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Author Topic: Removing an open-air colony  (Read 695 times)

Offline Flyin Brian

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Removing an open-air colony
« on: September 14, 2016, 12:22:20 PM »
I belong to a local club and one of the members posted up a lead on a colony that built comb on a tree branch.  It looked like a huge swarm in the photo:

I got my smoker lit and puffed a little smoke on them so I could see what they had built:


So I spent 5 hours getting the comb transferred to my frames with rubber bands and they are mostly moved in.  My problem now is there are about 500 bees that remain on the tree in a ball and they won't move into the boxes.  I have gone back 3 times now to move the hive and each time i see there are still bees on the tree.

Yesterday I went back with a bee vac and tried to vacuum them off the tree.  I ended up setting it on blow and blowing them off the tree and then scraping as much wax of the limb as possible.  I then decided to wrap the limb with duct tape and then i wrapped a black trash bag over the wax area and taped it again.

After I got all of the limb covered, I stepped back and noticed these 500 bees are now sitting a foot father up the limb in a small group.  I am pretty sure the queen is in the box and these guys are just holdouts who refuse to live in a box.  I just don't know if there is something else I should do or try.

Here's a pic of what was left on the tree before I scraped the heck out of it yesterday:


I'm starting to think I got all I could and I should stop worrying about the final few that remain.  Is that reasonable?  Any ideas on what else could be done?



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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Removing an open-air colony
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 12:50:05 PM »
Brian,
There are always going to be bees coming back from the field. do you best then move on. Vacumming is the best way to get most of them after you have removed the hive from the area. Leaving the hive close to the site till dark works better to collect them but the next day you will still have bees that stayed out all night.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Flyin Brian

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Re: Removing an open-air colony
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 02:22:01 PM »
These don't seem to be coming in from the field, they are just camped out there 24/7 and are not interested in moving away from the old nest site.

I was thinking maybe I would try spraying some kind of "bee-quick" or whatever that chemical is that people use to empty a honey super, but I don't have any on hand.

I installed a nuc robber screen yesterday so I could easily shut the door tonight and move them out of this guy's yard.  I am just trying to get as many as possible, I hate to leave a bunch behind as there are no  other hives in this yard, so anyone who doesn't catch the bus will be stuck here :)

Offline Psparr

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Re: Removing an open-air colony
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 02:27:47 PM »
Nice easy removal. Wish they were all like that.

Offline texanbelchers

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Re: Removing an open-air colony
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2016, 03:15:42 PM »
It looks like the vast majority are homing on the box.

Get some Deep Woods OFF; the real stuff with DEET.  First, make sure a queen is not in the clump.  Second, spray OFF on the original hive area.  Third, use your bee brush or anything else to get the remaining bees on the branch to fly and spray that area.

Wait till 0 dark thirty the next morning, smoke the beard in, screen it, and take the hive away.  Whatever is left will find a new home.

Offline Flyin Brian

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Re: Removing an open-air colony
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 01:14:38 PM »
I did an inspection yesterday.  I am happy to report there are eggs in the comb, so there's a laying queen in here somewhere:


The bees have been busy attaching the comb pieces to the frames and starting to chew the rubber bands off


There sure are a lot of bees :)


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Offline KeyLargoBees

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Re: Removing an open-air colony
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 04:18:03 PM »
You are probably goign to want to phase those banded frames out as soon as you can...those look like the beginnings of a huge mess with improper bee space and bridge comb.......ask me how I know ;-)
Jeff Wingate

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Offline Thebulimicbee

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Re: Removing an open-air colony
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2016, 11:41:59 PM »
You are probably goign to want to phase those banded frames out as soon as you can...those look like the beginnings of a huge mess with improper bee space and bridge comb.......ask me how I know ;-)

What you still save the comb from the cut out?

 

anything