Hive status report... July 3rd, 2012 Is a Swarm in my future?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Gypsi, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Went through last winter with no bees. So sad.

    I think I've gotten past that point.

    Late March cutout hive, one deep, one medium, they are drawing comb and packing in food supplies, plenty of bees.

    Nuc 1 - kept here, been robbed for a frame of brood, packing in and putting up, one deep, one medium.

    Nuc 2 - kept across the street. Been robbed for 2 frames of brood and a frame of food to set up housekeeping for the queen I bought. Good thing I robbed them, they were full, one deep, one medium. Added another medium this past week, and put a screened vent chamber on top. Was just going to add the vent, but I figured they'd start drawing comb in it. Hope it's not too much real estate.

    Bee tree swarm that I cut out and moved to hive on top of my trailer at back of lot. Was hot, now mellow, a deep and a medium, far from fully drawn out, but they seem to needed the space to hold the comb I moved with them, the deep frame I stole from nuc 1, and they are drawing comb, seem to have plenty of bees.

    Nuc 3 - started with a queen I bought to requeen the Beetree bunch, 2 frames of brood, one frame of food. Almost ran out of food, all the bees had just hatched out, queen had 3 day old brood in the food frame when I was in there Monday a week ago, so I think she's doing ok. I put a jar feeder in a telescoping top (had woodworking issues with the heat and where the plywood was buried. They emptied it. Refilled yesterday.

    I am feeding all my bees, we don't get much rain at this time of year. Ragweed and goldenrod flow is due to start soon, based on what's in my yard anyway.

    And the real kicker. I brought home the swarm trap from the March cutout job last week, set it on the hood of my chevy. The chevy we are supposed to swap engines on this coming week. (Not happening, I have too much work to do to be here.)

    Good thing it's not happening. I think I have some bees to move. red_swarmtrap.jpg There are scout bees, probably from one of my hives, checking the box out. I've seen them off and on for the last 2 days. Not sure who is thinking about swarming, don't know if I can prevent it. But might as well let them get cozy before I move the box.

    Happy July 4th.

    Gypsi
     
  2. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have you been through the nucs to see if queen cells are made, and for that matter why have you not gotten everything in 10 frame hives? Swarming is natural and a sign that the colony is healthy, but depends on your goals for your bees, want honey production, then swarms are your bain, if your looking to expand your colonies, then swarms are excellant, but you really can't have it both ways efficiently.
    Barry
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Barry, Nuc 1 and nuc 2 are VSH bees in 10 frame equipment, went there within an hour of bringing them home on April 28th.

    They have each nearly filled a deep - and the medium above is well stocked with stores. Outer frame on each side not drawn out, in our Texas heat, I'd as soon not worry about getting them drawn out. They are on plasticell foundation with a factory wax coat, and pulling wax. I feed about a quart of 1:1 per week to keep them drawing comb, since I started with none. I was in nuc 2's 10 frame deep with medium last week, and despite my having stolen 2 deep frames and 1 medium 10 days before, it was pretty crowded. I did not see queen cells, but it was so crowded, and getting so hot, that I stopped my inspection as soon as I saw 3 day old brood. Didn't want to roll the queen to prove anything. I was in there checking to see if I'd rolled her during my theft 10 days before. The bees were not terribly happy to see me, but not overly aggressive.

    There was a bit of extra comb built out on the bottom of one of the deep frames, but it was just comb, not a queen cell. Didn't see excessive drone comb. I was going to take pictures, but when my neighbor built the hive stand he did it at waist height or a bit higher, so I was working from a step ladder and transporting frames a couple of feet to an empty box on a card table. Part of why I stopped when I saw brood. Next hive stand will be perhaps better designed, but then again, for a remote hive I can't keep an eye on for predators, up high isn't all that bad, and it is sheltered from the wind by privacy fence. Need to shoot some more water in the ant block tray, I did see a couple of ants in it.

    I need to go through Nuc 1's 10 frame, maybe tomorrow morning early since I am off. And it has been a while since I went through the cutout hive. It was quite swarmy when I first brought it home. But I am feeding, so honey won't be fit to use or sell anyway. Keeping bees alive through the summer dearth and the winter is my first concern, if I dodge swarms it is to maintain population. Maybe next year I'll have bees during the flow, and get a bit more honey. I pulled 40 liquid ounces from the bee tree (unfed) when I moved them out.

    Gypsi
     
  4. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ahh sorry, once I place in standard 10 frame, I stop calling them nuc's, just feed them up as needed. If they do swarm, apparently you will be in for another increace of colonies.
    Barry
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Took a peek in the 10 frame 2 box of vsh bees. Short peek, early AM on July 4th. Darned smoker went out, bees didn't like me much, too early, the foragers were still home. 2 empty frames in the top medium, at least 1 empty frame in the deep, so they aren't out of room. Closed it up and fed them. Didn't get stung, but they were not as calm as I'd like either.

    It was going to be too hot later in the day too.

    Gypsi