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Author Topic: I'm Pumped  (Read 378 times)

Offline Bush_84

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I'm Pumped
« on: May 18, 2017, 07:02:28 PM »
Hello all. So this year I hope to increase my colony count as my main goal and get enough honey to fund bee projects. I have already installed two packages and created two Nucs. Unfortunately one of the Nucs never released the queen and now has laying workers. Grumble grumble. So I took the still caged queen and made up another nuc. I gave it a frame of egg/new,y hatched larvae. I caught it early so I am hoping they raise a queen from it on the first try. So as of this afternoon my apiary consists of three overwintered hives, two packages, and three Nucs (one with the laying worker issue). I was feeling a bit down about the laying worker issue. Kind of a big downer when you have such big goals, although I was still hopeful that maybe the laying worker thing would eventually get sorted out and I'd end up with another nuc.

My two year old wanted to go on a 4 wheeler ride so we drove around the property. We typically go by a couple of swarm traps I set out this spring. I wasn't that convinced I'd ever get a swarm. I had not seen any bees here until I moved my bees here. Typically when me and my daughter go by our swarm traps she says "no bees...no bees daddy." This time we go by and "Bees!  Bees daddy!"  I actually caught a swarm. I am 99% sure the are not from my hives. I have very recently been in all my overwintered hives. Two are just barely in a second deep. One is in three deeps and fills them up. Just a few days ago there were no queen cells. Saw eggs today when I was looking for brood to make up new nuc.

So I'm very pumped. I went from kinda down to outright giddy!  They have a laying queen. I had to check to make sure that there was an actual swarm that had moved in. I saw the queen. They have built a little comb. There are eggs. I did not see any larvae, although I could have missed it in my excitement. When the sun goes down I'll move them to my hive stand, which is now getting pretty full.

I tried to attach a video, but it was to large to attach.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Online cao

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 08:41:17 PM »
So who was more excited?  You or your daughter.  Sound like you are bringing her up right. :wink:

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 07:52:14 AM »
Congratulations. Now rests your traps.  :cheesy:
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Bush_84

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 10:22:38 AM »
The thing is that I never expected to see a swarm. I live in a rural area. I know that there are other beeks in the region, but I didn't think any were close enough to have a swarm room in. In fact I still feel so leery that I'm starting to second guess myself that this didn't come from one of my hives. I still don't think this came from my big hive. I recently did a head to toe inspection and didn't see any signs of queen cells. My inspection was recent enough to feel confident. Also if this hive swarmed, the swarm would be bigger. I do wonder if this could have come from one of my new packages. I wonder if I have been overfeeding. I did inspect the day I saw this swarm and do recall seeing eggs in one and the queen in the other. So in the end it probably came from the next town over, but it still feels to good to be true. I hung it back up in hopes I catch another one. I'd say it's still on the extreme early side of swarm season here.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Acebird

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 12:00:00 PM »
Bees normally swarm five miles away from the mother hive.  Catching your own swarms is hard if you don't see them perch.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Bush_84

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 12:42:00 PM »
Bees normally swarm five miles away from the mother hive.  Catching your own swarms is hard if you don't see them perch.

I seem to recall reading that. There are two small towns at the periphery of a circle with a five mile radius and a whole lot of country. I know of at least one small commercial guy a ways north of me, but I don't believe he keeps bees down this way. Who knows...with the expansion of beekeeping as a hobby maybe somebody keeps a few hives on one of the rural farms around here.

I've also read that once you catch a swarm, it's a good indication that your spot is a good spot. I had rubber banded some old comb into some frames. I also had one broken frame that was old black comb. Then I filled a pipette with lemongrass oil and sealed the end. It sits about six feet off the ground and is screwed to a tree. The tree is a stand alone tree (very large maple) and is just south of a small patch of woods. The hive is facing south. I have another one a bit to the east of that one. It sits on the southern edge of that small woods. Also has some old comb and pipette of lemongrass oil. The second one is in an old warre hive body that I don't use anymore. That one has not seen any activity.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 06:35:54 PM »
Auto correct got me. I meant to say:
Congratulations,  now go reset your traps.

In about a week there is a good chance you will get another swarm.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Bush_84

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 12:05:40 AM »
Auto correct got me. I meant to say:
Congratulations,  now go reset your traps.

In about a week there is a good chance you will get another swarm.
Jim

I sure hope so!  Its a rainy weekend and I believe hives will swarm after a stretch of rain. I'll be out of town for a few days. Will cross my fingers that I come home to more bees! 
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 11:56:02 PM »
Well got home today to some activity. I don't believe I left any comb in there that had any nectar in it or anything. So I don't believe it's robbing. There isn't a swarm in there. Just bees checking things out I believe. I hope I get another swarm soon.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2017, 12:31:08 AM »
Watch the bees at the entrance. If they are really excited about the trap they will do a dance in front of the other bees.
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Bush_84

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 05:05:56 PM »
So an interesting situation. Today there is more activity and pollen coming in. So today I pop the lid and there is about a softball sized cluster. Most are hanging from one of the frames that has just a smidgen of comb in it. There could be a queen in the ball but I didn't see one. I also did not see any eggs. There are a few frames that are about half drawn so there is space if they needed. I suspect that this is either a cast with a virgin queen or foragers returning to their original hive. Any thoughts as to which one and what I should do with it?  I figure I could leave them alone for a few weeks and see what develops or combine with a nuc. Leaving them alone will allow me to find out whether there is in fact a queen in there somewhere but will render my swarm trap useless for a few weeks. If I simply combine them and there's a queen in that ball we'll then I've introduced a problem into my nuc.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Acebird

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2017, 05:48:24 PM »
If you didn't move the bees into a permanent box the first day I wouldn't be messing with it for a couple of weeks.  A softball size swarm is small so it is going to take a while to build up if it can make it at all.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Bush_84

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2017, 05:58:47 PM »
I'm not sure I care to nurse it along. I'd rather combine it with one of my Nucs to give it a boost. I'm just not sure if I should be doing that until I know if it has a queen I should be dealing with.

Edit- in case I was not clear I am speaking about my swarm trap. I moved the initial swarm into a nuc. They seem to be doing fine. This seems to either be another swarm that has moved into my swarm trap that I hung back up or less likely foragers that returned to the trap from the original swarm. Seems a bit large and late for returning foragers.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 01:46:51 PM »
How long was it from when you moved the bees to when you reset the trap. If it was the next day or less, it is probably stragglers. I had one just like this and there were so many bees, that I gave them a few frames of eggs and brood and they are now have 3 queen cells.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Bush_84

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Re: I'm Pumped
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2017, 02:35:23 PM »
It wasn't the same day. I don't recall specifically if it was the day after or two days, but I do know that there were foragers that returned to the spot and never made it back that night.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.