2018: Bee hive swarms, colonies, lessons, etc.

soarwitheagles

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Welcome again everyone!

The 2017 Beehive swarm information thread was becoming quite long and large. There is also a substantial difference between last year and this year in regards to rain, nectar flow, temperatures, etc.

I have decided to begin a new thread for 2018. I thought it appropriate to start today because yesterday was the first time we baited and hung our swarm traps for 2018.

The first good news: Scout bees all over the first swarm trap. I would not be surprised if we capture a swarm in the next few days. I permitted many of our colonies to become way to overpopulated [their fast build up caught me totally by surprise]. I am hoping the swarms captured are not from our bee yard. I should be able to know if it is simply because we marked all our queens last year. So if one of our colonies swarm, we should see a yellow painted queen in the swarm.

We just purchased a bunch of the red enamel paint in the hopes we will raise many, many new queens this year. I also hope to increase our number and placement of swarm traps by at least double.

I am posting pics of the bee beards that just began today. Obviously, I need to move the nucs into the double deep Langstroff boxes within the next few days. So that is one of the first goals.

Last, posting pics of our fava been bloom. The fava plants are beginning to bloom now so that too is providing our bees with a nectar/pollen flow.

The flow this year is much, much smaller than last year due to much, much less rain this year. So this factor may play a large roll in how many colonies will swarm this year.

Have a great day everyone!

Fava Blooms 2018 w bees.JPG
Fava Blooms 2018.JPG
Fava Blooms 2018b.JPG
Swarm Traps March 2018a.JPG
 

babsbag

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Those Fava bean plants are really pretty. I have trees in bloom in my orchard and not a bee to be found. I did see a few Bumblebees on the willow tree so I hope that they are making up for the lack of honeybees. I see a few hive boxes at my neighbors house but they may be empty, the bees that were there all winter went to the Almonds. I even hive a frame of honey sitting our in my yard and there are no bees on it. :(
 

soarwitheagles

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Babs,

Trees blooming and no bees? That does not sound like a good idea. What type of trees are they? Are they fruit trees? If yes, you need bees or other pollinators otherwise your trees may not produce much fruit...

If you are leaving a frame of honey out right now and seeing no bee activity, then there is a major shortage of bees in your area at this time...
 

babsbag

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These are fruit trees... plums, cherries, almonds, apples, peaches, figs, pomegranates, nectarines, and apricots. Part of the blossoms froze a few weeks ago but it would be nice to see some bees on the ones that are in bloom right now. I keep hoping that my neighbor will bring them back from the almonds soon and if he does I will put out a swarm trap. I know that I will be getting a package of bees the second week in April but the trees should all be done blooming by then.
 

soarwitheagles

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First two swarms occurred today. One swarm is still about 50-60 ft up in a eucalyptus tree. The other swarm was really weird...it was on the ground believe it or not and a portion of it was also on a tree trunk at ground level. I placed a bee box on the ground and the bees paraded right into the box.

So this is number 1 and 2 for us...but the only problem is...one swarm is still high up in the tree and the rain just started! I thought bees were smarter than that!

Good luck to all!

Swarm 1 3.12.18.JPG
Swarm 1 3.12.18b.JPG
 

soarwitheagles

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This swarm is stuck up at the top of a broken eucalyptus tree for the night...and it has begun to rain...oh my! Where is this adventure gonna go?

Swarm 1 3.12.18d.JPG
 

soarwitheagles

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Babs,

I am hoping they will go into one of our swarm traps or into one of our empty hive boxes on the stands...

Will keep ya updated! I am watching them carefully!
 

Happy Chooks

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Wow, swarms already!

Babs - do you have manzanita in bloom? My bees haven't been working my fruit trees in full force because the manzanita is still in bloom, and they are preferring that right now.
 

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