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Author Topic: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)  (Read 1657 times)

Offline tlynn

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So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« on: May 10, 2009, 10:54:06 AM »
What timing - I got up this morning and went into the dining room to take a look at the hives and the back yard was a cloud of bees slowly making their way up to the very top of my grapefruit, a good 30 feet up.  I am not too worried about getting them, at least where they are.  I am out of woodenware - no more deeps other than supers and my nucs are full except I have some undrawn frames.  Could I put out a file folder box with some frames inside and just set it out there?  There isn't any way to get even close to them as they are at the top of the tree hanging onto the topmost branches. 

I see a lot of posts from new folks thinking their bees are swarming.  Watching this one reminds me how different swarm flying is.  To me the swarm departure is very specific flying - fast wide darting, sort of chaotic.  Bees all in the air in similar volume.  Bees everywhere.  Orientation flights are lazy circles staring to close to the hive, kind of hovering closeby, then eventually heading back in or out.  The concentration of bees is always in the vicinity of the hive with orientation flights.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 12:12:38 AM by tlynn »

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 11:04:56 AM »
Oh yea, and of course they pick a Sunday when all the neighbors are home and will be out by the pool grilling!

Offline chad

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 11:38:12 AM »
use a bee-vac to get them.put a 20 foot section of pvc pipe on the end of your hose.

Offline asprince

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 01:20:00 PM »
I got one this year that was so high that I had to stand on a ladder on top of some boards on top of a ladder rack on a truck and then use 12 to 15 feet of extensions on my bee vac. They hung on that limb for five days of heavy rain before I could figure out a way to get them.

Steve   
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

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 02:39:26 PM »
This morning they decided to move down to a branch about 8 feet up.  I freed up a nuc and put in a full frame of brood and a foll frame of honey.  We delicately cut the branch and knocked them into the nuc and after a few minutes everybody was out on the front porch and I thought they didn't want to stay, or maybe my queen spilled out.  My wife moved the branch over in front of the entrance and shortly afterward they moved back in and now field bees are coming and going.  Is there anything else I should do for them?  The swarm was scarcely larger than my fist.  That's why I gave them the brood and honey.  It's hard to imagine so few bees getting established to make a new colony, but I'm sure they know what they are doing!

Offline asprince

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 06:56:28 PM »
I would reduce the entrance. It could be an after swarm with a virgin queen. Did you see her? If not give them a couple of days to settle in and then take a look.

Steve
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

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 08:23:06 PM »
Yes, I blocked the entrance down to a couple inches.  It's now early evening and they are still coming and going, so hopefully they are settling in and building comb.  I did not see the queen.  Didn't look for her.  The swarm was so small and I knocked every bee from the branch directly into the hive with one tap.  I didn't think I missed her.  Except I thought she might have run outside when everybody was out on the side of the hive.

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 09:48:23 PM »
Also I moved the branch tonight and noticed they had already started building comb on the bottom of it.  They couldn't have been there for more than a few hours this morning.  Talk about building mode!

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies!
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 12:10:43 AM »
Here's the swarm, ready to go into their new apartment!  The swarm was about as big as a softball or maybe a cantaloupe.  This is my first caught swarm.  Not exactly the volume of bees I expected.  I can't really tell which hive they came from. 

They have one frame of brood - actually in the picture the other side of that frame is pretty much all capped.  This side has a lot of cleaned out cells and some eggs.  I also gave them one frame of honey and pollen.  Will a new swarm have enough house bees to feed new larvae?  The other 3 frames are foundationless.  I am eager to see how fast they draw them.

http://www.technowerkz.com/IMG_1197.JPG
http://www.technowerkz.com/IMG_1199.JPG

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009, 12:22:46 AM »
Didn't want to piggyback on somebody else's thread...question for Brian -

Probably the HBH was overdone.  Go light on it as the Pheromone in the Lemon Grass Oil is potent to a bee.  To intense of an odor will force the bees out as if it were Beegone.  The fact that you sprayed the inside of the hive with HBH tells me that you don't really understand its proper use.  It has Lemon Grass Oil as an additive and is designed to be given to the bees via sugar syrup not used in lieu of a swarm lure.

Then, too, sometimes swarms already have their new home already chosen and nothing short of a queen includer is going to keep them from it.  Sometimes they may wait several days, even draw some comb, but if they've already picked a new home say Bye Bye Bee!
If you can keep them in the box for a day, install a frame of brood to anchor the swarm.  Not honey, that they will gorge themselves on and still take off anyway.

This swarm has stayed a day and a half now and I didn't use any phermones.  I put in a frame of brood and a frame of honey.  Brian, should I pull out the honey?  How long should I leave them alone?

Offline SlickMick

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Re: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 04:04:45 AM »
So are they all in the hive or are they just still hanging there?

Mick
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

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 08:22:19 AM »
So are they all in the hive or are they just still hanging there?

Mick

They are inside as far as I know.  I see a few bees coming and going, so I assume the colony has remained.

Offline SlickMick

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Re: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2009, 08:55:18 AM »
It seems a pretty small lot of bees to be a potentially viable colony unless they are combined with another hive or unless you are able to give them some workers to keep the brood warm and have enough field bees to be able to feed the emerging bees from the brood you  gave them.

I think the path I would follow would be to give them another frame of brood and its attendant bees to try and accelerate their growth into a viable nuc.

Mick
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

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2009, 01:12:10 PM »
It seems a pretty small lot of bees to be a potentially viable colony unless they are combined with another hive or unless you are able to give them some workers to keep the brood warm and have enough field bees to be able to feed the emerging bees from the brood you  gave them.

I think the path I would follow would be to give them another frame of brood and its attendant bees to try and accelerate their growth into a viable nuc.

Mick

Yes, probably a good idea.  I looked in this morning and they are covering the one brood frame and that's about it.  Our temps are ranging 75-90F (24-32C).  Could brood actually chill without bee coverage in such temps?

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2009, 05:22:52 PM »
Didn't want to piggyback on somebody else's thread...question for Brian -

Probably the HBH was overdone.  Go light on it as the Pheromone in the Lemon Grass Oil is potent to a bee.  To intense of an odor will force the bees out as if it were Beegone.  The fact that you sprayed the inside of the hive with HBH tells me that you don't really understand its proper use.  It has Lemon Grass Oil as an additive and is designed to be given to the bees via sugar syrup not used in lieu of a swarm lure.

Then, too, sometimes swarms already have their new home already chosen and nothing short of a queen includer is going to keep them from it.  Sometimes they may wait several days, even draw some comb, but if they've already picked a new home say Bye Bye Bee!
If you can keep them in the box for a day, install a frame of brood to anchor the swarm.  Not honey, that they will gorge themselves on and still take off anyway.

This swarm has stayed a day and a half now and I didn't use any phermones.  I put in a frame of brood and a frame of honey.  Brian, should I pull out the honey?  How long should I leave them alone?


It was important to take a look at your pictures of the swarm.  That is what I call a baseball sized swarm.  They can be difficult to develop.
Since you've already place a frame of brood and a frame of honey in the hive you are already in the process of nursing this mini-swarm into a viable hive.
From the pictures I would say that you either have a virgin queen from a series of after swarms or the remanants of a swarm someone else hived.
The lack of bees coming and going from the hive is due to the small number of bees in the swarm, they must stay in the hive to tend the brood frame that was planted there.  The frame of honey is essential to their survival, do not remove it.

So assuming you want to spend the time and effort to develop this into a viable hive you need to take the following steps.

1. Inspect the hive and determine if it actually has a queen or is developing one from the brood in the frame.
2. Feed sparingly, a pint or quart container is best, a framer feeder is a good choice as long as it is a single frame wide.
3. As the bees in the frame hatches the hive will growth in strength and the bees from the swarm will begin to forage. 
5. At his point check the hive again for evidence of brood and/or queen, as well as comb building and storage.
6. Add another frame of brood, if you place it on the opposite side of the frame feeder from the existing bees you can include the nurse bees on the frame as well.  If this is done, go back in 2 days and place all the frames with brood/bees together.
7. Plan on keeping it in a nuc hive for an extended period.  Plan on building the nuc up before it is transfered to a new larger hive, that is, wait until you have 2 full 5 frame nucs of bees from this hive before transferring.  This is important because of the low bee count and required defense of the hive.  Use an entrance reducer to 1".
8. It might be necessary to add one more frame of brood, depending a lot on how weather affects foraging, and the industry of the queen.

That is how you successfully turn a morsel into a cake.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline tlynn

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Re: So long ladies! (actually looks like they are gonna stay)
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2009, 12:31:46 AM »
Thanks very much Brian.  Sure, I might just as well see if they can grow into a hive, so I'll do all that.  I'll inspect Saturday and post results.

Tracy

 

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