Author Topic: Hope I caught this in time  (Read 1169 times)

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Offline neillsayers

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Hope I caught this in time
« on: May 02, 2017, 08:33:59 pm »
Got a forecast of rain for the next couple days so I went and inspected earlier than I planned. One of my hives was loaded with bees, though they hadn't drawn out the frames in a new box I gave them. When I turned over the bottom box, voila, 7 well maintained swarm cells, three looked big enough to cap.

I cut out the big cells and split the hive taking half the comb, stores and brood and placing in a new box. Didn't see queen, but I ensured that swarm cells were in both hives along with eggs and young brood. Both hives have an empty super on them now. I hope they don't swarm as I really wanted to rear some queens out of the original queen, just a little later in the season.

Sweet wife stays in touch with Boone County Beekeeper's association on Facebook and they are reporting earlier swarms than ever this year. This one really surprised me. Swarm season is usually June and July. There are lots of drones and that is much earlier than the last two years.

You guys think this might work?
Neill Sayers
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Offline Perry

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 10:07:45 pm »
Once queen cells are started the hive is going to swarm. What you need to do is remove a bunch of bees, say 4 or 5 frames, some with brood, but NO queen cells. You move those WITH the queen to another box.
Leave queen cells in the remaining box (or boxes as you choose).
If you leave the queen in ANY box with queen cells that have been started, she's going to swarm!
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 10:21:54 pm »
Thanks Perry,

I knew that but in the moment totally forgot. :-[ Thanks for helping get my head straight! :) I'll be out there in the morning to find her and make sure no cells.
Neill Sayers
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Offline Perry

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 11:03:20 pm »
By removing the queen and a bunch of bees you are essentially fooling the bees into thinking they have already swarmed.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 08:56:23 am »

 Swarm season is usually June and July.
That's interesting.  Up here we usually say, "A swarm in May is worth a load of hay. A swarm in June, a silver spoon.  A swarm in July, let it fly."
I had a hive swarm yesterday.  That was our first day without rain in over a week.  Coincidentally, they are still at the top of a huge tree, about 40 ft. up and we have light rain today.  I had a baited swarm lure up and I put up a second when I saw them bivouac in my tree.

Offline neillsayers

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 04:53:49 pm »
Perry,

I went out and checked right before the rain this morning. Didn't have much time but I'm fairly sure the queen got moved with the split. This is based on the sound and actions of the workers. The split is only 3 ft from the original hive. The cells I left behind are less than 3 days old. Sun is supposed to break out tomorrow afternoon. When it does I will make sure she is there, destroy any QCs and move her hive about 10 ft. That is about all I can do.

Both are strong splits, 8 frames brood and stores in each, most of the bees are in the original hive, due to returning workers. Worst case scenario- she swarms out and I have to boost numbers with some more bees from other hives.
Neill Sayers
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 11:25:00 pm »
neil,
for what it's worth......

many say move the queen.....i don't move the queen and i don't usually cut queen cells in the spring (swarm cells). i take the frames with the best cells and make up nucs with them, and also the brood and extra bees. works for me.

i would be careful about cutting cells out neil, you may leave them queenless.  good luck!
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2017, 02:28:48 am »
I inspected the split carefully today and the queen is not there. There is a well tended queen cell about 2-3 days old. A trick I was taught that rang true when I've been queenless before is when observing the bees they come out of the entrance with their wings slightly spread, then take off. When in the hive they walk around the same way and their hum is different, kind of a groan. The original hive is business as usual, hauling in pollen and humming calmly. Since I had both hives right next to each other the original hive is crammed full of bees-all the foragers evidently went back home. I moved the split about ten feet away, while I wait for the QC to mature. In about 8-10 days I will swap hive positions to even out the work force. The queen shouldn't have emerged at that point.

This is the third season for this queen and its possible the bees want to supersede her whether I like her or not. Either way, there is lots of drones and the weather forecast looks great. I think they're gonna be alright.

Thanks guys for helping out. It really helps to talk these issues out and your advice is deeply appreciated. :)
Neill Sayers
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Offline yes2matt

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 05:46:47 am »

 Swarm season is usually June and July.
That's interesting.  Up here we usually say, "A swarm in May is worth a load of hay. A swarm in June, a silver spoon.  A swarm in July, let it fly."
I had a hive swarm yesterday.  That was our first day without rain in over a week.  Coincidentally, they are still at the top of a huge tree, about 40 ft. up and we have light rain today.  I had a baited swarm lure up and I put up a second when I saw them bivouac in my tree.
What about February March and April?

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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Hope I caught this in time
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 01:01:04 pm »

 Swarm season is usually June and July.
That's interesting.  Up here we usually say, "A swarm in May is worth a load of hay. A swarm in June, a silver spoon.  A swarm in July, let it fly."
I had a hive swarm yesterday.  That was our first day without rain in over a week.  Coincidentally, they are still at the top of a huge tree, about 40 ft. up and we have light rain today.  I had a baited swarm lure up and I put up a second when I saw them bivouac in my tree.

It's the same here, B12, these russians haven't been strong enough to swarm in May in the past, but with the warm winter I assume they came out stronger this year. Have another hive needs splitting but it's going to rain this afternoon so it will have to wait until tomorrow. :)
Neill Sayers
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