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  1. #1
    erich5470 Guest

    Question

    I think that I accidentally killed the queen of one of my old swarms by putting mentholated mite control in it. This year I had ordered five new swarms with an extra queen. The guy that I bought my bees from had trouble with the US Post Ofice delivering them.. ) who would have thought that ??? ) swarms came without the extra queen. So instead of splitting the swarms for the old hive and trying to requeen it that way. I had to wind up putting the five swarms I ordered into olny five new hives without requeening the old one that I killed. Today, my queen just now arrives and instead of one queen, I now have two queens from him as a complimentary gratitude for the mistake. What I am going to try to attempt is this:

    I am going to make a new box for the extra queen. I am going to steal two frames of brood and one frmae of honey from the hive that I killed and put them in her box. Since there is not enough workers in the old hive, I am going to break open one of the new hives that I just set. I am going to steal one of the frames from there (hopefully about a hundred or so workers will cluster the frame)and put that frame into her box also. then I am going to close the box entrance for a couple of days while introducing the queen and then come back about 4-5 days later to let her out of the cage.

    Do you see any problems with this method?

    Eric


    [This message has been edited by erich5470 (edited May 15, 2004).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    >I am going to steal two frames of brood and one frmae of honey from the hive that I killed and put them in her box.

    As long as all of the hives you're stealing frames from have sufficient bees to take care of them, it sounds fine.

  3. #3
    erich5470 Guest

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    Whell, I am going to be stealing bees from one of the new hives that I just set. Because, the old hive that I killed hasn't got enough worker bees in it to fight off the little pesky ants comeing into the hive to rob honey. (These ants are the little pesky black ones)They are the ones you see on a decaying apple or something. About the size of a gnat.
    I told my father to put axel grease around the legs of the hive stand to trap the ants comeing in the hive. Instead, he put Borax around the legs of the hive. I am just hopeing that my bees don't get into it and kill the whole hive also.

    Eric

    [This message has been edited by erich5470 (edited May 16, 2004).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    I've used borax on the ants (outside of the hive of course) with no problems to the bees.

    You may be overestimating the ants. I don't find them to be a real problem here. A few ants don't seem to hurt the hive any.

    If the hive isn't strong enough to defend itself against the ants then you probably should not be trying to steal some bees from it. You should either combine it or steal some bees FOR it.

  5. #5
    erich5470 Guest

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    Thats cool about the Borax then.

    we just broke the whole hive down this afternoon. It seems that the reason the bees werent using the entrance of the hive was because not only did we kill the queen, but when we broke the hive open, the two brood boxes had rotten honey inside. The center of all the frames in each brood box were molded. I think it may have been winter kill.I will probably wind up putting pictures of it on my website as an example under problems, diseases and mite control.

    By the way, when we opened the queen cage, the queens were in seperate cages inside, the worker/attendant bees were alive, but both queens were dead.

    Eric


    [This message has been edited by erich5470 (edited May 16, 2004).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    You introduced a lot of other situations in this post in addition to the first post. First the moldy honey, which is probably actually moldy comb or moldy dead bees. Honey doesn't really mold.

    You say they weren't using the entrance? How were then getting in and out? Where there dead bees on the bottom board blocking the entrance?

    You think you killed the queen with some sort of menthol treatment? What was the treatment? How was it administered? What do you think you did wrong?

    I'm not quite sure sometimes about your terminology. You refer to an "old swarm". This is a package of bees from last year? A swarm you captured last year?

    The most common causes of losing bees in the winter are a cluster that's just too small to sustain it, running out of stores and starving or the Varroa mites. Another problem is condensation getting the bees wet.

    Did you monitor for Varroa mites? Did you do any treatment for Varroa mites?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
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    I had my first swarm-catching experience this weekend. A large swarm the size of a soccer ball or so up about 30 feet high at the tip of a thin branch. I spent at least an hour to get to the branch by climbing the tree and cutting away branches so I could tie the branch the bees were on to cut it and then gently lower it to the ground. Off course, as I was finally lowering it, the branch got caught on another one and then snapped sending 20000 or so bees to the ground. It was drizzeling and cool but the bees were extremely gentle. I saw the queen crawling o the ground and managed to grab it by the wings (it was supposed to have been a clipped queen ... !?) and put in a box. Now all is well with a queen includer in the new hive for a few days to force her to stay. This is a superb queen that is already just over 1 year old. The only detail is that a bunch the size of an average butternut squash is still hanging from a nearby branch (not the same where this swarm was on before). I imagine these are the bees that i could not capture. Could it be an afterswarm? I guess it could, but I don't understand the concept of an afterswarm. By definition an afterswarm should be queenless, correct? What will become of these bees? Will they just drift into any home they are accepted into?

    Jorge

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
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    930

    Post

    When a hive prepares to swarm, they often build several swarm cells. When the first queens emerge the first swarm issues taking the old queen with them. Later either that day or even a few days later, a 2nd swarm will issue with one of the new young queens, and then again another might issue. These are called after swarms. They are often weaker than the first swarm because there aren't as many bees in the hive after the first swarm has left.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I could be bees that didn't figure out where everybody went or an afterswarm or a swarm from another hive. All of these are possibilities.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
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    Oh, I though the old queen leaves early on, just after the queen cells are capped or so. If a swarm is produced then, the remaining parent hive will have a laying new queen in a matter of days or so. If one manages to catch the swarm it is really like a split then, is it?
    The swarm I caught is working frantically: lots of bees flying. I guess that with little brood to care they can all go "hunting".

    jorge

  11. #11
    erich5470 Guest

    Post

    Wow, sorry I haven't been on lately. I have gotten so caught up in all of my studies for business classes that I haven't had enough time for myself.
    Anyway, my website is down now. I am in the process of transering domains.

    But anyway, I also had my first experience with catching a swarm this week. I got there about five at night, and they werent wanting to take to the pheremone. So, after about a half an hour or so, I just removed the lid from the box and put my hand into the ball which was about the size of a soccerball also. and started dumping them into the box. I think I got the queen on the second dump, because they started to move into the box afterward while the others were fanning at the top edges of the box.

    Ough, it was exhilirating!
    I am just waiting for another call from the pest control companies. I want to do it again.


    P.S. do you have to have a license (pest control license to charge people for your materials used for services? (gas, pheremone, frames, and so on....)

    Eric

    [This message has been edited by erich5470 (edited June 10, 2004).]

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    >I got there about five at night, and they werent wanting to take to the pheremone.

    Swarm lure or Lemongrass oil is helpful in KEEPING them in a box, and maybe even to lure them when they haven't left yet, but when they are already clustered in a tree they usually have an idea where they intend to go. You pretty much always have to GET them into the box.

    >So, after about a half an hour or so, I just removed the lid from the box and put my hand into the ball which was about the size of a soccerball also. and started dumping them into the box. I think I got the queen on the second dump, because they started to move into the box afterward while the others were fanning at the top edges of the box.

    Usually you can just shake them off the limb into the box. But every situation is different.

    >Ough, it was exhilirating!
    I am just waiting for another call from the pest control companies. I want to do it again.

    It is always exciting.

    >P.S. do you have to have a license (pest control license to charge people for your materials used for services? (gas, pheremone, frames, and so on....)

    This is a free country so OF COURSE you have to have a licence, insurance, workmans comp ...

    Actually it depends on the state, the city etc. what you have to have, but some places would require one. Not sure how you'd find out, but you could start at city hall.


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