Bees in my box !

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Bees in my box !

Post by nicko on Mon May 15, 2017 7:08 pm

A queston for Wolfie, a few weeks ago I put up a small Bird box in the hope of attracting some of the Blue tits that were flying around. Yesterday I noticed several Honey Bees coming in and out of the box. The box is only small, about 4x4x6 inches, are they using it as a Hive?
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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Tue May 16, 2017 11:53 am

flower

IT could be "scout" bees checking it out for a potential hive, if maybe their colony is preparing to swarm (which usually happens around mid-Spring to early Summer..). Just have to see whether the bees are still flying in and out next week, or if they move on..

However, such a small space isn't adequate for a hive to survive and thrive in, over the long term -- even if a small "afterswarm" (a secondary swarm that might leave a hive a few days after the initial primary swarm) were to occupy a small birdbox, they would more-than-likely move on to somewhere roomier, after a few weeks or a couple of months, once they had outgrown it..

Also, some small swarms may have old/failing queens with them, and in those cases, sometimes a such a swarm can die out in a few weeks...

Honeybees normally need 2 or 3 cubic feet of hive space in wild/natural conditions. Commercially managed hives, and amateur backyard hives, can often use 3 or 4 boxes over the Summer on good conditions -- that could mean around 4--6 cubic feet or more, when you see those commercial "Langstroth" style hives.

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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by nicko on Tue May 16, 2017 1:21 pm

Thanks Wolfie, the Wife is worried they might move into the walls of the house, i'll keep an eye on them. I don't want to kill them so I hope they find somewhere more suitable.
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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by veya_victaous on Wed May 17, 2017 10:47 am

get a hive make honey

https://www.honeyflow.com.au/?gclid=CN_tvIXS9tMCFQoQvQod0_sBtw

that is one wolf recommend for me (i have a wild hive in a tree hollow) I haven't got around to purchasing it yet but I did research and for an amateur bee keeper it seems easy to manage. get one of the grand-kids involved if needed Wink


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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by nicko on Wed May 17, 2017 1:22 pm

How about this, I have lots of Magpies coming in to my garden, while watching the Bees going in and out of the Bird Box a Magpie flew down and took a Bee just as it was entering the box !!!
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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Thu May 18, 2017 11:37 am

Cool

I've seen Swallows catching bees in mid-air over bee yards, around here...

Other birds down here that may catch hoeybees includes Willy Wagtails, Koels and Bee_Eaters.  Pee Wees will probably catch bees in mid-air as well..


Dragonflies will also catch bees in mid-air.  I've also seen skinks picking bees from the ground in front of hives.  Then there's spiders..

Most of the time, though, these predators don't impact on healthy and well populated hives..


What predators can be much more problematic are the 'Small Hive Beetle' (a native of South Africa which has become an endemic pest in Australia, NZ and parts of N. America..);  the European Wasp where it is in large enough numbers; Cane Toads in parts of Queensland (and parts of Asia and the Caribbean..); while Bears can raid hives in N. America, Russia and parts of Europe, as well..

There are also several wee small beasties that can infest bee colonies --  but those are classified as parasites rather than predators..

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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by nicko on Thu May 18, 2017 12:14 pm

There's now dozens of them, they seem to be fighting each other to get in the box !
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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Fri May 19, 2017 10:41 am

veya_victaous wrote:
get a hive make honey

https://www.honeyflow.com.au/?gclid=CN_tvIXS9tMCFQoQvQod0_sBtw

that is one wolf recommend for me (i have a wild hive in a tree hollow) I haven't got around to purchasing it yet but I did research and for an amateur bee keeper it seems easy to manage. get one of the grand-kids involved if needed  Wink

What a Face

The Flowhive system for managing hives and harvesting the honey would work well for small-scale amateur beekeepers under the right conditions, where he/she doesn't want to invest a couple of thousand dollars in extracting gear, where the bees are kept in one yard (without moving them, the way that the commercial beekeepers do..), and don't intend to move beyond only a few hives at most...

However, it does have some limitations :
*  while effective for up 20 or 30 hives, maybe up to 40 hives in one yard under good conditions, at a cost of an extra $$couple of hundred$$ on each hive, the economics (cost : benefits) swings more and more towards "traditional" extracting plants as the size of the beekeeping operations moves beyond 20 or so hives;
*  the Flowhive system still isn't accommodating with honey handling on a commercial scale, nor with "migratory" style beekeeping (where the beekeeper moves his hives to fresh honeyflows 2 or 3 times a year);
*  it is also clear from perusing a couple of beekeeping chat sites, that some non-beekeepers and dreamers imagine that they might be harvesting honey regularly, without getting stung or having to look in the hives occassionally --  when the opposite is true.  Beehives still need to be managed and inspected occasionally, no matter what kind of harvesting system is is used..

Consider the costs involved, if a commercial beekeeper were to consider a changeover ==

@ a cost of an additional $200 per hive :
• 200 hives - traditional/normal extracting plant, ~ $10,000
- Flowhive -- $40,000
• 1200-1400 hives (a two-man operation..) traditional, ~$30,000 -- $50,000
-- Flowhive ~ $240,000 -- 280,000 (less any discounts on bulk purchases)
• 2000+ hives (a decent sized commercial business..) : traditional, less than $100,000;
-- Flowhive ? Probally over $300k, even with bulk discounts !!! (Even though, prices should creep down over time..).


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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Fri May 19, 2017 10:59 am

nicko wrote:
There's now dozens of them,  they seem to be fighting each other to get in the box  !



IT WILL be interesting to see if those bees are still flying in and out of the bird box, in a few weeks or months time !

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Re: Bees in my box !

Post by nicko on Fri May 19, 2017 12:26 pm

I told the Wife it's too dangerous to tidy the garden now the Bees are flying around it, she believes me.
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