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Thread: Aug 17 swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

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    I know this year has been crazy. Seems like nothing is as it should be.

    Sunday morning as I was walking out to the garage, there were the signs of something. 10-15 bees flying about an old hive box set next to the garage. I walked down to the apiary on the other side of the house and there it was. A giant swarm. This box has signaled me to about 4 swarms this year as I have noticed the scout bees like to check out this box. No swarm has taken to it though.

    I know deeper south they can about get a swarm anytime, but here in Pa its about the latest I've ever had a swarm. Anyone else getting late or odd swarms of late?

  2. #2

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    My dad had one three days ago. It was about 40 feet up in one of his walnut trees. We had a 30 ft ladder but that still wasn't enough. So we cut the limb so that it would just fall part way over so we could reach it. Man I wish I would of had my camera. It was an extremly large swarm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    southern Vermont
    Posts
    14

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    We had an unusually hot and humid stretch here in southern Vermont. Bees started clustering all over the front of the hive. I was told they were "cooling off." When the weather broke, the bees took off. My inspection yesterday revealed about half the population of two weeks ago. I looked around, but could not find the swarm. Not sure what I should do now this late in the season.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    1,262

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    I have a hive that was getting testy. I had a closer look and I got a suspicion that it's thinking about bailing. So I added another deep and pinched cells.

    When bees cluster around the front of the hive by sticking to each other, does this mean they might be preparing to take the queen and leave?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    southern Vermont
    Posts
    14

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    >When bees cluster around the front of the hive by sticking to each other, does this mean they might be preparing to take the queen and leave?

    All I can say is that is exactly what happen to me. I was told by a reputable beekeper that this was normal behavior called "bearding." The cluster kept growing and shrinking all during the hot weather. As soon as it cooled down and the humidity dropped, they were gone. I tried providing more room and ventilation, but I think they had already made up their mind to leave.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,553

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    Sometimes when they cluster on the front it's because they have raised a new queen and she is leaving on a mating flight. Sometimes it's because they are about to swarm. Sometimes it's the hot weather.

    If they are clustered on the front and it's cool out, I try to check to see what's going on. Maybe they are just starting to run out of room and I need to add a super. Maybe they are getting ready to swarm. Maybe that new queen they raised (that I didn't know about) is about to make a mating flight. It doesn't mean anything in itself, but in the contex of the temperature and the time of day it might mean something.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Smile

    I got a 4# swarm today.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA USA
    Posts
    119

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    Daisy asked
    >When bees cluster around the front of the hive by sticking to each other, does this mean they might be preparing to take the queen and leave?

    My bees often hang around front of the hive and "beard" as people call it.

    I may be a first-year beekeeper, but I know swarms from the two I already had this year. I suspect that my other hive (I have 2) is getting ready to swarm.

    Here's what I see:
    1. *lots* of bees hanging around and crowding all the way to the side of the hive;
    2. bees standing on top of each other out there, partially blocking the door
    3. less "happy-new-bee" zooming going around. This crowd is more like sullen teenagers hanging at the convenience store.

    Fortunately the local beekeeper is coming tomorrow for a visit Can't wait to hear what he has to say.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    8/21/03
    Swarm call.
    Hampton New Hampshire.

    Softball size swarm with a red dot queen.
    Hanging under a bay window.
    Really wasn't worth the trip but I did mangage to get them into a box and twenty five dollars into my pocket.


    ------------------
    Dave Verville
    Fremont, NH USA

    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited August 21, 2003).]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    1,262

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    Alls well with that hive of bees. I don't think they'll make use of a new deep with undrawn frames this time of year but there are several hundred bees mulling over them.

    My populations are coming up quicker that anything I've noticed in the past. I think that community feed station has been successful for far.

    Today I put out some olive patties on the table instead of sugar water, and several bees has taken to it. Gives me a break..

    Each of the hives are being fed sugar water within the hives only.

    The little feral blacks aren't much good at robbing. I've observed them taking a shot at it several times and none are successful....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,553

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    >Today I put out some olive patties on the table instead of sugar water, and several bees has taken to it. Gives me a break..

    What's an "olive patty"?


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    1,262

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    I'm sorry Micheal, I meant to say, Olive Oil patties.

    I use olive oil because the bees eat it better then when I use other oils. I make it rather soft, but not oozing.

    I use it to deliver the other oils to the frames over the broodnest. They've eaten the last batch I put in so it was time to add more. This batch has some beebread mixed into it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    156

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    Alright Daisy, I think it's time you made your own info page with all your recipes, maybe call it "Baking for Bees with Daisy" .
    What is beebread?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,324

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    I get an August swarm every so often,usually if there is a good late flow going on.I think a fair percentage of hives do an August supercedure,and if there is a flow on at the time a swarm may come out.I think it worth the risk and never cut these ss cells out unless there was something I didnt like about those bees.A lot of queens wear out during the season and the bees know when they need replacing.But I am also going through hives about every day now looking for the bad ones that the bees arent replacing and requeening them.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

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    I get both August/September swarms every year when pulling honey and pushing too strong of colonies into a cramped space. I could wait longer to pull the honey but then it would cut into hunting season and that wouldnt be good.

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