4-25-10 Swarm Pics

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Bens-Bees, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Well, I got a call for a cutout a few days ago, showed up yesterday to assess the situation and found there was also a swarm but I was not prepared to collect it. Rained like the dickens all night but weather turned nice today, although breezy. I misjudged how far off the ground the swarm was, or they may have moved to a higher branch. But I had to stand on top of the roof ridge and use 15' of PVC pipe in addition to my reach to get the bee vac up high enough to deal with them. The roof was steeply pitched so just standing there was difficult and painful after a while, and with such a long hose on the bee-vac, many of the bees were badly hurt or killed by the vac... about half if not more than half. I feel fairly confident that I got the queen because afterward the rest of the bees dispursed and rejoined the wall-hive... but whether or not the queen lived is my biggest concern. To be sure they either have a queen or can raise one, I'm about to go out and give them a frame of brood and eggs from an existing hive.

    I'll tell ya, this was one of the most difficult swarm captures I've ever done. It was not pretty at all. So hopefully the bees will pull though and make it, and I just pray that I got the queen so that I can diversify the genetics in my bee-yard. Given how hard this winter was on all the other bees in TN, any feral hive that could not only survive but reproduce has got to have some pretty tough genes that I want.

    Here's just a few pics... I didn't stop to take many pics because the job was so difficult as it was.

    So without further ado... the pics:

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  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    That had to be a tough one to get with the wind whipping around like it is today, and then the power line under them also.

    Good catch and hope you got that queen.

    G3
     

  3. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I'm feeling much better about it now... re-hived them with the frame of brood, honey and bee-bread plus 3 frames of partially drawn comb... they started fanning right away and I found that I had quite a few healthy bees in there... around 2-3 pounds of them, real friendly bees too. They also have about 12 frames coated with syrup to feed from and hopefully draw out soon.

    Lots of dead bees too though... didn't locate the queen but there was a queen cell on the brood frame that had a big fat grub in it so they can use that if there's not a queen (I had split the brood nest in the other hive so much that one side was making an emergency queen, LOL.

    Also checked on my split and gave it two more partially drawn frames and the bes covering it... though they appear to be doing ok, it was clear that they didn't get the queen and are raising one now, saw 3 capped queen cells in there, though the bees aren't testy like they normally are when missing a queen. Could be because I've given them extra frames of brood a week ago and they still have some capped brood from that. But now with the addition of today's bees they should be relatively equal strength to the one next to them that they came from (and many have drifted back to).
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Hope you got her.

    Also hope it's all right, but I put a little space between your pics.
     
  5. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I took some more of them when I re-hived them, but those pictures didn't save either... I have just about had it with that camera!
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    You are braver than I am. My last swarm landed in the top of a 20' arborvitae, and I just waved at them and said "Bon Voyage!"
     
  7. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Braver, or more desperate? LOL