Never heard of this.

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Yankee11, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Have a call for a swarm. In talking to the person they that an older beekeeper came out and looked at it and stuck his finger in the swarm and said there was no queen in it.

    It's still there and Im going to get it.

    Anyone ever heard of what this guy did?
     
  2. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    IMO: If they are still clustered, then there is a queen.

    It is well documented that they get more aggressive the longer they have been in cluster however.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    don't stick your finger in it.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Maybe it was a real small swarm of only a few cups' worth of bees, and the guy 'stuck his finger in it'- meaning he pushed the bees around with his fingers and saw there was no queen in the middle? That's possible.

    Tell us what develops! :)
     
  5. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Checking their temperature? :lol:
    Like Paul said, if they are clustered-this is a pretty good indicator of a queen, and they get more aggressive the longer they've been in a swarm. When a swarm leaves the old colony, the last thing they do is gorge themselves on honey. If they've not found a new home in a few days. their supply in their gut is about gone. This is known as a dry swarm, and can get cranky.
    Like Omie said, I'm guessing the "older beekeeper" was moving the bees around looking for the queen. To a non-beek this would look like "sticking his finger in the swarm" especially if viewed through the picture window from the safety of their living room.
    Let us know how it turns out.
     
  6. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Heres the scoop.

    It was small. Clustered and very calm. I shook them in a nuc. The second frame I pulled, there she was walking around. It had a queen. Small queen, but a queen. They were starting to draw comb on the limb. I removed the limb and have the nuc box sitting there til dark. I will run out and pick it up. Very sunny and warm day. I figured maybe a lot of bees could be out flying. Anyway, wanted to get all I could.

    I talked to the guy that called me and told him. He said the beek told them to just spray it with wasp spray.
    He said he didn't feel comfortable with that so thats why he called me.

    I made sure to thank him very, very much.

    I have my top bar hive that has a laying worker in it. I am going to shake them out of the top bar and put this small swarm in there. What bees fly back in will help strengthen this queen. I dont think they will fly back in and kill her will they?
     
  7. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Likely a cast with a virgin queen then.

    I would suggest you move the hive to a new location once you shake them out, otherwise they WILL fly straight back to the current location.

    There are a few theories as to what happens when you shake out a laying worker hive (they beg their way in, the laying bees drift off and do not enter, etc.), but no, if you move it first they are not likely kill the new queen.

    The queen might not make it back from her mating flights (keep a close eye on them in the coming weeks), but the stranded bees wouldn't be the cause for that.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I have to disagree with Paul. I think your plan is fine. Shake them out 10 feet in front of the hive and install the swarm. I think all will end well.
     
  9. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    I didn't think the queenless bees would cause an issue but the suggestion to move the hive is more for a factor of safety (leaving no chance of them being organized on return).

    No real disagreement either way...
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Remember, when you switch the locations of two hives, all foragers will come back to their accustomed location and be accepted in by the hive of strangers just fine. A hive will accept a frame with brood and nurse bees from another hive, they will also accept incoming foragers bringing pollen and nectar. :) No need to waste all those foragers and nurse bees from the laying worker hive- you just want to get rid of the laying worker(s)- and presumably she'll be too heavy or clumsy to fly back into the hive once everyone's shaken out in front of the hive. But the nurse bees and foragers will probably make their way back to the hive.
     
  11. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Here she is. Safe and sound here at the house.

    20130613_200641.jpg 20130613_200603.jpg 20130613_200607.jpg


    I actually did a swap last night with a laying worker hive and a very strong queen right nuc. I moved the nuc into a 10 frame deep. Then I sat the deep in the place of the laying worker hive. Then I carried the laying worker hive out about 200ft in front of the bee yard. Dumped and brushed all the bees out of the lying worker hive. They all flew straight to the new queen right hive.

    My only concern with this one is that I think the laying worker hive in the top bar may be bigger than this swarm. I also am not sure this queen is mated yet. (if that makes a difference) I may just leave this swarm in the nuc untill I know for sure she is mated, then try shaking oout the top bar.
     
  12. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    She is a beautiful queen.