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Author Topic: Easy Swarm Removal  (Read 750 times)
Thymaridas
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Location: Statesville, NC

Remember its supposed to be fun


« on: May 30, 2010, 03:26:35 PM »

I got a call a couple of weeks ago from a friend. She is the widow of a beekeeper. Anyway her grandson had found a hive in old equipment under a bunch a bunch of stuff, so I went out to check it out. It was two deeps, a super, and a telescoping top. The whole things was rotten and falling apart. The seams were open and the bees coming through their gaps. It took about 30 minutes to clean the area up enough to even look under the top into the supper.

The top deep and super were completely cross combed and falling apart. I decided to place one of my deeps under the colony and "beat" the bees down. I had to stop pretty quickly or risk the old equipment falling apart, so I spent the rest of the evening talking with Mildred, and waited for the foragers to return. I brought the hive home that night and have been waiting to transfer it.

Here is the hive as it traveled to the shop.


Inspecting the super. Note my homemade hive tool. It has the usual flat end, but the curved in narrows down to a quarter inch. I find it more useful for getting under the ears of a frame.

Super cross combing. It is hard to see in the small picture.


Cross combing in the hive body.


More cross combing


The operation. It was not my intent to strip the super near the hive, but it fell apart. In this picture you can see my "crew" at work. These were nice bees, so we worked without anything but smoke. The kids are old hands, and do well. I am stripping the frames. Anna is removing bees, and Philip is cutting the comb out. The well dressed girl is Rebecca, Philip's girlfriend. Her father is a beek too (he keeps Russians and I keeps mutt Italians), so she is pretty comfortable around the bees.


Peter, who says he is afraid of bees, is right in the midst, texting friends.


Here are the frames after the mayhem.


This is not how I would normally have planned this operation. Honey robbing next to an open hive can get a little dicey. It worked though and had to been done then The bees had been in the isolation yard 3 weeks and I knew they were as gentle as can be.

I have raised a new queen for this hive so Thursday or Friday, I will remove the bees from the cross combed hive body. If my wife is around, I'll have more pics.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2010, 04:27:19 PM by Thymaridas » Logged
Bee Happy
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Location: Between Panama city, Florida and Dothan Al.

that's me - setting a phoenix free


« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2010, 06:30:32 PM »

Looks like they were held together by propolis and wax. Was the existing queen dead? or did you make a split and get some genes from them?
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Thymaridas
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Location: Statesville, NC

Remember its supposed to be fun


« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2010, 10:04:08 PM »

No, I will be getting into the deep Thursday or Friday and cutting the comb out and putting it in a Nuc box. I pray that everything will go well, because I want the genetics off of this hive and graft a bunch of larva off of this hive. They have zero mites, and judging by the comb color they have been in there awhile.

And in 3 weeks they have gone from a deep and a super to three deeps of bees - well a little than 2 and a half. And they have filled one deep with honey and have a good start on another. At some point there were a lot of wax moths in there. You can see the scarring on the wooden ware. That is probably old damage as the hive may have been left there is comb in it.

These bees are gentle, prolific, great honey makers, mite-free survivors. What more could I ask of them?

I have raised a queen in another NUC box and will divide the stores between the two. I should come out with two strong hives and depending on the amount of brood in that cross-combed hive may go for three. I have a couple of other Nucs with good queens that are just waiting on a more permanent home. We'll see what we get when I open it and remove comb.

One thing I have learned from my bees is that I have to be prepared for what the bees tell is possible and be willing to change my plans. But be prepared.
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Bee Happy
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Location: Between Panama city, Florida and Dothan Al.

that's me - setting a phoenix free


« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2010, 11:50:25 PM »

sounds like by the end of august you'll have a pile of honey out of them too. Sounds like a really lucky break to get such good bees.
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