What goes up must come down

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by SlickMick, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    I had a call yesterday from a bloke who said he had a swarm hanging off a car port. It had been there overnight. He said that it was fairly big.. ooooops he should have said pretty big.

    Anyhow I rocked up with my catching gear, cardboard box, styrofoam vax, and a deep.... oooops should have taken more boxes.. it was the biggest swarm I had ever seen

    It was hanging just as he said from a car port about 7' off the ground. It looked a nice swarm... around 12-14" in diameter cone shaped and about 15-18" deep.

    So I got the cardboard box underneath it and pressed it up over the swarm.. ok everything looked fine. Then I gave the support a wrap.... oooooops!

    The swarm fell into the box with a thump, the box went off balance and fell to the ground and suddenly I had thousands of angry bees.

    Talk about angry! I was glad that I had a veil on and was wearing long pants and a long sleeved pullover.

    Captain Courageous to the rescue, I gathered all that were not flying and taped the box up, then scooped the rest of the swarm into the deep, then I vacuumed the rest into the styro box. Never the less my hands look like those of a cabbage patch doll and I have some quite red spots where they got in through the leg of my pants before I taped them up. Reckon I got about 30-40 stings.

    Got them home and tipped them into the deep and put frames of foundation in with them.

    Ha! Gotcha!

    2 hours later the ungrateful wretches swarmed again. They landed in my mandarin tree. So I boxed them again only to realise that they didn't have enough room in 1 deep so luckily I had one more deep that I put on top with a few more frames... ran out of frames.... ooops

    Anyhow to cut a long story short, they must be happy and I must have queenie. They are flying today and seem happy enough this evening... it is now going on dusk now.

    Well a few lessons from this expedition. I have had about 1/2 dozen calls for swarms and I have run out or resources and space and it is only the 4th day of spring. I am going to have to take my name off the swarm list for a while.. can't cope with what I am getting.

    I am thinking that this swarm must be from a feral colony from a tree or something like that as it is too big to have come from a hive. Most beeks that I know here use queen excluders over the top of the brood box so I don't think it came from there.

    Would be interested to know your thoughts

    Mick
     
  2. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Mick,
    Feral colonies are by design, smaller than managed colonies in hives.

    Sometimes swarms issued in yards allow other bees to get caught in the frenzy and you get rather large swarms. I've also seen two swarms issued at the same time and they combined.
     

  3. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    That's interesting BjornBee. I wonder if one of the 2 swarms you mentioned was queenless and used the queen from the other swarm
     
  4. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    PS. They are now bringing in pollen :cool:

    Mick
     
  5. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    Checked the girlsout this morning... they covered 13 frames :eek:

    :shock:

    Mick
     
  6. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    13...... :eek: Bad omen....count again...... :lol: I'm sure it was 12 or 14.... ;)
     
  7. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    At least they were nice and docile this morning.. a far cry from when I dropped them. My hands and arms are now just starting to look normal :lol:

    Mick
     
  8. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    Had a look in yesterday.. frames with built out comb and with honey and pollen. Not a lot of brood or eggs that I could see so I will have another look in a few days time.

    I was sitting in the shade enjoying the late afternoon yesterday and I could see a few bees flying around my mandarin tree.. nothing like you would see with a colony swarming but I was curious so I went down to the tree and there you are.. a swarm large enough to fill a nuc.

    I dont know where they came from but I expect they were from one of my hives.. boxed them and today they are happily flying from the nuc. I'll give them a couple of days to settle in and then have a look to see if I can find Queenie. Will also look for Queenie in the other swarm.

    I have one colony that is queenless but has 2 queencells capped but I dont know when these were set so I am going to have to monitor them. Could be this swarm came from this hive.

    Mick
     
  9. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    This morning I opened up the hive from the big swarm that I dropped when I collected it a couple of weeks ago. Two deeps with 10 frames of comb each. Honey, pollen and brood going into the frames in the bottom and the comb in the super was fully built out but empty as much as I could see.

    Heaps of bees everywhere and I was unable to see her ladyship but there were eggs and brood so I am not worried.

    The problem was that when I lifted off the super the girls went ballistic. I was wearing a veil but was in shorts and t-shirt and consequently got a bit of a touch up.. so much so that I went and got out my home-made suit and kitted up fully before I went any further.

    So it was a bit of a surprise for me to have such an aggressive reintroduction to that colony.. will have to remember this when I next have a look in. I cant imagine that they would remember me from a fortnight ago. Interestingly, no problems when I opened the hive and pulled frames from the super.. just as normal and docile as can be.

    Mick
     
  10. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Glad to hear you are getting some swarms put up.

    I can't til spring again!!

    Been raining here foe a solid week and more to come. I think bee season is over for the year here.

    G3
     
  11. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    Was chatting with my supplier and they were saying that our season has started with a boom and that there are swarms everywhere (even I could have told them that).

    I had to go and buy more wood ware as I have run out of frames and supers. It has been as hot as anything over the past week and the hives have been bearding heavily. I am reluctant to pop the cover up a bit as I am in SHB territory and having been bitten by those devils am not keen to let them have another go at me.

    Mick
     
  12. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    yeah yeah yeah..................swarms every where, hot sunny weather

    quit teasing us :lol: :lol:

    nothing but rain and gloomy looking weather here.

    Bees are having a hard time of even getting out to work the golden rod and few other fall blooms.
    Heck I can't even work my bees, and need to desperatly get into two hives to check for SHB.

    G3
     
  13. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    Well those ladies (who said they were ladies?) are really stingy. From my 2 visits into the hive they are really objecting to my presence. Went in today to put a new bottom board in with an oil trap for shb.. they didn't like that at all.. poped the lid and immediately a couple of stings. Full gear on... NOW.. plenty of smoke.. water spray.. all totally ineffective! By the time I got the super off and had removed the brood box, each time I went to the hive they were rising in hoards to meet me. With my other hives I can do a full inspection with only a veil so this is a bit of a new experience.

    Heaps of Honey in the super although not fully capped and the brood frames were full of capped brood. One very active queen by the looks but throwing progeny that I would rather not have. I am tempted to nip the head off the queen but she seems to have a really great capacity to get a strong hive working hard.

    How is this for aggressive towards the shb? There were about 20 shb on the floor of the hive and the bees were chasing them all over the place trying to sting them. It was hard to give the shb the blunt edge of the hive tool without killing a couple of bees at the same time.

    Glad that I installed the trap. Hopefully that might quieten them down a bit

    Mick
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would think about raising a queen from her and maybe the new male blood will decrease the aggressiveness without hurting the production. If so, then requeen with her daughter.
     
  15. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

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    So Iddee would you do a split with the queen going into the nuc and letting the main hive raise a new queen?

    She does sound too good to nip doesn't she?

    Mick
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That's what I was thinking. Many supercedures result in calmer bees. A split should have just as good a result.