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Author Topic: New Beek-Caught my First Swarm, Need some Advice  (Read 667 times)
nordak
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« on: April 23, 2014, 10:51:56 PM »

I am excited to say I am about to begin my journey into beekeeping, one of my TBH swarm traps has met with success and I appear to have a now occupied TBH nuc. I am a little worried about the hive not being completely level though for fear of cross comb.  I noticed today, day 3 after move in by my estimation, that there were a few workers bringing pollen in.  By few, I mean maybe 1 in 30 bees.  Is it possible they have built brood comb that quickly and the queen is laying?  Would it be safe for me to move them to the main hive by, say, Sunday,if they moved in Monday without worry of absconding? Any advice would be appreciated. Very excited about my new, beautiful bees!  Smiley
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vmmartin
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 10:58:02 PM »

A fresh swarm can amaze you at how quickly they can build comb.  Their very survival depends on it.  They bring in pollen for baby food.  I would not me concerned about moving them.  I usually wait until pollen is coming in before I move my traps as well.  IMO if they are building and she is laying, then she has fattened up because of their feeding her post swarm.  Hope you have success.
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nordak
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 11:06:12 PM »

A fresh swarm can amaze you at how quickly they can build comb.  Their very survival depends on it.  They bring in pollen for baby food.  I would not me concerned about moving them.  I usually wait until pollen is coming in before I move my traps as well.  IMO if they are building and she is laying, then she has fattened up because of their feeding her post swarm.  Hope you have success.


Thank you. It appears to be a very large, healthy swarm with all of the activity surrounding the nuc. Seeing the constant stream of bees going in and out brings a smile to my face no matter how many times I walk down the road to check on them.  When I saw the pollen being brought in, I got very excited. I think I'll make Sunday move in day.
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 12:21:11 AM »

Your bars in the nuc and the hive will interchange I guess.  Move them over and give them some extra empty bars and a follower board.  My TBH is wide enough inside/bottom that I put an entrance feeder inside the hive.  As they fill the hive with comb keep them a few empty bars.  This spring I put some new bars just inward of the brood, and they built comb and the queen had more room.  Good luck to you and your bees.  So far I haven't put up any swarm traps.  I have just caught swarms in trees, shook them out, and put them in a hive.  I think I am going to make some traps also.  Enough rambling.  Hope the best for you




Joe
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nordak
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 01:41:47 AM »

Your bars in the nuc and the hive will interchange I guess.  Move them over and give them some extra empty bars and a follower board.  My TBH is wide enough inside/bottom that I put an entrance feeder inside the hive.  As they fill the hive with comb keep them a few empty bars.  This spring I put some new bars just inward of the brood, and they built comb and the queen had more room.  Good luck to you and your bees.  So far I haven't put up any swarm traps.  I have just caught swarms in trees, shook them out, and put them in a hive.  I think I am going to make some traps also.  Enough rambling.  Hope the best for you




Joe

Thanks Joe. Yeah, I basically built miniatures of the main hive with the same inside dimensions. I'm hoping the transition goes smoothly and the bees like their new home. Swarm trapping is a lot of fun. I spent hours watching scouts go from this trap to the next. I've still got 4 traps out, and it's early, so I may be getting more bees than I bargained for if this was any indication of how well they work.
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RayMarler
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 03:53:56 AM »

I would think it might be a bit disruptive to the bees to be transferring the bars over to a full box if the bees are festooning, actively drawing comb. I think I would be inspecting to see that most comb is mostly drawn before I would move them to a larger box. I must say I've not run any top bar hives myself though so take my thinking with a spoon of salt and do as you feel best.
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Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
nordak
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2014, 10:39:19 AM »

I would think it might be a bit disruptive to the bees to be transferring the bars over to a full box if the bees are festooning, actively drawing comb. I think I would be inspecting to see that most comb is mostly drawn before I would move them to a larger box. I must say I've not run any top bar hives myself though so take my thinking with a spoon of salt and do as you feel best.

Hi Ray,

I have a follower board for the main hive which will essentially block access to the full body cavity, reducing the size of the hive to the approximate length of the trap. This is my first go at it, and I'm a bit nervous about the transition myself. Saw more pollen going in this morning so I'm feeling fairly confident in that area...the queen must be laying.  From everything I've read, they won't abandon their babies under normal conditions. Sunday looks like storms, so transfer day may be Saturday. Will probably be moving the trap tomorrow night. 
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HomeSteadDreamer
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2014, 11:48:23 AM »

Congratz.  I don't see any problem with transferring Saturday. 
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nordak
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2014, 08:36:31 PM »

That's reassuring. Going to move them to the hive location tonight, let them acclimate tomorrow and transfer Saturday. Very excited.
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HomeSteadDreamer
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2014, 07:52:54 AM »

Just me (and I don't have more than one location so take with salt) I'd only more and transfer the same day/time.  You're saying your going to move them.  Have them reorient, get over the move then transfer them.  Unless the transfer will have the new box in the same exact spot with and opening then they have to go back through reorient and such.  Maybe one of the more experienced trapper will happen by.  I have captured swarms but not by trapping so I really can claim any expertise.
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nordak
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 01:33:55 PM »

Just me (and I don't have more than one location so take with salt) I'd only more and transfer the same day/time.  You're saying your going to move them.  Have them reorient, get over the move then transfer them.  Unless the transfer will have the new box in the same exact spot with and opening then they have to go back through reorient and such.  Maybe one of the more experienced trapper will happen by.  I have captured swarms but not by trapping so I really can claim any expertise.

I see exactly what you're talking about. I have lots of bees trying to figure out where they are today. I think I'm going to do the transfer this afternoon, as I completely see your point. I guess there is no learning tool better than going through the experience yourself.  Going to take a deep breath before I go in, move with patience, and try to make the transition as painless as possible for me and the girls. Starting to realize there are not enough you tube videos to prepare you for the actual thing. As I had my trap on my shoulder, carrying it the 200 yards back to the hive site, all I could think was "please don't drop it!"  Excited to see what's going on in there.
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nordak
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2014, 10:30:44 PM »

Ok, so I thought the transfer went really well yesterday. The bees had drawn two really nice straight combs, about hand length and hand width at it's widest, classic miniature KTBH trapezoid. For only 5 days work, I was amazed at the progress. It appeared all the bees seemed to find their way to the main hive after the transfer before dark. I went to bed about as happy as a new beek could be. 

Today was a different, confusing matter. Bees seemed frantic, hovering around outside of the entrance this morning. Some seemed to be going about their work, others just buzzed around seeming confused. As the day progressed, I noticed that there were a TON of bees moving in and out of another swarm trap I'd placed not far from the hive the captured swarm is housed. While the scene at the swarm trap seemed chaotic, I noticed the hive had settled down a bit, looking more like a hive should, flying in and out in normal hive behavior. There was only the occasional bee carrying pollen back to the hive though, which concerned me. There are really two scenarios that I can see: the bees are about to abscond to the swarm trap OR I am about to capture a different swarm. I'd say the activity at both were equal, only the hive much calmer than the trap. Any ideas?  I guess worse case scenario, I catch my own bees (again) and try to re-hive after a little more time.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 10:42:23 PM by nordak » Logged
HomeSteadDreamer
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2014, 07:36:31 AM »

the hovering is their reorienting.  Just me but I wouldn't have the trap back in place for at least a week so they can settle in.  Some maybe returning to their 'old' location.  As long as the queen stays it should be ok though.
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Buzzlightyear
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2014, 11:46:59 PM »

Good job homesteadreamer.
If you don't mind telling, what do you put in your traps for lure?
I found a hive in a wall of an old farmstead house on my in-laws property. Looks like they wintered well (Alberta). I would like to leave the bees in where they are but would liker to set up some swarm traps near them to see if I can capture some. I picked up some lemongrass oil today.
Stephen
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