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Author Topic: Combining homeless bees  (Read 2035 times)
jefftck
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Location: Benton Arkansas


« on: August 06, 2005, 11:11:54 PM »

I have been given the extreme pleasure of helping a guy that has been a beekeeper for over forty years, He has somewhere around 230 hives, earlier this past week we had captured a large swarm in a nuk box and carried it to his shop, this is where we extract the honey, he has a couple hives next to the building and has told me that some of the field bees we carry from the various bee yards will take up residency in those hives.
We caught the swarm on Tuesday and on Friday went out to rob another field, we unintentionally brought several bees back with us in the supers.
 We installed the frames from the nuk box (swarm)  to a deep / brood chamber 10 frames total, then added a med. super as a food chamber 10 frames, we found a few frames of brood and bees in the supers he had just gotten from the field, so I added those in the super with the swarm.
I’m thinking this should give me a good start for this swarm. Also as we were extracting honey there were several bees on the window wanting out, so I scooped them up into a can and poured them on the entrance to my new hive several bees went right inside, after all they were full of honey, LOL
Here are my big questions
How long can it take for this colony to get settled? (Not that they are mean)
Has anyone else tried adding homeless bees to a hive and not had any problems?
Please feel free to comment in any way.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2005, 07:38:56 AM »

>How long can it take for this colony to get settled? (Not that they are mean)

A day will get them fairly settled.  A swarm takes at least a day or two to get organized and start work in ernest.

>Has anyone else tried adding homeless bees to a hive and not had any problems?

All the time.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
jefftck
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Location: Benton Arkansas


« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005, 09:06:04 AM »

Thank you Michael, This was my first swarm to catch (very excited) now I have two hives.
Would you suggest putting a feeder on them for a week or two?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 11:18:31 AM »

I prefer to give them some capped honey for stores than to feed, but if there's a dearth they need something to eat.  If there is a flow, I'd let them collect it.  This is the time when sometimes there's a dearth and sometimes there's a flow.  At least here.  The main flow is over, but other flows come and go.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
jefftck
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Location: Benton Arkansas


« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2005, 09:05:21 PM »

Monday, I checked the hive and found, I didn't have the queen, and seems they haven't tried to raise a new one or there were no fresh enough eggs on those frames with brood we added,
Monday afternoon I ordered a new queen, She should get here by Saturday.
Is there anything I should do to help her to stay with the colony other than removing a frame and hanging the cage she comes in and letting the workers to except her.
This hive has plenty of honey capped and lots of pollen on several frames,
I know if I was a queen I would stay LOL
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2005, 11:04:52 PM »

Quote from: jefftck

Is there anything I should do to help her to stay with the colony other than removing a frame and hanging the cage she comes in and letting the workers to except her.


I recommend to be as certain as possible that there is NO queen or queen cell anywhere in the hive. It's just too darn annoying to lose a paid-for queen to an overlooked virgin or queen cell. Since they didn't build any queen cells it sounds suspiciously like they possibly have a virgin queen who hasn't started laying yet.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
jefftck
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Location: Benton Arkansas


« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2005, 11:19:23 PM »

Quote from: Joseph Clemens

I recommend to be as certain as possible that there is NO queen or queen cell anywhere in the hive. Since they didn't build any queen cells it sounds suspiciously like they possibly have a virgin queen who hasn't started laying yet.

I've made two inpsections a week apart since I got this swarm.
I am very certain there are no queen cells anywhere in the hive, as for a virgin queen I looked at every frame as carefully as I could and did not spot her. How long would it take for a virgin queen to start laying?Huh Also the guy I was helping, told me he had a very small swarm at his shop, I am only assuming that was the queen and the few bees I didn't get the first time around. But you never know for sure.
I hope the new queen I ordered will work out and that there is not a virgin queen I've overlooked.
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jefftck
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2005, 09:11:53 PM »

Update the queen I ordered came today  Cheesy  wow that was fast, since I ordered her Monday afternoon! Smiley
I took a few minutes to look around one more time and still no evidence of any queen, or queen activity (eggs, larva, capped brood)
How long should it take for the queen to get released from her condo and start to laying eggs?  smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2005, 11:14:15 AM »

>How long should it take for the queen to get released from her condo and start to laying eggs?

If the candy is soft, a few hours to get loose, which may be too soon.  If the candy is hard they may never get her out.  Four days is usually the goal.  Check back in four days and see if she's out.

How long for eggs depends on how long she'd been banked before she got shipped.  In other words if she was laying and they caught her and put her in the cage and mailed her that day, she will probably start laying a hour after she gets out.  If she's been in a queen bank for a month it will take a few days for her to fatten back up and start laying.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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