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Author Topic: Very curious problem  (Read 2040 times)
Joseph Clemens
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« on: April 03, 2007, 03:13:39 PM »

A few days ago I removed the queen from a fairly fiesty hive - they needed it. I had two purposes in mind when doing this, 1) mellow them with a new queen, 2) use the hive as a cell maker, using brood from my "breeder" queen. I waited 3 days then carefully destroyed all queen cells that they had started, then gave them a frame of eggs and young larva from my breeder. This morning I verified that they had several nice queen cells started from the breeder brood. I closed them up and continued working the rest of the yard. Just as I was closing up the last colony I had open, I heard a loud hum, like the sound of a swarm, so I looked around, none of my colonies were swarming. I stepped out of the shade cloth enclosure that surrounds my hives, and still did not see the swarm. But, as soon as I had stepped back into the enclosure I saw them coming in from the North. The swarm was coming from outside my apiary. I have lots of idle equipment piled just adjacent to the apiary, many with combs, none are sealed tight. Often swarms are captured this way. But not today, this swarm zeroed in on my queenless cell maker, many just flew right into the entrance, quite a few formed a cluster on one end of the bottom board, but within 10 minutes all had entered the hive, no fighting, no muss, no fuss. Except for my queen cell maker, I'm afraid the swarm queen will destroy my carefully nurtured queen cells.
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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.
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 06:09:31 PM »

that must have been something to watch, I bet it could be from a AHB hive, I dont know for myself but have read that they will take over a hive like that, but still must have been a site.......you should have pulled the frame with the cells and put it in a nuc with a few frames from other hives, all that time and cells wasted... sorry to hear it man..... keep use updated on what you find when you inspect that hive again.....
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 11:46:39 PM »

Joseph, what an interesting story.  It would have been an incredible sight.

This poses a question that I would love to hear some answers to.

When swarms issue, don't the bees cluster after leaving their home, then the scouts go out to look for a suitable place to live?  Or sometimes I understood that the scouts leave the hive to find a home, prior to the issuance of the swarm.  But I wonder if my understanding has flaws.

If this is the nature of the bee swarm, I would think then that a scout must have checked out this colony, prior to the entry of the swarm, observed that is was a queenless colony and may have thought it a good place to bring their queen and bees to live in?  The scouts probably know that bigger is better.  Comments anyone?  Best of the days to come.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2007, 01:38:45 AM »

Yes, it was quite amazing. Many of my colonies were swarms, from elsewhere, that came in and took up residence in some of my idle equipment. I had no idea that swarms could really do what I saw this one do. My curiosity is very strong. I can hardly wait for daylight tomorrow, to see what's going on inside that colony. After I check it out, I will report about what I find.
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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.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2007, 06:46:14 AM »

This is an observed behavior of AHB.  They will take over a colony particularly a queenless one.
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 06:51:35 AM »

I moved my hive over to a friends house to visit his orange trees and the squash thats fixing to bloom. When I got home later in the day I went out to the bee yard to mow while the hive was gone and to my surprise there was a bunch of bees flying all over the 2 empty hives ( 1 nuc & 1 tbh ). I don't think they are from the hive I moved because there is just to many of them so I think a swarm just moved in when they seen the chance. I did not see a queen though so I took a frame of brood in all stages and some stores from the main hive and put in the nuc. Hopefully that will give them a few eggs to make a queen.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2007, 09:09:58 AM »

Holy crow!!!  I love to hear these experiences.  "there are strange things done in the midnight sun......."

Joseph, I can't wait to hear about your hive observations today.  Have the best day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 12:42:01 PM »

Update:
This morning I gave the formerly queenless cell builder colony a careful examination. The queen cells were still there -- yah, so I moved them to a different cell builder colony. The population was, at least, double what it had been -- the native population of this hive were dark bees, now there were a large percentage of the Italian yellow bees. And, finally I saw the new queen, she hadn't begun laying yet, but appeared to be sizing up nicely -- with the completely fuzzy thorax of a recent virgin.
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As Michael Bush mentioned, these are quite possibly AHB. If this is typical behavior for AHB, then, how can we expect to keep them out. They could take over anywhere they wished, and how would we even know? Since "hot" colonies are routinely requeened or destroyed, we may soon see calm AHB everywhere they wish to be.

Two years ago, I began requeening with Cordovan Italian, partially in an attempt to monitor the genetics of my bees. At least while the colonies queen continues to exhibit the golden Cordovan trait, and her workers do too, then there is most likely no AHB blood in them. It is said that the Cordovan trait can be bred into any strain/race of honeybee, but my hope if this happens (Cordovan gets bred into AHB), that better traits are preserved -vs- any poor AHB traits. Time will tell.

If I happen to create Cordovan AHB, then I hope, that they retain one good trait, that would be calmness, especially calmness on the combs.
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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.
Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2007, 09:08:30 AM »

Joseph, that is cool.  Now I wonder why the swarm queen had not gone around and killed all the queen cells that were in the formerly cell builder colony?  Maybe you got the queen cell frames out just in time.  Good.  That would have been a bummer to lose all those queen cells, eh?

You are doing some interesting stuff at your place.  That is good too.  I guess when the bees swarm with the queen it would take the queen a couple of days to size up to begin to lay again.  Never thought about that.  I do know that when they swarm the queen is inhibited from laying by the workers not feeding her to keep her skinny for flight.

Aren't these bees the most fascinating little beings in the world.  The way that they govern their queen blows me away. 

Oh, oh, I have an upset Robin outside, I can hear it, I have to run and check out what is going on.  Have a wonderful day.  Cindi.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2007, 01:06:46 PM »

Joseph, that is cool.  Now I wonder why the swarm queen had not gone around and killed all the queen cells that were in the formerly cell builder colony?  Maybe you got the queen cell frames out just in time.  Good.  That would have been a bummer to lose all those queen cells, eh?

You are doing some interesting stuff at your place.  That is good too.  I guess when the bees swarm with the queen it would take the queen a couple of days to size up to begin to lay again.  Never thought about that.  I do know that when they swarm the queen is inhibited from laying by the workers not feeding her to keep her skinny for flight.

Aren't these bees the most fascinating little beings in the world.  The way that they govern their queen blows me away. 

Oh, oh, I have an upset Robin outside, I can hear it, I have to run and check out what is going on.  Have a wonderful day.  Cindi.
Cindi, I believe this queen is a very young queen (still had a very fuzzy thorax), probably had her mating flight in route. Most likely needed a little more time to develop her queenly demeanor.

Yes, I've been enthralled by them since Kindergarten.
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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.
Joseph Clemens
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 382


Location: Tucson, Arizona U S A


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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2007, 12:59:22 PM »

Update:

This morning I went and searched out the mystery queen in the former cell builder, found her, placed her inside a queen cage, wired the queen cage into a styrofoam mating nuc, shook a couple of cups worth of nurse bees into the nuc with her and closed it up. I plan to feed them tonight and be sure that enough bees are staying to care for her. Then leave them alone, except for feeding, for a few days. BTW, she had not yet started to lay, so most likely she is a recently mated virgin, which matches her physical appearance, though she has grown quite a large abdomen, and has the typical laying queen waddle.
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alt="Click for Marana, Arizona Forecast" height=50 width=150>[/url]
Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Cindi
Galactic Bee
******
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Gender: Female
Posts: 9827

Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2007, 10:55:33 PM »

Joseph, nice, keep us posted on how she is doing.  Updates are very nice to read about.  Have a beautiful day, good health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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