Jump to content
TheChookKeeper

My Beehaus Doesn't Appear to be Bee-Tight!

Recommended Posts

I inquired some time ago, about the best thing to do when 2 very large trees right next to my beehaus were being felled. The general opinion was that I should shut the hive up the night before, and move it to the opposite side of the garden.

 

I did this on Thursday night - in preparation for the tree people to start chopping on Friday. Unfortunately, they didn't turn up until 1pm... which rather annoyed me - and no doubt my bees.

 

However, whilst I was at work, I had a panicked call from my Mum (in who's garden the bees reside), to say there were "an awful lot of bees flying around". I knew there were a few that hadn't gone in the hive the night before - so I assumed these was talking about these - probably not more than 20-30.

 

Oh no - when I arrived - I was greeted by literally thousands of bees buzzing around all over the place - seemingly very disoriented and confused - not only by the hive having been relocated, but by the entrance being closed.

 

I donned the bee suit (by this time the tree people had departed - I don't blame them), and went to investigate. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. It would seem there is somewhere the bees are able to escape from - I checked, and the hive entrance was shut tight - all the bees were hanging from the bottom of the hive!

 

For clarification purposes, the first picture is a close-up shot of the yellow brood body above, with the mass of bees hanging off the mesh floor (this mass was the entire footprint of the colony in size, and probably 7-8 bees deep). Below the bee-mass is the inspection tray - no doubt the only thing that stopped them hanging in a ball-shape.

 

SANY0206800x600.jpg

 

SANY0200800x600.jpg

 

 

A great many of the bees gathered on the bottom of the beehaus were laden down with pollen - so obviously came out in the morning, went out foraging, and returned to find they couldn't get back in.

 

I opened up the hive as soon as it was moved back, and over the next few hours, they slowly began to return to normal.

 

 

Any thoughts anyone? My concern is - the tree people are coming back to finish off (with a stump grinder), so they'll have to be moved again, and closed up again - and if they escape again (which I have no doubt they will), the stump grinder (and operator) could well be the target of the bees aggression!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Close it up and observe? The answer should become apparent in a short time frame?

 

RAB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a remarkably simple and obvious suggestion! What a doughnut I am!

 

I shall try it tomorrow and post my findings!

 

 

Thanks lots! (can't quite believe I didn't think of that!!!!) :oops:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As RAB said, but also check suppers as sitting well, they are quite difficult to line up correclty.

 

And daft question! You have got the other entrance closed off???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks - will check to see where they come out if I close them up for a while this afternoon.

 

Yes, the other entrance is closed, although with the division board in place, no bees should be able to get into the other side anyway.

 

Will let you know what I discover!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

although with the division board in place, no bees should be able to get into the other side anyway.

 

!

 

I would not state my life on that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would not state my life on that!

 

How wonderfully reassuring!

 

Speaking of that – I had quite a number of dead bees in the empty half of the hive the other day – I had no idea how they’d got there… but wrote them off, and decided they must have got in there during one of my inspections.

Anyway – yesterday, I cleaned out every last bee from the empty half, dead and alive ones alike… closed it all up, ensured it had the entrance block etc. in.

½ hour later, I returned, looked in the empty half, and there were another 20 or so bees in there. Not impressed was I !!!

 

So – after some investigation, I found the where the supers are sitting on top of the hive, they are in place properly, but the division board didn’t butt up against the bottom of the super properly – leaving JUST enough room for anorexic bees to squeeze through.

So – with a bit of not-very-gentle manipulation with my hive tool, I lifted the division board so it butted up against the bottom of the super properly. This didn’t seem to move the actual board, just the plastic thing that goes along the top of it.

Another few minutes of observation showed a lot of bees TRYING to get through – but none succeeding – so hopefully that’ll stop them getting into the empty half, and dying.

 

As for the main problem – of where they were escaping from the bee-tight box…

As someone who has spent the first 15 years of his life terrified of bees… only recovering slightly in the last 9 years… I found it a strange position to be lying on the floor, with a full bee colony only a few inches from my face (with full protective gear, of course!).

Yes, I was laying under the hive, trying to see where the little blighters were escaping from. In the end, I think I’ve found it.

On the bottom of the hive, right up at the end, near the entrance, there is a piece of grey plastic that sort of folds over – you can’t see around it – but I assume behind it is where the mesh floor meets with the side of the hive.

It would seem this isn’t very bee-tight at all, as there were bees positively piling out from behind this piece of plastic.

 

So – with my best attempt at Heath-Robinson-style bodging, I grabbed some kitchen scourer (which is what Omlet appear to have used to fill the various other holes in the hive), and wedged it as tight as I could into this gap behind the plastic thingy.

 

Again, laying there for several minutes, I could see bees wandering around on the other side of the scourer, but the remaining gap seemed to small for them to pass through.

 

As it was such a lovely day, and they seemed to be experiencing bunged-up-entrance issues anyway – I thought I wouldn’t upset them further by blocking the entrance… I’ll see what happens when I inspect next week – and will try and get a photo for anyone interested. I tried to find said hole from the empty end, to see if I could see it from inside – but no luck – it is a very well hidden hole, apparently!

 

 

Apologies for the very lengthy post – I tend to get a bit carried away!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...