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adding queenless rescued bees to existing colony

 
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Neukirchen
House Bee


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Location: USA, Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject: adding queenless rescued bees to existing colony Reply with quote

I'm about to remove bees, with a bee vac, from a tight area with very restricted access.
This must be done so that the house may be sold.
I'll try to get everyone out but don't know the interior dimensions and won't be able to see what I'm sucking. I'll use a strong bent wire to scrape out the insides as well as possible.
I'll have to bug-bomb the area and seal it when I'm finished. Gotta be done.
I may not get the queen.
Can I matriculate the bees that I do get with another of my - recently rescued - established colonies. One of these is comparatively small and could use some help.
These are all feral bees that have been wild forest bees for possibly many generations and I'd like to save these these drones' genetics, at least, if possible.
Thanx for the help! Michael Neukirchen, S.W. Oregon, USA
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but the method will depend on the type of hive your bees are in.
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a Lang ( as you are in USA ) or other box type hive, you could put the rescued bees in a separate hive box, with some of the rescued comb if possible. Site them near the hive you wish to join them with. Once ready to unite colonies, put two sheets of newspaper , with a few very small holes in them , on top of the top box of the hive with the queen. Then put the box with the queenless bees on top and close hive. Hopefully the queen less bees will smell the queen below and chew through the newspaper and be integrated as one colony.
You could probably do the same with a topbar, but would have to make a frame in the shape of a follower board and put the newspaper on it like a picture in a frame. I have not tried this in a TBH.
You could also introduce a new queen to the bees you are sucking out if all else fails, but would loose your genetics anyway.
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Neukirchen
House Bee


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Location: USA, Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx for the help. Both of my hives are vertical TBHs, Japanese type, with spales.
I'm gong to dump the proceeds of my bee-vacuum into an empty hive box, same type.
I won't know, right away, if I'll even have a queen in there, since I'll be sucking the hive out blind.
I know that all of this seems like a forlorn hope.
I'll find a source for a queen before I attempt this rescue. I suppose I could persuade a local beekeeper/friend to give me a brood comb with a queen cell on it; do you think this might work? Maybe nobody knows the many permutations for a rescue of this sort. Possibly, I'll discover something new.
I'm thinking, now, that I might go ahead and try your advice, and place the new bees in a box below a hive, with the newspaper with slits in it at the top of this box, so that each separate bee group can get accustomed to each other.
However, what happens if there is a queen in that lower box after all? Oh, well, I suppose they'll sort that out on their own, and may the best queen win!
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you opt to put the "new" bees in a separate box, could you source a comb with eggs to put in with them? If you have a queen they just raise the brood. If you don't get the queen they'll raise one. I appreciate it will be near impossible to select a comb from a Japanese style hive, but from a friend?

If you use the paper method and have the queen, the two queens will most likely fight to the death with a small risk of the victor being injured.

To help find the queen, if present, you could put the bees in a box and gently shake them through a queen excluder into another box leaving the queen behind. If she survives the bee-vac she should be OK with that.
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Neukirchen
House Bee


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Location: USA, Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:22 pm    Post subject: adding brood comb to the queenless hive. Reply with quote

I'll try to get the brood comb from a friend, preferably one that has a queen cell on it.
Moving brood comb hasn't worked out well for me, from the many rescues I've done using a bee vac. They always die, rot and attract hornets. I think they cool too much. If I choose a hot day to do the transfer, I might have better success. We'll see. Of course, when I remove the comb from the wall, the comb comes out in pieces, which I put into wire mesh sacks which are attached to wooden comb guides.
.
I'll look into adding brood comb.
Thanks for your help!
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