A little background info first. This is my first year as a beek. I wasn't expecting bees until the end of March when out of the blue Hardwood called me on Wednesday and said he had a swarm that had taken up residence inside of a speaker box and wanted to know if I was interested. (Like he needed to ask) Heck yes I was interested. He did warn me that swarms can be tricky to hold on to at times as it is but with the cut out end of it it might be even trickier, but then again, it might be a piece of cake; I didn't care, I wanted bees. I picked up the bees Thursday evening, transported them home and immediately placed the speaker on the bottom board that they will be using. I was amazed that after being transported from one location on Thursday that the bees were already bringing in pollen on Friday...amazing. Friday afternoon I carefully removed the woofer and got my first look at the comb and the bees...I was very nervous but I was suited up and I have seen several videos of you guys doing this sort thing all the time without any protection, so I relaxed...a little. Being that this is a swarm, I decided to use a queen excluder as an included. I lifted the speaker and and then gave a speaker a hard jolt on the ground to knock the bees off the comb. I dumped as many bees as I could into my deep and repeated the process 3 more times until there were only 20-30 bees remaining in the speaker. I was able to salvage 2 decent size pieces of comb from inside the speaker. Thanks to this informative website, I placed those 2 pieces of comb to a frame using several rubber bands. I placed that frame in the middle of my deep box. I wasn't sure what to do with comb that was too small to attach to a frame, so I just laid them them against a frame of foundation. I smoked the bees to drive them back down into their new home and put on the cover. I was amazed by the sound the bees were generating but as night fell, they quieted down. My curiosity go to me that evening, so I took my flashlight out to the hive at 10:30pm and took a short peek (3-5 seconds) inside. I was surprised to see all the bees on the middle 3 frames.
I mention earlier that the bees were bringing in pollen on Friday while they were still using the speaker as their home. I watched them for hours on Saturday in their new home and I didn't see any pollen coming in like I did the day before. Since I just disrupted the bees old home and transfered them to a new home, would the bees first priority be to bring in nectar? I just wondering why I didn't see any pollen yesterday and believe me we have tons of pollen, you should see my black car...it looks yellow.
I now need to remove the queen includer to release the drones. Is there a best time to lift the deep so that I can remove the includer which is sitting on top of my SBB? I was thinking of doing it at night when all the bees are all huddled up near the top of the hive but not sure how defensive they are at night. Second option is to do it in the afternoon when most of the field bees are away from the hive. I am leaning towards doing it this afternoon and getting it done and over with.
I am dying to peek inside to see what has changed in a little less than 48 hours but I don't want to disturb them too much the first week in their new home. I know the girls have been busy in their new home because of all the debris I am seeing falling from the SBB. Do you think it would be ok to have a peek inside today? Since I haven't see the queen yet, I am also interesting in seeing what she looks like.
I am also using a pail feeder. I am using a 1 gallon clear plastic pail with 3 small holes drilled in the lid. I invert the pail and place it on the cover that has a 7/8" hole drilled into it. The lid has a lip on it that when inverted allow the bees to come out of the 7/8" hole and walk on top of the cover and feed on the syrup water. The small holes that are drilled into the lid are spaced far enough away from each other so the none of the water that drips from the pail, drips into the hive. The hole in the cover is protected from the elements by the pail, so no rain water will get into the hive.
Thanks to forums like this and mentors like Hardwood, I almost felt like I knew what I was doing on Friday.
Hardwood, thanks for the call about the bees!!