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Hey Bee friends! Would you mind moving out of my wall and into this top bar hive?

 
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Location: Southern California Zone 9a, desert transition zone, Live Oaks are life savers
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Hi Friends!

Title says it all. I had a hive move into my wall in the last week (about 7 days now). Some permie friends down the road have an empty top bar hive, set up with starter combs and rubbed down with beeswax and I'm really hoping this hive in my wall will move into some new digs!

Am I kidding myself? Once established will a colony ever move? How long does it take to "establish"?

They're really docile, so if we have to go in there and get them, we probably will. I'd love a less invasive solution (that doesn't include taking off siding).

Thanks!
 
steward
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they're settled there already. if your neighbors are up for it, though, they could try a trap out without dismantling anything.
 
gardener
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Unfortunately moving them will almost certainly kill them. Even cutting out established hives often has high mortality. I would let them establish. Next year they will swarm into baited hives, especially if the hives are up high like strapped to a roof or tree.
 
Jackie Dragon
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James Landreth wrote:Unfortunately moving them will almost certainly kill them. Even cutting out established hives often has high mortality. I would let them establish. Next year they will swarm into baited hives, especially if the hives are up high like strapped to a roof or tree.



Leaving them is not an option. They moved into an outdoor steam sauna at our retreat facility right next (2 feet away) to the entrance. If it were only an handful of people I'd leave them bee, but we have a hundreds of guests a year.

I've seen a handful of services that "move" hives? Are you saying that their success rate is low?
 
tel jetson
steward
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Jackie Dragon wrote:I've seen a handful of services that "move" hives? Are you saying that their success rate is low?



it's relatively easy to get them out and keep them out if a person keeps a few things in mind. keeping the colony alive afterward is a little tricky, but very doable with careful work.

trap outs take longer and are easier to screw up, but they're also generally successful in my experience. less damage to repair on the structure, too. a crucial step that a beginner might neglect is letting the bees rob the honey out of the wall after the queen has moved out.
 
Jackie Dragon
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So... I get the basic idea of a trap out (thanks you tube), but don't really understand what the incentive is for the queen to move to the new brood box.
 
James Landreth
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Jackie Dragon wrote:

James Landreth wrote:Unfortunately moving them will almost certainly kill them. Even cutting out established hives often has high mortality. I would let them establish. Next year they will swarm into baited hives, especially if the hives are up high like strapped to a roof or tree.



Leaving them is not an option. They moved into an outdoor steam sauna at our retreat facility right next (2 feet away) to the entrance. If it were only an handful of people I'd leave them bee, but we have a hundreds of guests a year.

I've seen a handful of services that "move" hives? Are you saying that their success rate is low?




I'm sorry to hear that.  There are some beekeepers who specialize in moving colonies (I'm friends with some) but even among them success is low. But it sounds like your only option,  so go for it.
 
tel jetson
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Jackie Dragon wrote:So... I get the basic idea of a trap out (thanks you tube), but don't really understand what the incentive is for the queen to move to the new brood box.



basically, everybody else goes, so she does, too. if she doesn't have a retinue feeding her and directing her where to lay eggs, she'll get the picture and head for greener pastures. the attendants all leave because reproduction takes a backseat to fending off starvation.
 
tel jetson
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I will say that if your siding can come off easily, cutting the hive out is easier and much quicker than trapping out. if making rescue frames or tying combs to top bars both seem like too much trouble, the bees could be combined with another colony and the comb used for whatever you like, including feeding any honey (ripe or otherwise) back to the bees. you can eat the brood or feed it to chickens if trying to save it doesn't appeal to you.
 
tel jetson
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Jackie Dragon wrote:an outdoor steam sauna at our retreat facility right next (2 feet away) to the entrance. If it were only an handful of people I'd leave them bee, but we have a hundreds of guests a year.



bees are great and all, but I could sure do with a sauna.
 
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