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question about hive

 
Bill Fosburgh
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about 10 years ago a neighbor hauled in a hive of bees in the woods across the road from me. he then just abandonded them and never came back, i happened to think about them last week so i went to have a look thinking the brutal winters that we have had they would all be dead. well they werent. there are 3 hive bodies that were all crooked with big gaps, bottom board was rotted out but it was FULL of bees. well, i went back that night with a 2 wheeled dolly and walked them home. this was last tues. yesterday i broke them apart too see what i had. top brood box was full of brood & honey and the queen. i cleaned the frames up and put it on a new bottom and a 2nd new hive body with new frames.
the next hive body had a ton of brood & honey but no queen cells so i cleaned it all up & put it all togeather hoping they will make a new queen.
the last brood chamber was a total mess, all frames were rotted and broken but had a ton more young brood & honey. was just going to shake the bees in the other hives but decided to just put all the comb back in the box & cover it uo to see if they may make a queen also. if they doo i will put them in a new box
un attendad for all those years, VERY strong queen that has an excellent pattern and are the most gentle bees i have ever been around. thru all this i was never stung once.
now my ?? the last box i did i checked on todat & they are hauling what looks like larva out and dropping it in front of the hive, anyone know what might be going on in there? thanks
 
Colin Nelson
Posts: 60
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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They either cant feed the new larvae for some reason, or they may have died during inspection/transport/have varroa/be diseased or infected with something...etc. They are cleaning, for whatever reason, and it's not a bad thing. You've got some form of hygienic bees, which are truly a gift. The wild bees I'm dealing with in Hawaii aren't very hygienic, so I actually have to go in the box and sweep out debris, or pull out dead larvae, myself. Though they do have some hygienic qualities, ie they will go pick up a dead bee, but they are lazy...so they pick it up and then drop it without removing it from the hive themselves.

Anyway, it sounds like they are doing what they should be doing. Brood can be sensitive, and if the boards and frames were rotten/torn up, it could just be that they got poked/smashed in transport and they are being cleaned out.

That's my guess, anyway. It sounds like you've got some great new hives, congrats!
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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I would have totally just left them where they were and caught a few swarms off of them from time to time. Sounds like a great seed stock. You are a lucky person. Congrats on finding some good ones!
 
Marty Mitchell
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Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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Double Post:


What type of hive was it that was abandoned out in the woods for 10 years? That hive was successfully STUN'ed.

Thanks!

Marty
 
Bill Fosburgh
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it was a langstroth hive.
pretty sure the larva im seeing is what we damadged when we tore it apart. had to do alot of scraping to get the frames cleaned up of the burr comb
 
Marty Mitchell
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Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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Nice. Even a Lang can hang. lol


What climate/region do you live in... if you don't mind me asking.

Thanks Again!

Marty
 
Bill Fosburgh
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zone 5. northern In. our last few winters we have had way below 0 temps. we reached -28 a few times in the last 2 winters
 
Rob Browne
Posts: 65
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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Marty Mitchell wrote:Nice. Even a Lang can hang.


So why would you expect a lang to do any worse than any other hive type?
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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@ Rob B

Mainly just because the Langstroth was designed/operated with max honey production/ease of honey extraction in focus instead of focusing on copying how the bees build their hives in nature.

However, that being said, since the bees were left alone to their own devices... they obviously were then able to do as they saw fit and made the Lang something awesome for them.

The bees were able to build comb from top to bottom(like in nature... though it was probably built already when abandoned) in whatever shape and cell size they decided they needed. While also connecting the comb to the walls of the hive as much as they wanted. Just connecting the comb to the walls allegedly increases hive temps. drastically... allegedly. They didn't even have that famous Warre quilt on top for cold regions.

Also, most natural bee keepers tend to try to keep their hives square/round to both keep dead airflow spots minimized and to keep cold spots minimized by making it easier to keep the temps even in the hive. Since those types of areas tend to vector issues(allegedly). The bees in this Lang seemed to not have an issue with that at all.

@ Bill F.

That is an awesome story that you shared with us! Thank you.

Are you willing to throw up a few pics of your story/hive? Sorry that I keep asking you so much. I am sure you were hoping for answers and not more Qs. lol
 
Bill Fosburgh
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thats one regret i have, i didnt even think to take pics of it before we tore it down. my wife asked me why i didnt take before & after pics. tell you the truth, i was not ready for bees. i helped my dad 40+ years ago with his. he had 30 hives when i was a kid and havent messed with them since.
a few weeks ago a guy came in where my wife works and asked if he could put a couple hives on our place & we said sure. then i happen to remember this hive , i had watched it for several tears & told the guy about them and he said heck go get them & i`ll help you with them if there still alive. so here we are with bees.
as i said , i was not ready, its something my wife & i had talked about for in the future. i had no equiptment & what little knowledge i retained form my dad. the hive sat by our barn all week & my wife & kids took a huge intrest in them & went out every day to watch them. then the guy that was bringing his bees showed up sat. with a buch of new frames and a couple boxes and said lets break them open and see what ya got. he brought me a veil to use & a smoker.
i was very excited but also nervouse because they hadnt been messed with in years & thought we were in for a bad time with some mad bees but it was just the opposite. not one sting, i even dropped a frame full of bees & they didnt get mad. i will take some pics of what we have and also on future progress
in the process now of getting more equiptment so i guess i`m ito it now ready or not.
also the guy that is helping me is great, he is excited that i have my own bees now and is really impressed with this queen.
thanks for all replies & i will get pics & updates
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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Sounds like you have been roped into bees again for sure. I am sure it will raise the quality of life for you and your family.

Looking forward to seeing some picks later on some day!

Marty
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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Bill Fosburgh wrote:about 10 years ago a neighbor hauled in a hive of bees in the woods across the road from me. he then just abandonded them and never came back, i happened to think about them last week so i went to have a look thinking the brutal winters that we have had they would all be dead. well they werent. there are 3 hive bodies that were all crooked with big gaps, bottom board was rotted out but it was FULL of bees.


It's quite possible that the bees DID die and other bees moved in to the empty hive. No way to know how long those particular bees have occupied that hive.
 
John Master
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Location: Wisconsin
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Yes could have been re occupied by another colony if the original one didn't make it. Cool that you found it so full of bees, hopefully you get 3 colonies out of it.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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