Bees on Hive wall - What to do?

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natepshapiro
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:19 am

Bees on Hive wall - What to do?

Post by natepshapiro »

I have a problem that I need some advice. First a little history.

I have been out of beekeeping for several years and now I'm getting back into it. I bought 2 packages and installed them into my old 10 frame deep hives with top feeders on a support with legs in water to prevent ant intrusion. After 4 days I checked out the queen cages and they were freed in the hive. In addition, one cage had several SHBs running around it which I killed, and there were a few carpenter ants enjoying the feeder too. The other hive just had a few ants. When I next opened the hives for inspection 2 weeks after installation, in one hive the bees created burr comb between frames, because I had carelessly not pushed the frames tightly together. The other hive they built extensive comb on the side wall. I also spotted a SHB in this hive also and carpenter ants were still present.

I figured that the ants had established a presence in the hive equipment during their idle years and since I had 2 Nuc bodies available which needed a few more components I decided to get new equipment, 8 frame deep main bodies, and transfer the establishing colonies to Nucs to build up and then eventually transfer them to the 8 frames. I chose 8 frames because my experience with 10 frames was that the bees left the outer frames lightly used and good places for SHB to hide.

This weekend I moved the frames to Nucs but had a dilemma. One transfer went without a hitch. The second hive with the brood on the wall comb had already filled at least partially 5 frames so there was no room for the wall comb if I had decided to detach it and rubber banded it to one of the frames. So I left the comb on and left the bees on the comb alone and put a feeder on top. Afterwards I saw the forager bees entering the hive.

The question I have is this: Do I leave this wall comb hive alone to either create it's own queen or die off and feed it until one or other happened, or do I buy a queen and hope she is accepted to establish another colony?
Jacobs
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Re: Bees on Hive wall - What to do?

Post by Jacobs »

If there is not a huge amount of brood left behind, my inclination would be to wait and watch. In 4 days you should see queen cells if the bees are making an emergency queen. I'm not sure I would want to pay for and risk a new queen in that set up, but if you want to give it a go and see what happens, you could try that--especially if the hive is in the original location and is being populated by foragers in addition to the nurse bees and brood left in it. If the bees do make a new queen on their own and the hive seems to be doing ok, you can always boost if with brood frames from your fully functional hives.

This is not the only option, but is based on my general laziness mixed with curiosity.
natepshapiro
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:19 am

Re: Bees on Hive wall - What to do?

Post by natepshapiro »

I did a watch and wait and today when I added a Hopguard strip to my Nucs I checked on the wall brood. There were no queen cells created, just capped brood. I therefore decided to scrape the comb off the wall and using a rubber band and string, attach it to a frame. I then put the frame in my weaker Nuc since it had room for the frame. So far so good.

Interestingly there was at least one drone wondering around. I assume he came with the package.
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