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Author Topic: Need help, bees are swarming... NEW PICTURES INCLUDED  (Read 13139 times)
Ocean
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« on: May 27, 2005, 03:24:51 PM »

just now i came back home and found my bees have swarmed, the problem is they swarmed on a tree that is 30feet high and there is no way to i can get to them up there.  this is my first year bee keeping and have never experinced such thing so please anybody that can help or has any suggestions please reply. thanks a lot


what should i do next?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2005, 03:55:17 PM »

Is it the whole hive that swarmed? Or just a swarm from the hive?

You might try the lemongrass oil in a hive as a lure. Other than that If you can't get up to them I haven't a clue.
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Ocean
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2005, 04:02:35 PM »

no its not the whole hive but right now they getting ready to swarm again, what should i do now? they all clustering outside by the entrance
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2005, 04:20:27 PM »

What is your temperatures there now. How is you ventilation. Sometimes they "beard" in order to cool the inside.

If they are getting ready to swarm again you need to bait a hive really quick and set it up some distance from the old hive. If you are able to then, watch them and see where they go. Perhaps you can catch this next little swarm.
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Ocean
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2005, 04:24:39 PM »

the temp is about 80degrees and no wind, the thing is i just checked and the bees that swarmed to the tree arent there anymore.  seems like they came back down and clustered outside of the hive.  im gonna post pictures now
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2005, 04:28:04 PM »

Did you read my little story about capturing the Church bees? They were trying to swarm for more than a week. Everyday they would go out to a tree and then go back to the hive.

Peek inside the hive and see if there are indeed queen cells on the bottom of the frames. Perhaps you can do a fake swam, or want ever it is called. I think it is around here some where on how to do that.
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Ocean
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2005, 04:29:36 PM »







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Jerrymac
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2005, 04:33:38 PM »

They apear to be facing the entrance and fanning, trying to cool the place off.

Did you read my post before the pictures?
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2005, 04:36:02 PM »

If you don't see any queen cells, I would prop the top open just a bit to see if that helps with ventilation.

You don't have screened bottom do you? Open it up if you do.
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Ocean
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2005, 05:22:03 PM »

honesltly i think they were fanning it, because now i dont see the swarm on the tree, i think they all came back, and what i did was i took the hose and sprayed water all around the hive, ( they started to collect water) so i think it was a false alarm for the Swarm, they swarmed for just a second and came back..


my next step is going to be in about 30 min, i will wait till the sun goes behind the house, so there is no direct sunlight


i will go in and inspect the hive, and make the opening bigger, i will take out the little piece that was provided, and make a full entrance.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2005, 05:25:26 PM »

Keep us updated
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Ocean
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2005, 08:34:21 PM »

Ok so i inspected the hive, and seen that all my bees are there, i didnt lose any due to the swarming Smiley thats great news, what i did is made the opening much bigger, because it was so much smaller

now i think everything is fine, the bees were working and everthing was fine Smiley




Jerrymac, thanx alot for the help, u were very usefull

I will definately keep you updated on whats going on with them
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Barnabus
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2005, 09:36:06 PM »

Ocean:
Have you checked to see if they need room. The may need more room for the brood. If they have drawn out 7 or 8 of the frames then you need to put a second box on either a deep or a medium.
I noticed your front feeder, it appears to be sitting sideways, it is my understanding that the front of the feeder should slip into the entrance of the hive box conseiling the entrance to the feeder. This probally don't reflect on the swarming but it would give them more room on the front and reduce the possibility of robbing.
Hope this helps
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fiveson
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2005, 12:18:40 AM »

It looks pretty hot there. I would provide thems some shade, open the entrance all the way also. Do you have a water source, if not provide one.
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2005, 09:44:09 AM »

Looks like a bee beard to me.  I don't see any swarm.  You'll see them a lot on hot days and especially on hot nights.  Try to give them some ventiation at the top and make sure they have room and see if they don't stay in the hive more.
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2005, 12:21:12 PM »

Where you described the bees clustering on a tree limb would have me concerned.  Occasionally, hives will cast a false swarm in anticipation of the real thing.  I don't know if the queen fails to join them causing them to return, or if it is a dress rehearsal.  I beliieve you said you went back through the colony, so... How did it look??  Was it crowded up??  Not much room for the queen to lay?? (nectar everywhere) any queen cells?(cells not cups)  Evidence of a currently laying queen?? (not larval stage brood, but eggs)
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Ocean
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2005, 01:17:31 PM »

Quote from: Barnabus
Ocean:
Have you checked to see if they need room. The may need more room for the brood. If they have drawn out 7 or 8 of the frames then you need to put a second box on either a deep or a medium.
I noticed your front feeder, it appears to be sitting sideways, it is my understanding that the front of the feeder should slip into the entrance of the hive box conseiling the entrance to the feeder. This probally don't reflect on the swarming but it would give them more room on the front and reduce the possibility of robbing.
Hope this helps
Barnabus


When i went in there and inspected the hive, it seems like they have enough room, becayuse some of the foundation is not even filled up with any eggs or nectar. ( the thing is i dont have a second box for the brood, what i did is put a super on top with queen excluder, and they havent started to draw on the super yet ) My front feeder used to be in place but i took it out and put it on the side because they needed more room, so i stopped feeding them.. ( yesterday i took the feeder from them period, and made the opening as large as possible).
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Ocean
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2005, 01:19:02 PM »

Quote from: fiveson
It looks pretty hot there. I would provide thems some shade, open the entrance all the way also. Do you have a water source, if not provide one.



the thing is they have plenty of shade because they are behind the house that means they only get sun at like 3-6...

they also have one water source? should i provide them with 2?


and yes i opened the entrance all the way for them.

More pictures are coming soon, i would say tomorrow when i'll be back home.
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Ocean
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2005, 01:20:03 PM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
Looks like a bee beard to me.  I don't see any swarm.  You'll see them a lot on hot days and especially on hot nights.  Try to give them some ventiation at the top and make sure they have room and see if they don't stay in the hive more.



what do you mean give them ventilation on the top? how would i do that?
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2005, 01:38:31 PM »

Just put a couple shims under the lid to prop it up and create some air flow.  You can even offset the super to have a similar effect.  If they have room, they aren't likely to go through the excluder to draw comb.  Consider removing the excluder.
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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2005, 04:16:15 PM »

The simplest method has already been offered, which is to prop, or shim the inner cover up.  A lot of methods have been used and that's my favorite.

An Imirie shim will work.  Propping the outer cover up off of the inner cover will work.  Sliding the top box back 3/4" will work.  Drilling a hole in the top super will work (I don't like that one much).  Buying a vent kit from www.beeworks.com will work.  Smiley  Anything that lets the air out the top.  Opening up a SBB on the bottom by removing the tray will also help.  Removing any entrance reducer or flipping a reversable bottom board over to the 3/4" side will also help.  Anything that adds more room for air to come in the bottom in addition to anything that lets the air out the top will help.
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stilllearning
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« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2005, 07:34:48 PM »

Just looking at your excellent pictures
looks like a cooling problem to me
you might consider replacing the metal shade
you have over them in reality that is creating
a heat source that will radiate down to the metal
roof of the hive
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Wayne Cole
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« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2005, 08:24:15 PM »

to make top vents for mine, all I did was to cut about a 2"-3"wide notch out of the front side of my intercover putting the notch facing down against the hive body ( just cut a 2-3 inch wide slot on the outside frame of the intercover were it is even with the plywood part of the intercover, perferably in the center above your bottom entrance) then cut a piece of wood to set on top of the intercover to prop up the front of outer cover so the notch is open, it also makes a good top entrance. someone else probably could word this better. maybe someone else has some pics you can see what I mean. just my 2 cents
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Ocean
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« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2005, 02:52:34 PM »

hey everyone, today i witnessed another swarm, this time it was much bigger, and at around 11am in the mourning... I don't know what is the problem

right when they swarmed, i went in there and took 2 frames with honey and replaced them with clean ones. I decided to put the feeder back and put another super on top of the first one, so now i have 1 brood box, than super than queen excluder than another super.


During the installation and inspection of the hive, the swarm that was on the tree ( it was pretty big ) started to return to the hive, after about 1 hour they were all inside,


I dunno why they keep doing this? what should i do? next


Should i buy another hive body ( brood box )? because i only have one of those and 2 supers...


I will post more pictures in about 15 min.
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« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2005, 03:09:57 PM »

What a mesh of explanations Tongue

If you hive swarmed, it is too little. You feed it and it fills combs. They surely get food outside. It is summer now, or are you in Australia?

It seems that swarm returned. They did not got queen with them.

They are fanning with odour gland open, not for ventilation. It means here! This way all!

Look inside, what is situation.  Are there any free space for new eggs.
How much is capped sugar frames. Take them away and give foundations. Stop feeding.

Look, if queen is there. I has probaly gone into grass and is lost.  Hive is actually too small to swarm.  Queen has layed egg in queen cell cups?  Is that so?

I see no other reason if bees to see lansdcapes to tree canopy and return to hive.

Give them normal Langtroth box.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2005, 03:18:28 PM »

Did you ever answer our big question. Are there any queen cells? Anywhere?
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« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2005, 03:20:03 PM »

And get rid of the excluder.
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Ocean
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« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2005, 03:42:37 PM »

Here are the pictures that i took about 20 min ago..

ONe thing i forgot to mention is that i did see the queen in the grass, i picked it up and threw her back in the hive, and she went in there... So thats one point that i wanted to mention...



















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SherryL
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« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2005, 04:35:41 PM »

The ones you see in the grass are simply old and dying.  

As for the "attack" bees.  I'd like to hear the answer to that myself.  I have a cut-down hive with Ross Rounds supers on it - there are bees at that entrance that seem a little aggressive to some of the incoming, but they roll around a bit and then let them in.  Is it some sort of nectar or pollen transfer going on?

Here's another question for you about the location of your hive Ocean.  It's in a corner - which corner?  SE, SW, ect.  Is it possible that the hive is getting too much sun and not enough breeze?  

If you're having overheating problems already in May - June, July, and August could be a real problem for the girls.

I know you've built the little "awning" for them, but it's metal, I have to wonder if it's not adding to the lack of ventilation for them.

Anyone else have thoughts on that?
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« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2005, 05:33:51 PM »

The ones that you circled as "attacking" other bees wre probably just worker bees taking on the poslition of gaurds.  It's more likely that instead of attacking to other bees they wre just identifying their sents as one of the colony or an intruder.
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Ocean
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« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2005, 06:15:24 PM »

Here is the picture of what i can do for ventilation

I can make 2 cracks 1 inch each between the hive body and the 2 supers..

here is what i mean on the picture...

Please let me know if its a good idea? and if it is, all i have to do is lift it up a bit because those metal things are tightly pressed against the wood, that i won't even have to put anything underneath for it to stay.... I just need to ask you guys if its a good idea or not.....

here are the pix.




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« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2005, 06:34:35 PM »

You could just prop up the outer cover. That will do a whole lot for ventilation. I still would like to know if they have any queen cells. If they are trying to swarm then the ventilation isn't going to stop them from doing what they are doing.

Finding the queen in the grass sure sounds like they are trying to swam. Does she have her wings clipped?
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Ocean
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« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2005, 06:35:55 PM »

i dunno man, i just picked her up and threw her on the ledge, and she went back in there, but yes i've seen about 2-3 queen cells, and they were already empty.
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SherryL
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« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2005, 06:47:52 PM »

I dunno about the "crack" idea.  I'm really new at this too, but when you seperate the boxes like that, you're messing with the "bee space".  They'll be building bridge comb like crazy between the top and bottom boxes of frames.  Also, if you're talking about opening the space evenly all the way around the hive, I think that's too much open area for the bees to defend.  Could be totally wrong about that, but that's my first instinct.

You seem really handy Ocean, check out this website.  The orginator of the design is David Erye, hence the name DE hives.  www.beeworks.com

The thing that might be of interest to you is the vent box.  You could easily make one for your hive in no time at all with very little cost.  The way the holes are designed with the telescoping outer cover, it allows you to either have the screened vent holes open, or if you flip it upsidedown, then the outer cover will cover the holes (winter position).  I love mine.  The other nifty feature is that it's like an empty super or medium deep in that you can set a large (2 gallon) top feeder in there, postioned over a center hole in your inner cover and feed the bees that way, prevents any setting up of robbing.

When was your most recent visit to the hive before you nocticed the swarm?
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« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2005, 09:32:27 PM »

It does sound to me like they're planning for a swarm, and that what they've been doing is "practice" swarms.

I had my first hive swarm last year at the begining of March. We tried to catch it, and managed to put it in a box. I think they went back to the hive though, because the next day the original hive looked the same as usual. And it didn't look smaller anymore.
Anyway... I split the hive because it looked so large.

A few thoughts -
1) They may be feeling crowded because of only having one brood box. I saw you moved the queen excluder up. That is one good move. Did you say if you have another brood box and frames? If so, you could give them that, inbetween the bottom super and the honey supers. Or consider making a split. If the hive is rather large, it would work out well to go into winter with two hives
2) Get them some ventilation. Opening things up an inch between the supers won't work. What Sherry said about bridge comb and defending the hive is exactly right. Get them on a screened bottom board (or stand), or give ventilation on the top.
My screened bottom board stand:


With hives:



And lastly.... what was the brown smears on the front of the hive? I think someone on here has said stuff like that is nosema. (Robo?, Michael?, Finsky?)

Beth
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Ocean
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« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2005, 10:37:00 PM »

tomorrow i will go in and try marking the queen, if i do find her lol
also i will see if they need more room.

should i clip her wings?
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« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2005, 01:06:29 AM »

The situation was excacly as I wrote. I have so many years experience from that. I clip the wing of queen's and they do same tricks to me.

So you have real troubles now. Hive will try again with new queen which is able to fly.

1) Make your hive easy to handle. Take irons off that you can take apart boxes easily.

2) Put a hive on lower rack , about  10 inch

3) You must devide your hive. Put empty box with foundation frames and queen in old place. Half of bees will fly to the old place to that empty box.

4) put the old hive apart  5-7 feet. So they have brood and new bees.

Old queen start again lay eggs. In old hive you will get a new queen. When new queen is emerged and it lays eggs, kill the old queen and put hive parts together.
Here is more alternatives
http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/PDFs/Swarm_Prev_Control_PM.pdf
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« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2005, 01:07:39 AM »

http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/PDFs/Swarm_Prev_Control_PM.pdf[/quote]

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Ocean
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« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2005, 12:10:00 PM »

Finsky thanx alot for your help, here is what i decided to do.

Today i went in again and checked on them to see what is going on, i've seen about 6 queen cells, that i broke away because i don't want another swarm. I'am going to go with your suggestion and divide them.

I just placed an order on a new Hive body and 2 more supers with frames and foundations, so as soon as i get that , i will have to divide them, and i will need everyone's help on how to do that.


Can you guys tell me how would i manage to divide my bees step by step procedure?

I was thinking just putting half the frames with bees into the new box hive and putting new frames into the old one...
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« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2005, 01:19:02 PM »

Are you going to order a new queen for the split? Another option is that if you see any more swarm cells, put those frames over in the new split that would be queenless. Or let the new hive raise a new queen by giving them very young eggs. Personally I feel that the hive with the old queen should get the new foundation. The frames that make the new hive should have lots of brood - maybe leaving a couple frames of brood in the old hive. The nurse bees will stay with them, but the worker bees will return to the old hive.

I picture the hive splits like this - one becomes a nursery, and the other becomes a factory. The nursery needs the majority of brood, honey, pollen and finished foundation frames. The factory hive that has the old queen (now filled with mostly worker bees), gets left with just a little brood and such. Giving them new foundation gives them something to do and work on. And the old queen doesn't feel as crowded anymore. Those bees now feel like they're in a new home.

I'm no expert, but I think I've been lucky mostly with my splits. I've done only two so far. Well, three I sort of. Smiley I did take a whole brood box and add it to a weaker hive this year - but technically that's called a combine.

It's not extremly hard, just slightly tricky and attention needs to be paid to where the queen is. It's more about management of the bees rather than just hap-hazzardly shifting frames from one location to another. I just try to keep that Nursery and Factory in mind and try to make wise choices about who gets what in which hive.

Beth
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« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2005, 09:50:10 AM »

Beth....
I hope the brown smears aren't  nosema, I have them on my hive too.  I had thought they were just excrement.  I was under the impression that excess excrement on the inside of the hive in the spring was a symptom of nosema.  I'd be very interested to find out if any knows for sure....

Kris
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« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2005, 03:10:22 PM »

Buckmaster-
I'm not sure either, but it seems someone on here made a comment about it once on someone's hive and said it was that. Ask about it in the illness section, or write directly to Michael, Robo, or Finsky. I know one of them would know for sure.

But if you write the question on the forum, then lots of people could learn about it.

Beth
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2005, 06:01:26 PM »

Brown streaks are a sign of dysentary.  Dysentary is also a symptom of nosema.  Just becuase they have dysentary doesn't mean they do or don't have nosema.  You have to "field strip" a bee to look at the intestines, and preferably look at them under a microscope to make sure.

http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/pest&disease/slide36.htm
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2005, 09:16:09 PM »

Ocean, I think you have a hive that is overheating.  The sun on the West wall heats the brick on your home and this is radiated back onto the hive all afternoon.  I suggest moving them into dappled shade and see if this helps.  I don't think you bees are swarming, I think they are abandoning the hive.  I lost my first hive last year for this reason.  I was out of town for a couple of weeks in late June or July and the bees just left.  My wife told me that they were acting strange but I told her that it was just bearding in the heat.  Heat they can stand.  Superheated between the brick wall and the afternoon sun, my girls just couldn't keep the hive cool enough to maintain a reasonable temperature.  I've collected a couple of hives since then and placed them where there is afternoon shade and they are doing well.  Good luck and keep us posted.
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Ocean
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« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2005, 10:00:47 PM »

Thanx alot duck hunter for the advice, i will be thinking of where to move them tomorrow, i will definately keep you guys posted Smiley, but so far since last time i've inspected the hive, everythign seems ok, they are working, using the water source i provided and doing well i guess....


o ye another question

when do i collect honey? when do u guys usually start to take away the honey from your bees? around what time? what month?
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SherryL
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« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2005, 10:59:45 PM »

Ocean, did you decide to split the hive?  

Either way, split or not, I don't think you can expect to take any honey off this year.  You started with undrawn foundation - right?  It will take them a little while yet to draw out 2 deeps worth of foundation, and fill at the very least the top deep with honey.  If you were able to super on top of that and get anything for yourself you'd be doing very well.  You're talking very late summer or fall for that.

I would assume no honey, and focus on getting their stores built up for the winter.  Next year will be different - they'll have an earlier start on drawn foundation - they'll be storing honey with the very first flow.
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SherryL
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« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2005, 11:01:38 PM »

Oh, btw, I tend to agree with duck hunter - that was the reason for the questioning about location S, SW, ect.  I think you've got them in a good spot for winter, but they're going to bake there this summer.  Just my humble newbie 2 cents.
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Finsky
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« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2005, 01:59:19 AM »

Quote from: Ocean
Finsky thanx alot for your help, here is what i decided to do.

Today i went in again and checked on them to see what is going on, i've seen about 6 queen cells, that i broke away because i don't want another swarm. I'am going to go with your suggestion and divide them. ..



The meaning of splitting is to stop swarming fever. Do not leave hive splitted.

To broke queen cells was not good work  cry . You should leave at least one queen cell that bees feel their life normal and they get a queen. When you have got a new queen, then you can kill the cells.

But never mind. When you get a new queen soon and you will have capped queen cells in the hive, bees take a new queen will pleasure. ...[/quote]

...
Quote

i will need everyone's help on how to do that. ...


It will be a mesh shocked

...
Quote

Can you guys tell me how would i manage to divide my bees step by step procedure?...


You just lift an old hive to new place and let bees fly to new hive. They fly which fly. Part of bees stay in hive. They keep brood warm. Brood will emerge soon and old hive gets more bees.

You must put queen and one brood frame into new hive and other are foundations. When bees build foundations, their swarming fever will be gone.

But after that hives are not able to collect honey. When bees have drawn upp foundations, kill the old queen and put parts together.

New queen will not swarm, if you keep free space in the hive.  Your hive is totally too small to split.

After joining hives you have

- 2 brood chambers
- You can put the lowest brood champer extra, because children of 2 queen's will soon emerge.  
-  I guess that after 30 days you will have  3 brood champers and 4 supers. It is  a good honey unit.  That way it goes.

But do not feed them syrup. Let them gather honey.
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2005, 09:13:01 AM »

I tend to collect honey as it gets capped. But if I were to wait, I guess I'd mostly do it in August or September. I don't know when the "correct" time is. Smiley But I do know that they're mostly done by then, for my area anyway. There are some fall sources for nectar for them, but I just let them keep that.

I'm still building up my hives too. I started with one.....end of June 2003. All new foundation, so they had to establish a couple brood boxes that summer. Then in March of 2004 I split the hive..... so more new foundation to work on. They were doing pretty good, till it rained all the time and they ate the big early spring harvest. They managed to get 2 brood boxes each, and some honey supers done during the rest of that year. I got a very low harvest over all though. Now this spring.... more splits, more new foundation, but over all things are looking up. The weather is great, and I hope for a great harvest. (fingers crossed) Smiley

Beth
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