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Badly dmaged hive

 
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pwl256
New Bee


Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK, Dorset

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:23 am    Post subject: Badly dmaged hive Reply with quote

I had to move my hive by road some 200 miles.
In the process every frame broke off.

Bees have begun some rebuilding of comb.
But should I clean out the debris or leave it for them to clean off ( so they get the stored)

ANy advice very welcome.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To give them a chance of survival, that comb needs to be hanging rather than in a mess on the hive floor. I'm assuming this is a top bar hive and not a framed hive like a national. If I am correct you need to make some rescue bars with the top bars and chicken wire and the hang the broken comb onto the rescue bars. Recover as much as you can. It will help if you can remove the hive and place a new hive in it's place, so that foraging bees return to the new hive....it can be a bait hive.... that means there are less bees in the hive with the mess of comb you are trying to rescue. As you recover each comb, hang it in the new hive so that the bees have something familiar to home to. Keep a close eye out for the queen as you work and once you have a couple of combs in the new hive, transfer her to it. If you don't find her or she has been killed/damaged, there may still be time for them to replace her but time is of the essence as drones are being expelled at this time of year and there may not be any eggs or larvae left in the hive for them to create an emergency queen from.
If you do a search on "rescue bar" you should find some images of what you are aiming for. In the meantime I will pop out and rig one up and take a photo, so you know what you are aiming for.

Good luck

Barbara
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pwl256
New Bee


Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK, Dorset

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Sort of fixed it Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara for your help.
Yes it is a Top Bar hive
I had problems with getting the frames ( combs) to attach to the metal wire.
So I trimmed the top of the comb.
Punched 2 holes ( with a chop stick) about 2 inches from the top and then used plastic ties to hold the comb.

A test showed that they did hold ( just) and then transferred back to the hive.

We have very mild weather at the moment and lots of flowers out.
So with luck - since this is a very very large colony they may survive.

I have feed back some of the honey that got trimmed off but they still do have some stored on the rescued comb.

All I can do now is to wait and trust the bees
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, well done! I can imagine that must have been a very daunting task with a large colony.
Sorry I didn't get back with an image of a rescue bar but it sounds like you got the job sorted nicely. Cable ties work well if the comb is older and reasonably well seasoned but can pull through if it's new comb and heavy with brood or stores. The only down side is that they stop the bars from completely butting up together, but that is only a temporary problem until they reattach the comb. If honey has been spilt in the hive, do keep a look out for marauding bees and wasps as it doesn't take them long to get a whiff of a free meal and take advantage of the setback the colony has had. Wasps can get in some pretty small gaps, so be on the look out in case there is enough gap in the top bars from the cable ties for them to sneak in the back door so to speak.

Good luck with them and please keep us updated with their progress.

Regards

Barbara
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