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Author Topic: Urgent question: accidental swarm capture like Robo's  (Read 3384 times)
TwT
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2007, 06:31:09 PM »

to me it looks like a worker, could you put a worker beside it, its hard to tell by a picture.. I still think its a worker
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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2007, 07:08:39 PM »

She's larger than the workers in this hive by about 1/3.  That's why I noticed her in the ball and the fact that she is all black and my bees including these gift bees have stripes on them.  I'd be relieved if it were a worker, but mainly I'm anxious not to do any further damage to this gift from the skies.  I'm hoping that they will create a queen if they don't have one.

I'm planning not to do anything, open the box, or anything until after I get home from the Young Harris Beekeeping Institute next Sunday.  Hopefully by then all will be churning away, but if not, I'll add some brood from my great productive hive and see where that takes me. 

Beekeeping is an adventure in lack of control, I'm finding.  I never know what's going to happen and often I am taken by surprise.  Actually this "extra" hive is a good kind of surprise/problem to have.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2007, 09:30:49 PM »

Tillie, I know you dont want to but open the hive and inspect, see if there is any eggs or very young larva, if not put a frame of eggs from one of your other hives in it and if that was your dead queen they will start building cells, if not then your queen is still there and you should find brood. I wouldn't let them go a week with out knowing because then they are a week behind if you are going to let them raise a queen.
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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2007, 09:51:33 PM »

Looks like a drone to me.  It's the huge eyes and the bluntness of the butt that give away a drone as not being a queen.
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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2007, 11:00:18 PM »

Thank you, everybody - I think I'm going to do what TWT suggested and if it's an OK day tomorrow, go ahead and open up the hive and put in a frame of brood from my burgeoning hive.   I have seen many, many workers in my house - I trap them daily under a glass and free them through the dog door, so I know she looks different than they do and she has a pointed rear end (final picture as she lies in state on a handkerchief beside my glass of wine!)


Although in this picture (can't see it with my naked eye) it looks like she might have a stinger - that would mean she isn't a queen, right?

So just to give the hive the best chance possible to make it, I'm going to add brood tomorrow and THEN leave them alone for a while!

You all are the best - anybody from this group who comes to Atlanta, please call and let me meet you in person,

Linda T trying hard to bee a beekeeper in Atlanta
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2007, 11:51:12 PM »

queens have stingers, just they dont have barbs on there's stingers like the workers, that's how one queen will kill others with her stinger and can kill many queens
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2007, 12:38:46 AM »

That last picture was the best of the lot, I would say the queen is dead.  Now it's time to take action to make sure the hive becomes queen right by whatever method you prefer.
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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2007, 08:24:04 AM »

OK, so I just reread Michael's writings on doing a split - which in essence is what I will be doing today. 

I'll open my biggest, best hive and take two frames of brood - the youngest brood I can find - eggs and larvae -

I'll add this to what is now the equivalent of a split without a queen - the four frames of bees in the current new hive.

And I'll make sure in taking the two frames from the existing hive that I am not taking their queen and will replace the frames I am taking with two starter strip SC frames put between two filled frames.

I'm not going to look much into the new hive because I've disturbed the H.... out of them already.

Then I'll "walk away" for a week or so and see how the new hive fares after that.

Hope that sounds like a plan and thanks for the help.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2007, 10:23:26 AM »

>Beekeeping is an adventure in lack of control, I'm finding.  I never know what's going to happen and often I am taken by surprise.

You have hit the nail right on the perverbial head for me...

Hope you split goes smooth as silk!

Sharon
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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2007, 12:48:53 PM »

I just made the BIGGEST MESS.  I can't believe how badly it all went.  This swarm has hived itself in a deep which was available to it because I am moving to all medium hives.....I do have deeps on both of my nuc-started hives this year because they came that way, so my plan was to take two brood frames with eggs from the strongest of the two and add these frames to the small hive.  There were only three frames of bees and no evidence of a queen - no larvae of any kind although they were collecting nectar and making honey.  I probably should have (in hindsight) simply shaken this pitiful group into my weaker hive and let them add to the workforce there.

But I was determined to try this experiment of getting them to make a queen.

I opened up the largest hive (five boxes) and looked through the bottom deep....lots of capped brood, only a few larvae and no sign of eggs, but I've never been able to see eggs except with a computer picture after the inspection.  I look and look and the hive is mad at me and I can't find any newly laid eggs or any frame in that box with lots of new activity.  I conclude that the queen has moved up to the medium and is laying there.  I checked a few of those frames and still don't see eggs.  So the hive is not happy that I am so intrusive after inspecting them yesterday as well (only the honey supers) so I put it all back together.  When I put the last frame back in the lower brood box they get really furious.  I hope it's because I killed a bee and not the queen in that hive.

Then I went to my next strongest hive - with four boxes.  I get into the deep brood box and there are lots of frames with pollen, larvae, etc.  I'm trying to see eggs and as I hold the most promising frame up toward the sun, the comb breaks in half and falls to the ground. What a sticky mess!  I ran inside followed by furious bees and got my rubber bands and rubber-banded the comb back into the frame - took 6 rubber bands.  I couldn't do anything else to that hive (and I certainly hope I didn't kill the queen although I didn't see her in either hive).

Then I went to my building-up-from-last-winter hive which is now all medium boxes.  I opened the top brood box and there were clearly larvae in all stages and although I couldn't see the eggs, I assume that the cells near the very young larvae were eggs.  I put this and another frame with capped brood and some open brood in the small new hive.  They are medium frames in a deep box. 

At this point, I just hope I can still be counted a beekeeper and not a bee-haver.  I could not have handled this worse today....and all because I wanted the experience of seeing if I could get them to make a queen.
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« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2007, 01:15:46 PM »

Tillie in reading your post you sound like you are stressed out to the max! Easy does it! Just let your mistakes be little lessons that help you to understand bees a little better. Its amazing what the bees will put up with and they do have a way of fixing our mistakes. As far as the bees being upset, if you are really concerned add a little more smoke and they will calm down a lot. If you have a frame of honey in this hive and I believe you said you did in an earlier post, they will consume some of this honey when you smoke them, giving them something to do when you are in there. Go back in, in a couple of days and be calm, smoke the bees good, and carefully examine your frames. Look for that queen and eggs, really look, turn the frames that have brood at different angles, use the sun and try to look for eggs. Pay attention to how much capped brood you have and compare that to your next inspection. Good luck, and remember we all have mishaps!
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« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2007, 01:29:12 PM »

Tillie in reading your post you sound like you are stressed out to the max! Easy does it! Just let your mistakes be little lessons that help you to understand bees a little better. Its amazing what the bees will put up with and they do have a way of fixing our mistakes. As far as the bees being upset, if you are really concerned add a little more smoke and they will calm down a lot. If you have a frame of honey in this hive and I believe you said you did in an earlier post, they will consume some of this honey when you smoke them, giving them something to do when you are in there. Go back in, in a couple of days and be calm, smoke the bees good, and carefully examine your frames. Look for that queen and eggs, really look, turn the frames that have brood at different angles, use the sun and try to look for eggs. Pay attention to how much capped brood you have and compare that to your next inspection. Good luck, and remember we all have mishaps!

Oh, I am going to listen to those calming words of wisdom...and hopefully apply themusfully in my beek endeavors...
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« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2007, 01:35:08 PM »

JP, thanks for the support.  I was trying to use as little smoke as possible today so that I wouldn't end up with the queen on one of the frames I wanted to move.  I ended up smoking me as they all attacked - amazingly I didn't get stung (I was fully suited) but my gloves had 15 stingers in them when I washed the honey off from the comb mishap.

You're right - I learn something from every mishap - and this is no different.  I took a magnifying glass with me and still couldn't see eggs.  I think if I ever try to do this again, I'll take pictures of possible frames the day before and then move them the next day when I can see them on the computer!

I also learned how to rubber band in a huge piece of comb - I've done small pieces but not half a frame. 

And there are further lessons to be learned as I deal with this hive and see if it can make a queen.  I may call someone in Georgia and try to buy one instead.....and then have the adventure of introducing a queen which I haven't done before.

Linda T
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« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2007, 03:33:38 PM »

Dear Linda T in Hot - lanta -- My two cents.  You are doing fine!  Enjoy it. 

Wish I could offer more concrete support however I’m so new at this all I can to is watch.  Thank you for sharing your on-going experiences and adventures in this thread and others.  You are learning much and so am I and others through you.  All the best to you and your bees.

Bee1
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