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Some of my bees clustered in the roof space then war broke out!

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CliffDale 

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I went to collect the feeder buckets and found a large clump of bees in the roof. They had started making comb here.

The wet patch is water that leaked in and is not sugar syrup.







I was going to shake them back into the hive but found it quite packed in the brood box.




I decided to put on one of my supers and tip the bees into the super frames to make a brood and a half. I took off the queen excluder.


The bees then come out of the hive and started to cluster on the outside.



Shortly after the bees were coming out of all of the hives, I couldn't see any fighting but there was a lot of activity.




I stuffed lots of grass in the entrance to one bee space and now I have left them to it.

I hope I have done the right thing!!

Any comments / suggestions please.

Cliff
 

Gardenbees 

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:)What beautiful, clean-looking hives!!

It doesn't sound to me as though your bees have a huge problem; earlier in the year they might perhaps have thought about swarming, but it seems pretty unlikely now. Mine get very aeriated if I expose any honey or sugar feed during the day, and so do any adjacent bees. It may be that just exposing a feeding area has got them up in arms.

I had to put a super on my strongest hive a couple of weeks ago as they were piling out of their 14/12 broodbox and starting to make comb on the underside.
 

Midland Beek 

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So, you are working out that a single National is too small?

I don't know how beeks using single Nat manage to get bees + brood + winter reserve of food into one at this time of the year.
 

Gardenbees 

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So, you are working out that a single National is too small?

I don't know how beeks using single Nat manage to get bees + brood + winter reserve of food into one at this time of the year.
:iagree:
Mine have filled a 14x12 brood box and a super with stores and bees.
My other hive is a long hive, which takes 14x12s and is around one third full for winter, i.e. about 12 frames.

Both colonies were 5-frame nucs in July and June respectively. A single BS brood box would have been full very quickly and the bees hot and restless by the end of August, I should imagine.
 
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Looks as if they were enjoying a bit of dry weather and having a stroll.
Should they have been able to get in with the feeder?

(I dont have hives like this.)
 
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VEG 

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The bees shouldnt be able to get into the roof space with a bucket feeder on. Water shouldnt get into the hive like that either (if it is water and not syrup)
 
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MuswellMetro 

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So how did they get into the roof space, the porter eascape holes should either be covered by the feeder or blocked off
 
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Mine do in a WBC - they are under the feeder and over it, but I take it they can come up the sides too?
 

CliffDale 

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There are 2 feeder holes. I have one covered with some hardboard but it had moved slightly so the bees could find the way up.

You can see in the background that a hive has a double brood box. I have a couple of these, one out of shot. These are the ones i united about a month ago.

My other hives are no where near as full so everything seems ok.


I am going to double brood boxes next season with all hives. Just waiting for spring so I can add foundation to the second brood.

So far the colonies have taken 2 gallons of syrup down.

Cliff
 

melon 

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I find that if I cover the other hole up with wood, the bees who inevitably come out into the empty super when you remove the feeder to refill, get trapped up there and die. Therefore I find it best not to block the hole.
 

Juststarting 

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I find that if I cover the other hole up with wood, the bees who inevitably come out into the empty super when you remove the feeder to refill, get trapped up there and die. Therefore I find it best not to block the hole.
Thats why I prefer rapid feeders at this time of year as you can check/refill it without moving it so no bees come up into the super and you hardly disturb the bees - only those in the central cup which need to move out of the way of the rising syrup. They seem to have got the hang of very well now.
 

MuswellMetro 

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I find that if I cover the other hole up with wood, the bees who inevitably come out into the empty super when you remove the feeder to refill, get trapped up there and die. Therefore I find it best not to block the hole.
if they really come up, you could use a porter escape to block it instead of wood,the bees can return via the porter escape

but i never move the feeder, most of my bees propolise them down anyway, if any get in while filling i just waft them out
 

melon 

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if they really come up, you could use a porter escape to block it instead of wood,the bees can return via the porter escape

but i never move the feeder, most of my bees propolise them down anyway, if any get in while filling i just waft them out
How do you refill without moving the feeder?. The bees all rush out of the hole when I remove the feeder, as it is stuck down with propolis, and it jolts a bit.
 

Heather 

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Aahh.. the joys of a jumbo feeder, or rapid. No need to disturb just fill.

And never panic if the bees all come out of the front at this time of the year - they will all be back by bedtime!:smilie_bett:
 

MuswellMetro 

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How do you refill without moving the feeder?. The bees all rush out of the hole when I remove the feeder, as it is stuck down with propolis, and it jolts a bit.

As heather ,i use a jumbo or a £5 2L circular rapid feeder, just lift the lid and feed,

sorry but did not realise you used contact feeders, i dont use them any more due to spillage into the hive and nasty accidents swamping the hive and drowning to many bees :biggrinjester:

i do have one but only to feed water or uncapped honey back ,its the lid type that attaches to a 1lb jar
 

KayJ 

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I'm learning so much from you guys.
I didn't realise I had to block off the 2nd hole in the crown board but then only a few of my bees come up into the roof space. I can see the problem from the photos and will block of the other hole next time I fill up the feeder.
 

m100 

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So far the colonies have taken 2 gallons of syrup down.
Can you be sure the feed has gone into the frames in the hive the feeder is fitted to or has two gallons gone elsewhere?

Contact feeders, besides being totally unsuitable for anything and oozing like that will attract wasps from all around the local area and robbing from other bee colonies.
 

Polyanwood 

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I get on Ok with contact feeders. One of the things I like about them is that I can easily feedback cappings, or capping/syrup mix.
 

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