vacated bottom boxes

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by rast, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. rast

    rast New Member

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    I went and checked on a couple of 3 deep hives after church today. Both bottom boxes were vacated, just bees walking around on the comb. Lots of bees. Top 2 boxes seemed fine, some brood, some eggs, nothing to brag about, kinda lite on stores.
    Were they just bees being bees and moved up as their winter numbers dwindled.
    Those bottom brood boxes did have a lot of old black comb in them.
    I don't use upper entrances.
    I use SBB's.
    I used OA vapor to treat for mites back in Aug/Sept.
    I kept them fed during our end of summer/fall dearth.
    I pulled the bottom boxes and will probably trash most of the comb.
    Interestingly, I saw no SHB or moths.
     
  2. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    I think you did the right thing by removing the bottom boxes, but why are you going to trash the comb? Don't you need that comb for potential splits?

    I don't know for sure, but I don't think that they "moved up as their numbers dwindled". They are just using the boxes that they need and don't need that bottom one.

    How does this compare to last year?
     

  3. rast

    rast New Member

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    The comb is pretty old and really black. Do I want to? No. I've only had 1 do it before that I know of and it died from mites.
     
  4. LilWilli

    LilWilli New Member

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    It is black possibly from a zillion tiny footsteps across it, andI dunno if the bees really give a flip one way or the other....If in doubt, freeze the frames at least 24 hours and lightly torch the inside of the box. That mite work.
    Willi
     
  5. rast

    rast New Member

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    LilWilli, the reason you rotate brood comb out is that it absorbs every toxin such as pesticides that the bees bring in. It also retains it. You should rotate out comb about every 5 years. This comb may be older than that. Don't really need to torch the boxes, no AFB.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a rast snip..
    Were they just bees being bees and moved up as their winter numbers dwindled.
    ...................
    Interestingly, I saw no SHB or moths.

    tecumseh:
    yea they are just moving up toward the stores.

    like sqrcrk I wonder why you might wish to trash the old frames? I would likely freeze frames and cull any 'excessive' drone comb frames.

    projecting a bit from experience here frames exposed at the bottom of the stack becomes a real opportunity* to shb and wax moth because these comb are not protected (I think you noted this yourself?). if this movement upwards had occurred 30 to 45 days earlier I would suspect this hive would have already been toast. whatever feed you inputed into this hive(s) earlier in the fall seasonn likely saved this hive from destruction.

    *if even one frame in this bottom box had contained pollen it will become a super attractant to the shb.
     
  7. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Hello,
    bees moving up into the upper supers not unusual especially if they are food light and not large cluster. with winter appraoching or here depending on where in the country you live, contracting cluster is the order of the day but my observations are that they tend to cluster IMMEDIATELY below where stored honey and pollen is. if they effectively abandonded 2 super to take up residence in the upper most super, you might want to take a really good look at thier stores almost any cluster will consume what little honey is left in the margins of one super, they want to store and consolidate, make it easier to access the honey and pollen usually there is enough ( 1 full deep super or brood chamber ) worth of stored honey to overwinter with that is a general rule atleast one I personally adopted or you risk the bees starving when the queen gets active in early spring. SHB and wax moth are certianly a concern particularly since not really been thast cold and residual pollen and old brood comb a substiancial attractant. I personally--would feed and quite heavily. Just my thoughts.
    Barry
     
  8. LilWilli

    LilWilli New Member

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  9. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    wouldn't know whats to be embarassed for, don't believe I mis stated anythinig
     
  10. LilWilli

    LilWilli New Member

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    I goofed on my recommendation, that's all.
     
  11. rast

    rast New Member

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    Barry42001, I live W. of Orlando off Hwy 50. I see where you got that 2 boxes from. They only moved up out of the bottom box in each (2) hive. Stores were not that depleted. We had a pretty good spanish needle flow last 2 months. Still I like to see almost full supers on the top. It was only about 6 1/2 frames full.

    LilWilli, that's why this forum exists. To help each other in a friendly, laid back (well except for BJorn :wave: ) non-confrontational manner. Sometimes it takes too much typing to come across that way though even though it's meant that way.
     
  12. LilWilli

    LilWilli New Member

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    Thank you, rast. I need to watch as to when I post, too. You see, I live every day on a regimen of anxiety and depression meds, and am disabled....I guess I'm just way too sensitive at times. :|
     
  13. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Unless someone actually attacks you, which the moderators would jump on w/ both feet, please take all posts as serious answers to questions and not critisizm.(How do you spell that word? I spelled it 3 different ways and still get a spell check line under it.)

    If you are really doing something dumb or stupid we will let you know. :)
     
  14. rast

    rast New Member

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    Criticism, but the way you spell it reads just fine :) . By the way, if you right click on a misspelled word, it gives you a list of replacements.
     
  15. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Don't through old dark comb away if you like to catch swarms. An old hive body with a frame or two of dark comb and 3 or 4 drops of lemongrass oil placed 8 to 10ft. in a tree is almost a sure thing for catching a swarm :thumbsup: . Jack
     
  16. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Ooooohhh....good information! Now I will keep that old deep full of dark combed frames in case I have to catch one of my own swarms in the future. Thanks!
     
  17. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Omie, I can't take credit for using dark comb frames to catch swarms, i read it on another fourm somewhere. I tried it this summer with 5 frame nuc's (they were to small) the 10 frame deeps worked better (old junk hive bodies). I put out 8 of them and caught 8 swarms, don't know if they were from my hives or if they were feral bees? but They work 24 hrs. a day i don't :mrgreen: . Jack
     
  18. rast

    rast New Member

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    Yep, good idea. Thanks.
     
  19. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    thanks. Questions....do you need a bottom on these swarm catching boxes? Or just a few comb frames hanging in a hive deep box that's open on the bottom? How few frames with old comb does it work with?
    And do you hang the swarm box from a branch in a tree, or make a shelf on a tree to place it on? How do you set them on something?
     
  20. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Yeah you have to outfit it like a regular hive, bottom board, hive cover(s) strapped together to be able to move your new colony--all you have to do it place it where you want is and let it go for a few monthes. After that you can rotate foundation for dark frames if you so disire.
    Barry