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Author Topic: Swarm absconded  (Read 1271 times)
patook
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« on: May 08, 2009, 03:08:35 PM »

I hived a swarm last Saturday and today I see that they have absconded.  They had no brood, but did manage to drink a half gallon of syrup. Allot of the syrup was being stored in comb. Not sure what I did wrong, but here are my thoughts:

Should I have put a queen excluder between the hive body and the BB?

Perhaps the frames with damaged comb was a turn off for them? I reused some frames where it looked like a mouse had destroyed about half the comb.

Whats worse is that I was going to requeen because I suspected AHB, now I have a likely AHB hive nearby.


 huh
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2009, 03:36:00 PM »



the excluder might have worked, but i usually remove them in a couple or 3  days.  your hive swarmed at almost a week.

i guess i wouldn't worry about the AHB as much.  if you caught the swarm in the area and it was AHB, you have it around already.

comb damage was not an issue.  wonder if mouse urine might be, but don't know about that.

no eggs?  might you have missed the queen when you caught the swarm?  even so, i have hived queenless swarms that stayed.

sometimes it just goes like that.  they do their own thing in spite of our plans.
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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
patook
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2009, 03:56:31 PM »

I did see the queen a few days ago.  She was walking around climbing over bees without any attendants.  It looked like she was trying to find a spot to lay.

I was even feeding them HBH in the syrup which has lemongrass.
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patook
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2009, 08:28:38 PM »

My daughter found the swarm about 100 feet away in the grass on a pile of sand.  I went around the property looking in the trees but not on the ground like that. The girls are back home with a queen excluder. I plan to requeen in a few days once they settle down.

Here is a pic
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3204/3513539427_2fab21c35e_b.jpg
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 12:13:14 AM by patook » Logged

patook
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009, 12:22:24 AM »

well, I put them back in the same hive body but changed some of the frames out.  I really hope they stay this time, but since I don't know why they left, I am not sure what to change. Perhaps the screened BB makes them feel vulnerable. Should I swap it out for a closed BB?

They have both a boardman and beemax top-feeder this time, so I hope they stay.

I do have a queen excluder on the bottom this time, but a swarm queen might be able to get through it right? Especially if it is a feral hive and raised on small cell.

Any advice is appreciated.
 
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2009, 12:32:33 AM »

near as i can tell, you have done what you can do.  they sometimes do what they want to do in spite of your best efforts.
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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
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2009, 11:22:01 AM »

They may not like that screened bottom board if you have it open. You may want to close the screen off for awhile until they get used to things... I have been told to never install a new package on a open SBB so maybe thing goes for swarms.Then again . who knows huh
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2009, 08:13:25 PM »

I know the feeling! My newest trick is using the excluder to keet the queen in...In 2 weeks Ive caught 3 swarms( mostly likely from  my own hives)..My last one, I did like always, using the excluder, shaking the limb, getting covered in bees, and then watching the bees go into the hive box....But, the other day, my most recent catch was Jumping Ship!! shocked..They flew up into a tree limb and piled on...Then after awhile, they all flew back into the box....Then, the next day after work..... Sad..well....They were all gone..I couldnt find them anywhere.
But, I coulda done more, like give them built comb...Or used pledge like the first two before this one...But, 2 out of 3 so far isnt bad! I even had a call from entomol,ogy telling me about a swarm they left for me to catch out on the flitline....on a fireplug...But, when i got there it had turned from a basketball to a palm full of bees...I could smell bugspray.... Cry....Somebody went out there, sprayed them, and then stomped on them( I found the mashed piles of bodies and some of the few survivors had mashed stomachs and broken wings)
But like Kathy says, you did what you could....Sometimes they stay and sometimes they bail...
Ive been so excited about swarms now that I ordered 10 inner covers and 10 feeders, and 72 bottles...Im even wondering if I'm gonna run outta stuff!
Dont worry...theyre'll be more coming your way!

your friend,
john
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 12:05:47 AM »

This is just me, but I kept the queen excluder on my swarm hive until I found eggs.  I'm not sure if there's any benefit to taking it off after only a couple of days, maybe someone else can answer that, but I thought it a good idea to keep it on until I knew they had a definite reason and plan to stay.
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patook
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 01:43:59 AM »

Thanks Johnny. I have an excluder on there now and I used HBH which I would think would be better then pledge. I am in the process of requeening, so lets hope that and the screened bottom board work. I simply put the screened BB on a piece of sheetrock to close the space it. After they dig in and call the place home, I can remove the sheetrock without much fuss.


BTW: I see you are almost a neighbor. I do some work up in the hospital up there.

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patook
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 01:47:14 AM »

This is just me, but I kept the queen excluder on my swarm hive until I found eggs.  I'm not sure if there's any benefit to taking it off after only a couple of days, maybe someone else can answer that, but I thought it a good idea to keep it on until I knew they had a definite reason and plan to stay.

My concern is that the queen slims down to swarm and may be able to fit through the excluder. Especially if they are a feral hive and are therefore small cell. Anyone have thoughts on small cell and an excluder?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 02:37:04 AM »

I always install packages and swarms in hives with solid bottom boards.  Many swarm don't take to SBB unless the swarm came from such a hive.  After a week to 10 days it's okay to use the SBB, or remove the mite board.  Closing the mite board on and SBB is the same as using solid bottom.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2009, 04:10:12 AM »

My concern is that the queen slims down to swarm and may be able to fit through the excluder. Especially if they are a feral hive and are therefore small cell. Anyone have thoughts on small cell and an excluder?

That could be, but if that's the case, then it would at worst be the same as not having an excluder.  Since the worst case is the same as the alternative, I would go ahead and leave it on until they have some brood in there, just in case it does make a difference.
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2009, 08:00:48 AM »

I lost a swarm yesterday as well.  I put them in a 5-frame nuc box.  They stayed for a day, and I could see them out foraging, however last night, when I went to check on their syrup level, they were all gone!  They had comb drawn with syrup in it, but no eggs yet.  Oh well, I guess there will be more swarm calls, and I'm building up the population of feral bees.  Just think... in a few years I'll be trapping wild swarms without having to drive for miles to pick them up!

justgojumpit
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2009, 08:14:09 PM »

hey Patook! I wouldnt doubt we'll run into each other then eventually! It seems I'm always in the hospital for something or another anymore!
We'll talk again soon!

your friend,
john
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