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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sure had a ball yesterday, NOT! Went to the beekeepers meeting,not to many people were there because they were home working their bees because of the nice day. One such guy called me at the meeting and told me he caught me a swarm for my beehive so after the meeting I drove to his house to see where he lives and he is going to give my swarm to another guy so I can pick it up there tomorrow. Long story. Anyhow,when I got home finally which was probably 6 pm,I came into the house and made syrup so I could feed the swarm when I bring them home.Then I went out and got the boxes ready where I am going to put my new swarm and that is when I noticed that my own hive had swarmed already and they were all bivwacked on a cross post on my pasture fence,on the other side of the fence from where I was. I suited up,got a big horse feed bucket and a lid, grabbed a brush and walked all the way around to the gate and then through the pasture to the swarm which covered about 4 feet of the 8 foot post,all the way around it.It took three tips filling the bucket with bees and transporting them into a hive body.Hopefully I got the Queen in the box and what bees would not fit in the box,I left it out in front of the hive with a board for the rest of the bees to walk into the box though the entrance. By the time I got done all my clothes were soaked from sweat and I was beat . By the way,the topic of discussion at the beekeeper's meeting was " How to try and prevent a swarm".
 

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My mentor has had 5 swarms, he has sited poor weather as the reason he has not worked them.
Maybe he is getting tired.
Get out there and pop some lids! If it's not pouring rain and blowing sideways, get in there and have a look.

I have blundered through the winter with a hands off attitude, and I'm still not sure this one is queenright.
No more of that, I'm not going to get a good buildup with this late of a start. They will get queen right or I WILL combine them soon.
I've already given them 2 small swarms and a frame of brood, but Im not sure there was a queen in the last swarm and the colony was definitely queenless prior to the last.

You need to relax and stay calm while working the bees, it should be a Zen moment become one with the bees.
Plan what you have to do and go through the motions if you have to, to check the work flow and space.
I made a tote with everything (almost it's getting too heavy!) in it.
Water spray
Sugar spray
6 different hive tools
Smoker & lighter
medium and long cake knife & filet knife
screwdriver & 5in1 tool
Bee brush
bee ailments brochure
Queen catchers & rubber bands
HoneyBGone
Lemongrass oil
Spatula long handle
gloves to keep the propolis off
small spirit level
Frame grabber
Frame hanger
Super bright flashlight
Rolled up piece of heavy canvas

This keeps me from running around looking for stuff, or taking shortcuts because I don't have something handy.

The rest is planning, have all your gear ready fill the smoker and get it lit as you mentally go through your moves.
Have plan B ready or at least near and be thinking about plan C, that way when things go wonky you are better prepared.
 
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My biggest hive swarmed probably at least 3 weeks ago, but I went thru them yesterday and in addition to hatching worker brood I found uncapped brood, the young queen went out and got herself mated and came home. I am very happy. I was worried when I saw the reduced traffic.

My smaller hive was stuffed with bees and honey so I got 9 frames of comb out of the freezer, and made them a medium super, and pulled up the center frame of their current top box, dropped in an empty, and got out of their way. They are busy girls, mesquite and a lot of wildflowers and shrubs are in bloom.

I'm sorry you are having troubles. I did set up swarm traps about 10 days ago because that small hive looked ready to pop and I didn't have time to open it up. But so far no takers. And my big hive, that was a swarm that flew in around 2018 from I don't know where, but they have been very successful bees. I've never requeened. They do it themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I hope everything is under control. I went from one hive to three. The two in the forefront, one is from a swarm from my hive in the far back and the other is from a swarm that a friend gave me.
Plant Tree Land lot Wood Grass
 
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Do you have concrete under your hive stands? That's really nice. Your apiary is much neater than mine.
Plant Plant community Apiary Botany Tree
I have pond liner. Which I can put Ant Block under and keep the bees away from it. But it's pretty messy. My hens eat the SHB larva and anything else they can find. Back 2 hives are occupied. On the white stand, and the nuc, those are swarm traps. Small hive on the left just got a 2nd super this week, and they have an awful lot of bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I robbed my horse stalls of their heavy rubber mats to put under my hives stands. The far hive has agricultural slag under it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice. did the horses object?
Actually, no. We are down to one horse and one sheep now . My horse had t be put down last year prior to winter. She had a bad hip and kept going down from time to time and it was quite a chore trying to get Takoda back on her feet. We talked it over with the vet and it was the best thing for her.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I took this picture while out checking my bees of our only horse and sheep we now have . I was walking back to the house when I seen our sheep watching me. Since my horse has moved on to the pasture in the sky, the sheep and Jace have become real buddies. Jace still has his winter blanket on.


Water Sky Plant Natural landscape Tree
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can't win for losing. My first hive swarmed again. I was able to get most of the bees in the 10 frame deep with frames installed so hoping the rest find their way in along the board. They already swarmed from the hive that my wife is checking out in the background on April 24 th and now today on May 12 th. I'm scratching my head as to why. Good thing I went out to the pond to toss some food in for the fish or I might have now seen this.



Tire Wheel Fence Plant Wood
 

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That's food and you do have water. Some bees just like to swarm. My first cut out kept swarming, about 3 times, I managed to box 2 of them I think. Maybe do a split with a different queen?
 
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A split should take the swarm right out of them. Re-Queening should get you some different genetics, maybe less swarmy?
I'm not saying your bees are swarmy! However it is said this can be a genetic trait. Not sure how well that is anchored in fact.
Leave the freshest brood in the hive and pull the queen and a frame of emerging brood and start another colony putting it in the original location.
Foragers will return to the original location to fortify/feed the single frame and queen.
The old hive will make a new queen from the fresh eggs. (downside is 50 days til you get new babies, IF your new queen returns mated)
If she doesn't return, or if you squash the queen cells you can recombine after a week or 3 (bonus is a brood break).
Recombining would be best for your honey crop, a split will likely slow honey production. (1 large colony will make more honey than 2 small)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great advice. Thanks Gypsi and Rick.
The wife and I went out at dusk and seen that all the bees of the swarm had gone into the new deep hive body so we closed them up and transported them to their new location and then I gave them a wide open entrance and put pine needle branches in front of the entrance so they will have to re orientate in the morning when the sun hits them. For a guy who only wanted three hives at the most,I can see how this can get out of hand real fast.I now have 4 after starting into this year with only one and I still have 7 bait hives set around the farm along the tree lines. Scouts are inspecting them as well. I might have to pull a few of those as I am running out of deep frames and I still have to pick up a Saskatraz Bee nuc this month.
 
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