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2017 Bee hive swarm information, history, lessons, successes, etc.

Discussion in 'Bee Swarms, Bee Behavior, & Bee Queens' started by soarwitheagles, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. May 18, 2017
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Sheesh, you have a really ineffective beekeeper near you. They really aren't keeping on top of them. Their loss is your gain!
     
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  2. May 18, 2017
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Happy,

    Thanks for your post. Well, my wife and I did the drive around last weekend. One beeyard, that is about a mile away, we have watched for over a year. Their pattern in the past was to place the bees next to a nut orchard, then remove them after a month or two.

    For some reason, they have left many beehives as is, with little to no management. How do I know this? Simple: during one of our super winter storms with high wind [pineapple express?], some of their hives were blown completely over...and no one touched them for months...so they are not being managed correctly.

    Then, we found another bee yard about 1.5 miles to the south...they too do not appear to be managed...

    I was beginning to feel guilty the other day after catching so many hives...then, a master beekeeper told me this:

    "If you don't catch them and manage them well, where will they go?"

    That got me to thinking...

    So now I do not feel guilty at all!

    I plan on continuing to place swarm traps that closely resemble a 5 star Hilton Bee Hotel with all the free amenities ... [old comb, foundation, a little pollen, etc.].

    I take really good care of our bees...we treat to keep the mite levels at zero and/or super low...and I sincerely bee-lieve the bees love us for treating them so well!
     
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  3. May 18, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Moderator

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    Oh, absolutely! No need to feel guilt at all. If you DON'T catch them, then someone else will, or worse, they'll have to fend for themselves with out the benefit of all your help. It's amazing after all the hulabaloo about bees over recent years that a major bee operation would just abandon all those hives... Maybe something bad happened to the owner(s)? Maybe you could contact the state Apiarist and tell him/her what you've seen and they can find the owners and what happened... That's a terrible shame.
     
  4. May 20, 2017
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    LS,

    Thanks for sharing your posts! I am super thankful for this perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch so many swarms. I only wish I had more hive boxes, tops, and bottoms built to accommodate the bee population boom. Presently, we are scrambling to build as many boxes, tops, bottoms, frames and nucs as possible. I also wish I had built many more swarm traps, but for now, I am thankful for what we do have. A good friend brought in 5 more swarm traps last week, and is already catching some too.

    I must remind myself that there will be much more work late in the summer when the mite counts here rise. Oxalic Acid Vaporization treatments, 4-5 times every 5 days will be an absolute must if we expect these hives to survive and thrive...
     
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  5. May 26, 2017 at 12:46 AM
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Captured another swarm this week. But it appears as if the swarms are beginning to thin out now...for now, no more catching a swarm a day....darn!
     
  6. May 26, 2017 at 12:46 PM
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Moderator

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    Please give an update when you're done noting the total number of swarms you captured. I'm sure they've added up nicely!
     
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  7. May 26, 2017 at 2:20 PM
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    :celebrate That is great! You have caught so many!
     
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  8. May 26, 2017 at 10:56 PM
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    15 to be exact! And we had to pull down all our swarm traps for a week or two due to having no more boxes to place them in. Also, I have been way too busy and not had the time to re-apply the swarm lure once a week. I hope to re-apply swarm lure this weekend and transfer 3 more swarms to boxes.

    Well, swarm season is not over here yet. But it has definitely slowed down some...
     
  9. May 27, 2017 at 12:04 AM
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    You certainly have been busy and successful. Are you going to requeen the "hot" hives?

    You should read this article of managing Varroa with oxalic acid and glycerin. It might make your life a little easier come summer and we can use that. :)

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-shop-towel-updates/
     
  10. May 27, 2017 at 2:03 AM
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Hi babs!

    Way too busy in the sense I have been fighting exhaustion for several weeks and normally I do not permit myself to be stretched this thin. I feel this may be a once in a life time opportunity to capture this many swarms, so I have chosen to put in the extra effort.

    Tomorrow we will re-inspect all hives. If we feel any hives are still too hot we will mark them to be re-queened. A master beekeeper friend of mine is purchasing 100 hybrid queens in mid-June and has offered me 20 of them at only $4 a pop. I am thinking about taking him up on his offer, or, doing some grafting from our best hives to make queen cells for the first time ever.

    Needless to say, tomorrow, I must build another 20 nucs so I will be busy all day long. Our hives are multiplying like crazy.

    I did read Randy's updated oxalic acid method of treatment. It appears to be a very, very effective and promising method of treating for mites.

    And now an interesting story babs...

    This afternoon we were working in our back forest, about 150 feet from our bee yard. Suddenly, we heard the sound of a massive swarm. It seemed as if it was west of us...we slowly walked through the forest, but could not find it. The sound lasted for 2-3 minutes, and then was gone. I have never heard this sound before. It sounded like a small freight train of bees passing by. So strange.