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Do they walk about all night + smoking to stop this ?

 
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:00 pm    Post subject: Do they walk about all night + smoking to stop this ? Reply with quote

Hi, generally related to this thread but this is a bit more specific, and I need some advice asap http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=115484#115484

Went to move the box (wrong box wrong position) and bees still about, Midnight here 11pm uk time. Just 5 or so walking about on the box, rest in the entrance so could be locked in. As I approached with an LED torch and some smoke some took to the air as I could hear them. So my problem is how do I get them to go inside at night.
I know losing afew from so many is no big deal but why lose any.

What does smoking do exactly ? I have seen where it makes them go inside the hive but is that a normal reaction or will they keep moving about.
Would I be better to get up at 3am when colder and they will have stopped moving around.

I really need to get this done as weather good at the moment, temp 24c ish them and no rain for next 4 days (probably). I will try again tomorrow night and may just have to lose a few.

Plan is to smoke the hive in the dark ? Look to see if all in and seal the entrance. Take it off the wall and move to new location.

Is there a way to stop the bees 'sleepwalking' or are they constantly doing this at night ?
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druidsgarden
Nurse Bee


Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really think you are over thinking this, just do it. Bees are active at night as well, if you think about it they live in a hive that is in the dark constantly. It's just they don't fly as much during those hours, it's not that they can't fly.

At night they tend to be fanning honey, feeding etc. You are never going to get a point where they are completely quiet and you are always going to have the odd bee that gets left behind but they will work it out!
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, you are trying to do things perfectly and I'm afraid bees don't work like that. The small size of your (bird) box also dictates that there will be bees outside the entrance on a night. The light from the torch will also cause more to come out. Red light is preferable to white light if you need to use a torch. Smoking them will not make them go into the hive....Their reaction to smoke is similar to ours in that they are repelled by it. If you are puffing it near the entrance, they are less likely to go inside where the smoke will be more concentrated. Personally, I would move them an hour before dark when most have stopped flying but there is no need to work by torchlight. There is a point that you have to cut your losses and just "do it". You are intending to put a box in the original location to catch stragglers anyway, so why worry about a few not making it with the main colony.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a good plan, do it while I can see but they will be packing up for the night.
I will seal them in and remove the box, then put up the temporary box before re-siting the main box.

Once moved they will be left sealed in for 24 hrs so any stragglers will have to make do with the temp box for a day, no problem I assume ?

I know the idea is to disorient them so is the 24 hr (3 days was recommended once) locking in necessary ? To leave the old box they will have to go through the TBH and past a tree branch.
Will this be enough ? I am thinking the 3 day locking in would be if the hive was normal and just moved as is, so would be no disorientation when leaving the hive.

Each night I will move the temp box to the new location, I have two so can just keep cycling them round (one on the wall and one at the TBH) till they get it.

Edited to add I found this http://honeybeesuite.com/how-to-move-a-hive/ which recommends 3 days, as they are in an enclosed space I will split it and leave for 2 days.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it is done, for better or worse. I will post photos tomorow of the setup. Heavy box and some mismeasure of the join of the two but should be ok, lucky a neighbour was about to help lug stuff about and hand me tape etc.

A dozen or so casualties, two small openings I missed and they eventually found. Now plugged, I can hear massive buzzing in the old box, no sign at the TBH entrance as yet, maybe tomorrrow morning ?
6 or so walking about, a dozen or more escaped and now locked out, none in old position but dark so probably lost now.
I don't like killing anything like that, I know it is the way of things but it doesen't help.

There was a 4mm hole near the top I thought was a screw head but was a hole. I blocked it with a screw and taped it over, I will replace with mesh tomorrow as it was obviously a vent hole for them. Pitch black now so first thing tomorrow.
I may drill more vent holes (2mm) and they can block them if they like, I will see how it goes. I feel the fact of air havng to come through the TBH entrance will slow it so they may need another option.

If they appear at the TBH mesh over the exit tomorrow I will leave them for a day then release Monday lunchtime and see what happens.

Worst case scenario I put the box back where it was and have a rethink, hopefully not.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done. I know you were really apprehensive about it but sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns.
I feel the same about casualties but bees often give their life for the benefit of the colony and ultimately this is for the benefit of the colony as that bird box was too small and rotting. They will be better off in the TBH once they transition.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all your support here, I needed it.
After a sleepless night all still locked in, I opened the hole they used to escape and mesh covered it.

Loads of bees at the TBH mesh so all have entred the hive ok.

Two drones (larger than normal) flying around it and crawling about outside the mesh. The box on the wall has 10 or so flying about and examining the box, entrance is pretty much where the old one was, thay can keep each other company for the next 24 hrs then will no doubt be joined by a few confuses ones when I let the others out.

The box was heavy, I only just managed to get it down and needed a wheelbarrow to move it about 80m across grass. About 20kg+ ? based on the weight of a small bag of cement at 25kg it was not far off. Apart from the weight of bees must be a good supply of honey etc in there.

Edited to add, some escapees via a crack in the corner when hive was attached and a screw broke the seal. Sealed with wet kitchen towel as easy to stuff into the area, naturally it is awkward to get to, with some tape over where I can to keep it in place.
Guessing about 200 or so got out, now buzzing around the small box on the wall, I will move them tonight. I hope no more problems as no escaping an hour ago, hope this holds.

I am assuming they don't need water jus for today ? If they do I can pour some on the joint of the hives as some small under 1mm gaps so should soak through. I have rainwater.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They will be fine until tomorrow for water. I imagine there will be some condensation within the hive from all the nectar in there as it won't all be capped honey. Sounds like they are going well if it is that heavy.

I am also a worrier, so I understand your anxiety. As long as they have a flow of air (which they have through the TBH entrance) they will be fine until you let them out. Don't forget to put a branch of dense foliage across the entrance when you remove the mesh. The more they have to push through it, the more they will take notice to re-orientate.

That is the hard part done for now, so try to chill a bit.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I have decided to stop worrying as no going back now, what will be will be.

Currently they must be getting out somewhere but I can't see it, decided to let them carry on. Hot at the moment so my wine box replacement has a load hanging off the bottom and loads buzzing about. I will seal them in with mesh tonight and prop the box against the TBH for the morning.

At the TBH loads buzzing around confused, entrance mesh is bull of bees looking out and a few looking in. Ok this morning but in the sun a bit fractious so I am keeping my distance.

Tomorrow I will open the mesh and see what happens, I have some buddlea branches, leaves and heads so I will use these to block, dense but ok.

I will put 1:1 sugar water against a tree 3m from the hive just before opening up so it may keep their interest in that area. It is just a small jar with perforated lid upside down on a plank of wood.
I will put this against the TBH side at night and move it to the tree in the morning so as to avoid attracting unwanted visitors. If wasps appear I will remove it.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just another thought / request. Can people just check in about midday for the next couple of days as I will report what is happening after the morning move. Just in case some advice is required.
Just viewed the box on the wall and two lots hanging off it. This is a 3L cardboard wine box. They are on the wall and in two beards, in full sun so outside. I will move about midnight when they should be inside, no problem if there are some still about on the wall as I have two of these boxes, so one to the TBH immediately replaced by an empty one for next day.

I would anticipate the same amount next day when all are released, temps 23c next few days so not too hot. Very hot at weekend so hopefully all moved by then.

Thanks for all the help so far, it really is appreciated. I could not have done this without you.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just fyi, all going well so far.
Went out at 6am and removed grille from TBH, put out small jar of sugar water at one side of TBH, put box of bees that returned to the old spot to the other side of TBH. All in the dark and 16c so no movement at all, even the small beard of bees on the box I moved stayed put. About 200 or so bees on the wall and behind the piece of decking the wine box is taped to so I left them there. Sluggish but ok, covered the ones behind the decking piece with new board.
Put branches in front of the TBH exit, dense buddlia branches.

At 9:30 I checked and loads of activity at TBH, milling about and going in and out. During the day the box in the old location has about 300 milling about in the sun so quite active. All in all not that many so I will see what I get tonight when I exchange boxes. The theory is that they should stop after 3 days so I will count tonight as day 1 and see what happens, how many stubborn ones left on Thursday morning ?

Once done I will post some photos in a separate thread, I found how to put 4 photos (or more I guess) in one photo so it should make more sense. Rather than 20+ photos one after the other.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this will be my last status on this. All seems well, loads on the landing strip in front of the TBH, sending my eyes funny trying to follow one in or out to see where they are going.

I was out (rain shower and wind gusts in the meantime) and found the branch in front of the TBH was on the ground. They seem happier with that as settled I think. Lots of milling around the TBH generally, landing and milling about then going inside.

Less at the old site than last time so another couple of times and I think I can stop moving the boxes. Did the box exchange from old site to TBH at 6:30am, just getting light a few flying no idea if any in the box as I forgot the torch. I will do the next exchange at midnight next couple of days.

Only about 100 or so currently milling around the old site, sitting on the box, some could be out foraging from that box ? Strikes me they would have no cause to as nowhere to deliver what they find. I have seen some setting out in the direction of the TBH so may be sorted when boxes finally removed.
I relocated about 60 from the wall this morning, just sitting there. Used the patented 1/2 cereal packet below them an tapped with a thin strip of packet they fall in. Left it on top of TBH and all gone now.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delighted to hear that it is all going well.
There really is no need to be going out in the dark at midnight or before dawn. 9pm should see most of them no longer flying. It would also probably be better if you tipped them out of the cereal box onto a ramp up to the entrance to the top bar hive at dusk so that they climb up and go into the hive for the night (or tip them directly into the hive) rather than leaving the box with them in it next to the hive. That way they start out from the hive in the morning and are more likely to re-orientate.

I hope everything continues to go smoothly.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara, just realised where you are, I am originally from a small village just outside Durham City.

Just went out at 10pm here, just able to see in twilight, and all in the box. Very few today, about 1-200 max, final one went into the box as I was moving it.
I propped it against the TBH but it is right next to the entrance (facing towards it) and touching the TBH. So they can walk from the box to the entrance and the others fly past them on their way out.
If they do return to the old site tomorrow I will remove the temp box until afternoon as I believe they know where the new hive is but just keep hanging about, may encourage them to move. I can see them wandering about the wall so can see how many are really there. Maybe the box being there at this point is just a reflex to use it. Interesting to see if nothing like a hive box will make them give up.

To be fair at this point the ones hanging about are minimal so I would call this a success. I will keep going until all moved as may as well move all I can.

The ones in the TBH are calming a bit but were a bit stroppy, chasing me down the garden, but now just curious. Stand still and they fly about a bit, nudge me, and fly off.
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charentejohn
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 95
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to say today I didn't put out the temp box, about 20-30 bees milling about at all times. I am assuming they are turning up there, having a re-think and going to the TBH otherwise there would be hundreds there. They must be coming and going.

I will continue the 'tough love' until it starts to get dark and if there are still some about when the TBH bees are packing up for the night I will put a box out and move them again.

Edited to add I had to do that. Early evening there were loads 2-300 ?) milling about and settling on bits of wood in the area. Went out at 8pm and still some but mainly a patch on wood of about 100 ? So I have put out a box for them, I can just keep doing this.
The TBH is literally buzzing at the same time of night, but the old box attached to it is nearly silent, I assume it is warm enough at this time so they are all in the TBH.

Final edit on this thread to say they are all well and buzzing in both boxes. Some are resistant to change though. Now there is nothing at all where the old box was but about one bee per minute turns up, circles once then sets off fot the new location. Fun to watch them thinking, wait a minute, now I remember.....
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