Total newbee screw up

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by farmall 140, May 22, 2012.

  1. farmall 140

    farmall 140 New Member

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    Being an over the road truck driver I cant be home for my hives all the time and wensday I made a major screw up. We inspected our hives wensday evening and everything in our weeker hive looked great the girls were starting to draw comb on their 6th frame and were doing nicely filled the top feeder and closed up the hive. Checked the strong hive and those ladies were drawing on their 6th and 1/2 frame everything going according to plan and we thought we had enough time to get home this coming saturday and add the second brood box to the strong hive. Ah but nah nah the girls threw us a major curve after we filled the top feeder with 4gal of sugar syrup with honey bee healthy those ladies kicked it from 1st gear all the way down into over drive polished off all the syrup and completely filled all the frames in the hive by this morning. Thus giving them the motivation to swarm due to no more laying space in the one brood box. Well the only person that was there to handle it seeing as karen and I are on our way to texas was our 14yr old daughter. Well she suited up grabbed the second brood box and sugar water sprayer and headed out to the hives like a trooper. The bees had swarmed onto a hanging flower pot karen had put out for them and thats where the kid found them. She removed the top cover from the hive and then the feeder and told me that the bottom brood box was completely full of bees. She then added the second brood box and removed 3 frames went over to the pot and sprayed the heck out of the bees with sugar water honey bee healthy mix and proceeded to take the hanging pot to the hive. This is the part that the whole mess came unglued. She held the pot over the hive and started to sweep the bees into the cavity created by removing the frames with the bee brush she only got a few in the hive and only 1swipe with the bee brush and as everyone can figure the bees did what came naturally a bunch took to the air to investigate what was going on. She didnt get stung she just freaked out with somany bees buzzing around. Well that was that she closed up the hive set the pot on the ground infront of the hive and called me crying saying that was it she wasn't going near them again and gave up. Now I cant blame her at all getting dropped into a mess like that and all she gave it her best shot. But karen and I are just about physically sick because that colony was so strong and going like gangbusters but now we have probably lost them. Hopefully with the pot sitting on the ground infront of the hive a scout will go in and see all the room with the new deep and empty frames and say hey the people fixed the problem and we can go home now and return to the hive but I have a feeling in my gut they wont. What a stupid mistake to make.:beg::cry:
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I feel for you. I rushed and tried to do a split about an over-crowded hive this spring, and ran out of daylight, and had checkerboarded 9 frames of brood through 2 boxes, with bees, and didn't seal the bees in, and the temps dropped and all that brood died. Now I'm trying to get that queen to start laying again. I put an empty medium with just foundation up above the deep last week, not a stitch of comb on it today, but I gave them a migratory cover with a glass feeder jar, and hopefully there are enough young bees to draw comb. But ya never know. You may get lucky. If those bees swarmed there are 2 queens, right? Maybe a bait hive nearby could get populated? (I keep a couple of those near my bee yard, on top of chevy pickups for luck)

    Gypsi

    It's a live and learn proposition.
     

  3. farmall 140

    farmall 140 New Member

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    Thanks gypsi for the sentament there might be a new queen or queen cells now I'm 800 miles away so not sure but I believe they swarmed due to overcrowding my daughter told me that the bottom deep brood box was so full of bees she was afraid she would crush a bunch installing the new deep but she did get it installed so maybe they will just go back in on their own now that the 2nd 10 frame box is on and full of empty frames. I called in reenforcements but havent heard from them yet hopefully soon and we can get someone to go over to the house and gently put the ladies back in the house.
     
  4. farmall 140

    farmall 140 New Member

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    New developments my daughter just went back to check on the swarm and now there is a second smaller swarm on the other hanging pot now I'm wondering if one of the colonies superseded their queen or this may possibly be wild bees that have swarmed. Are wild bees attracted to bee hives that are occupied? I mean do they come toward the smell of honey? Had my daughter set our 5frame nuc out with the other hives so maybe one group will find it. This is crazy.
     
  5. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    My guess is that your original hive has a new queen, so it will be ok. Unfortunately, two swarms from the same hive has a devastating effect on stored honey, and number of bees. It will set your donor hive way back. This happendend to 3 of mine this year. I'm not good at preventing swarms :)
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I realize that having a hive swarm is certainly not desirable, but it is also not the end of things. All is not lost. Your hive if in fact it has swarmed, (the second smaller one possibly being an afterswarm) has left behind good genetic material (IMHO) another young queen. You may indeed have parted ways with some of your bees and perhaps a portion of a potential honey crop but it is not like you have lost the hive. I understand, when I first watched one of my own hives swarm it is a helpless feeling, but it is really not all that bad. Your hive sounds healthy and obviously very productive, good building blocks for moving forward! :thumbsup: Who knows, when you get back and check, all may be just fine, bees are pretty remarkable!
    Kudos to your daughter for giving it a go, my son (10) got stung a few years ago and still refuses to go to the bees with me. :sad:

    Beekeeping is chock full of surprises, some good and some not so good. Experiencing your first deadout in the winter or spring, losing a swarm, feeling like you have somehow failed, all of these combine to make what we do challenging. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. It takes a few valleys to make us appreciate the mountain tops that much more! :wink:
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, a swarm can NOT be combined with the mother hive without killing the swarm queen. The swarm will just go out and regroup.

    Did she get the lid back on the hive?
     
  8. farmall 140

    farmall 140 New Member

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    Update! Kudos goes out to bestest buddy Jim for dropping everything and rushing over tonite to herd the swarm into its new home( hopefully they will stay there till I get home) many thanks go out to iddee and perrybee and everyone else. Nothin but love for ya'll. This whole deal had me in a tizzy being so far from the house and not knowing what was going on. But the ladies have been shone into there new 5 frame deep nuc so hopfully the crisis has been averted and we now have 3 hives. We are really interested in a top bar hive and now this gives me good reason to build one this weekend when I get home if the wandering ladies are still there they will be transplanted into a top bar sunday. But again many many thanks to all who came to the call of this newbee who still has much to learn.:thumbsup:
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The fat lady hasn't sang yet. We will stand by until all is said and done. Relax and enjoy your trip.
     
  10. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Whew! I just got ur pm at 11pm and am out of town til friday too...but ill be home Friday around noon and I sent you a pm with my cell. If your daughter doesn't want to go near them and you need something gimme a call.
     
  11. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    Congrats for showing your daughter enough about beekeeping that she was willing to try. It won't be long before she'll be able to handle any situation like that when you need her. Good luck.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    No matter what happens to the hive, You should be proud of your daughter. Just think of how much love for you it took to get her to do as much as she did with the bees. And to go back and face the "unknown" a second time. Wow! You've got some girl there. :thumbsup:
    Don't worrry too much about the bees, chalk it all up to the learning process. You learn about the bees, :chased:your learn about your daughter :queen:, you learn about your friends :to_keep_order:. It's a win-win-win situation. :grin:
     
  13. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I second both...I am motivated to provide a little more training to my wife and oldest daughters to be able to do the same...Being a new keep, I fully understand her feeling being in the middle of all of those bees...it's intimidating at first.

    Also, I think I am going to hang a few flower pots out by my hives....sounds like they make good catchers, ha! I would rather have a flower pot with pretty flowers than an ugly commercial one or what Langstroth did by hanging a cloth bag in the tree...
     
  14. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    Farmall you're not alone,pretty much the same thing happened to me around Mar. 1st(warms up here sooner than your location).,it all ended with depleted colonies of both bees and honey.Now we've been in a drought for over 2 months and the colonies haven't got much for honey and am having to feed 4 of my 9 colonies.

    Here's the thread: http://www.beekeepingforums.com/threads/5855-Swarm-swarm-swarm-enough-already
     
  15. farmall 140

    farmall 140 New Member

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    Don thanks for the offer and if its alright I'll store your number for just in case issue's. Thanks everyone else for the advise and sentiment's but after my buddy jim showed up (absolutely no bee experience what so ever) he scooped them up and deposited them in our 5 frame nuc hive.hopefully they are still there and starting to decorate the new diggs. Now we cant wait to get home and see what is going on with the lovely ladies out back in the premanufactured housing units. Again thanks everybody and she is an incredible daughter.:grin:
     
  16. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Sounds good...ill actually be home tomorrow afternoon now...
     
  17. farmall 140

    farmall 140 New Member

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    Sound cool we'll be home sometime saturday we should try and get together for coffee or something
     
  18. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Maybe my math is off, but if was last Wednesday when you added the syrup, and the colony swarmed when? If it wasn't 10 or so days after you added the syrup, then the queen cells ere already under construction Wednesday when you inspected the hives. It was a great job your daughter did, and I applaud her--you taught her well. before you feed again carefully inspect the colonies for either swarm cells, or superceedure cells as your nectar flows should be getting quite strong shortly or already there. Good luck
    Barry
     
  19. vermillion

    vermillion New Member

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    Good luck with everything!! You are so blessed to have wonderful friends, a fantastic daughter, and bees to boot!! Life is good!

    I hope things are all fine when you return home in a couple of days.