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Author Topic: Feeding, swarming, luring questions (newb)  (Read 1004 times)
float8er
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« on: October 17, 2011, 05:29:43 AM »

Hello everybody,

it's occured to that i should feed the smaller swarms iv caught. Yes or no?
If they have easy feed, theyll all concentrate on hurrying the comb along instead? Building supplies quicker?

My hives are still attracting swarms.. but they dont stay. What may be the reasons? I' ve only got cardboard, and brick psuedo hives out.

How many times might a small (1/4 full langstroth size) hive re-sawm in one season?

How dumb are my q's, and what are some better ones? lol

many thanks

 
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T Beek
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 05:38:15 AM »

Yep, you need to feed a swarm or they may take off for other pastures.

I'd definitely get/build a BOX out of wood, get rid of the cardboard.  How'd you like to live in a cardboard house? grin

An established colony of honeybees can/will/do swarm several times during a productive season.  It is your job as a beek to prevent or at least try to control swarming.

There is only one dumb question and that's the one not asked Wink

thomas
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float8er
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 08:58:42 AM »

: )

okaying.

Pigs hair bees brush? worth trying?

So cardboards crap, even for a lure? I've got wooden hives.. but only cardboard lures.

Many beeks try to prevent or 'control' swarming..
I feel like lett nem go for it :S but then again, i can get so excited with the bees i kinda lose my mind and wanna fly with em. lol.
I suppose im wondering why not let htem swarm, in the first year or 2.. if im intending to build up my hive count and get a whole heap of honey..
Pattisons curse is no good hey? The purple flowers? neurotoxic? Might it be ok to let em go for it, as a kind of technique to allow them plenty of honey reserves?

With these overrun birdboxes.. should itry an incorporate their natural built hive into a lang, or just eventually transfer them all?

Does getting stung help anyone else tune into the hive mind? I seem to like flower more.. andcan tell when and whee my bees are swarming. Thats kind of weird talk, isnt it.

Other than a smoker.. maybe a suit, what are the next most helpful tidbits for the newkeeer to have?

Frame feeders look like a goer to me.

thanks and more thanks




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T Beek
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 10:16:01 AM »

I've had more luck leaving an empty hive around for capturing swarms, although I keep trying w/ traps. 

Its fine to just let your bees swarm (if you also capture them) and fly away (your neighboring beeks will appreciate that grin), but its better (for bees and you) to produce an artificial swarm by a number of methods of basically "keeping your broodnests open" with regular frame manipulations and/or splitting colonies, making NUCS, banking queens, etc.  Allowing bees to endlessly swarm will not build up bee populations, yours or feral.  I used to feel the same and still let (fail to prevent) some swarm despite attempts to prevent them, but just letting them all go begs the question;  Why keep bees then? huh

If you 'really' want to keep bees and expand your knowledge, go back to the beginnings of this forum and read, read, read.  Its what I and many others did/do.  Can't say enough about this.  All the info you need is here, literally at the fingertips for those seeking answers.  Its extremely difficult to provide 'general' answers to 'general' questions as you'll learn as you get into keeping bees, but do your own homework, its important. 

Lots of beeks hate frame feeders, but some like them, check out the debates on this forum.  Only got purposely stung three times this season which kinda bums me out because 'one' of the reasons I keep bees is for apitherapy for arthritis, forcing 'me' to purposely kill a few (I hate killing bees) for relief.

That said, don't ever fear asking direct, specific questions, but be prepared for ........well...., you'll find out Wink  Have fun.

thomas
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 10:05:52 PM »

Pig's hair bee brush?  Any thing that doesn't hurt a creature 1/2 an inch (13mm) long is good.  Trying to push them seems to be unproductive.  Michael Bush suggests "flicking," or taking them by surprise.  I find I can do that with my hive tool, a feather, or finger.  Don't blow on them, sometimes they'll take a mighty offense.

Edit:  When I read this again, I see a problem in the "flicking."  I'm not talking about harming the bees at all, just pushing them quickly with a motion that gets them to move.  A feather works just fine.  My head is swimming and has been for weeks.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 01:37:37 AM by CapnChkn » Logged

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L Daxon
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 10:19:59 AM »

You don't want your hives swarming shortly before the honey flow.  That can take as many as 60% of your colony and leave very few behind to collect excess honey for YOU.  I don't care too much if the swarm after the honey flow as that is just fewer bees to eat the stores or to feed, though you certainly want enough for a good cluster going into winter.

I just read an 1972 "American Bee Journal" article where they actually talked about purposefully killing bees off in the fall and starting with new packages each spring.  I guess back then you could get more for the honey the girls would have consumed over the winter than it would cost to replace the bees in the spring.  And you didn't have to be anxious about whether the colony would make it through the winter--you had already killed them!!!!!
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linda d
T Beek
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 10:49:34 AM »

Killing, abandoning bees in the Fall is a practice used by many of the big commercials (although I've heard some smaller outfits have been doing it as well) still today.  I think the 'industry' calls it something much nicer/user friendly though.  Apparently its just 'cheaper' to buy packages every year rather than try to over-winter (some don't even care about the honey, its all about the check).  Bees as cattle?

Locally, we had a cranberry pollinator abandon his bees a few years ago simply by picking up the hives in mid Day, leaving the foragers that were out collecting just plain out of luck, w/ no home, no queen, just a field of cranberries to return to.  What kills honeybees?  We kill honeybees Cry

thomas
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 01:42:05 PM by T Beek » Logged

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rdy-b
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 03:10:45 PM »

  TREAtment FREE--EHHH  cheesy  RDY-B
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float8er
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 07:21:55 PM »

Forgive me for not starting a dozen new threads. For, I suppose all these newb q&A's is probably helpful for future archiving :S

Anyhows, my understanding now of pigs hair vs horse hair. is that honey and goop is more likely to stick to one, than the other.

Im quite amateur guys. I'm feeling rather guilty.  caught quite a few reswarms of my own hives.. and iv not had the finances to gear up, so that I can start beeing a proper beek. I should be doing this better :S

I got 13 hives now. The latest swarm I caught, I feel like i kinda stuffed up. got about 20 stings. No gear at all. forgot my lemon grass scent,and bug vacum ($20 kids toy but works wonders for stray bees)
and i made the new swarm (had actually settled in under a coppers log (a friendly public servant had organised improv shelter by thumbtacking some plastic over them-
and theyd been there 3 days. It had been rainy weather. They were cranky.
I didnt feed them.
Transported them in a smelly box, only to tip them into an old chest of drawers. (which i think is gonna be great for them) and not so bad when i transfer, a  i can remove the chipboard backing to access much of the hive- or simply whack a lang on top (the chests is upside down with a temporary roof)
BUT
im sorry i didnt sugar spray them. not only for the stings to throat and behind kneecaps.. but because i have them close by 2 other fairly established, yet small hives that they appear to be trying to rob.

Question:
3 days after being in a chest of drawers :S (it'l make a good future 'disposable' lure i reckon) Can I open up gently and give em a spray?

and 1:1 a cup of sugar to a cup of water?

Many thanks

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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2011, 05:55:46 AM »

Use smoke, they've already told you they're angry. Why provoke an attack?  Spraying will only cause a 'few' to be unable to fly and get ya, smoking will calm things down, couple of puffs will do ya.  Use a veil, always use a veil.

Close entries to smallest possible hole to prohibit robbing.  If it gets real bad, throw a wet blanket over the victim hive until things have calmed down.

thomas
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float8er
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2011, 04:23:34 AM »

Thanks thomas

I mean, can I spray them:
in order to help stimulate wax building etc ?
AS they were angry..probably hungry..should I have given them a sugar spray..
(can i still?) to help fill their bellies and quicken things up?

Unfortunately..since last posting- I checked them today,
and there was barely a handfull of bees in the hive : (
I think most of them got hammered, as they tried to rob the other 2 hives close by.
--

just something else..

I need to transfer a log hive that I snatched from the wild. It needs to me moved asap (housing regulations) but I havent had time to get them into a lang yet. Problem is, there's more bees hanging out the front of it, than could even fit inside. Short of 'making' more hive around it, by drilling wood onto it so i can seal it up for transportation,
what else could I do?
Dump them into another box? Because i do have a smaller hive with a queen, that I could hold under and 'brush' them into..
but hows it go putting a big bunch of bees, into a small hive? Will they fight? over run the small once? will many die, or do they convert if there brood and a queen where there dumped?
I've got 2 nights to move 2 awkward hives.
And im getting worried :S
Any help would be great!

Many thanks
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T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2011, 05:49:39 AM »

It appears as though your one colony may be doomed being so small, but your season is just beginning so there may be hope provided they are queen right.  What kind of temps are you having?  If its warm enough give your bees some 2-1 sugar syrup.  Spraying them won't provide enough to do anything except keep a few from flying and piss the others off. 

If there's no forage for them yet you need to feed, feed, feed until outside forage is available.  Good luck w/ this one.

I've caught a lot of swarms but never done a cut out from a tree or log.  There are several with much greater experience who will hopefully check in with advise. 

How big is the log?  Could you just wrap it in a burlap bag or some other airy material for transport?  Some have taken logs with a bee colony home and placed it as is in their yard with other bees, just have to make a roof.

Can you send pics? 

Winter is just beginning here so I must keep in mind that you are in Spring mode.  You've got some work to do but time to do it.

thomas
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