Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
April 24, 2014, 12:14:16 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Mini Swarm  (Read 1044 times)
yantabulla
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 132


Location: Coffs Harbour Australia


« on: November 13, 2010, 01:55:40 AM »

Does anyone have any thoughts about succeeding with very small swarms?

I have seven hives, all re-queened three weeks ago. 

During the morning I noticed increased numbers of bees flying around the hives & went over for a look expecting the usual orientation flights that emerge  from them on a regular basis.  It had the look of a swarm but it didn't appear to be issuing from one of my hives.  After a few minutes I noticed a fist sized swarm in a red cedar tree nearby.

All of my hives were queen-right this morning with the exception of one (I gave them a frame of young brood) & showing no signs of swarming.  (Three of them swarmed in early September hence the requeening).  I am assuming that it is an an afterswarm from a feral hive.

My only nucleus hive was being used so I had no choice but to put them into an 8 F/D super.  I put in a drawn comb that had a little capped honey and the balance of the frames were foundation.

When I dropped them into the hive they left immediately & went back to where the swarm landed.  I removed the drawn comb & tried again. They left two more times until I decided to put a wire excluder between the bottom board & the super.  The bees flew around for 1/2 an hour until they finally gave up & returned to the queen.

I would have liked to give them some brood but I didn't want to waste a good frame of brood on such a tiny swarm of unknown origin.

My thoughts are that I'll let them settle in for a day then return the drawn comb to give them a bit of a start.

I'm looking forward to the challenge of succeeding with such a small swarm.

Has anyone had a similar experience? 
Logged

All setbacks are temporary
yantabulla
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 132


Location: Coffs Harbour Australia


« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 01:25:37 AM »

Hello again.  Some of you may be interested how this swarm is going.  I brought it back to my property last night after 14 days at a friends property on the other side of the mountain.  They are sitting on the deck at the side of my house where I can observe them at least until they hopefully fill an 8 frame brood box.

The queen is laying and they have managed a couple of patches of sealed brood on both sides of the comb about the size of a 50 cent piece.  Larvae & eggs are radiating out from the sealed brood which is pleasing.  Assuming that the queen started laying on day I hived them I should start to see emerging bees next weekend.

The queen is dark & small compared to my recently introduced Italians which I assume is due to her questionable breeding & limited egg laying at the moment.

Putting the drawn comb in with a bit of sealed honey has been a positive step for them.  They are bringing in a little bit of honey despite there not being much around here at the moment. 

I have thought about shaking off a few bees from the brood chamber of one of my stronger hives & dropping them in with them however I am wary of disease from an unknown swarm should field bees return to my hive.  They seem to be going alright so I am keen to just see how they go.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Logged

All setbacks are temporary
OzBuzz
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1008

Location: Melbourne, Australia


« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 06:24:13 PM »

G'day Yanta,

I noticed that no one has replied as of yet so i thought i'd have a look at this for you... small swarms are hard - if the weather is good, there are enough foraging/nurse bees, and your queen is actively laying then you stand a good chance. They will need a lot of support throughout though and the easiest way of doing this is by doing two things:

1) Ensuring they have enough stores which you have done by including the frame of honey. Normally a feeder would be the way to go but a frame of stores is the best way if you have resources available. Don't forget the importance of pollen - if they don't have an abundance then the brood rearing capacity will be hindered.
2) The other essential is bees - you need them for nursing, foraging and hive heat! Where you're located i can't imagine night time temperatures would be too much of an issue but the easiest way to make sure you have enough bees is to take a frame of capped brood with all of the bees attached, give it a heavy smoking or a spray with sugar syrup and put it in the hive. The best way of doing that would be to keep it seperated from the main cluster by a frame or two to allow the bees to get used to each other. Just make sure you don't have the queen on there from the hive that you took the frame of brood/bees from.

I'm sure others will have some ideas too...
Logged
Cullz
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 108

Location: Northern NSW, Australia


« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 08:26:18 PM »

Strange, I just had a very tiny swarm at my hives, couldn't see where it came from. Tried to put it in a nuc box but they left again. The next day saw them swarming again, and they landed high up in a tree. Now, a few days later there are two really tiny seperate clusters setting up on a tree and a shrub.
I thought maybe it's a queen getting kicked out for a supercedure and a few bees following along?
Logged
yantabulla
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 132


Location: Coffs Harbour Australia


« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 02:02:47 AM »

G'day Ozbuzz,

Thanks for your input.  I'll take your advice & dig out a frame of brood for them.  One of my strong doubles won't miss one.  I'm going to be in Sydney during the week & I'll pick up a nucleus hive to put them in so they they aren't rattling around in an 8 frame super.  You're right about the mild temperatures here however we really haven't had any warm weather yet & the nights are still on the cool side.  I put a telescopic lid on them when I brought them home to conserve some heat.

Culz, I don't know why but this lot were determined not to stay.  I have had swarms take off on me before & I think I'll use the queen excluder method more regularly in future.  There is nothing worse than watching a swarm take off to a higher spot after you have just spent 1/2 an hour getting them into a box.

Logged

All setbacks are temporary
Finski
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3928

Location: Finland


« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2010, 12:56:37 PM »

G'day Ozbuzz,

Thanks for your input.  I'll take your advice & dig out a frame of brood for them. 

Take a frame where bees are just emerging out. Fist size colony cannot keep a frame warm.
Logged

.
Language barrier NOT included
yantabulla
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 132


Location: Coffs Harbour Australia


« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 01:19:44 AM »

Well after nearly a month of fiddling & farting around with these bees I lifted the lid off them today & they were gone. 

Nothing lost.  I took the advice provided on board but decided to let them do their own thing.  The queen was laying & young bees were just starting to emerge.

I marked the queen 2 days ago & it must have been the final straw for them.

Anyway they'll find it a lot tougher in the bush than in my nice warm beehive.
Logged

All setbacks are temporary
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.16 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page April 14, 2014, 01:27:39 AM
anything