Hive fell off stand

Hi all,

My hive fell off it’s stand yesterday (fell forward) and chaos ensued.
Eventually got things back together but this morning they seem agitated with quite a few flying around outside the hive entrance.
Any one know if this is normal or should they have settled down overnight?
I was going to leave them a few days to see if they settled. My only thought is that some of the comb has come loose from the frames from the fall (it was about a metre) and this is unsettling them.

Funny, just yesterday I had the thought of a Hive stand flipping over when I added a caught swarm box onto a stand. Nightmare thought.
Maybe they fly around agitated because they lost their queen and can’t find intact brood comb to feed up a new one?
Or they are wondering how to fix things?
Did you leave broken comb on the Hive floor?

I reckon they should have settled over night, but then it never happened to me before, just in my dreams. So I don’t know.

Hey Webclan,

I didn’t do an inspection, just stood the hive up and put it back in place. I may have to go in and check, I guess that’s what I’m trying to determine.

Cheers

It doesn’t surprise me at all that the bees are still disturbed: there may be much damage inside. Hopefully not- but it’s quite possible frames have moved- trapping bees between combs, etc. I would say you will have to have a look in there pretty soon and assess the damage and make repairs if necessary. You’ll also have t check in a week or so to see if there are fresh eggs to know that your queen wasn’t killed.

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@Semaphore has given you good sound advise. I am not surprised the colony is a bit angsty after that happening. You should do a full inspection to repair any damage as you can but be prepared to get paid out in the process. Go in with plenty of rubber bands to hold comb in place that has broken or dislodged…
Suit up well expecting the ‘hive from hell’ to greet you. Spend as much time as you need but don’t waste time looking for the queen, that is for your next inspection. She may have survived the fall but could be fatally injured so look again in a week for her and eggs.
What caused it to fall over and how to rectify that so it doesn’t happen again. I’ll be looking for an update.
Cheers

You need to inspect asap. There is probably broken comb with dripping honey. That is a perfect recipe for robbing and honey soaked dying bees.A good spray bottle with water helps to rinse honey soaked bees If a lot of honey soaked bees dump on screen and spray/mist with water. Have rubber bands to hold comb back in frames. I also use bamboo BBQ skewers stapled to the frames to hold broken comb. I have wood frames. Work on brood frames first. The comb is directional. There is a top and bottom. I would have a new box and work from one to the other. Remove a frame and cover remaining frames with a towel or something. It is not that difficult if you are halfway confident . If you have several hives in same area expect it to be more of an issue because they will all show up while doing this. .A helper is a must if you are unsure of yourself. If honey frames are badly damaged just harvest them in a cooler or something. Once completed consider reducing entrance until they clean things up and settled down.If you have everything at hand when starting it should take about an hour. Consider videoing and share this with us so we can have a little fun with you. Good luck.

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Update - the hive looks more settled today so I’ll go in and do an inspection.

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Great idea. I am sending good thoughts and peaceful vibrations your way. :wink:

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Must have worked Dawn.
No damaged comb and all looks normal in super and brood>:grinning:
Hive is basically back to normal.
Thanks all.

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Amazing no damage after 3 ft. fall. Do you have plastic foundation? Happy it worked out for you.

Hey Bubba,

I think a few things worked in our favour on this one. The hive fell directly forward so it fell in line with the comb not across it. We also use wax foundation but in a plastic frame that is “reinforced”, i.e. it has plastic strips running through it. The second super had also just gone on and the one beneath it was quite full so not much wriggle room between the frames in the first super.
The second super I think bore the brunt of the hit as it cracked open. Finally we run poly hives so I think the impact was absorbed a little better than usual.
I’m just happy there was no internal damage and the bees seem to be settled back in.

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What caused the crash, was it a strong southerly Buster??:thinking:

Unfortunately no, it was operator error.
We had an old set of drawers that was not in use, figured we could use it for something so fashioned a stand together with it. Unfortunately it was not strong enough to stand up to the extra weight of a nectar flow.
#lessonlearnt

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I’m very grateful for all the support and comments here. I’m a first time keeper and the guidance here when I had the worst come true the other evening was very useful.

We’ve been clearing a bit of land which left our hive exposed to the elements a bit, so to move it back against the boundary meant multiple 3m moves over the 30m or so distance, over a period of approx. 3wks. Unfortunately within spitting distance of it’s final destination, the hive with the added weight of a near full super lost balance and fell forward from the stand.

This was about 10pm at night so visibility was poor, but suiting up I was able to get it back upright, stacked and on the stand. The next morning I enlisted some help from a local keeper to refine my dashed work from the night before. Thankfully the colony was suprisingly docile and while we didn’t do a full inspection - not wanting to disturb further, the frames had dropped slightly and needed realigning, nectar was going in and there was no lost honey, something that I was really concerned about with the flow frames, i.e. that they’d cracked or opened.

In hindsight, my advice to anyone else would be to move the hive 3 miles out and then bring back to the new location and save yourself multiple moves, but also to ask for a second to help as May/June with the added weight of honey, these hives are not light. The hive was strapped from the outset, so if this hasn’t been done, it is highly recommended!

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Thanks for posting this Josh - so glad it worked out with minimal disruption! and welcome to the forum too :sunglasses:

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