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Author Topic: 5.15.2010 Swarm  (Read 1207 times)
skflyfish
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« on: May 17, 2010, 03:36:41 PM »

Here is video of my foray at catching a swarm that was plastered to a tree.  grin

I first brushed them off onto a queen excluder and then dumped them into the hive body. I thought I had the queen but a lot of them jut kept hanging around the base of the tree and the entrance to the hive. Finally about 8:15 PM I got anxious and started slowly scooping the cluster up with my hands and putting the in the opened hive. I was almost done when noticed a small cluster on the other side of the hive and scooped them up and put them in. Then I saw a long, pale yellow and fuzzy and not plump at all abdomen running up the crate and under the bottom board. I was lucky and gently grabbed her and quickly placed her in the hive and and quickly put the cover on. At that point it was march central by all the rest of the bees outside, into the hive body. In hindsight I should have bought a lotto ticket after that.  Wink

I think it was a virgin queen given the abdomen was fuzzy and not plumped up. I think, if I didn't damage her, she has yet to take her mating flight.

One thing about this hive, other than throwing a lot of swarms this spring, was the amount of pollen it was bringing in just before the swarm. In fact the cluster had lotsa foragers with baskets full of pollen on them. Was this planned or did the foragers return and decide to join in the swarm?

Thanks,

Jay
Swarm video

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lotsobees
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 03:52:02 PM »

Good work!

I've found having a bee vacuum is an incredible asset when facing a swarm like this. 5-10 minutes and you'd have every bee in a hive.
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skflyfish
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 07:33:50 PM »

I've found having a bee vacuum is an incredible asset when facing a swarm like this. 5-10 minutes and you'd have every bee in a hive.

Thanks for the tip! The last two swarms have both been plastered to the trunks of trees. Both I got right the second time.  grin

Jay
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JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 07:54:05 PM »

Good catch Jay. The trick to getting them in a set up is getting the queen in the set up as you experienced firsthand. Sometimes she'll be stubborn and will stay put and the rest will stay put.


...JP
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 09:38:46 PM »

video = win!
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skflyfish
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 08:42:34 AM »

Thanks all!

@JP, This hive that swarmed was a swarm I caught last year at the end of May. By late June I did a split on it and it also swarmed. This spring it has swarmed 3 times and I have also done a split on it.

As you catch so many swarms, do you find that you hive to closely manage your apiary for swarming. The other hives I have, have store bought queens (Heitkam, mostly) in them and they don't seem to want to swarm like this hive does.

Thanks again.

Jay
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2010, 01:19:54 AM »

Jay I do splits each spring to curtail swarming, but our bees are pretty content once you house them.


...JP
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skflyfish
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 11:25:41 AM »

Thanks JP!
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jhs494
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2010, 11:38:03 AM »

Very nice video. It appears that the magic was in getting the queen.
 Pretty nice catching your our hive swarming.
Great job!
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Joe S.
skflyfish
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 11:54:36 AM »

Very nice video. It appears that the magic was in getting the queen.
 Pretty nice catching your our hive swarming.
Great job!

Thanks!

Yes the key was getting the queen in the hive. Actually both times last week.  grin

I went through the hive yesterday and found the queen. She is now huge, bronze not yellow and not fuzzy anymore. No eggs that I could see but they were filling a deep with autumn olive nectar.

I am glad I caught the swarm cause this is a northern survivor colony and they forage at temps down into the high 30s. The swarm capture on the far left of the video actually swarmed on a 40F windy rainy day. They are one hardy bunch of bees that I want to keep.

Jay
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