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Author Topic: I held my swarm off for 3 weeks, today she swarmed and I got them!  (Read 1013 times)

Offline beemaster

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Hi All:

Three weeks ago, I order some supers after noticing some cool weather bearding - I knew it was getting close and (ugh) placed a empty super in the hive to give them some elbow room JUST to delay the inevitable. It worked, even though it took weeks to get the supers here.

Thursday, the supers arrived, but so did Geoff from Australia - so the bees could wait, I had me a member get together and that is worth a hundred loss swarms! Geoff wanted to help me get the hive ready, but we had a day trip to NYC and 2 really crappy days, so today would be the day to do the job and timing is everything - I came home and the swarm was in the small tree in my front yard.

The hive bodies were pre-assembled, as were the frames - I just had to add the all wax (vertical prewired) and properly installed the foundation, got a kitchen chair and used my small branch cutter, putting one handle on my sholder and pried it down while holding on the branch. It cut clean and I carried every bee in one trip right to the new hive. Afew stragglers (probably scouts) were flying around the tree after a bit, but they have found their way home :)

Here is the swarm from a few angles, I haven't had one in a while so taking pics was a must.





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Offline Scott Derrick

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Re: I held my swarm off for 3 weeks, today she swarmed and I got them!
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 07:02:16 PM »
Wow John!

Were there any bees left in the hive. That's a HUGE one! Congrats buddy!!!
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Offline beemaster

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Re: I held my swarm off for 3 weeks, today she swarmed and I got them!
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 07:08:26 PM »
Just thought I'd add, I looked in the new hive (which is currently 2 mediums with all natural wax foundation) and it was cool last night and indeed the bees made a few passages through the wax, only two 3/4" holes to help in clustering up.

I checked them out today, feeding them of course and they were mostly in the upper box and the queen was busy walking around - big wings on that little lady and she isn't the plumpest queen, so I think we have a new queen there with the swarm. The last look at the mother hive (affectionately called "The Baby Momma Hive" by PDMattox is a real plump and beautiful looking egg laying machine.

Interesting to see who went with the swarm, but I really have great hope for this new colony!

P.S. I remember the day when people replied to my posts - lol.  :-\ :-P

Thanks Scott, just say you posted as I did, oh yeah, the other hive is still booming and I mean booming with bee. I need to get more deep foundation and frames, I had my other hive from last year decimated with wax moth after they absconded on me - I won't reuse them, poop all over, and no matter how I clean them (they are the wax covered plastic sheets molded like cells) and even if I cleaned them good, repainted wax on them and kept them as brood, workers will still trek around it and carry anything icky into the uppers - I'm not contaminating the hive at the price of new frames and foundation. I'm really pleased though, having two hives moving to the new home will REALLY be cool :)

Oh...  Geoff said he had a great visit with you, so glad that worked out. Geoff is going for the record I think and if he makes it through the South with all them Ventrilo guys, he'll surely give Brendhan a run for his money!
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Offline Cindi

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Re: I held my swarm off for 3 weeks, today she swarmed and I got them!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 10:46:23 AM »
John, beauty!!!  It sounds like the plan went right the way it should have, hee, hee.

The queens when they are headed off with a swarm, are reduced their food intake, this reduces egg laying.  The bees need to slim down their queen so that she can fly.  If she was fat and full, she couldn't fly very well, and she might not make the swarming trip.  That is what you are most likely seeing, probably the old queen, slimmed down.  Now isn't that a nice thought, if only it was that easy for the human female to lose weight that quickly, hee, hee, good job by the way.  Have the most beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi
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