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Author Topic: Three swarms in 3 days  (Read 3408 times)
beemaster
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« on: August 20, 2004, 09:15:25 PM »

Just a note c1 swarmed a massive swarm to a 80ft high tree top, then c3 swarmed the next day to a far off location and finall the 3rd day c2 found a confortable spot under a decorative wishing well in my front yard and was recaptured.

Tis the season and still the bees are bearding in c2 and c3 - only c1 seems to have ejected enough bees to satisfy internal temps. All and all though, c1 and c3 are loaded to the brim and need additional supers, c2 is slower and I need to do a good queen search to see why the weight of the hive is NOTICABLY less than the others.
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2004, 08:48:59 AM »

Now that is amazing, bees swarming at this time of year. I wonder why? I would think they would be hard pressed to put up enough stores for winter in the amount of time till colder weather.
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latebee
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2004, 10:22:07 PM »

Howdy,
         I am pretty close to you geographically, and we are experiencing the same type of swarming here in western new york.  in the past week I was able to retrieve 2 swarms(not my own) and am wondering if they will be able to survive a winter. They are consuming about one gallon of 1 to 1 syrup every 4 days and rreally drawing the foundation like crazy. One is a small swarm and the other was as big as a June swarm. Any ideas besides feeding to help them out? Shocked
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madcapper
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2004, 07:40:39 AM »

I am doing a lot of reading lately, but I am not a seasoned BK yet

what I read that you could try is taking a frame of capped brood from
one of your other stronger hives and adding it to the weak one,

assuming you have others since you said they weren't your own.

hope that helps
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Lesli
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2004, 09:09:26 AM »

I'm not experienced, either, but with the cool weather we're having, small swarms could really have un-August like problems. I would combine the swarms using the newspaper method. Maybe watch to see if one queen or colony seems better than the other to decide which queen to kill.
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beemaster
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2004, 03:18:45 PM »

I have had many late mid and late August swarms before, I'm not overly interested in keeping these or remerging them to their old hives though. I get chastized a bit on my feeling that swarms are MEANT to be returned to nature and given the chance to survive or fail at attempting to make theirselves a viable and maybe even prolific hive to help repopulate the wilds.

I don't mind the food competition that this can create, my hives are all good foragers and never seem to be fighting over slow or nil nectar or pollen sources, so I gladly let the bees do bee stuff and swarming is very much a bee "Stuff" thing!

The one swarm went so high up into the neighbors tree, I lost total site of their cluster in the thickness of heavily leafed branches at least 80ft off of the ground. Honestly, I have never seen a swarm lite this high above the bround before: the usual 30 foot flight hight the bees enjoy flying at (a baromentric pressure thing which helps the fly ergonomically and balanced well) is USUALLY the top-end of the swarm clustering height - but these girls doubled and nearly tripled that average high-end height.

So I wish them well, they have as much chance as any other swarm to leave relatively LATE into the season, but remember too that THESE ARE FIRST SEASON BEES and it's usually bees Wintered from seasons past who swarm earlier into the beekeeping season, so there is really nothing too amazing about their timing, they just swarmed when the population and swarm conditions were met - in their case late in the Summer because of being first season bees.

Quick update on my health...

As you might have noticed, I've done a few few posts lately, more than I was doing for a while there. I've started some heavy doses of antibiotics and we are just seeing if the infection in my skull (Mastoiditis) is clearing up at all. I will say that the aweful smell that normally makes it to my sinuses has eased a little, so I thik that it may be clearing and if THAT is the case than surgury MIGHT be avoided. But the MRI/CT Scans still show WEAKEND bone structure, so a plate of some kind may be needed around my left ear to reenforce my jaw and skull connection - we won't know until the infection is cleared and BETTER images can be taken of the damage done.

Lastly, my short term memories has been definitely blamed on the bout with Menengitis in 2001 and NOT the infection filtering from my skull into my brain - either way (and better it being from the mennegitis) I can live with some memory issues rather than the other possible troubles that the illness could have left me with.

Take care all and talk again soon.
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2004, 07:50:43 PM »

John,

The heck with debating our different views of swarms.  Just glad to see you back on the forums again.  Hope things continue to progress positively and I'm looking forward to your full recovery and return so we can once again "discuss" our views. Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2004, 07:59:26 PM »

Why do the bees swarm the first year? Is this normal?
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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2004, 08:16:29 PM »

Bees will swarm any year (1st, 2nd,......) if not given enough space.  

The point John was trying to make about the first year swarm, is that he installed packages bees (late if I recall) and it takes time for them to catch up to numbers and strength of an overwintered colony.    Therefore by the time they build up strong enough to swarm, it is later in the season than the "normal" swarm period.
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beemaster
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2004, 07:43:24 AM »

yep Buzz.... What Robo Said!!

General with a one story and especially a 2 story hive in the first season (and yes I did get a very late start with receiving the packaged bees) you often DON'T see the population build up fast enough to warrrent OVER-POPULATION and thus swarming.

It takes a good prolific queen, great wax production, a good balance of brood and food storage: everything has to go right in a shorter season to see swarming the first year. So yes... swarming in season one is "Generally" a good sign that all is fine in the hive!

You can of course build upwards and kill of swarm cells if you wish to build a stronger hive, but going from a 2 box hive to a 3 box hive late in the year (just to prevent swarming) can be a mistake too - you may NEVER reach the full drawn frames you intend to build out and you get left with a lot of bees to keep in a 2 story high hive that CAN'T hold enough food source to feed a cluster over a long Winter. Hope that makes sense.

Early swarms, or at least swarm conditions can be dealt with much easier by building upwards, but later swarms are much harder to deal with unless you have an extended Fall with a continuous food source. Actually, food availability is a major factor in the late season swarms.

Thanks Robo for the kind words and yes it does feel very good to be typing again. For a number of weeks I couldn't concentrate enough to sit at a keyboard and do anything. I've kept myself very busy working around the yard and doing well. Thanks Smiley
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2004, 07:51:38 AM »

Your sounding alot like your old self there beemaster.  Good to see you back around.  Heck, you'll probably be ready for one of those swarm debates just for the fun of it before long.  I know it's flogging a dead horse, but what else is a dead horse good for? Tongue
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