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Author Topic: darn Hurricane Sandy! Help to save an open hive, now homeless swarm....  (Read 634 times)
Bees In Miami
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« on: October 27, 2012, 01:25:08 AM »

My neighbor, who knows I keep bees, and is WAY on board (due to the bumper crops of fruits and veggies) called me today to find out it I had removed comb from any of my hives.  I went over right away, concerned, to find 4 nice pieces of comb FULL of dying brood!!  I was SICK.  I checked my hives, all of which were undisturbed, so I looked for a solution upward.  Low and behold, a good sized swarm about 40 feet high in her avocado tree...obviously, they had built an open nest, and lost to the near 50 mph gusts we have been tollerating for a couple days due to Sandy.  (B!tch Sandy!)  I took the brood comb, and coated with honey (more as a lure as opposed to thinking the brood was salvagable), placed in a hive box with a couple frames with foundation, and threw some fresh lemongrass pieces I cut from the garden in there.   We can see the leftover swarm, and will try to retrieve tomorrow if this weather lets up some!!!  I left the hive/box partially uncovered with the crashed brood in frames (2 frames worth) on the ground, in sight, and up-wind, with the lemongrass bait.  Anybody think there is ANY chance this swarm will find the box???   I knew the brood was essenially done...but felt wrong to do NOthing...There were 3 worker bees in the new box when dark was falling....hoping for better results at day break!

We'll see what tomorrow brings.  Thanks for ANY insight in the meantime!!!   ANY chance of this working?  If the weather breaks a bit, we will go up the tree to salvage the swarm, because the OBviouly have a great queen!  (I am guessing this is the swarm I was not able to retrieve the day I had 3 swarms!)  

Advice?  ANY hope?  Climb the 40 feet???  Help!!  Please, and Thank you.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 01:52:08 AM by Bees In Miami » Logged
hardwood
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 09:26:35 AM »

Once they have built comb they are not a swarm anymore and will follow the rules of an established colony. Forget the brood comb you found and concentrate on the queen. You need to get up there some how and do a cut out of what's left just like any open air removal. Hopefully the queen is alright.

Scott
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 09:47:44 AM »

Ditto to what Scott said and to add a few suggestions/comments of my own. Definitely forget what you have in the box, they will only be interested in robbing any honey out of it and SHB will definitely be interested. Either get up there or leave them alone. They are 40' up after all.


...JP
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Bees In Miami
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 01:51:29 PM »

Thanks so much for the input Scott & JP!  Problems solved.  Raccoons had a high protein feast overnight on the unprotected brood, and the bees got up earlier than I did, and have disappeared.  I've taken several walks looking for them, but no luck.  At least I can sleep better knowing I tried to do SOMEthing.   I'll keep looking, and hopefully they settled somewhere a bit lower to the ground!  Thanks again!
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JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 07:53:16 PM »

If there's still comb up there, particularly brood comb, they likely returned right back up to the hive. Either way, don't worry about it too much. Good luck and stay safe!


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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