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Author Topic: Odor of hive prior to swarm  (Read 1342 times)
bigskybee
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« on: May 03, 2005, 12:43:05 AM »

Do pardon me, but I'm a stealth user of this website, and have contributed very little.  I do have question for general audience that I don't find answers to when searching other beekeeping sites.  Today my one year old, thriving hive swarmed.  I knew even with limited expereince and a lot of reading, that the hive had a tremendous amount of bees and with queen cups forming I was at risk.  (I had planned to split the hive on May 9th when new queen arrives).  I successfully gathered the swarm up from 19' high apricot tree in yard while perched on a very vertical old oak rung ladder.  Based on experience with package bees (3 lbs.) I estimate 25,000 bees were dropped in the bucket and trfrd to deep box.  My question: the past week the odor from the hive has been stronger and stronger smelling fermented or a winey smell.  DOes the smell indicate a swarm is 'brewing'-(sorry no pun intended.)  Then 2nd question: in one week's time (when new queen arrives), should I requeen original hive, or the new hive--thus can I get fair indication in one week whether produced queen is vital?  Thanks for your help--this is the most interesting and dynamic of all beekeeping sites!
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2005, 04:22:37 AM »

The smell might indicate ferminting honey. Check for bubbling in honey cells.

You will have a brand new queen in the old hive, why replace her? After she emerges from cell it will probably take more than one week for her to get mated and start laying really well.

How old is the old queen? Is she still going strong?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2005, 09:46:42 AM »

>I knew even with limited expereince and a lot of reading, that the hive had a tremendous amount of bees and with queen cups forming I was at risk.

Not at risk at all.  Guarenteed to swarm under those circumstatnce at this time of year.

Why buy a queen?  They are in the middle of making some wonderful queens for you.

>My question: the past week the odor from the hive has been stronger and stronger smelling fermented or a winey smell. DOes the smell indicate a swarm is 'brewing'-(sorry no pun intended.)

Is it like a lemon pledge smell with something else in the background?  If so that's nasonove phermone.  If it's actually fermented smell, I'd look and make sure there aren't SHB or something else.

>Then 2nd question: in one week's time (when new queen arrives), should I requeen original hive, or the new hive--thus can I get fair indication in one week whether produced queen is vital?

I've never seen a swarm queen that wasn't vital.  I'd put the new queen in a two frame nuc with some bees and keep her for emergencies.
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Michael Bush
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bigskybee
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2005, 11:01:21 AM »

Response to JErrymac and Michael Bush:  I will check for fermenting honey, sounds like a stretch, but could be.  Odor is still present with old hive.  HOw would you describe the "...something in the background" on top of lemon pledge smell?  (Will digital technology in the future be able to digitize odor as has been done with sound?!)  Re: queen, my ignorance, I previously thought newly emerged queen went with swarm.  Queen that went out is one yr. old Carniolan came w/ pkg bees last May.  Queen has been ordered for a month arrives May 9th-- REason to put queen in old is time lost on hive production.  However, I will consider nuc idea.  Another question, will keeping these two hives in one location create problems (because I assume old hive is currently queenless until she hatches) within the next several weeks, or should I move one offsite?  thanks for help.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2005, 08:53:37 PM »

>HOw would you describe the "...something in the background" on top of lemon pledge smell?

Hard to say exactly.   Maybe sweat.

> (Will digital technology in the future be able to digitize odor as has been done with sound?!)

That would be nice.

>REason to put queen in old is time lost on hive production.

If they swarmed there's not much time between when the old queen leaves and the new queen is laying.

>Another question, will keeping these two hives in one location create problems (because I assume old hive is currently queenless until she hatches) within the next several weeks, or should I move one offsite?

Why?  I don't see a problem.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
bigskybee
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2005, 11:15:58 AM »

I had thought queenless hive might drift to new hive.  Guess not.  FOr the record, per recent beginning beekeeper's class at MT State U, no record of small hive beetle (SHB) in MT at this time.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2005, 11:23:32 AM »

What makes you think you have a queenless hive?
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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