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White Eyed Drone

NZBF I accidentally left the hive entrance closed for 4-5 days. What happened when I reopened?

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 4-5 days ago I closed the entrance on one of my hives as there was robbing activity, intending to just do so for a few hours. Today while inspecting another hive, I realised that I hadn’t re-opened the hive entrance!  On doing so, a few hundred bees came spilling out of the entrance and straight onto the ground - most, relieving themselves (good bladder control). There was also a wave of house cleaning throwing out dead bees. 20 mins later things seemed to be back to normal. They had lots of reserves and still do, but I can’t help feeling that I came close to killing the hive. Has anyone else made this mistake?

Edited by White Eyed Drone
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Hi, yes I have too although it was for 2 weeks while I went to Fiji... inadvertently of course. I put the boxes back into winter mode and forgot to check the entrances, needless to say they cleaned out 4 frames of stores as was still quite hot, no dead bees but clearly feeding was needed to refill the used stores.

 

I was lucky as were you by the sound of it, a mistake not to be made again.

 

Adam

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I love the honesty here. There is nothing like hearing a bad experience for learning something, and this is a much cheaper way to find out. 

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Ive done it plenty times
If they get hot I think it ruins the Queen or at least the Hives attitude toward her

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3 hours ago, Adam Corbett said:

Hi, yes I have too although it was for 2 weeks while I went to Fiji... inadvertently of course. I put the boxes back into winter mode and forgot to check the entrances, needless to say they cleaned out 4 frames of stores as was still quite hot, no dead bees but clearly feeding was needed to refill the used stores.

 

I was lucky as were you by the sound of it, a mistake not to be made again.

 

Adam

Sounds like a close call, and yes those are the best to 

Learn from ?

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4 hours ago, White Eyed Drone said:

 4-5 days ago I closed the entrance on one of my hives as there was robbing activity, intending to just do so for a few hours. Today while inspecting another hive, I realised that I hadn’t re-opened the hive entrance!  On doing so, a few hundred bees came spilling out of the entrance and straight onto the ground - most, relieving themselves (good bladder control). There was also a wave of house cleaning throwing out dead bees. 20 mins later things seemed to be back to normal. They had lots of reserves and still do, but I can’t help feeling that I came close to killing the hive. Has anyone else made this mistake?

Yes , I have done that for a couple of days .

But it was not too hot , so all ok .

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I know it’s only early in the day, but no bees coming and going from the hive I left closed when they are at my other hive. Time to take a look. Hopefully they are just sleeping in...

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yep done that, but was for 3 weeks and my heart sank to the ground when I saw it, half the hive was dead, no honey left in the frames or very little, had to clean out heaps of dead bees and requeen and put a couple of frames of brood and honey back in for them, hive did well after that,

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We make sure we walk around the site and check entrances before we leave. Still found one this week closed up and near dead. 

 No idea how it got closed, sometimes it feels like  things happen with the bees when no one is  around. ?

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Thanks for the post Kevin, you got me thinking about the amount of dead bees in the hive....

I’ve just taken a look at the hive, and broke my record for how quickly I could get kitted up and the smoker going as there is 4-5 days of rain about to hit us here. 

 

I found lots of bees, the Queen is there and seems to be still accepted by the colony. Can’t see any eggs but I guess that makes sense if the hive has been in freakbout mode, (will check again in a week). 

 

I did find a lot of dead bees which are now cleaned out. They were blocking a lot of the ventilation.

 

Interestingly though the dead bees were all in one corner - would that have been the bees house keeping?

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Edited by White Eyed Drone
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Another black mark for those fancy bases....not so easy to inadvertently block a wooden job.

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54 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Another black mark for those fancy bases....not so easy to inadvertently block a wooden job.

@yesbut do you mean blocking the entrance?, because you use the piece of wood at the entrance that rotates to provide a different sized gap?

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1 hour ago, White Eyed Drone said:

because you use the piece of wood at the entrance that rotates to provide a different sized gap?

???? Haven't seen this.

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5 hours ago, yesbut said:

Another black mark for those fancy bases....not so easy to inadvertently block a wooden job.

It's hard to accidentally block the hives with red discs .

 With The older style ones you reposition the box on the base and it's easy to misjudged that and close it completely .

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