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Qkrwogud

NZBF What causes bees to pour out of the hive when inspecting?

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With concerns of swarming I decided to do an inspection after work at about 6pm. It seemed like shortly after splitting the boxing and putting one to the side,with both boxes the bees just starting marching out an an estimate I would say 1000+ and just flowing onto the outside of the boxes. Used a bee brush to try get them all back in but a decent portion of them scattered onto the ground and I couldn't retrieve them all.

 

What causes this and is there anyway I can prevent it?

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With concerns of swarming I decided to do an inspection after work at about 6pm. It seemed like shortly after splitting the boxing and putting one to the side,with both boxes the bees just starting marching out an an estimate I would say 1000+ and just flowing onto the outside of the boxes. Used a bee brush to try get them all back in but a decent portion of them scattered onto the ground and I couldn't retrieve them all.

 

What causes this and is there anyway I can prevent it?

Would you leave your house if a giant puled the roof off and rearranged your childrens beds? They will all fly/crawl back in once you are done....

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With concerns of swarming I decided to do an inspection after work at about 6pm. It seemed like shortly after splitting the boxing and putting one to the side,with both boxes the bees just starting marching out an an estimate I would say 1000+ and just flowing onto the outside of the boxes. Used a bee brush to try get them all back in but a decent portion of them scattered onto the ground and I couldn't retrieve them all.

 

What causes this and is there anyway I can prevent it?

What order are you inspecting the boxes? Top then bottom or bottom then top?

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I've never really noticed them doing this before until very recently, I started having concerns wondering if the queen is among those on the ground.

 

@Rob Stockley Top then bottom. I found it impossible to separate boxes because they have been joining the top of the bottom box frames and the bottom of the top box frames in comb full of brood. So I'm having to pull out many frames from the top box to break that comb(resulting in a lot of dead brood) and at that point I figured I may as well inspect them. Strangely I didn't have this problem last year, the only difference I can think of is that I've been mixing in plastic frames to see how I find them.

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@Rob Stockley Top then bottom

There's part of your problem. Make yourself a triangle wedge of timber. Get you hive tool between the boxes, open a gap then jam in the wedge. Now use your hive tool to separate the bottom frames from the top ones. Remove the top box and inspect the bottom one first. When you inspect the top first you are pushing the bees down and overcrowding the bottom box.

 

To reduce the amount of comb built between boxes you can do two things. Give them undrawn frames to keep the wax makers busy. Also measure the distance from the bottom of the top frames to the top of the bottom ones. It should be around 8mm. Some boxes are too deep and need to be trimmed down on a table saw.

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Hmm at an estimate I'd say there is somewhere around 20-25mm gap, the frames of the plastic frames I noticed were thinner than the wooden ones I normally use. Undrawn frames makes sense, I've got bayvarol in at the moment and was waiting for it to finish before giving them another box, thanks!

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My top and bottom boxes are glued together with drone comb, which I scape off.

@Qkrwogud is it drone comb

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@Qkrwogud is it drone comb

 

Yes it is drone comb and yes even without the propolis seal of the box itself they are quite sealed together. I'm constantly scraping it off but Rob raised a valid point they have nothing better to draw comb on at the moment.

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It is not too much of a problem for me , they are not that stuck.

My hives are near the chook run So I feed the drone brood to them

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The process of inspecting should be to unpack the hive into the lid as the boxes come off, until the bottom box is left on the base board. Or you take that off as well to inspect the base board. You can put a hive mat (board) on the stack to keep them warm.

Then you inspect the first, second and so on as you build the hive up.

If you do it from the top down you drive the bees down into the bottom box, and make it very difficult for yourself, and the bees may well pour out, and get just a tad grumpy.

As you put each box back as you build up the hive you give a puff of smoke to drive the bees off the sides of the box to reduce crushed bees, and a puff on the top of the box after you have put it on which calms them down.

After you have inspected each box, then just remove the brace comb to tidy up, if you do it before it can upset the bees. Put in a plastic bag to melt down for the wax later.

And the bees will hang around for a while on the outside of the box, and then go back in when they are ready, probably 20-30 minutes at the most.

An easy, calm routine approach works so well.

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This box depth issue can be a double edge sword.

Some of my early boxes were 244mm deep which makes for an excessive bottom bee space.

This can be a pain when separating boxes but it does cause all the resulting Drone brood to split open between the boxes.

I really like this because there in front of your are a hundred or more uncapped Drone cells and the Varroa stick out like Dogs Toes.

There is an easy way to overcome the glued boxes,

I never carry a traditional Hive tool but instead a large screw driver and a short flat wrecking bar,

The wrecking bar is for scraping and and the Screw driver is my box and frame lever.

If you can get the boxes to open a little you will be able to angle the screw driver up and across the top of the frames in the lower box as they are lifted out of their rebate.

I work across the end of the box levering the bottom frames down into their rebate.

As you finish the last one the top box pops up.

May sound tricky but its a 60 second job and I wouldn't change those boxes for anything.

Please dont give me a hard time about the tools, Its just the way I do it and it suits me

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I also contain the bees in the boxes put aside with spare hive mat. Stops them flying off back to the bottom box. 6 pm could also mean almost every one home?

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I also contain the bees in the boxes put aside with spare hive mat. Stops them flying off back to the bottom box. 6 pm could also mean almost every one home?

Yes, that's a good point, and inspecting when it's raining has the same effect, so both the bees and BK enjoy working when the sun is out.

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Please dont give me a hard time about the tools, Its just the way I do it and it suits me

A wrecking bar and screwdriver ? Jeez whatarya ! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

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I thought travelling with @Daley was scary enough, (never put hand under seat without checking for knives, pruning saw and machete!) The wrecking bar is interesting but I love my pretty painted boxes too much for that. Different strokes for different folks.

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Jeez whatarya

Much bigger than you

 

 

I thought travelling with @Daley was scary enough, (never put hand under seat without checking for knives, pruning saw and machete!) The wrecking bar is interesting but I love my pretty painted boxes too much for that. Different strokes for different folks.

A flat wrecking bar is actually not much different than a hive Tool.

Russell Berry brought his life long Hive tool to a Conference once and it was very similar to my wrecking bar

 

 

A wrecking bar and screwdriver ? Jeez whatarya ! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

Very good tool

5992eb7dd7185_wreckingbar.jpg.a507fbd1d584e5f6e86891c494c5cd65.jpg

5992eb7dd7185_wreckingbar.jpg.a507fbd1d584e5f6e86891c494c5cd65.jpg

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@Qkrwogud it may not be related but when we first got bees we had around 100 hives of AMM bees.

whenever we open them up the bees would pour out and there would barely be a bee left on the frame.

 

it could be that you have very "runny" bees that aren't calm on the comb. Are they like it every time you open them or has it just started happening.

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@Qkrwogud it may not be related but when we first got bees we had around 100 hives of AMM bees.

whenever we open them up the bees would pour out and there would barely be a bee left on the frame.

 

it could be that you have very "runny" bees that aren't calm on the comb. Are they like it every time you open them or has it just started happening.

 

This has only started happening recently, even from the bottom box, you can very clearly see them walking out to the top of the frames en masse like a marching parade

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This has only started happening recently, even from the bottom box, you can very clearly see them walking out to the top of the frames en masse like a marching parade

Take a vid of it... Sounds interesting!

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I see this often.

Sometimes I scoop up handfuls of the silly creatures and put them back out of the cold

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must be North Island bees Cant say Ive seen it here :)

Not seen that here either. Maybe it's an extension of the Auckland housing crisis?

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A wrecking bar and screwdriver ? Jeez whatarya ! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

Haha! That's all I've got just now. My hive tool has run off with the other four I've lost - all in the front paddock, too.

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...My hive tool has run off with the other four I've lost - all in the front paddock, too.
A mower will find them.

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There's part of your problem. Make yourself a triangle wedge of timber. Get you hive tool between the boxes, open a gap then jam in the wedge. Now use your hive tool to separate the bottom frames from the top ones. Remove the top box and inspect the bottom one first. When you inspect the top first you are pushing the bees down and overcrowding the bottom box.

 

To reduce the amount of comb built between boxes you can do two things. Give them undrawn frames to keep the wax makers busy. Also measure the distance from the bottom of the top frames to the top of the bottom ones. It should be around 8mm. Some boxes are too deep and need to be trimmed down on a table saw.

 

Well. This explains why my bottom box always seems so crammed - I've been driving 3 FD's of bees into one! Feeling slightly dumb here.

 

Will lift the boxes off first and go bottom to top from now on, thanks guys!

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