Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A good friend called me just a few minutes ago. His dad just happened upon a large cloud of bees flying over a large fallen willow tree toward the back of his large wooded property in NW Medina county (about 6 miles from Spencer, Oh).

His father's description: "In the air, the swarm completely filled the sky across a 200+ foot opening in the trees." and "I could hear them from over 100 yards away and walked back to take a look"....

I asked for a bit more details (Are they coming or going?), but either way it looks like I will be driving to Spencer later tonight!

It sounds like I will have one of the following: a swarm to hive tonight (if they bivouac low enough to reach), swarm traps to set (if too high up in the trees), a newly established cut-out to do this weekend, or a cutout on an older hive to do in about two to three weeks (once the new queen completes her nuptual flight and settles back in)!

Despite being a bit far to drive, at his mother's request, his property was offered last year as a prospective "bee yard" for my hives. Looks like she will get her wish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just got a picture message. The fallen willow is the donor hive. There is a large swarm ball on the end of the one of the branches of the willow, only about 6 feet up in the air!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would, but I don't know how to get them off of my phone and up online!!!

I'll be sure to bring a camera with me tonight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anyone hive a swarm in the dark before?

Ok, leave work in 15 minutes, then off to my son's soccer game (I coach, can't skip it!), then grab my camera, muck boots and a hive body with undrawn foundation.. ...then a 30 minute drive to get there...

It might be a bit of a late by the time I get there tonight, well after dark to be sure.

Anyone hive a swarm in the dark before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,829 Posts
Not in the complete dark. Bees will go to light (except red) so try not to use much of it. They are also pretty good at crawling so wear a suit and make sure your ankles are covered.
( Make sure your camera has a flash :lol:)

Go get 'em!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,996 Posts
Set up the box as it would be on permanent location. Cut the limb and place it at the entrance of the hive. By tomorrow noon they will all be in the hive.

If you plan to take it home tonight, cut the limb and place it in a large cardboard box with small air holes punched with a nail. Close it up and install them tomorrow, at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Not in the complete dark. Bees will go to light (except red) so try not to use much of it. They are also pretty good at crawling so wear a suit and make sure your ankles are covered.
( Make sure your camera has a flash :lol:)

Go get 'em!
I can vouch for them crawling, last night took two behind the knees while working the trap out box.....Testy buggers they rewarded me today when moving them into their new home too, one on the throat and two behind the head.

Good luck , hope you come home with a big box of bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,829 Posts
Wow, thanks for the (great) pics! :thumbsup: Did you leave the box there for any stragglers to find in the AM or did you call it a night and take 'em home?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hived the bees this morning (*45F, a bit cool yet but it kept the flyers down). They COMPLETELY fill a double deep!

As for the collection site. The tree is a large willow, perhaps 4 feet in diameter that stood at a bend in the creek. Several years ago it died and fell along the side of the creek bed. The swarm was right on the end of a 12"-14" diameter broken branch extending out over the creek. Thankfully, the creek was only a couple of inches deep and plenty firm to support the ladder.

PERRYBEE: The parent colony is in the trunk of this tree. I figured any stragglers would just beg their way back into the parent colony. I'll be back down in a couple weeks to trap out the parent colony as well.

PERRYBEE and ZULU: Crawlers? Yep... I got popped in the back of the neck, but not until I got up to my car and took my jacket off (must have been on the back of my pants). After that, my son rode the whole way home in his bee suit! *(then again, I did have the box of bees sitting in the back seat of my car. The box was tied up in cloth bag)


BTW: I just got the email that my 3# package arrived that I just ordered last week! It looks like I'll have three hives up and running by month's end!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,829 Posts
Excellent and well done. Got the swarm and a parent colony waiting in the wings. :thumbsup:

Yeah, those last minute stings, the ones where you've done all the work, cleaned things up, satisfied that you've had a good day, and are ready to head home, are the ones that seem to hurt just a little bit more. I've got'em just as I'm reaching under the tailgate of my truck to flip it closed and POW. :roll: :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did my first full inspection on this hive last night (in a bit of a sunny break between fast moving thunderstorms!).

One, despite being from a feral hive, these are about the calmest bees I've ever worked with. The guards were alert, but head-bumping was more the norm than trying to land. This is great as I just ordered a hat a veil a day or two ago (the jacket gets too hot in the summer!).

Two, I was pulling frames out of the upper deep and started thinking that I might have a ton of drones coming up soon. The cells are built out very large over the frames (I'll get a pic against a ruler to measure soon). This doesn't appear to be the case as on one of the top middle frames, I found the queen (first time on this, I usually never try but just look for signs). She is easily the largest queen I've ever seen! At least 1.125" long and about the same size a pen cap off of a bic pen (just a tad shorter)!

Earlier, I was going to post a comment in Omie's "Getting Smaller" thread about the wild array of sizes I see in this swarm. Some of the workers are huge, close to the size of my Carnie drones last fall while others are miniscule in comparison (smaller than some of the Carnie workers)!

All of the drones I've seen in this swarm have been very big as well. Some nearing the size of a small bumble-bee! The drones from Duncan's Bees (Italian mutts) in the swarm I collected on Sunday are half this size! I haven't seen any drones from my Carnie package bees yet (haven't looked yet).

I'll work on getting some photographs this weekend. I may even have to pin mount a few to really show this size range...
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top