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Author Topic: First swarm of the season  (Read 761 times)
sawdstmakr
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Location: Jacksonville FL


« on: January 14, 2013, 10:16:26 PM »

Received a swarm alert yesterday. It was in the space between the first and second floor with an entrance near the top of the top step. I was getting my swarm equipment together and my wife started helping carry equipment to the truck and when I thanked her for help load the truck, she said she was going. That was a great surprise and a first.
Found 3 entrances to the building, one in the back, between the first and second floor, the one above the top step and another one half way up the outside wall. I smoked the back entrance trying to get them out. They just stopped using this hole. Went out front and found a hole large enough to see in the building and I could see clusters of bees inside. I tried smoking them out after i vacuumed up the bees at the entrance. I could not get them to abandon this space. After smoking them, I could see that there was no comb and it looked like the space was open under the entire apartment. I went through a 5 gallon bucket oh pine needles trying to smoke them out. We started at 5:30 Pm, at 8:00 PM we decided to start after work the next day (today).
This evening there was bearding at the entrance that was still partially closed up from last night. I vacuumed them up and then we started opening up the out side of the wall between the 2 floors. Found hundreds of new wax spots and a 1 inch square of new wax comb but very few bees. By this time we had thousands of bees entering at the top right hand corner of the building. I tried smoking this group out. It didn't take too long to get them to pour out but the queen never came out. We went into the attic and found and vacuumed 3 clusters of bees in the eves. I am hoping the queen was in the largest cluster in the attic. Left them in the vacuum cages.
By 7:00 PM (for the first time) there were no more bees flying around.
I will give them a hive with 3 drawn comb frames and 2 honey frames and 5 foundation frames, tomorrow.
My first concern when I got the swarm alert was getting a mated queen. I vacuumed up a lot of drones. That was a good surprise.
Jim
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tefer2
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 08:44:43 AM »

Is swarm season starting early for you folks, or is this time of year normal?
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bailey
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 09:05:16 AM »

It seems s bit early. Florida having them now. I expect some here by mid feb unless we get a cold snap.
 Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 11:21:11 AM »

I was very surprised when I received the notification. I was doubting is was a swarm and was probably a hive that wasn't noticed until we opened it up and I found the new wax near the entrance.
I plan on opening my hives on Monday to see if they are getting ready to swarm. There were quite a few drones in the swarm.
I was planning on doing splits in February, the 14 is our normal split date.
I really don't want to do splits this early, we could have some really cold day ahead.
Jim
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Bees In Miami
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 11:30:09 PM »

sawdstmakr:  Recognizing you are further north in the State, just to let you know I did a walk away split mid December against my better thoughts, but the bees were telling me otherwise.  I was in the Nuc yesterday, and indeed they now have a laying queen.   I don't think the drones ever went away so far this year.   I did a swarm retrieval last week at a condo, and was quite surprised at the number of drones present there, as well.  I hope this weather keeps up, as my hives are splitting at the seams!  Likely doing another walk away split tomorrow, as the hives I took from mid December are once again FULL.   My opinion FWIW is, if this weather holds, don't watch the calendar, watch the bees.   I just knew my December split was doomed, but they proved otherwise!  Go for it.  Wishing you an excellent year! 
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 02:54:42 AM »

Thanks. What is a walk away split? Is that cutting the hive in half? My bees definitely kicked the drones out last October. If the hives are full and have drones I will split them on Monday.
Jim
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bud1
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 10:55:45 AM »

walkaway split; just put bees and comb in box making sure one frame has eggs and young lava and bees will make a queen
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to bee or not to bee
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 08:38:25 PM »

Thanks Bud.
Jim
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