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Author Topic: Ooooooops!  (Read 1698 times)
SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« on: September 05, 2009, 04:05:29 AM »

I had a call yesterday from a bloke who said he had a swarm hanging off a car port. It had been there overnight. He said that it was fairly big.. ooooops he should have said pretty big.

Anyhow I rocked up with my catching gear, cardboard box, styrofoam vax, and a deep.... oooops should have taken more boxes.. it was the biggest swarm I had ever seen shocked

It was hanging just as he said from a car port about 7' off the ground. It looked a nice swarm... around 12-14" in diameter cone shaped and about 15-18" deep.

So I got the cardboard box underneath it and pressed it up over the swarm.. ok everything looked fine. Then I gave the support a wrap.... oooooops!

The swarm fell into the box with a thump, the box went off balance and fell to the ground and suddenly I had thousands of angry bees.

Talk about angry! I was glad that I had a veil on and was wearing long pants and a long sleeved pullover.

Captain Courageous to the rescue, I gathered all that were not flying and taped the box up, then scooped the rest of the swarm into the deep, then I vacuumed the rest into the styro box. Never the less my hands look like those of a cabbage patch doll and I have some quite red spots where they got in through the leg of my pants before I taped them up. Reckon I got about 30-40 stings.

Got them home and tipped them into the deep and put frames of foundation in with them.

Ha! Gotcha!

2 hours later the ungrateful wretches swarmed again. They landed in my mandarin tree. So I boxed them again only to realise that they
didn't have enough room in 1 deep so luckily I had one more deep that I put on top with a few more frames... ran out of frames.... ooops

Anyhow to cut a long story short, they must be happy and I must have queenie. They are flying today and seem happy enough this evening... it is now going on dusk now.

Well a few lessons from this expedition. I have had about 1/2 dozen calls for swarms and I have run out or resources and space and it is only the 4th day of spring. I am going to have to take my name off the swarm list for a while.. can't cope with what I am getting.

I am thinking that this swarm must be from a feral colony from a tree or something like that as it is too big to have come from a hive. Most beeks that I know here use queen excluders over the top of the brood box so I don't think it came from there.

Would be interested to know your thoughts

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
kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 07:43:28 PM »

sounds like a nice catch.  you got the queen? 

i have taken to putting a queen excluder between the bottom board and the first deep for swarms.  that advice was given here and while i have never lost a swarm, it seemed like a reasonable precaution to take.

also, i always take double the amount of stuff i think i'll need.  i always take to boxes....just in case.  i do it for swarms and for cutouts.  very often, one cutout turns into two.
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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
vermmy35
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 10:29:15 PM »

Nice Mick, so did you get any pictures of it.
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JP
The Swarm King
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 10:52:21 PM »

Well reat job Mr. Stingy! grin Spray them down good next time with plain old water mate, then get 'em in a box. Bring some cardboard boxes, keep them at bay, like the ones I use, office boxes: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/VPNNAzz2PCdKIiXwD5YgTQ?feat=directlink

If you cage the queen you can keep them in the box at least a few days until you build woodenware or decide what to do with them.


...JP
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My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 10:57:29 PM »

Thanks for the advice JP. Fortunately I had enough capture boxes it was just the wooden ware when I go them home. Didn't get to see the queen nor did I go looking for her. After I dropped them I just concentrated on getting them boxed up in a hurry

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
SlickMick
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 10:58:09 PM »

No I didn't, Vermmy. The last thing I think about is my camera and then that is usually when I get to the swarm.

Glad to advise that my hands have gone down now although there is a bit of puffyness still in my arms.

The girls have settled in and I am seeing the occasional bee with pollen trooping into the hive. The swarm filled 13 deep frames so I have no idea where they came from, but I am sure glad that I managed to get them back. I had a look through the hive yesterday and although I didn't see queenie or any eggs I would be surprised if she wasn't there.. there were just too many bees covering the frames, they had drawn out the foundation and were building comb on the foundationless frames.

I have the entrance fully open and they are using the full entrance not without some congestion. I hope they are as good on the honey production as their wax efforts are.

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
SlickMick
Field Bee
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2009, 05:18:27 AM »

This group of ladies are hardly ladies

They are a bit stingie.... takes a bit of smoke to settle them down and this is one colony that I get all dressed up for

Have now got a super on and it is almost filled with nectar. Another super goes on tomorrow

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
Lone
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2009, 07:04:39 AM »

I could feel your pain.
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David LaFerney
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Location: Cookeville, TN - U.S.A.


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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2009, 08:35:17 AM »

Sounds like a good problem to have.  You should consider throwing together some top bar hives - quicker and cheaper to build - or finding another bee keeper who will trade some wooden ware for bees, or just loan it to you.  Hive them into empty barrels with a piece of plywood on top - something!

Sorry about those stings - bet you don't do that again for a while.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
SlickMick
Field Bee
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 08:29:12 AM »

Yes David I have thought of making a tbh or 2 for this sort of eventuality. I dont really intend to grow my bees any further as I think the Treasurer and Commander in Chief would have a rope around my neck really quickly  tongue

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
SlickMick
Field Bee
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Posts: 590


Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2009, 07:16:41 AM »

Well those ladies (who said they were ladies?) are really stingie. From my 2 visits into the hive they are really objecting to my presence. Went in today to put a new bottom board in with an oil trap for shb.. they didn't like that at all.. poped the lid and immediately a couple of stings. Full gear on... NOW.. plenty of smoke.. water spray.. all totally ineffective! By the time I got the super off and had removed the brood box, each time I went to the hive they were rising in hoards to meet me. With my other hives I can do a full inspection with only a veil so this is a bit of a new experience.

Heaps of Honey in the super although not fully capped and the brood frames were full of capped brood. One very active queen by the looks but throwing progeny that I would rather not have in terms of docility. I am tempted to nip the head off the queen but she seems to have a really great capacity to get a strong hive working hard.

How is this for aggressive towards the shb? There were about 20 shb on the floor of the hive and the bees were chasing them all over the place trying to sting them. It was hard to give the shb the blunt edge of the hive tool without killing a couple of bees at the same time.

Glad that I installed the trap. Hopefully that might quieten them down a bit

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
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