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Author Topic: wife watched them swarm  (Read 1189 times)
windfall
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« on: June 29, 2011, 03:04:09 PM »

I get home from taking the kids on errands and my wife meets me at the door frowning....bad news she says.

Her office window faces the hives. she heard the robins going berserk and looked up to see the proverbial cloud of bees streaming forth. She was able to catch some of it on video as the swirled and gathered "strength" in the open space of the yard and then watched them melt away into the forest downhill. Unfortunately she was late for a conference call and could not give chase.

I got home and hour or so later and spent another hour or so walking the woods looking up, knocking on neighbors doors and asking if they mind me walking their yards and t give me a call should they see them. we have been here 8 years and some of these folks I had never met (we are kind of hermits)...it's a rather strange way to make an introduction! But I was amazed at how open and understanding they all were. If nothing else this has been a great excuse to meet some of the neighbors finally!

But alas no luck and rain is moving in. Tomorrow I will peak in the hive and see what is left. It is a hive that I knew wanted to go. I posted here last week when we found a bunch of freshly capped Q-cells. I split off the queen as a nuc and removed all but 2 of the Q cells...guess they were determined to go. At least I still have the nuc with the queen...and hopefully a remnant that can be nursed back in the original hive.

well the rain is stopping after all, I am going to go back out and poke around. Does the clustered swarm make much of a buzz, or does one just look for a mass?
also, are they more or less directional or will they wind about. She tells me they seemed to be moving in a pretty straight line once they made up their mind and moved off.
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2011, 03:23:36 PM »

No noise. Just a ball of bees.

Straight line. No more than a third of a mile.
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L Daxon
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 03:25:43 PM »

The swarms I've caught didn't make much noise.  

One morning I was sitting by my hive having my morning coffee and just happened to look up in the yaupon by my head and there was a swarm hanging not 3 feet away from me.  I had been there for several minutes and had no idea the swarm was there.  Just happened to catch it out the corner of my eye.

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linda d
windfall
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 03:50:29 PM »

thanks for the quick replies,
I gave it another go, but no dice as yet. I will try one more straight line walk. The woods are pretty thick right now and spotting a cluster will be a lucky stroke unless it is low or along the yard/clearing. the one hopeful thing is Sarah told me the roar they were making in flight seemed to stop almost imeiedeitly as the entered the woods...not dwindle off into the distance....but it was windy and who is to say.
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 04:44:40 PM »

They will be either in the first few limbs you come to, or inside a hollow tree.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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windfall
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2011, 06:58:22 PM »

Well Iddee you were spot on.
We took a family ramble through the woods looking and knocking on neighbors doors. Gave it up to lost came home and wife Sarah says, "I guess that could be them up there" she was joking but the minuet I looked where she was pointing I knew she was right. 60 feet up in an ash tree on the end of the limb right at the edge of the woods in a straight line from the hive she saw them take...maybe 150' from the hive itself. I know I scanned that area several times but missed them when I first got home at noon.

Well, I am a serious tree climber, but there was no way this was going to happen. I might get within 15' on an adjacent maple, but I would need both hands to get there and stay there.
We called another keeper in town hoping to bum some old comb or scent...and got another number passed to us for a guy not 4 miles away (as the crow flies) and he ran right over (in the rain) and lent us a pheromone trap.

So we will see what happens, more rain is called for tonight and temps in the low 50's, not great for them as I understand.

I have to say this whole adventure has been great if for no other reason than meeting a whole slew of friendly new people in my little town.
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kingfisherfd2
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 07:02:08 PM »

I hope you get them into the trap.  good luck
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windfall
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 07:16:26 PM »

That would be great. There are also 2 nice hollow trees within 100' which I wouldn't mind them occupying. Mostly I just hope they find a home.

When this all started last week, the supplier of the original nuc this spring (kirk webster) suggested that once I pulled the queen, and reduced q-cells to 1 or 2 I just stay the heck out of the hive for three weeks as all I could do was mess it up as they sorted it out. Now I am wondering if that advice still holds...I suppose so, but i really want to see whats going on in there. The clustered swarm looks pretty big even from 80' away...I can't imagine there is much left in the original hive?
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Riggs
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 07:28:40 PM »

Good luck to you, keep us informed.
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 03:03:28 PM »

Cool
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windfall
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 05:15:47 PM »

Well like the overzealous fool I am I climbed  a maple and got within 15' of the swarm....but all that did was give me a better look of the "fruit out of reach". They seem to have lost some volume overnight....no great surprise as I understand it.
Against the advice of those that know better (and I do understand their logic) I peeked in the parent hive. It just seemed like to good of an opportunity to learn something.
I saw a q-cell that was torn open from the side and could hear a queen piping away....both neat things to experience, I assume it means I missed a q-cell as I only meant to leave 2 and side tear means killed right?
Still a lot of bees, capped brood, and stores at least in the 3 frames I looked at. I didn't want o go any further or more accurately closer to the piping noise for fear of doing dumb and injuring this hive's only chance at not becoming queenless since I pulled the mated queen 10 days ago. I know that's why I was supposed to stay out in the first place till she might leave some eggs for them to work with just in case.
On another bright note the nuc with the original queen really woke up today and finaly seemed to rally a new field force.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2011, 10:22:09 PM »

If you can get to 15 ft from them put a cardboard box or nuc there with old comb
If you get lucky they move in, place thin lines of honey in and on it,that may get them coming over
Good luck
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windfall
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2011, 11:07:02 PM »

That's an interesting idea tommy,
I wish I had thought of it sooner. The borrowed trap (carboard nuc with pheromone) has been in place on top of the kid's swingset which is 25' from the bottom of the tree for a day now and I feel like it might be a bad idea to move it in case they have begun to scope it out. Although I have seen no sign of that yet. If I had another I would run it up the maple tomorrow...the box part is easy but we don't have lure or extra comb on hand and nowhere close to purchase.
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Dave360
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2011, 09:36:25 PM »

if you could find and old well used box from another bee keeper that may be your best bet i had a swarm i brought home that decided to leave they went 30-40 ft up in tree 3 days latter they moved into an old box (really old) that i had moved bees out of because it had big cracks and cleat to high up for regular lid box had a lid and some frames with some old come from a dead out

good luck

Dave
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2011, 11:28:30 PM »

That's an interesting idea tommy,
I wish I had thought of it sooner. The borrowed trap (carboard nuc with pheromone) has been in place on top of the kid's swingset which is 25' from the bottom of the tree for a day now and I feel like it might be a bad idea to move it in case they have begun to scope it out. Although I have seen no sign of that yet. If I had another I would run it up the maple tomorrow...the box part is easy but we don't have lure or extra comb on hand and nowhere close to purchase.
As for the lure. against my preference. you can go by a local grocery store and look for natural unprocessed honey and use that as the lure line on a 20' pool pole from the tree next to the swarm. u can use  a waxed fruit box taped up that you can get from the produce dept also. ( necessity and no money is the mother of all possible ideas)

john
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windfall
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« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2011, 09:14:52 AM »

Yesterday afternoon I ran out and got some LGO. Then I climbed up into the maple near the swarm and hauled an old 10 frame deep into the top of the tree that had been dosed with a few drops of the oil. No old comb, All I had was a bunch of new empty foundationless frames, but the box itself and the grain sack inner cover definetly smelled like hive.

An hour or so later I looked up and the swarm cluster was gone....but no activity around either of the trap boxes....I figured they had moved on and hopefully found a good home.

This AM I looked up at the high box and could see about a dozen bees working around and in and out of the box....perhaps just bees from my other colonies investigating something new?
But maybe I got lucky...this has brought up several questions I have about swarm behavior and post trap actions on my part which I will start a new thread on.
thanks all
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