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Author Topic: My bees are swarming  (Read 1469 times)
ChrisT
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« on: November 02, 2012, 02:53:53 PM »

Help! My bees are swarming. I wasnt prepared to deal with swarming in November so I dont have supplies.

I have extra mediums and a queen excluder. I can use the queen excluder for a bottom. What can I use as a top and entrance? And is the medium ok until I can get a NUC box this weekend?

Thank for anyone's tips

Chris
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ChrisT
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 03:12:53 PM »

I finally contacted by bee supplier and they said to put a piece of newspapaer on the hive and stack my extra medium on top and hopefully they will reintegrate into the current hive.

He said the swarm maybe from another place OR it may be a swarm with a virgin queen OR it could be a swarm with my real queen and they left a virgin queen in the hive (becuase theres no drones right now)


I am hoping this works. I will let other know the outcome.

Chris
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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 03:13:44 PM »

.
When bees have to draw foundations, it kills the swarming fever.

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ChrisT
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 03:24:45 PM »

Oh so maybe they have run out of space in the hive to put stuff?
I checked a week ago and they had a few frames left

I was worried that I had too much on the hive (1 deep 2 mediums - mediums are full of honey). Guess not.

Thanks
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 04:02:09 PM »

.
Do they need so much winter food and wintering space?

One medium is quite enough winterfood. Put another box into the store.

When the colony is  small and room is big, bees are not able to protect their hive very well.


How many frames you have brood there?
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ChrisT
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 05:19:01 PM »

I caught the swarm and went to open my main hive and theres no bees in there
Very strange

I have tried to place the swarm back in the hive 3 times. they keep going back to he tree

I am at a loss. No idea what to do. I see the queen in the swarm. catch her each time and put her into the main have.
She keeps flying back to the swarm area

Sigh
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hardwood
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 05:46:34 PM »

cage her for a couple of days...the bees will stay with her.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
ChrisT
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 06:00:15 PM »

The swarm has flown off.

I am gonna freeze the 2 mediums of honey to kill whatever is on them (if anything - didnt see any moths or slime)

Thanks everyone for your help.

Ill start again next spring

Chris
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BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 06:06:38 PM »

Dang bees!  Sorry to hear you lost the bees Chris, especially after all that trouble!  I think your best hope would have been caging that queen like Hardwood said, but maybe there was something about your hive that just made them bent on absconding.  I caught over 24 swarms this spring and never had that kind of trouble keeping a swarm in a box.  You got some stubborn bees Sad
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ChrisT
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 06:22:32 PM »

I do have one more concern.. Since my hive was empty...

My bees have been hanging out at the porch light and yard light all week. i turned off my yard light finally to stop them from doing that but i left my porch light on for security reasons. They still kept congregating at the porch light. Could they have just died one by one enough to make the remaining bees leave the hive becuase there were so few left?

I mean, they were still making honey as of last weekend's check. I have LOTS of honey.

This light thing was recent within the past couple weeks

Thanks

Chris

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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2012, 06:34:01 PM »

I have witnessed a nuc that would abscond from their box when the numbers got too low.  But low in that case was maybe 100 bees!  If there are still thousands of bees in a colony, I doubt they would abscond just due to loss of some foragers.  But who knows.  

How many bees are you talking about flying to the light?  I had mating nucs within 25 feet of a mercury vapor barn light and didn’t have a problem with losing too many bees.  Actually the mating nucs exploded in numbers and swarmed on me before I pulled the queen  Sad  

You are absolutely right that some bees will fly to the light at night, but my experience has only been a relatively small amount per night.  I figured that if those bees that flew to the light didn’t freeze, they probably go back to the hive in the morning; but just a guess.  Then again, who knows, maybe some bee genetics are more attracted to lights at night than others? 
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hardwood
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2012, 07:03:19 PM »

If you wait until it is good and dark out (an hour or more past sunset) to turn the light on you won't get a whole lot of bees at the light. If you turn it on at dusk returning foragers are confused by the light and sometimes many will be attracted.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
ChrisT
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 07:04:45 PM »

They would fly to the light and I would notice dead bees in the morning

It never seemed like many enough dying at the light to worry about. But maybe it was. They would attack me at night if I got near the light.

It could be the hive did dwindle in numbers and they finally just took off.. I just dont see how this could have happened in just a period of a week. Last weekend there werent many in the top medium (honey) but there were lots in the deep and in the first medium (honey). Unfortunately I didnt check for brood last weekend bc I didnt think they were making brood at this time of year anyways.

I was thinking of taking away the second medium of honey this weekend anyways just becuase there were so few numbers in it when i checked last.

This was my first year for bees and I wasnt sure of anything being wrong since I dont know what to look for. But it "seemed" healthy.
The only thing I noticed yesterday was ants marching in.. Which is odd.. Ive seen ants before but not in a marching pattern. Maybe it was the ants. But again. No ants when I opened the hive and no comb looks ruined.

I am just crushed.. Have to start all over again.


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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2012, 01:54:54 AM »

What's in the deep ?
Sorry,
Drew
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ChrisT
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 11:56:12 AM »

Drew,

In the deep was some honey, very little pollen, and a spattering of capped worker and drone cells. Some of the worker cells had bees heads popping out like they were just hatching but froze in time.

I wish i knew what caused this max exodus almost instantly (within  a week's time)

Thanks

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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2012, 12:21:14 PM »

I don't think u mentioned the frozen b's. that sounds like varroa. Find b's w/deformed wings ? Think u can freeze that 2 but check.
Drew
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ChrisT
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2012, 03:59:03 PM »

I never had seen deformed wings no.. I kept checking periodically for that becuase , being a first year beekeeper, I was sure it was going to happen to me. Actually I thought evry horrible thing was going to happen to me the first year: varroa, foul brood, beetles, robbing, swarming, the whole 9 yards so I was constantly montioring the behavior to make sure nothing was going wrong.

The only thing i ever had was hive beetles. The girls popping their heads out looked like they were chewing their way through to get out and then just froze in time. literally. never getting the cap completely off yet.

I would like to know what happened to at least look out for this again..
All we had was instant cold and very very windy condistions from hurricane sandy and, of course, Halloween. Im not even placing off the table that someone came into my backyard and did something since I was not here on halloween night and lots of people were coming thru here.

Thanks again for the ideas.. Im glad I am learning. I wish I could have made it through the winter at least. That was my biggest fear that they wouldnt live thru winter but it was November that I had to worry about.. LOL

Chris
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2012, 04:27:03 PM »

Chris,

So sorry your first year had to end up like this.  You have obviously learned a lot and if it's any consolation, your next package will have a great head start since you have comb and honey for them to use instead of building from scratch.  You even got some swarm-catching experience.  Next year will be easier.
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2012, 04:35:30 PM »

pull the frozen B's and look close
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2012, 04:54:45 PM »

Freeze the combs to kill all of the beetles before they destroy it.
Jim
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