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

soarwitheagles

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Swarm season has definitely arrived now and like a freight train, it has come roaring in!

I prepared and hung two more traps last night at 10pm. I came home today at 5:30pm and much to my surprise, both swarm traps had swarms on/in them. One trap had one of the largest swarms I have captured to date.

I am finding it so strange that some swarms are barely perceptible, but other swarms are so obvious!

Enjoy!

Bzzzzzz

Bzzzzzzzzzzzz

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soarwitheagles

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wow soars. How did your splits do? The ones after your unexpected and nice build up.

CLS,

I "peeked" in a few of them mid week but was shocked to discover a number of them already completely filled! This is not a good sign in the sense it can encourage them to swarm again.

Tomorrow is Saturday. Our plan is to thoroughly inspect every nuc. If there are eggs [sign of a new laying queen], then we will immediately transfer all the frames and bees of that nuc into a normal 10 frame box with SSB and migratory lid.

If there is not a laying queen, I am not sure what to do because I will not start my queen rearing until tomorrow.

I did think about installing a frame of eggs and brood and nurse bees and let any nuc without a laying queen give it another try!

To be honest with you, I now wish I had at least attempted raising queens a few weeks ago!
 

CLSranch

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with your flow and growth I wouldn't worry much. Although I really hope they are fine. I just hope mine start soon and do as well as yours.d
 

soarwitheagles

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Thanks for your encouraging words CLS! I find it so amazing that two swarms invaded the same trap...all within a week of each other...swarm season here is on super strong right now...

Here is what happened today:

My wife and I started working with the bees early in the morning. As we were housing the large swarm, we suddenly heard a massive roar of a swarm of bees to the north of our bee yard. But we could not find it! We did not take a lot of time to look because we were afraid of losing our monster swarm so our priority was housing the monster swarm and that is what we did first.

Next, we glued and stapled 100 frames because I ran out of them. Then we housed the second swarm...BUT within two hours, that swarm exited the bee box, swirled in a tornado type of formation up to 60 ft. then took off and we didn't see it again.

Next, a completely different swarm appeared over our sheep pen believe it or now...stayed aerial for over an hour, then landed smack dab in the middle of our sheep pen on the ground. I have never seen anything like it before.

I think we saw 7 swarms today. To be honest with you, I have never seen this before and I have no clue why it is occurring. None of the swarms we captured have our painted queens, so this tells us the swarms are not from our bee yard.

Much of bee keeping is still a complete mystery to me and I am beginning to think I will never really understand how bees think and operate. The good news is, it is never boring, I learn new stuff every day, and when I think I know how bees behave, they will often totally surprise me and do stuff that is super strange and often wonderful.

I feel right now that even if I kept bees for 50 years, I would still be a newbie!

Have a great weekend and Happy Resurrection Day to all!
 

Happy Chooks

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Wow, I guess I really need to get out and check my hives! I haven't had a chance to get in there, as I've been dealing with my mother's health issues lately. We are behind you on flow though. The clover hasn't blossomed yet, but I've seen the bees working the red filagree. The pear orchard nearby is in full bloom now too.
 

soarwitheagles

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Hi HC! We ran out of boxes and beehive stands so we lost over 20 swarms...

As of this evening, we have nearly completed 50 more boxes, covers, SSB's and over 300 new frames with the foundations...tomorrow we hope to finish another 500 frames with foundations...

We also built another 20 brand new nuc boxes with covers.

Kinda sad that I wasn't ready for so many swarms...and I still wonder where they all went...

By the end of the weekend we hope to house 4 more swarms, rebait and hang those traps and hopefully work more toward our target of 20 swarm traps.

Busy and super tired...working day and night for weeks on end now...

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Baymule

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All I can say is WOW!!!!!
After reading this thread, I am so impressed by your bee keeping, kudos to you and your wife for working so hard. How many hives do you now have?

I have thought about bee keeping, but have too much on my list as of now. My collards bolted and the bees swarm them, so I have left them. I noticed honey bees and a smallish bumble bee type. We also planted Crimson Clover down the driveway, and a couple types of clover in the pastures. The bees like that too.
 
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