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Surfnirvana

Surprise - bees arrived in dead hive!!

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We have had 2 hives (1 WBC & 1 national) for the past 3 years which have been relatively successful - a few hiccups with swarming etc, but have had some lovely honey off of them. However, both hives didn't survive the wet, cold Spring - which was really sad. :( They were alive in January, but by March their numbers had dwindled to a fatal number.

We were really disappointed, but decided not to get another nucleus as we were due to start a building project on our house, which would involve diggers and dumper trucks passing quiet close to the hives and decided we would start again next year.

 

However, this weekend I noticed rather a lot of activity round one of them. I took a quick careful peak at the front and sure enough there were lots of bees going in an out of the hive! Amazing! :dance: I have to say, that we didn't clear away the frames (or the dead bees) when we first realised they had died, it was something we were going to do later on in the year, so I'm assuming the smell from those old frames lured some scout bees in?

 

Typically all our bee stuff and suits have been put into storage whilst we have the building work, so we have plans to get them out this weekend and see what is going on in the hive!! Cant wait!! :clap:

 

I know we won't get any honey off of them this year, but hopefully if we manage them well, they will be OK through to next year.

 

Has this happened to anyone else?

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Not to me - lets hope it works out for you :D

 

When we had a colony die I was a bit lax in clearing it out and when I went to deal with it, it was full of wax moth larvae, quite the most revolting thing I've ever seen :vom: Masses of massive white grubs. Yuk Yuk Yuk :lol:

 

We fed some to the girls, and then danced about the garden in a very agitated manner as the horrid things left in the brood box refused to die until a neighbour kindly offered his bonfire for the old frames and we had the satisfaction of consigning them to the flames :lol:

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:vom: wax moth are vile, aren't they - I had an infestation in my stored supers, hens are so helpful on these occasions but it was a real shame to lose so much foundation, although I was able to render some of it down and clean it.

 

Never happened to me either, but I attended a talk at the Spring Convention, sorry to say I can't remember the name of the speaker, but it was about swarm control without artificial swarming. The speaker was a bee farmer with a large number of hives, and he set up bait hives in all his apiary and reckoned they were very successful in collecting swarms - they are attracted to the smell of wax and honey and the obvious suitability of a hive. Congratulations, Surfnirvana - you can't get away from beekeeping!

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I went to that lecture too, Olly. :D

 

I have had a bait hive in my apiary for 3 months now, without even a sniff of a scout bee. :(

 

Nothing else of importance to say, Surfnirvana, other than be sure to do a disease check and treat if necessary asap and try to change the old combs if you can. A free swarm is a bonus but you want to make sure they are healthy bees.

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Thank you everyone for your advice and comments. We are going to have a look at them tomorrow and will check through them all. :0)

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Hi all

 

Well we had a look at both of our hives last night. Hive one with the most activity outside it looks in really good shape. No obvious signs of disease and it seems like they are running out of space as they had started to build comb and store honey in between the two walls of the WBC hive.

 

Hive 2 seemed to have some activity, but on opening up it looks like hive 1 are just robbing wax etc from it.

 

Anyway, we phoned our local bee legend Roger Houldey and he arrived this morning and took away the hive intact to put in the Newent club apiary - so they have gone to a good home! And our builders now won't need to worry going past them several times a day!!

 

We are looking forward to starting them up again next Spring, but this was a lovely interlude considering we weren't expecting to get our bee outfits on at all this year!! :D

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