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Erichalfbee 

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if I was doing it I would certainly bang them in so they just fell in rather than took to the air. I’d leave the super on. Maybe swap it underneath the following day.
 

Hiveanidea 

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Ok then, lifting the floor, gently does it and hoping they don’t fall off and ……thump……most of them are in! l’m thinking this is the plan….might do it first thing while they’re still ‘chilled’.
Need to go for a debrief later……in more ways than one.
 

Erichalfbee 

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jenkinsbrynmair 

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They have an OMF to ventilate the hive
Doesn't work like that, the OMF just allows gentle air movement. For honey ripening etc you need a large entrance for the bees to line up and push the air in and out, bearded bees can't move the air as required, especially through the OMF. You will still get some bearding as they need to make space for air circulation, but the sooner they ripen stuff off, the sooner they get back to normal.
 

Hiveanidea 

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Doesn't work like that, the OMF just allows gentle air movement. For honey ripening etc you need a large entrance for the bees to line up and push the air in and out, bearded bees can't move the air as required, especially through the OMF. You will still get some bearding as they need to make space for air circulation, but the sooner they ripen stuff off, the sooner they get back to normal.
That might just explain the cause. I had fitted wasp defence tubes after the main flow (DIY conduit type - as photo) but now, due to an extraordinary Ivy flow in my location, you feel the bees can’t produce a sufficient air pump through the entrance to ripen the ivy honey. In my case, especially with that ‘thing’ in the way. In the past day l had unclipped the perforated front but they still don’t have much of a slot, even so. However, when l started feeding syrup much earlier and could hear them fanning, the wasp defence was already in place. Maybe they’ve grown so many winter bees and the ‘summer’ ones have lived longer in the mild weather - hence a lot of bees getting in the way of the ripening gang?
There are an extraordinary number of bees keeping out of the way, as you can see!
What is not explained, is that l’ve not heard of this happening to other hives, that will not doubt be operating with reduced entrances.
Just seen that humidity levels here, in the last few days have been consistently high - that won’t have helped.
 

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Hiveanidea 

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Looked again at first light this morning and the’re still clustered underneath for the third night running (as last photos). Dani’s idea for physically extracting them seems drastic and some risk (clustered to the hive stand as well as the underside of the floor) BUT, l’m getting more desperate each day and worried that they’ll starve in situ or be caught ‘out’ when the weather dips next week.
Still not sure of the cause of this dramatic exodus: Temperature regulation of brood/ overcrowding/ unable to fan to ripen ivy honey/syrup.
Or what to do for the best: Open the entrance completely for airflow/ repatriation to a super/ just leave it to fate and trust they know what they are doing.
Not experienced this dilemma before and really need some consensus.
 
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Erichalfbee 

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Did you say they were building comb? Could the queen have got out there? Any queen....an old superseded one?
If they are building comb they aren't going to move on their own
 

Hiveanidea 

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There were lots of spots of wax on the back of the hive where they were previously roosting - til l smoked them a bit to move back in……unsuccessfully! Can’t say for sure that they are making wax under the floor but they are hanging there in a mighty deep cluster, 10 inches deep on one hive. We are talking about three adjacent hives…..all doing this!!
AND….will they have disassociated themselves from the queen long enough to cause problems?
 

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Erichalfbee 

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Well
Like I said. If they were my bees and it was going to get cold I would knock them in
 

hemo 

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The large cluster underneath I would brush off, scoop or shake into a separate floor and box with drawn comb, leave a few hours then check for a Q. The rest either dump them in also or back in to a hive if you are sure that they are all from one and the same which tbh I can't see.
 
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The Poot 

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I’d open up the entrance completely as a first step. If it’s ripening air flow they need that’ll give them what they need. The time for wasp problems is almost over, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about wasp attack.
If no difference I would smoke them heavily to get movement and see if they go in the entrance.
If that failed, then, dump them in as Dani suggests.
 

Hiveanidea 

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I’d open up the entrance completely as a first step. If it’s ripening air flow they need that’ll give them what they need. The time for wasp problems is almost over, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about wasp attack.
If no difference I would smoke them heavily to get movement and see if they go in the entrance.
If that failed, then, dump them in as Dani suggests.
Do you mean take out the entrance block to reveal a whole width?
 

Erichalfbee 

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The large cluster underneath I would brush off, scoop or shake into a separate floor and box with drawn comb, leave a few hours then check for a Q. The rest either dump them in also or back in to a hive if you are sure that they are all form one and the same which tbh I can't see.
This is best suggestion now. Stop messing about and just do it.
 

Hiveanidea 

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This is best suggestion now. Stop messing about and just do it.
Full width entrance on all three now. Clusters still not moving much yet but l’ll see how it goes during the day. Killed 4 wasps between us - me and the bees! Just hoping the wasps don’t come back full on. If there’s no sign of movement mid afternoon, then l’ll try some smoke. If that doesn’t work, l’ll get physical as suggested. Bees all looking healthy underneath the floors……… I’m supposed to be doing the garden before the weather breaks!E11E6FEE-9447-48B9-AAB6-F117E9EA902B.jpeg
 

The Poot 

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Full width entrance on all three now. Clusters still not moving much yet but l’ll see how it goes during the day. Killed 4 wasps between us - me and the bees! Just hoping the wasps don’t come back full on. If there’s no sign of movement mid afternoon, then l’ll try some smoke. If that doesn’t work, l’ll get physical as suggested. Bees all looking healthy underneath the floors……… I’m supposed to be doing the garden before the weather breaks!View attachment 28746
Any joy?
 

silentscyther 

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My logic for adding the insulation was that with this weird atypical October weather it was getting too hot inside during the day with the number of bees and maybe then falling to chilly temperatures at night. Insulation will regularise the temperature inside the hive and ventilation was kept open along the sides of the roof. I don’t think the hessian top piece adds much to the Warre hives ability to have good ventilation but it’s an accepted part of the arrangement so I left it in place. Can’t really see how air can flow freely through a propolis streaked piece of hessian. Since I put the insulation the bees have not made any attempt to beard or hang around outside. They seem quite happy inside. There were so many in the colony and they seemed pressed for space so I put another box at the lowest level thinking that the added insulation would prevent them from getting cold during the winter but they’d have more space to hang out inside under cover without bearding.
 

Hiveanidea 

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Some small movement from the under clusters but with wide open entrances and still frenetic over Ivy at 18.5 degrees. By 5 o’clock l decided to execute part B on the hive with the mega cluster. New floor ready in place, moved the brood box over and quickly ripped a wet super from its packaging and placed on top with QX under and eke on top. Lifted the old floor, with half the big cluster attached, directly over the eke and gave it a satisfying thump, putting the crown board quickly in place. Smoked the remainder left around the hive stand to get them airborne, stayed calm and by 5.30 they were back in buzzing nicely. No stings and no attention to speak of - party over and they’d all gone home. Many thanks for advice given. Four nights camping out was enough. Will do the others today, unless they’ve got the message.
Looking at the old floor it seems that they were intent on setting up camp, or building a basement (popular these days) but from close up, l think they were making a model of me!

920C21FC-D8B1-4EC2-90F9-A1D8AE468C43.jpeg
 

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