I think I caught my own swarm

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Gypsi, May 8, 2013.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Haven't been home since it got warm, got in during daylight yesterday and the deep swarm trap on the old truck is occupied. cutout hive from last spring seems to have lower numbers. Maybe I will get to look in hives today.

    Make that 2 swarms, bee tree is occupied
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i think i caught my own swarm......
    "the deep swarm trap on the old truck is occupied. cutout hive from last spring seems to have lower numbers. Maybe I will get to look in hives today."

    .........oooooppps!........:lol:
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope. I had scout bees but no bees living in either trap. Went through my hives, last year's cutout hive MAY have swarmed, they have a lot of honey but not as many bees as I remember from last time. Saw a queen and uncapped larva so if a swarm left, new queen is laying. Maybe my memory is broken. No real signs of robbing (that had me worried.)

    Gave everyone a summer roof with a jar of syrup and a rain hat around the jar. They let me, I didn't get started til 6:45 pm. Used a smoker, jacket with veil and gloves, but they weren't really out to get me. Til the most populous hive, but it was about 8 pm by then. Just barely still daylight enough to see. Even they were settled with a bit of sugar water spray, a puff of smoke and a new lid. And they have brood, they requeened themselves when I did the split back in early April, I left them 2 queen cells. I saw uncapped brood, they have a ton of bees, so it is all good.

    Now I'm feeding 5 hives during a flow. Tell me, will I get any honey?
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That very busy hive with the new queen is busily trying to rob the other hives out. Plan to be home tomorrow around noon and start stealing eggs, brood and young bees to bring the other hives back up to strength.
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I Robbed the busy hive of 3 frames of brood covered with nurse bees, gave 2 to its weakest neighbor, one to its other "half" the queen and bees I split it from. That young queen not 2 months old is spitting out eggs nonstop it would appear.
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    If you're feeding during a flow, your going to get a mixture of honey and syrup---not something I would be proud to extract and certainly not something I would call honey.
    If you want the real thing, NEVER feed while a flow is going on and the bees are collecting nectar. Truth to tell, there is no reason to feed if nectar is coming in.
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Texas definition of flow is pretty lousy. I don't know how anyone gets any honey here.

    I have enough flow to see flowers, but without feeding the queen kicks the drones out and stops laying.

    I pretty much keep bees for the fun of it and so I get tomatoes, unless we come out of our multi-year drought I do not ever foresee honey except on a cutout. I not only don't own an extractor, I don't see much need for one really.
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    At least the tomatoes are 100% authentic. :mrgreen: Enjoy them and the fun of the beekeeping. :thumbsup:
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is depressing actually. I have spent a couple of grand on a hobby that produces tomatoes, which I used to produce for $2 worth of seed. Selling a couple of hives this year will help, and I may learn to make queens.
     
  11. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Think of how much one can spend on collecting stamps---and you can't even eat them.
    ​You're better off with the hives and don't get depressed about it---enjoy all they have to give and teach you. Be proud of what you are giving to the world by raising them.
     
  12. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't collect stamps. I don't collect objects at all. I appear to collect bees. It's 90 degrees and muggy out, have to put my suit on and see if 2 more of the hives I didn't feed even survived. I'm depressed. My bee club said keep feeding, but I could see blooms and I really wanted honey. Could just sell everything off. Might. If i got a bee allergy, I would.
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    gypsi,
    hang in there girl,(hmmm, cowgirl up!? :lol:)
    your reward will come sooner or later. welcome to collecting and hoarding bees.....:grin: the last 3 seasons for me have really been very poor for me for honey, and this year with the late snow and cold, and now rains predicted through june, don't know for myself how this will wind up. my girls had winter stores left over, and i had one that did not survive, so these frames will be saved to feed the ones i do have. my predicament also adds hives in need of dividing, and it most likely will not get done, and those girls are all going to say adios on me.....

    "Could just sell everything off. Might. If i got a bee allergy, I would."

    gypsi, you don't want a bee allergy, you don't want what comes with it, systemic reactions, maybe anaphylaxis, and injections.
    you'll sell them off and then you'll want them back, look how far you have come gypsi, just hang in there. like ef said: "enjoy all they have to give and teach you." don't give up on those girls, or yourself as a keeper......
    :grin:
     
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The hive I added a frame of brood to the top box on, on friday, and a couple of cups of nurse bees, has absconded leaving behind freshly laid eggs, uncapped and capped brood. I think they left yesterday while I was gone to my daughters wedding (the non cancun one). Any chance that brood is salvageable. 90 out there now, the nurse bees I added seem to have stayed with the lower box brood from that queen, lows have been 70's. Photos to follow. I saw one entire varroa mite on a large uncapped larva. Ants have been a nuisance but I caught them early and ran them off (oil on pipes of stand, cinnamon around feed jar) Frames and frames of honey (or syrup) left behind too, pollen, bee bread, the bees are just gone.
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The wax moth larva in the top box were about 1/2 inch long, so I think the eggs were laid before I added the frame of bees and brood on Friday. (not sure what wax moth gestation is). I killed 1 SHB, the other got away, but no sliming of honey was going on.

    Bottom box did not have wax moth, did have stores and capped and uncapped brood, and was where most of the bees were on friday. Photos follow:
    Photos are on photobucket

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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  17. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have decided. Selling the bigger hives. The rinky dink half dead ones can be brought back to life if I get the big ones out of here, and they can keep me in tomatoes enough til I can get some mason bees. Does this mean I am giving up on honey? You bet.
    Does it make a difference in my honey harvest? Not a bit. Just makes a difference on my sugar bill. I have to get thoroughly miserable to get moving, I've got 2 hives sold, they can go get fed somewhere else. Still leaves me one half way decent cutout hive, one that just swarmed into my swarm trap (probably VSH), and one weak one of VSH genetics that is probably making a queen tonight. I would like to learn to make queens. But not right now. I need the garden in, I need the flooring in the house redone, and I have a life, minimally, past bees. High time I got out of worrying over these hives..
     
  18. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Gypsi---first and foremost, congratulations on your daughter's wedding. May she enjoy a wonderful life with her husband, may you enjoy seeing her happiness and, in due time that of her children. [My daughter and her husband went away for a vacation so this week, together with her in-laws, my wife and I will be "sharing" the job of taking care of her children (4 boys between 4 and 13). This aftrnoon we start.]
    Next, and you might be surprised to hear me say this but, if you find beekeeping burdensome and it gives you no pleasure, then drop it. You can put your equipment into storage (the combs will be destroyed by wax moths and SHB) in case you should decide on some future date to return to beekeeping or you can sell, give away or loan your equipment to someone else. Beekeeping shouldn't be a drudge, especially since you're not in it for the money.
    I'm sorry that it was my comment about syrup-honey that "put you down". Believe it or not, bees can find flowers when we see nothing. It's their business. We have to learn to read their actions.
    BUT, whatever the case, don't make your decision too quickly. Think it over when you are in a more positive mood. You just might decide that you want to stick it out and reach the level of expertise at which you'll be able to reap a nice crop of real honey, providing the weather cooperates. People who are involved in agriculture and agriculture related activities are those who best know how to look forward to and appreciate God's blessings.
    May He shower them upon you and your growing family.
     
  19. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    EF,

    Thank you for your blessings. I am sorry that I was offended, but beekeeping is local. What works in Israel doesn't work in Texas in a drought that despite occasional gaps has been running for 3 years. I've been keeping bees 2 years. If the weather pattern we have now is permanent, I might as well throw in the towel. The 10 hottest years in history, and in my part of the world, the driest, have occurred since 1998.

    I will keep the pitiful hives, I am good at nursing them through, and they will keep me in tomatoes, but the boomers that make honey do NOT do that here, unless one has a place to put them in an area with both flowers and irrigation. i do not, I do not have enough desire to drive to tend bees to attempt to find another place to host them.

    It is not anger. It is rationality. I have a mortgage. No one else helps pay it. The bees are becoming very costly pets. I will reduce the cost by reducing the count. And I've quit reading the honey reports, it is truly depressing.

    I starved my first hive literally to death in 2011, because no one told me that when my yard was full of flowers I had to feed the bees. It is unfortunate that they do not care for bermuda grass pollen or dust.
     
  20. tmrschessie

    tmrschessie New Member

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    Best of luck to you Gypsi, We have been in a drought here, coupled with the farmers cutting most of the trees, and spraying crops from the air makes it a challenge. I only have one small swarm colony at this time and not sure it will make it. Trying to have 4 good colonies by next year. Did any of the storms yesterday give you some rain? Take Care. Tom