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Author Topic: A Swarm in a Possum Box  (Read 8293 times)
SlickMick
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« on: May 02, 2009, 06:46:18 AM »

I had a call a while ago from a bloke who had a swarm in a possom box that he wanted removed. Because he lived close I thought I would go around and have a look at it straight away. The box was suspended in a tree about 6' off the ground and the entry hole was full of bees so I decided to go around after dark and remove the box, bring it home and empty it into a nuc the next morning. Apart from taking it down from the tree all I had to do was fix a bit of plywood over the entry hole and the job's done. cheesy

Well when I lifted the lid off the possum box it was jam packed with comb and bees so in some ways it was a bit more than removing a swarm, more like a mini cutout.



The comb was attached to both the top of the box and two sides so the comb separated when the lid was removed.



The girls were quite the proper ladies nice and docile and happy to have a bronzed Aussie male with them.



The outer comb was quite small but it still had brood in it. The inner comb was much larger and quite filled with brood and around the edges honey and pollen. Not a lot of stores so I may have to feed them this year. The queen came with the box and I have combined this hive with the bees from 2 smaller swarms such that they now fill out a 10 frame deep. Going into winter they are still bringing in nectar and pollen and working hard although I expect to see them slow down as the weather cools. Our lowest is around 46 so they should be flying all year. Fortunately we see quite a lot of blossom in the surrounding suburb and this usually keeps them going over the colder months.



So there you have it. The girls are happy, the queen is doing well, the SHB is under control and I’m happy too

Mick

PS I reconstructed the possom box and took it back to the donors in the knowledge that next season I may well have another swarm to deal with.  cool

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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 07:14:03 AM »

Nice catch there, thats a ready made nuc. I do have a question tho, what do you do with a possum box. up here we don't really care for possums. in fact they get removed, , or terminated.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 07:23:08 AM »

Over here possums are protected wild life even though they inhabit the cities and use the overhead cables for highways. They used to be trapped for the fir trade. I dont think that they are endangered. People often put possum boxes up in trees to provide homes for them rather than have them build in your eaves or getting into the roof cavity. As you can see the boxes also make ideal homes for the occasional swarm. Going to build some for next spring and see if I can increase the number of girls working for me. rolleyes
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Shawn
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 01:26:49 PM »

Very nice catch. Wow, I never would have thoguht a possum would be a protected animal. I guess it depends where you live and how many you have there. Again nice photos.
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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 03:37:48 PM »

That was great luck getting all those bees and comb, definitely like a mini nuc.
Yuck, possums give me the heebie jeebies, they look like giant rats, and those teeth.. 
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asprince
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 04:02:32 PM »

I have know people to eat them! They say it DOES NOT taste like chicken. In fact I am told that it tastes like pork.

I will just have to take their word for it.

Steve
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Natalie
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2009, 09:33:33 PM »

Eeww, I can't imagine anything that ugly tasting good.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2009, 10:20:26 PM »

Natalie,

In the early days of settlement it was good bush tucker along with 'roo stew and roast goanna. And its skin kept you warm at night.

We see them quite often around here and although I have no thoughts of eating one I can imagine that the old bushman of days gone by would have enjoyed possum pie  shocked when there was nothing else to eat.

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
poka-bee
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 12:38:05 AM »

I'm thinking the Aussie possum are different than the ones here?  Natalie, they smell awful & drool too, nasty critters. Their little ears are cute though.  I guess I would eat one if I was hungry enough, definately to feed the family. Wouldn't take much effort to catch or shoot & plenty of em around.  J
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SlickMick
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 02:29:10 AM »

I dont know what your possums look like in the US, but ours are quite endearing as you can see


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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Robo
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 07:44:38 AM »

Two different buggers  Possum vs. Opossum




Opossum are actually very important and known as nature's little Sanitation Engineers as they are opportunistic eaters and help to maintain a clean and healthy environment. They eat all types of insects, including cockroaches, crickets, beetles, etcetera. They catch and eat rats, roof rats, mice, and they consume dead animals. They think snails and slugs are a delicacy.
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asprince
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009, 08:45:16 AM »

I saw one crawl out of a dead cow once. Honest!

Steve
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Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan
SlickMick
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2009, 08:57:08 AM »

At least ours are vegetarians  grin

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Shawn
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2009, 03:24:04 PM »

I like the looks of theirs over ours!
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poka-bee
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2009, 04:52:08 PM »

Aussie's are cuter.  EEWWW, dead cow...I don't like em cause they are part of the life cycle & help spread  Equine protozoal meliencephilitis,(I don't remember how to spell it exactly) or "possum poop disease".  If your horse gets it it's awful.  Now I don't have a horse so can cut em some slack I guess! J
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Natalie
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2009, 09:02:56 PM »

Mick yours are much different than ours. Big eyes and ears, longer tail and a smooth coat.
I see the ones around here scurry across the street sometimes and they just creep me out, its their pale faces with the pink skin and razor looking teeth.
Yours look a little like baby kangaroos.
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asprince
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2009, 09:14:52 PM »

Natalie,

Baby possums make good pets. (or play things) Then they grow up.

Steve
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Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan
SlickMick
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2009, 09:20:39 PM »

Mick yours are much different than ours. Big eyes and ears, longer tail and a smooth coat.
I see the ones around here scurry across the street sometimes and they just creep me out, its their pale faces with the pink skin and razor looking teeth.
Yours look a little like baby kangaroos.

Interestingly, Natalie, they are marsupials like the kangaroo and carry their young in a pouch or when they are a little older on their backs. It is lovely to watch mum and offspring running up and down the cable wires as they wander the neighbourhood
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Natalie
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2009, 09:28:39 PM »

Yeah Steve I keep finding the same thing happens with kids too.
They are so good and sweet when they are little and then they grow into teenagers. grin

Mick that is cute! I hadn't realized there were other animals that carried their young in pouches.
I could definitely enjoy seeing those around.
I usually enjoy all our wildlife and I don't even mind the bats that fly around the yard at night when we are sitting by the campfire but those possums just bother me.
Its just the way they scurry across the street and when you stop the car for them they stop and look at you for a couple of seconds and they have that pasty skin and pointy teeth.
Ferrets make me uncomfortable too even though most people find them so cute.
My sister has them for pets and they sneak up on you, thats probably what really bothers me is the way they just appear out of nowhere.
Like if you are sitting on the couch the next thing you know this thing is hanging over your shoulder.
One time I left her house and got to my car and felt my totebag moving.
I peered inside and one of her ferrets had crawled into my bag.
If I had ever been driving home and that thing had crawled out of my bag ............
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asprince
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2009, 09:34:39 PM »

I think our possums are marsupials as well. They also carry their young in a pouch. Must be cousins.

Steve
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Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan
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