My first...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by afterburn001, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    ...Swarm!
    I know most of you have caught swarms and it may be mundane by now but I am excited about this.:clap:

    We have two yards. One at home (2 hives) and one at a friends farm (5 hives). Today I went out to the farm to put a pollen trap on one of our hives. We have been having a lot of cool and rainy weather and today was the first nice day in a while so it was a good day to check on the girls. There is a large tree about two hundred feet away that just looks like it would be the perfect tree for a swarm of bees. Why? I don't know. If I was a bee, that's where I would go. Anyway, I put a nuc up in that tree about a month ago, just in case. As I was walking in the the enclosed bee yard I glanced over at the nuc in the tree, Nope, no swarm today. and then something told me to go look more closely. So I walked over to the tree, looked up and there it was. A huge mass of bees about the size of a basketball. No kidding, the size of a basketball! It was about eighteen feet up, I know this because there was a sixteen foot ladder near by. I pulled the nuc out of the tree (it was all I had), pulled the frames out of it, clipped some branches to get to the mass and gave it a big shake. I got 90% of them and left the box on top of the ladder to sit. Over the course of the next hour all the rest found their way in, I closed it up and brought them home with me. When I got home I transferred them into a deep and installed frames. Now we have a total of eight hives!

    The funny thing is: I looked into all the hive and I don't see a reduction in any of them. You would think that with a swarm that size, you would see the reduction.

    Anyway, It was a fun day!!

    Mark
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Heck yes, they are exciting! First of all, I like Benjamins to stay in my pocket and the more swarms I find the better things stay that way. They are like money hanging in a tree for the taking. Besides the monetary value, it is a rush to catch them.

    Did you have lemongrass oil in the nuc? If so, do you think that might have drawn them? Good job and where is your pics!?
     

  3. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Now, you know the feeling:grin: Congratulations.
     
  4. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Yes I did put lemongrass in the nuc. I thought that may have attracted them also.

    The camera... I ran to the truck to get it and realized that today was one of the first times that I left it at home :( You would think a photographer would have some shots, huh? :sad:

    Mark
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Right on! That encourages me about my first trap I set out last week. I set one out with lemongrass on the property I did a chimney removal. I figured there had to be more bees around there somewhere....

    Yeah, I always thought cameras were like an extra appendage on photographers. Oh well, your description painted a good picture for me nonetheless. Do you have a portfolio online?
     
  6. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Congrats on the first swarm!! It never gets old to me, still get excited about a swarm.
     
  8. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    :goodpost:
    What G3farms said:thumbsup:

    But there's nothing like your first one,congrats afterburn001
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Congratulations. :thumbsup:
    I have also had a hard time telling where a swarm might have come from. The numbers do not always look apparent when peeking into colonies to look for a reduction in numbers, but a quick peek for other tell tale signs will often give you an answer. ( queen cells, lack of eggs, etc.)
     
  10. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I remember seeing some of your photos before Mark. I perused the entire lot. My favorite are the Macro shots...Great eye..
     
  11. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Perry, the suspect hive is one that was ready to swarm three weeks ago. The had capped and uncapped cells. We split that hive and took the old queen with the split. The timing seems right for a second swarm (one artificial and one natural) due to the state of the cells. I am guessing the first queen emerged within a day or two of our split and had time to mate. When I broke into that hive yesterday, I did find a nice fat queen so she has mated as well. I marked her at that time.

    I'm running out of wooden ware. I guess it's time to start making more. :grin:
     
  12. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Thanks Dave! Photography is my zen.
     
  13. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    If you are going to keep bees you had better make woodworking your new zen :lol::lol:
     
  14. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Haha, I'm a general contractor by trade and that's how I make a living so I like to work with wood.
     
  15. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Nice...I would be paying attention to those scrap piles at job sites...probably not much 1x stock...but probably allot of plywood for nucs...
     
  16. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Oh I do! I just peeled off a bunch of cedar siding. I'm going to have some fun and make an English garden hive.

    It's amazing. I brought the swarm home last night and they are already bringing in tons of pollen.
     
  17. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Awesome. I think I am going to tackle a Garden hive this winter when I predict I will be extremely bored and withdrawing...It will be a good project to keep my mind focuses until spring...
     
  18. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I just got #4 this morning, still as much fun as the first. I'm out of woodware too do any swarms i get will either go bolster weaker hives or go to someone in need.
     
  19. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Update..
    this is crazy! In less than a week this swarm is drawing out comb on every frame. I would say that if they drew it out one at a time, they would have a total of five frames drawn! They have also sucked down the four gallons of suyup in the top feeder.
     
  20. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    A beekeeper who no longer enjoys the excitement of catching a swarm is either to old (I didn' know that keebeepers age-:rolling:) or is on his/her way out. Swarms are never mundane. :grin: