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Author Topic: Two swarm calls in one day  (Read 1299 times)
Moonshae
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« on: May 16, 2008, 09:29:46 AM »

Got a call around 4 pm, a guy had a "soccer-ball sized" swarm in his tree, about 12 feet up. He had a ladder I could use to get to them. He was mowing his lawn when the bees came roaring in...he said he ran for the house! I got them boxed up, eventually...the branches were close together and it was hard to get my box under the swarm, but patience pays off.

I got home, and started building frames...I didn't have any extras made up, the swarm calls have been coming too fast (4 collected in two weeks, plus a cut out, and a few packages installed). Then I had to run and get food for the dogs, and I got another call...but it was just too far for me to collect, so I referred it to the NJBA, figuring there was a closer beek who would be able to get them. Plus, my swarm box was still occupied, and I didn't have anything around to whip up a second one.

Today is a rainy day, I don't expect any calls. I did manage to begin to combine the swarm with one of my recently hived packages this morning before work. Everybody was pretty calm despite the early hour and the weather.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 10:06:05 AM »

Out of equipment too. I refuse to combine feral genetics w/ my other stock so I am not combining if i confirm a feral queen is present. I give all hanging swarms 10 days to see if a queen appears. So far, all have queens.
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 10:57:00 AM »

KONASDAD you have done a lot of swarms this year.  question:  have you had your swarms fill the brood area with stores before one of your queens started laying?  i wrote earlier about one of mine.  it seems to have either swarmed with a virgin queen, or the queen is lost....or is just slow getting started.  at one week i see no sign of laying and they are storing nectar in the middle of the frames.

from what you have observed, do you think i should be worried, or should wait.  MB suggested that it was possibly an after swarm with a virgin queen.  i am waiting a bit, but these are really nice bees and i don't want to lose them.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
KONASDAD
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 11:20:27 AM »

KONASDAD you have done a lot of swarms this year.  question:  have you had your swarms fill the brood area with stores before one of your queens started laying?  i wrote earlier about one of mine.  it seems to have either swarmed with a virgin queen, or the queen is lost....or is just slow getting started.  at one week i see no sign of laying and they are storing nectar in the middle of the frames.

from what you have observed, do you think i should be worried, or should wait.  MB suggested that it was possibly an after swarm with a virgin queen.  i am waiting a bit, but these are really nice bees and i don't want to lose them.

I had similar questions initially. They immediately start to forage and build comb almost within hrs as i use undrawn foundation. First they start storing nectar. Then some pollen. They all act queen right initially which was confusing at first. I usually dont see queen for a few days either. Maybe she is out mating I dont know. It takes about ten or 15 days until i see eggs too. If I dont find a queen in ten days, i have been inspceting daily for another thre or four days and check out situation. If i still dont see a queen, I take a frame of eggs from another feral and give to nuc. So far, I did this twice, but a queen showed up before these eggs were used. I must have missed queen i guess. One of my cutouts has failed to raise a queen succesfully despite numerous frames of eggs and queen cells. I even saw a queen on frame but she must have died on mating flight. I may have to combine this one after the rain lets up.
So I would add a frame of eggs if you think maybe thay are queenless. If they need them, they are there, if not, they raise a few extra workers had been my method. hope this helps. I too get impatient for queens to make their presence known. It takes a little longer than I thought, but so far, most have queens that show up eventually. None have used the eggs i gave them as well.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 01:56:22 PM »

Out of equipment too. I refuse to combine feral genetics w/ my other stock so I am not combining if i confirm a feral queen is present. I give all hanging swarms 10 days to see if a queen appears. So far, all have queens.

I considered picking out the queen from the packaged hive and nixing her, but since the weather is not good and I was doing this before work, I wanted to minimize my intrusion. As my equipment expands, I hope to further develop my native captured stock and reduce my trucked-up-from-Georgia stock. Not that I have anything against Georgia, but it sure is different than New Jersey. I suspect that over time, the "native" stock will survive better anyway.
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"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 03:19:31 PM »

i'll give them another few days and check again.  if no sign of a queen, i'll add a frame of eggs.  thanks for the info.  i think i'm done for the year unless i get a swarm call that is to simple to pass up  smiley  i like these little swarm colonies also, but i fear mine are mostly from pollination hives.  that's why i want to keep this tree swarm hive intact if i can.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
KONASDAD
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 03:47:31 PM »

I like my nucs too. My first hive was a full deep. Nucs are so easy. No smoke, equipment and i can usually find queen after she start laying. its also neat to see them draw comb, festooning, and just expanding right before your eyes. so docile as well.

I also want to be off the mail order bees. so far, i have never purchased a package or southern nuc, just some queens from Purvis. They haven't been as productive as i was hoping. My locally bred Minn hygenics are far more productive, but need more stores and some mite meds(apiguard), but very productive. Huge egg layers too. I really want to maintain my feral lines, add some good bees from other yards and start doing some overwintered nucs for sale next spring. My ferals were actually flying today when it stopped raining for five minutes. I havent fed them either.

hope to catch a few more swarms as some people have given me nucs to fill for them and 4 people have called me about selling some nucs. I wasn't planning to this year, but i might as there are more new beeks this year and not a lot of bees locally.
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DennisB
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 07:10:56 PM »

While at the Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Assn meeting the other night all of the talk was about the large number of swarms and call for them this year. We have had a very wet winter and spring and everything has taken off with abandon. I guess this is the best news in a long time, a lot of swarms. That means that the feral colonies are healthy or the domesticated populations are strong. Way to go bees!!!!!!

DennisB
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