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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Sad

    I checked my hive about to weeks ago. I had a very small group of bees in the hive. Some bees were flying. They have been bringing in pollen. I didn't see the queen. I should have requeened in the fall I guess. -- Plenty of stores left a full deep of honey and pollen and a couple of frames of a medium.
    Went back this weekend the air was full of bees robbing. I had an intance reducer on but I guess the remaining bees didn't put up a fight or they joined themselves to this other hive (is that possible if they were queenless)
    I lost at least two swarms last year. I think these are from of of those swarms. What is the best way to track and follow these bees. These are either swarms from my hives last year or feral bees. I live in a rural area and I know that I'm the only beekeeper in the area. I would like to find them since they have stolen what honey was left and was empting the pollen out until I shut the hive up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    Get a few downy chicken feathers and some super glue. Catch about 10 or more workers either by picking them up (easiest when their head is in the cell) or by putting some honey in something, waiting to get some bees in there and putting the lid on. Take each worker bee and superglue the piece of down to it. Try to get a piece small enough they can still fly but only slowly. Let them go and try to follow them and sight in a beeline. The bee will go up at first, do a small circle and then beeline. Keep following until you lose that one and then let another bee (with a feather) go. You will get more and more of a line established. If you want to get an idea of how far away they are here's a link with the formula and other hints:
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/bsjun1992.htm

  3. #3
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    After marking the bees with lime or flour or some other tag you can trace them down to their home by taking the ones you captured and marked and letting them go from two or three different locations. Once they set out on their beeline, mark the direction of the line on the ground with a stick or place a marker from where you are standing to the tree or bush or rock (landmark over which their beeline goes. Do this again from another location or two and have a friend (or two) follow that line as you follow your line you marked until the two lines intersect. Having a compass is quite helpful to keep your course straight when manouvering around bushes and trees. Where they intersect will be the location of the hive.
    With this method you don't need try to keep sight of the bees as they fly. You simply have to get the right direction. You may want to try 3 or 4 release locations as one location may have many trees and require the bee to go in a different direction than the hive in order to get around the trees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    The more I think about this, the more I get interested in teaching my dog to track them. However, I don't want him digging into my yard-hives everyday looking for a reward from me.

    Do you think I could teach him the difference?

    So what about just tracking a swarm? Do they have their own scent, and if so, where would I get some to train him to track a current swarm?

    I just think that would be too cool.
    WayaCoyote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    On that same note (about training a dog) does anyone have any recommendations on the possiblity of teaching him to predict a swarm?

    Daisy, have you already tried this?

    I could end up with an Assistance Dog.

    Wayacoyote

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >So what about just tracking a swarm? Do they have their own scent, and if so, where would I get some to train him to track a current swarm?

    You could buy some swarm lure to teach him with, but in realiaty I think that teaching him to identify colonies in the wild would be time better spent.

    Long walks in the woods where he could sniff out ferral hives would be more likely than happening accross a swarm in transit.

    I think you could make an artificial hive in a hollow log with pieces of old comb and honey and reward him when he identifies it. Perhaps even a small screened box of bees would do, plsvrf in s strigitic location. I am not a dog trainer, but that might be a place to start.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Have you heard that dogs have been trained to identify foulbrood? Just walk him down the apiary and treat the hives he alerts on!

    Dickm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    >Do you think I could teach him the difference?

    Some dogs get it and some don't. I used to throw a paper route in OKC and someone on one block had taught thier basset hound to get the newspaper. Problem was he started collecting every newspaper on the block. Everyone on the block had to go to their house to get thier paper. They were really wishing they hadn't started that.

    >So what about just tracking a swarm? Do they have their own scent,

    Yes.

    > and if so, where would I get some to train him to track a current swarm?

    You can buy the swarm lure, but I'm not sure it doesn't have other things in it. Just Lemongrass essential oil would work. It smells just like a swarm. But it also smells like any hive that decides to do a nasanove pheromone, which they often do when they have been worked.

    >I just think that would be too cool.

    If you're dog is smart enough not to go crazy everytime one of the hives starts doing a nasonov pheromone.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

    Post

    what i've done to find feral hives in wooded hills.i to put 3 pans of sugar water in 3 different places off country roads or trails near where i think the hive might bee, you can then work on triangulating them ,and guess which may be closest by which pan is most popular.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Smile

    I have good reason to believe that these bees that I'm seeing are from a swarm (or 2) from my hives. They must be strong and close because I had a bunch of them around the other day when I started cleaning a hive that didn't make it through the winter. All of a sudden I had bees everywhere. Maybe this weekend I can try to locate them girls.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Posts
    40

    Post

    Michael:
    Are you saying that lemongrass essential oil is a swarm lure? Are there other swarm lures other than what you purchase thru a bee catalog?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    Results from search on "swarm lure" in the archives:
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000113.html http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000583.html http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000055.html

    Plus a lot of other discussion about swarm traps and swarm lures in general.

    Basically Lemongrass essential oil has Citral and geraniol in it. Same as lemon pledge, but the smell from the essential oils will last longer.

    I think the best is some lemongrass oil dribbled somewhere in the bait hive where it will soak into the wood and some of the queen "juice" also.

    If you don't have the makings for these, use one of the commercial "swarm lures" and 1/4" of a strip of bee boost (Mann lake has it). Just cut the bee boost (it's a little plastic strip) into fourths and put one in each bait hive along with the swarm lure or the lemongrass oil.

    I have not had outstanding success, but I have gotten swarms with this and I've seen lots of bees investigating. I figure I get a swarm for about every ten bait hives put out randomly. But once I find a good spot I usually get one there every year.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    And, yes, it is a swarm lure and it smells just like Nasonove pheromone.

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