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Collecting bees from a roof space.

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Guard Bee

Joined: 26 Mar 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Coventry, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:50 pm    Post subject: Collecting bees from a roof space. Reply with quote

I'm on the scrounge for a bit of help, please.

Last year someone offered us some bees which are inside his flat roof. We went to look and as it was near winter we decided to leave them there until now.

He is prepared to cut some of his roof back for us to get in.

Have you any suggestions as to the best way of going about this, in terms of keeping the bees happy!!??

I guess we will cut the roof back a bit with a jigsaw; get out as much as we can plus as much comb and as many bees as possible. My guess is that they'll be a sort of free form comb inside

Tape them tightly into a box and we'll deposit them in our top bar hive.

There will be some bees left behind. What do we do to get them?

Any special hints about putting them into the top bar hive?

Smoke? Sugar spray?

I'm hoping to do it either Friday or Saturday of easter w/e.

(Also, is there anything that we should be doing with our 4 hives at the allotment .... at present they seem pretty happy .......)

Many thanks, see you sometime.

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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My tip would be to make yourself a bee vac. It will make the job much, much easier.
Basically a large plastic box with an inlet hoze and nozzle securely attached and a screened outlet which can be attached to a vacuum cleaner hoze and some means of regulating the suction to reduce it a bit..... perhaps a further screened hole with a rotating cover like you get on a large spice pot so you can close, sprinkle or pour. Road test it on a few bees at your other hives before you do the job just to confirm you have enough suction but not too much.

Fastening the comb to your top bars without bees attached will be so much easier and less stressful for all concerned if you can rig one up.

As regards your hives at the allotment, what type of hives are they? If they are hTBH, then you probably need to be inserting empty bars into the broodnest area to expand the broodnest or add a box to Warres, but it depends how they are getting on and what the weather and forage is like in your area.
Have you done an inspection yet? If not, go prepared with empty bars/boxes so that you don't need to open them up again later. Move any old capped honey combs towards the back of the hive as long as there is no brood on it or harvest if there is plenty of fresh nectar stored.

Good luck with the cut out.



Suffering from a Chinese meal hangover this morning, so apologies if my post isn't as coherent as it might be. It was an awesome Chinese though!
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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

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