nucs fell over, likely months ago...

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COAL REAPER
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nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby COAL REAPER » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:23 am

thought i would share this.
went to check on a pair of nucs for the first time since last fall. here's the back-story: viewtopic.php?f=48&t=63
hives at home are packing away honey so i had no idea what to expect with these nucs. loaded the truck with 10-frame equipment just in case. i round the corner of the barn and see my whole deal fell face forward onto the entrances. i dont have any idea when this happened, neither does the farm owner (only spoke to the daughter). i am thinking it had to be before they would have started building up for spring as there was no eggs/larvae/brood to be found. the closer nuc was dead, no way to get out or ventilate i assume. the further one with the gap had some bees. they were awful cranky when i stood them up, but settled down by the time i went to truck to get my smoker. queen must have been eager to lay but wouldnt because frames were sideways. when i got to the frame she was on there was ~6" diameter circle of all fresh laid eggs. i didnt take any pictures because i wanted to get them closed back up as quick as i could. tho we had a mild winter, i still find it remarkable that they pulled through in this condition for likely most of the winter. we only had one snow storm worth mentioning, but it was a 2' event. i would have liked to see the snowdrift they were buried under. i know they have a long way to go being these few bees approaching the end of their life and they are really behind. they were bringing in pollen after i got them back together. this is a bummer for me as they were well provisioned in the fall and still had plenty of stores left. i had high hopes for them.
in the end, it is my fault. i should have had a more substantial base than a couple of milk crates. never again.
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TF since 2010, successfully since 2013. Trying to increase without totally giving up honey crop.

lharder
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby lharder » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:59 pm

That's always in the back of my mind when I check my outyard nucs. Between wind and wildlife... I have a 4 stacker nuc now I am a bit worried about if we get a nasty wind. Want to put it into a 8 frame box, but pollen isn't coming in yet at that site and its too cold to move frames.

waspkiller
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby waspkiller » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:38 pm

Real sorry about that. If the live one can just make it for another 2 1/2 weeks or so that brood should start hatching it may pull through.

I'm pretty sure I know what happened, and it's why I now do not put hives too close to a wall or fence. If dog or other animal walks between the hive and the fence, they can carelessly push the hives over. Which would certainly not have been hard the way those ones were balanced.

Other comment, Has there been much communication with the landowner? I thought they would have let you know?

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COAL REAPER
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby COAL REAPER » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:13 am

there is about 5' between the barn and the hives. the area is fenced in to keep the bears and deer out. there is no dogs. there is a cows, but i am told they stay in another fenced in area full time. will need to confirm but there is no hoof prints or cow pies nearby. aside from racoons/possums/skunks, i know there is groundhogs under that barn. and there is cats around. could have been a cat. it is really my fault. milk crates? dont know what i was thinking. i am grateful that i did put the strap on. i am sure i would have lost both of them had the boxes not stayed together.
historically the only communication has been when i stop in to say hi. they do have my phone number and i believe they would call if they noticed anything. honestly, i wouldnt expect them to go back there in the non-growing season. this fenced in section is for some vegetables and cut flowers for wedding arrangements.
i need to show these people a honey crop this year. i was hoping at a minimum that one made it through winter and was strong enough to start a nuc off of. doesnt look like that will be the case for me...
TF since 2010, successfully since 2013. Trying to increase without totally giving up honey crop.

howlin
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby howlin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:24 am

hi,
get those auger dog anchors that screw into the ground and ratchet to those? or at least tent pegs and rope?
and the bigger base, for sure that too.
h.

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GregV
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby GregV » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:05 pm

Just reviewing some old topics (of interest to me).

Most of my hives are in out-yards and some of those I check bi-weekly only (no time to run about).
Some I check weekly (the closest yard).
But in all cases, I would not know for up to a couple off weeks if anything bad happened.

I have been doing two approaches to prevent tipping over (kind of important, due to recent stormy weather that we have in Upper Midwest).
1)heavy, low sitting hives strapped to a heavy and stable platform - these are hard to flip over; takes a very high wind or a bear to flip it.
2)tall metal stakes pounded next to the hives; then I strap a hive to this stake; tall standing, tipsy trap hives are secured this way.

I never place any bricks on the hive tops as this just makes them top-heavy.
In addition, if a hive flips, the brick on the top is totally useless.
I just carry a box of various rubber straps with me and use them extensively.
These will hold regardless even if your hive is upside down.

So far so good.

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GregV
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby GregV » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:23 pm

BTW, this brings another discussion point back to live - do we need landing boards that stick out?

Guess what, IF a piece of wood is attached under the entrance and is sticking out even by one inch, that would save the hive that fell on with its face down. That inch of wood would prop the hive just high enough to let the bees out in a case of emergency. Talking a live or death situation when hives are left unattended.

Makes sense to have some minimal landing boards (should be firmly attached and robust so to hold the impact and weight).
Robbing screen could also function as a emergency escape in similar cases (if designed with this in mind).

moebees
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby moebees » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:19 pm

This could have easily been prevented by having a decent hive stand.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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GregV
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby GregV » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:42 pm

Btw, car tires make excellent hive stands.
Especially, if a metal rim is still inside (adds weight and robustness).
I am now looking for them and pick up if I find any tossed around.

But even the best stand ever will not stop a cow or a deer from scratching against your hive.
One must account for the hive to tip over.
Titanic was "unsinkable" too, and yet we know what happened.

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GregV
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby GregV » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:53 pm

Just now remembered...

A good friend lost few good TF hives last winter due to poor disaster planning.

His TBH's got tipped over by high wind. The top covers fell off. Bees froze. Sad.

moebees
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby moebees » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:43 pm

But even the best stand ever will not stop a cow or a deer from scratching against your hive.
One must account for the hive to tip over.


Agreed but it doesn't take a cow to tip a nuc sitting on milk plastic milk crates. Soft ground or a good breeze would be enough.

Here is the stands I build. Strap your hive to this on level ground and it will be pretty stable.
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Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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GregV
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Re: nucs fell over, likely months ago...

Postby GregV » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:35 pm

moebees wrote:
But even the best stand ever will not stop a cow or a deer from scratching against your hive.
One must account for the hive to tip over.


Agreed but it doesn't take a cow to tip a nuc sitting on milk plastic milk crates. Soft ground or a good breeze would be enough.

Here is the stands I build. Strap your hive to this on level ground and it will be pretty stable.


For sure, plastic crates are not a way to go. :lol: Asking for a trouble there.

A comment about your stand - I would add cross boards to the legs to make ground contact much wider.
Those legs, while sturdy apiece, have limited ground contact and prone to sink. Also not interconnected.
I prefer continuous rectangular footprint. Or heavy and still wide blocks/tires. This is dictated by my locations - woods and prairie.

Donno. Your hives. Whatever works.


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