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Author Topic: OK to do cutout in rainy weather?  (Read 1919 times)
doug494
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« on: May 21, 2013, 11:30:31 AM »

Yesterday I checked my hive and planned on splitting them to stop swarming.   Too late.  I found empty queen cells and what looked like a smaller queen (maybe virgin or newly mated) and fewer bees than I expected.  Some capped brood, some larvae, but no eggs that I could see.

As I was leaving I went past an old trailer sitting on the property and saw some bees circling around.    Looked underneath and sure enough there was some old comb under there.  I suited up and poked around, cutting away some of the covering and pulling some damaged comb for a better look and they definitely looked to be occupying it but they were very docile.  I noticed no defensiveness at all while I was disturbing them.  Maybe I found my own swarm and they aren't fully established in the new space?

I went back this morning and they are still there and I want to try to cut them out and get the queen if possible, since I don't have a spare.  This morning it was raining and a quick peek showed them huddled together.

If it is still rainy this afternoon, is it OK to go ahead with the cutout?  It's dry under the trailer.
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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 11:34:02 AM »

They're more defensive in bad weather as all the bees are home.  I'd wait a few days for better weather.
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doug494
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 12:04:25 PM »

I was hoping if they aren't established with brood, they would still be more docile like a swarm.  Of course I am basing their temperament solely on my interaction with them yesterday.  If I wait a couple days they will perhaps have eggs or brood and be more defensive.

How long is a swarm a swarm?
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 01:42:40 PM »

Quote
If I wait a couple days they will perhaps have eggs or brood and be more defensive.

don't think so.  they are more apt to be defensive of stores.  i'd wait.  some of the nastiest swarms i have ever collected, i have done in bad weather.  swarms are only nice most of the time  Wink
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
D Coates
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 02:18:05 PM »

The worst swarm I've ever had was last Sunday after they'd been rained on all night and as another storm was coming in.  Got stung 6-8 times and they were more defensive than I'd ever run into before.  Got them hived and settled in their new apiary as the clouds broke open.
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bud1
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 08:58:15 PM »

why wait go fore it they will be wasting resorses drawing comb that will be useless to you   too soft
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 09:13:31 PM »

LOL bud not everyone want to get stung up all day long!   grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
beek1951
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 11:13:03 PM »

I'd wait and let them draw some comb and lay some eggs, so if you don't get the queen, at least they will have the resources to make one.
I mean, you know where they are. They have expended their gorged honey. Why not let them get on their feet and go back and get them.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 11:26:22 PM »

I would wait and do it when not raining. they are real mean when they can't get out and play. don't worry about the new drawn comb. it will be useless. even if they have eggs you wont be able to use it because you will damage it and they will destroy it. save it and put it out in the yard so they can rob the honey from it. then save it to melt . It will be snow white.

John
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bud1
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 07:03:29 AM »

he said swarm not an old establishe hive. I miss read   missed he saw old dark comb. but will be something to do; just a little pissier.  I guess I cant see the dread some people put with a little tickle from a little bee. shucks Kathy its not a den o rattle snakes  o ps  stile got yo craper fo you to play with when you and chris make it down
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 10:35:53 AM »

bud, did that thing ever swarm?

some of us are not so tough  grin

sorry....OT  fishhit
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
doug494
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 11:06:16 AM »

OK

So the weather never came in so I went ahead and tried the cutout last night.  They were very calm.

I found new comb (they never chose to inhabit the older comb for some reason), with nectar, open larva, and some capped brood but no emerging brood.   As some have said the comb with larva in it was so soft I could not save it.

I never saw the queen, but I did dump as many bees as possible into my capture box (which did have some frames with old comb in it from a winter dead out).  At first I thought I may have gotten lucky because they started fanning the entrance to the capture box and the flying bees seemed to orient towards it.  I left it for the night.

This morning it looked like the entrance to the box was unattended and I saw a cluster underneath the trailer (still avoiding the old comb under there), so not as lucky as I thought.  Maybe the queen will be easier to get if they are back in cluster mode, instead of spread out on comb?

If I can get them in the box, I can move them to a hive and give them some eggs from my other one.  If all I can get is a small cluster, definitely larger than a softball, but maybe smaller than a soccer ball, is that enough bees to give eggs to for them to make a queen?

At least it is a really interesting experience to go through.

Weather permitting, tonight will be round two.  I'm hoping I didn't kill the queen last night.
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kathyp
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 12:39:55 PM »

since the weather has been bad and they may be hungry, you might try taking one of the frames of comb that you have and filling it with syrup.  it might help them want to stay in the box.  also, a frame of open brood from another hive if you can spare it?

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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
bud1
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 08:40:58 PM »

still going strong cathy
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doug494
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2013, 02:34:16 PM »

Maybe I got lucky after all.  I didn't get to mess with them last night.  I took a quick look at noon today and there were no bees under the trailer, but they were coming and going from the capture box.  I even saw one bringing pollen in.  They are still scavenging from the comb I cutout and placed next to the box, probably along with every other bee from hives in the area.

So, next question.  I think I am to wait until around dusk tonight, seal the box, and take it to the apiary and place it next to the hive I want to put them in.  Then tomorrow or this weekend I can move them into the hive during daylight hours and the foragers will find the hive entrance with the box gone.  I can hopefully verify queen status at the same time.

Sound correct?
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doug494
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2013, 10:46:29 AM »

Alright,

Everything went well this weekend.

On Thursday I transported the hive during a heavily overcast rainy evening.

Friday afternoon I transferred the frames into the hive body, and on the second inspection found the queen!  (She was skinnier than an actively laying queen).  I was able to give them some of the pollen and nectar they had originally gathered.  Plus they now have more comb ready for use.

Today I plan on doing a drive by to see how active they are and next weekend doing an inspection.

Overall a fun, interesting experience for my first "cutout".

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