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Trying to catch my first swarm

Discussion in 'Bee Swarms, Bee Behavior, & Bee Queens' started by Happy Chooks, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. Jun 4, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Got a full hive assembly. Decided to give a solid bottom board a try and compare to the screened. I also bought some swarm lure. Got home, got it all assembled, and proceeded to tear apart my hives and have a look at what was going on.

    Hive #1, is packed to the edges in both boxes. Honey bound, tons of pollen storage, some capped brood. There wasn't anything that didn't have brood/pollen/nectar in it. I think this is where my swarm came from but it doesn't look any lower on population. (this was the hive a couple of weeks ago was mostly empty in the bottom box) Saw 3 queen cells, but not capped yet. :hu I also saw some very young brood. I took out a drawn frame with some nectar, but mostly empty and another frame with some brood on it to put in the other box to try to catch the swarm. The other frames are not drawn. Replaced with foundation for them to draw out. The honey super was packed full, except for the 2 outermost frames. It's not capped yet, but they are starting to cap it. Added 2nd honey super to the hive and closed it up.

    Hive #2 - saw fresh eggs, honey bound 3 or 4 uncapped queen cells, some undrawn frames still, lots of drones. I couldn't find the queen. :barnie It's possible this one already swarmed, or if not, it's going to soon. Thought about making a nuc, but didn't want to risk if the queen is already gone. I'm collecting my trap from my MIL's house tomorrow and sticking it out at my place.

    Meanwhile, my swarm took to the air again, but settled again high up in an oak tree. I have some bees checking out the box with the lure in it, but I'm not sure if they are from the swarm or not. We'll see I guess.

    In my 4 years of beekeeping, I've never seen any kind of storage like this. The blackberries are still in bloom. Now I don't know what to do with my hives. I don't want to disturb any virgin queen matings. I may stick an undrawn super on Hive #2, just to have them draw out the foundation and use up some of their energy. I feel like this :confused:
     
  2. Jun 4, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    They took flight for the 3rd time, and settled in a tree by the trap hive. There are many bees hovering around the trap hive, so it looks like I will get them in there. The cluster is still high in the tree at the moment.
     
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  3. Jun 4, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    I got the swarm. It took me darn near the whole day, but they moved into the hive. I'll have to add more frames tomorrow, I only put like 5 or 6 frames in a 10 frame box.

    When preparing the site for where I was going to permanently house the swarm, I got stung twice by my other, rather unhappy hives. Came down, washed, suited up and took benedryl and went out to finish.

    Then the reaction started. Really itchy palms. Ears feeling plugged up. Then I broke out in hives and started feeling really warm. Breathing was a bit constricted, but I couldn't tell if I was just freaking out or not. I almost had my husband take me to the hospital, but I was trying to wait it out to see if the benedryl would help. The symptoms are subsiding now, thankfully, but it is not a fun feeling. Now I have to go talk to my doctor. I've been stung several times and have never had a reaction like this before.
     
  4. Jun 5, 2016
    Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Loving the herd life

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    Wow - what a day! Just seeing this, didn't get my email post alert...

    What's the status on your reaction today? :\
     
  5. Jun 5, 2016
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Sounds like you are a candidate for an Epi pen. Each sting should get worse if you are allergic. Hope that that isn't the case.

    Glad you caught the swarm.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Never got alerted to these posts. Congrats on the successful swarm trap! That's great news! :clap Sorry about the double sting and reaction... That's NOT great news :( Glad it's calmed down some. How is it today after almost 24 hours? How much better? I kinda have to agree with Babs... might be a good time to get an epi pen scrip from your doc. Sounds like you're on your way to an awesome honey harvest as well! When the time comes, I bet you'll be really glad you got the extractor ;) Keep us posted please!
     
  7. Jun 6, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Nausea and diarrhea all day yesterday. Can't stomach food still this morning. The swelling is mostly gone now, but I did call the doctor last night to be sure. They say my current symptoms are after affects of the hive reaction.
     
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  8. Jun 6, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    So sorry... get well fast. :hugs
     
  9. Jul 7, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    It's been a month since my reaction to ge sting, and today I inspected all 3 hives.

    The swarm is doing well and has a ton of honey, even though all of the frames aren't drawn. I added the 2nd box, to give them more room. (Privet is still in bloom and star thistle is starting)

    Have #2 is pretty packed too. Probably should have supered this hive. I saw brood and the queen. They will have plenty of stores for winter.

    The main hive - the first super is packed full, not an ounce of spare space and its capped. 2nd super is being drawn, but probably won't get much further before the flow ends. I saw brood and eggs. Top brood box is also packed with honey. Some brood too, but more honey.

    So, all 3 hives are queen right and I'll be extracting honey this weekend. No stings for me either, so it as a great day! These hives have more honey than I've seen since starting 5 years ago. Amazing what a great winter will do.
     
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