooped the clump off the bottom of the shelf and dumped it on top of the frames, including the frame of brood both open and capped, all the bees started filing into the box.

    Granted it is tough getting a late season swarm through the winter, but it is warmer down here, and this year I have the resources to maybe help him nurse one through. He's ordering his own bee jacket and tools and joining the bee club. We'll see how it goes.

    Gypsi
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

    Messages:
    1,252
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    maybe you could give him a few pulled frames as well, it would speed the growth alot.
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I would if I had them. I started with almost no comb this year - right now any pulled frames I've got have bees on them. I may have some drawn comb from cutouts in the freezer - I could mount it in frames with rubber bands. Feeding more has gotten my queens laying and the young brood drawing comb again, I'll do what I can for all hives, his included.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    At this stage of the game, your neighbor is into bees for the learning----let him start now since the basics are there anyway. If he pulls them through the winter, it's a feather in his (and your) cap(s). If they don't make it, he has at least made a start and should have a head start in knowledge and techniques when he retries bees in the spring.
    His situation is not like asking "should I start a hive now" in the late summer/fall season. He's got them. Let him make use of what he's got---but be aware that his chances are slim.
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Well he's aware. And I found one full super frame of comb intact in the shed - BT Azawai from Dry Creek (or is it Dry Gulch) farms came through. wax moths had been after it, but the larva never got off the ground. Found a half dozen large pieces of brood comb in the refrigerator left over from a cutout or the bee tree move. All got sprayed with Bt, and I went and swapped them for empty frames in the nuc a few minutes ago. Neighbor is buying Dadant's 8 frame setup on Monday and we'll move them into it when it is painted and ready to go. They have food, a bit of pollen patty, a bit of comb with pollen that was in my fridge (man do I need to clean out the refrigerator), a queen, almost too many bees for a nuc, and they are getting a hive. He knows it is hard getting them through the winter. Came over and looked at feeders today. I plan on making candy board for my bees in frames. Need a recipe. I'll make one for his too. On the downside, the hive that swarmed is not as active as I'd like to see it, so I may have to buy a queen. If he hadn't gotten so involved maybe I could have re-combined the hives.
    bt_framefront_august24.jpg bt_frametop_august24.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Now it's up the weather you get this winter. Let's hope it has beekeepers in mind and doesn't get too cold in Texas.
    Your "parternship" with this friend can be a lot more valuable than the results you would have gotten from recombining the swarm with the hive. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    It might indeed. Someday I might be able to take a week's vacation and leave someone qualified to feed the bees, gather eggs and feed chickens.

    I've got an insulation plan that will leave hives ventilated but help protect from cold. All hives are getting it. His too.

    (screen "inner cover" top with wood chips, tiny side vents in wood chips, under telescoping covers, sound good?)