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Author Topic: Aussie Removal Stories  (Read 23066 times)

Offline Pete

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Aussie Removal Stories
« on: September 18, 2010, 04:36:23 AM »
I love to read the bee catching stories. So i thought some Aussie specific would be cool.   :-D

Registered for swarm removals about a week ago and had 4 calls this week all for colonies. 2 i collected, 1 i think Ozbuzz will do and the other I have encouraged the guy to leave em where they are (too high, hard etc).

Last weeks (our first) was easy...the wife and i grabbed the possum box out of the tree, took it home and transfered them into the new hive.

this weeks i would have thought would be easier...its a 50L tub upside down, it has 20mm hole in the bees use ast the entrance. We tipped it up, looked in and its chokkas. the bees are quite small and very very calm. Moved the tub onto a sheet of ply and screwed it on, in the trailer and away we go...20min tops.

Got home and moved them into the yard and i can honey coming out everywhere. so i lifted it up and the whole hive has shaken loose onto the ply....arrggghhh...i lift the tub to try and get it over the hive (which i I have whacked in a frame of honey/brood from last weeks feral) and boom the tub shattered (gone brittle from the uv) and all the remaining bees hit the dirt...there is 60 000 bees at my feet...the first thing i see is the queen (so exciting!) i pick her up and put her in the hive and just like the docos all of the bees start walking in to the hive after her...leaving me with the 3 hour job of cleaning up the comb and extracting the honey (dark honey and not really all that nice :( ). The bees are quite small and the queen was a really rich brown colour.

Some lessons learned. I need to work out how to tackle tubs (better to systematically work them than wait for them to crumble), to realise that the one that look hard will be easy and the easy looking ones will be hard and to charge more for established hive removals! I am a very very lucky bloke because my wife is into all of the same stuff as me; bees, dirt bikes, fishing, keeping chooks n ducks!

Oh and while i was out there all day i robbed a few frame from my fav hive and now i have no spare frames - arghhh - what a day! Wait and see what next weekend brings...not sure what i will charge to collect hives/swarms on grand final weekend, but its gonne be heaps!

Got this pic of what i think is a queen cell, its half way up the comb though (happy to be corrected)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 09:19:23 AM by Pete »

Offline AllenF

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 10:08:08 AM »
Cool pic.   So on the swarm that got away, just how high were they?

Offline bud1

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 10:35:14 AM »
just cell cups, nearly all my hives have them
to bee or not to bee

Offline philinacoma

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 11:20:42 AM »
Some lessons learned. I need to work out how to tackle tubs (better to systematically work them than wait for them to crumble), to realise that the one that look hard will be easy and the easy looking ones will be hard and to charge more for established hive removals!

I feel for you, I'm still working on that simple bungalow wall job from last weekend.  :'(

Offline Pete

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2010, 04:05:07 AM »
Got called to my first swarm this arvo. I really enjoyed the swarm, less than 1m from the ground :)

I tried the shake into the box but next time i will try cutting the branch lowering in and then brushing them off...

I had 1 hive last week, today i have 4. Running out of gear fast.

Offline philinacoma

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2010, 08:46:44 PM »
At this time of year you can never have enough gear!

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2010, 09:46:28 PM »
I've gone from two hives to seven in the space of a few weeks! it's gonna be a busy season

Offline philinacoma

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2010, 09:53:55 PM »
If you have too many hives, you could always combine some of the smaller swarms to make a larger more productive ones.  :-\

Offline SlickMick

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 11:27:32 PM »
If you have too many hives, you could always combine some of the smaller swarms to make a larger more productive ones.  :-\

That's what I would be doing

Slicko
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

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 12:30:59 AM »
If you have too many hives, you could always combine some of the smaller swarms to make a larger more productive ones.  :-\

I'm thinking about doing that with the cut out we did phil - it just hasn't boomed yet. What is the proper process fr combining though?

Offline SlickMick

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 08:54:09 PM »
Proper or not, I had to deal with 3 nucs that had swarms in them and 1 non-productive hive before I went overseas for 2 months in July. I ran out of time to do the combinations properly by removing the queens. Simply did paper combos with the nucs set on top of the non productive hive and let the queens fight it out. Came home 2 months later and the hive is booming. My theory that the strongest queen would be the survivor seems to have worked in this case.

Slicko
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

Offline philinacoma

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2010, 12:02:57 AM »
I'm surprised where the queen turns up sometimes. The big cut-out I did in the bung wall a couple weeks ago I found the queen over 10m away on the other side of the bung on the ground in the grass. Today I was attending to a swarm. I moved as many bees as I could into a nuc put the lid on and left it for tonight to pick up. I was walking away about to brush the bees off and only found the one on me. I had to stop mid brush as it was the queen. Black as night she was. Sitting as calm as you like on my right sleeve. So I walked back to the nuc opened the lid and coaxed her into the box. She just walked in and disappeared in between a frame and the wall. Beautiful to watch.

And you know, I wish my queens would just pop up like that.  :-\
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 12:50:14 AM by philinacoma »

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2010, 11:58:00 PM »
That is awesome! you can't ask for much better than that! all of the swarms i've collected the only way that i have been able to confirm so far that they're queen right is by carrying out an inspection

I'm surprised where the queen turns up sometimes. The big cut-out I did in the bung wall a couple weeks ago I found the queen over 10m away on the other side of the bung on the ground in the grass. Today I was attending to a swarm. I moved as many bees as I could into a nuc put the lid on and left it for tonight to pick up. I was walking away about to brush the bees off and only found the one on me. I had to stop mid brush as it was the queen. Black as night she was. Sitting as calm as you like on my right sleeve. So I walked back to the nuc opened the lid and coaxed her into the box. She just walked in and disappeared in between a frame and the wall. Beautiful to watch.

And you know, I wish my queens would just pop up like that.  :-\

Offline Pete

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 08:17:11 AM »
I removed a swarm from a nice old blokes house in Frankston last Sunday. It was in some kinda conifer type tree. We grabbed it, got the whole swarm, let the box sit there for an hour before we left. Left 50 or so bees behind, there really wasnt many.

Today (Tuesday he rings) and says the whole same things re happened to him...lot of bees in the yard and they settled into a basketball sized swarm on the same tree 2 braches higher. He says in 10 years he has never had bees before. He is old and doesnt seem to have much cash so i will help him out again and practise swarm combining.

Do you think this type of tree is popular with bees, or do they like going to the same place others have been, or just a big coincidence, some problem with the matrix?

Appreciate any thoughts.

Offline asprince

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2010, 08:58:48 AM »

Do you think this type of tree is popular with bees, or do they like going to the same place others have been, or just a big coincidence, some problem with the matrix?

Appreciate any thoughts.


Good Question. I too have hived multi swarms from the same tree.

Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline philinacoma

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2010, 11:10:48 AM »
Do you think this type of tree is popular with bees, or do they like going to the same place others have been, or just a big coincidence, some problem with the matrix?

Appreciate any thoughts.


Slicko seems to do well with his macadamia and mandarin trees, don't you Slicko? By all reports they're magical.

Working on a swarm at the moment that has settled under the corner of a house. I tried reaching in with hand and bee brush and transferring them to a nuc, but obviously missed the queen as they all just went straight back again. The nuc is still sitting there virtually empty so I've tried a little lemon grass oil to see if I can make them want to be in the box.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2010, 11:13:18 AM »
A hive will often throw off multiple swarms with first the old queen and then young virgin or freshly mated queens-don't automatically combine them thinking they won't have a queen! They will be attracted back to that location due to pheromones left by the previous swarm

Offline Pete

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2010, 07:48:43 PM »
I am only going to combine them cos i dont want to have 6 small swarmed colonies taking up hives. I dont have enough time (or money) to keep up with the boxes and gear that you need.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2010, 10:43:18 PM »
I am only going to combine them cos i dont want to have 6 small swarmed colonies taking up hives. I dont have enough time (or money) to keep up with the boxes and gear that you need.

I know the feeling! i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment in regard the swarms i have collected... have you been charging for swarm collections? I've found it useful to invest some of that money back in. Also, those plywood nucs are perfect for small swarms - and cheap!

Offline Pete

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Re: Aussie Removal Stories
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2010, 11:24:52 PM »
Yes i am charging and re investing the money in boxes. But i also breed a few ducks and have kids and stuff so having time to build everything is a bit of a struggle right now. :shock:

I can buy them built i guess, but then thats cost more...so the smallest and newest i will combine. How much you want for 3 or 4 ply nucs?

 

anything