My neighbours are doing some spraying of their crop, so I need to lock the bees into their hive for 2-3 days. They have plenty of food reserves and the weather is cool. For how long can they stay locked up?
They suffer anytime they are confined. First there is the issue of temperature control which is very difficult when they are confined for several reasons. First bearding is a common method of controlling too much heat as is water gathering. Neither of these work when they are confined. Second, bees have to have water, not only to cool the hive, but to live. So no water supply for three days can be disastrous. Assuming they have stores of honey and pollen, they could get by on those for three days, but water would be the issue. A frame feeder full of water could help with that.
Thanks for that Michael. Sadly i only had about a half hours notice before dark tonight, telling me that spraying would occur tomorrow and the next day. So I’ve closed off the front of the hive just on sunset. I’ve just checked the weather forecast for our district and maximum temps will be 13degC and 14degC, so pretty cold, so there should not be a heat problem. Alot of fresh honey has come in from the canola, so that would still be high moisture, which should help. There is no way now that I can add water, so I’ll just have to see how they go for 48 hours.
I assume you covered the entrance with screen. Get a spray bottle full of water and spray water on the screen…