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Author Topic: Urgent question: accidental swarm capture like Robo's  (Read 3300 times)
tillie
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« on: May 11, 2007, 05:02:54 PM »

After reading Robo's post, I thought I should take a deep that I had left facing my weak hive about two months ago and turn it right side up so that maybe a swarm would land there.  I keep my grandson on Fridays so I didn't have any oppty to suit up or really do anything so I left the baby playing where I could see him inside and walked onto the deck, grabbed the deep and carried it over to a different place on the deck.

It seemed heavy for an empty so I looked down and it is full of five frames of bees.  Meanwhile I've set it in a normal hive body position, uprooting their world.  When I realized this I looked where it had been and there are bees circling trying to find the hive that is no longer there, so I quickly picked the deep back up and moved it back where it had been.

When I got back inside I realized that I had turned it yet another way when I set it down....so I probably killed bees and maybe the queen.

Originally the frames were sitting vertically - the deep was on end.

Here's how it now looks:
One side:

The other:


Should I go out and move the frames one at a time into another box, looking for the queen? 

Should I leave them in this topsy turvy mess over night? 

Should I leave the frames in the box they are in but turn the box to the proper position for a deep and then look at the frames one at a time?

Also the location is terrible for working the hive - right in the flight path of another hive. 
Can I move it to a different place on my deck? Or should I just live with it and be grateful for another hive....

Help!!!!!  shocked shocked shocked shocked

Linda T in ATlanta
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doak
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2007, 05:41:56 PM »

I would put it in the correct upright position. If you can leave itwhere they took it and turn it faceing the way you want it they will find the entrance. You could turn the other one 1/8 turn every 2 or 3 days till you getit where you want it.
It doesn't take the bees long to pattern a location . The Easter week end swarm went into the hive about 3 pm.
I moved it that night and the next day there was about 100 bees back, spent 2 or 3 nights on the ground and dissapeared.
If it is a good size swarm go ahead and put another deep on it and when the second one has brood and eggs with the queen in it switch. put the top on bottem. then check the comb and see how they started it.
I found a box once where the wax moths had destroied the comb and the bees built their new comb catacorned.
Hope this helps.
doak
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2007, 05:46:14 PM »

i second dorks idea with my own uninformed opinion.  thing is, the new hive does you no good if you can't put it where you want it.  i don't think i'd even bother looking for the queen until you have it in the position you like.  why cause them more trauma if you don't have to.  let them settle and then worry about other things.  my 1/2 cents worth  smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2007, 05:59:33 PM »

Kathyp is correct on looking for the queen. after about 10 or 12 days take a looksee and see what the pattern looks like. If it is staggered then consider replacing the queen

I have had my Easter swarm open twice. The first time I found a solid capped brood frame, maybe half doz. empty cells. that told me the Queen was fine. I closed it up. Yesterday I had to add the 2nd super. It was 5 high when I housed them. Now it's 7 high. Had to stand on a cement block.
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2007, 06:08:21 PM »

I just went out and righted the box and there were bees on the ground in a ball about the size of a walnut on the ground.  I took the bee brush and pushed it apart and they had  a queen in the center of the ball, I think - she was longer and larger than the rest.  I hope there's a queen in this hive but I'm not going to look at it for a week or so.  I just uprighted it and set it on a stand.  I don't even have a top so I used the pull out plastic board from my SBB to put on top for now and I'm heading for Lowe's to get some wood the right size and some cinder blocks. 

Eventually I need to move it about 6 feet from where it is in order to work it, but I can wait a week or so.

Linda T, grateful but klutzy in Atlanta (bet I injured the queen with all my topsy turvy stuff today, thus they balled her)
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2007, 06:17:13 PM »

if she was ejected from the hive when you moved it, they are probably just protecting her.  can you collect the bunch and put it back in the hive?  i have a stiff piece of plastic that i have kept for the job, but anything sturdy enough would do...or just pick her up?  she might get back in herself, but it's getting late in the day where you are?
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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
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2007, 07:11:59 PM »

I'll try again. My last reply didn't go through for some reason.
Don't try to requeen just yet. Set the hive upright and check to see if the queen had started laying. If so,
leave the hive alone for about a week and let the bees start queen cells. If they have already started feeding for a new queen, they consider their selves "queen right". After a week the cells will not be capped. if you want a queen from them leave at least 3 or 4 in,"if they start that many. If you want to re queen with a new queen, cut out ALL the queen cells they started. By this time there shouldn't bee any eggs for the bees to try to use for queen rearing. Now order your new queen.
We all get in a hurry or do things wrong sometime.
When a swarm is hived, it should be left alone for at least a week. Give them time to settle down and start keeping house. The later in the day a swarm can be hived or takes a box, the better. Close it up that night after sundown with screen wire and if possible move to its home site that night or early the next morning.
And always. When leaving a box sitting around, leave it in the upright pos.
Hope this helps.
doak
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2007, 07:26:44 PM »

dork, if her queen is sitting out on the ground, would you not recommend that she try to get it back into the hive?
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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
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2007, 08:06:29 PM »

Balling the queen is a normal thing for bees to do when the queen is outside the hive.
Return the queen to the hive. After all the uprighting and stuff you may want to place an excluder on for a few days so they don't abscond. All that disruption may have the queen thinking I don't like it here.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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doak
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2007, 08:17:45 PM »

You can try. Upright the box. put the queen back in. With a bottom board and a top cover on, if they are through with her they will  bring her back out. Then you will know.
Keep us posted on what happens with this swarm.
doak
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2007, 08:33:39 PM »

The Heddon hive was deigned so that you could tighten thumb screws on the ends and flip the box over.  Heddon believed he got more brood and less swarming by doing this every so many weeks.  He also had reversing frames which had a frame inside a frame that would flip over so you could do it a frame at a time.  The bees won't care if it's upside down.  There's a man who has a hive with round combs that rotate all the time to control Varroa.
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tillie
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2007, 08:58:05 PM »

At this point I don't know if the queen is in the hive or not.  when I found the ball, I brushed it onto a plastic board and then held that board over the hive and allowed the bees on it to go back into the hive.  I hope the queen was one of the three left and that she went back in. 

I guess if she didn't and they have brood/eggs in the box, they'll make their own queen and if I add brood frames from my other hives in 10 days or so, then they'll be OK.

I can't believe I let myself get so unnerved by all of this.  If I had just stayed calmer, it would have gone so much better.

I guess this is like getting a split without making it myself if the queen is MIA.

Linda T in Atlanta where it's raining
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tillie
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2007, 12:35:59 PM »

When I inspected my other hives today, I checked all around on the deck to see if I saw the bee that was being balled.  I felt sure I'd recognize her because she was all black, unlike my other bees who are striped.  Indeed I found her dead on the deck:



Does this look like a virgin queen?  I am so sad that all my moving of everything would result in the death of what may be the queen....I left that hive alone today - it's still in the spot where it originated.  I've ordered some more equipment and will move the hive when it gets here and then I'll check on the queen status of the hive.

Does that sound like the right plan?

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2007, 12:49:14 PM »

Tillie, its hard to make out what you have there, the picture is a little fuzzy. My first reaction is that it looks like a drone. More angles please?
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2007, 01:27:59 PM »

Here's another view - who knew it would be so hard to take a good picture of a dead bee....



Linda T in Atlanta
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doak
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2007, 01:48:06 PM »

The queens abdoman has the same shape when she is Virgin as she does after she has mated. Just larger.
If it tapers toward the rear it is a queen, the drawn is the same size all the way back all most to the end and is blunt shaped and shorter, fatter. That looks like a drone.
No hair on the queens throax.
Hope the helps.
doak
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tillie
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2007, 03:09:30 PM »

 Cry  Then I think it was the queen (although there is hair on the thorax of this bee??):



Linda T remorsefully hanging crepe in Atlanta
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2007, 03:52:59 PM »

Oh Linda... I sure hope it wasn't the queen...thinking about you from California Coast~*~
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2007, 05:40:34 PM »

still fuzzy, but still looks like a drone to me.
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2007, 06:00:20 PM »

Looks like a queen to me, I dont see how you thought the first picture was fuzzy. What do you want to see every single hair on the bee's body. It looks like a queen to me cause theirs no definable huge wrap around eyes.
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