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  • Bees colonising underneath hive

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #3493  by SARAHmidland
 11 Jun 2019, 11:20
Can anyone help me with this issue? A colony of my bees have taken up residence on the mesh floor underneath their hive. They have built out a lot of comb and from what I can see the Queen is there and laying . I was thinking of inverting the floor and perhaps then putting a brood box on the top? Any suggestions please?
Many thanks. Sarah :?
 #3494  by AdamD
 11 Jun 2019, 11:30
This usually happens when a clipped queen cannot fly with a swarm and goes under the hive; the bees stay with her and the brood nest develops. Do you have a laying queen in the hive or queencells or something else?

Note that bees can pass food through the mesh floor and pheromones can pass through too, of course.
My suggestion is to move the brood box off, move the hive floor and replace the hive floor with another if you have one and put the varroa tray in place to stop flyers congregating there again.

For the bees under the hive floor, you may decide to cut the comb off and discard it or fix it inside un-waxed frames with elastic bands or insulating tape, depending on the size of the comb.
If the original hive has sealed queencells, you may consider housing the "underneath bees" in a hive on the old site and moving the hive with queencells to one side; this is in essence an artificial swarm of course.
I am speculating here - your situation may be different to my 'best guess' - so please tell us more!
 #3496  by Alfred
 11 Jun 2019, 13:08
Adam is an expert and I am not but for what it's worth, I had a lifetime supply of swarms last month and every one tried to go under the floor when I installed them into hives.
The first one caught me out so I had to remove them as best I could with smoke and a long bee brush,then I reinstalled the tray and taped a board over the slot.
I repeated the board trick with the rest.
After an hour they were all happily inside.
 #3508  by SARAHmidland
 11 Jun 2019, 20:05
Hi Adam

There is no colony in the hive at all now all underneath. My guess is that when the colony swarmed the new colony formed underneath the hive. I think when the weather gets better I will try and locate the queen and have a better look at what is going on and then do your suggestion of taping the comb to unwaxed frames. Do you still think that is the best course of action?
 #3512  by Patrick
 11 Jun 2019, 21:22
Hi Sarah

You say a colony of your bees. Was this an established colony, with drawn comb, brood etc or a swarm on foundation?