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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default I don't like my bees today.....

    ....they're being little beeches, There is something about a swarm that makes me feel like a total idiot, failure, blah, blah, blah. One of my hives swarmed today. They're stuck to a tree limb about 50 feet in the air. Anybody want to climb up a tree and capture them?? I've been trying to talk them back down with no luck. I think we need to start a support group for beekeepers with hives that swarm, ya know to help with our depression issues,
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    It would be a huge support group, as everyone who has more than a few colonies has had a hive swarm (if they knew it or not). Even the best managed yards are at the whim of the bees - you can't always read their intentions, and even if you could, you can't always make sense of what they do! Get out your 44 magnum, and shoot the limb out.

    MM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default Oh... do I know this feeling

    Two days ago I watched as a nice swarm from my hive sat on a limb thirty feet in the air on a cherry tree branch. No way could I get it. Set up three different bait boxes and "told" the bees to "come hither" and get into one of these boxes. Of course they just flew away the next day.

    Last evening, right before our next big storm, a smaller swarm (probably from the same hive) was sitting on a branch about 15 feet high. My husband and I quickly got the tractor with the loader and a pair of loppers and got them down and into one of the previously baited boxes. Hopefully they appreciate the move since we are expecting 2 inches of rain today. I will go through the hives and see if there are any more "splits" I need to make. Let me just say, making splits is much easier than chasing swarms... especially when they fly away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Murphy, NC, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default

    If I wasn't so busy at work I'd run up and help you get 'em Cyndi. I've lost 3 swarms myself this year. Seems like we've had such a good flow there's been no way to stay ahead of them. I've got some hives with 6 supers on them already.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    Yeah, I know the feeling well. One stupid hive (the uber-strong 2 queen hive) went and swarmed 3 or 4 times. Thankfully they all stayed within 10-15 of the ground and about that close to the hive, and I got them all....

    On the bright side I now have a whole passel of young queens....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    Thanks NC Beekeeper, the girls evidently knew where they were going cause' they're long gone now. They didn't stay on that branch very long at all!

    Sooo, I decided to dig into the hive that I am almost certain swarmed. This hive had 2 supers on it. Well, it was slap full of everything. The supers were full of brood, capped and uncapped. So, I took the one with the most brood and its now a new hive, #3. I'll let them raise a queen and forget about it. I did put a queen excluder just in case in between the supers and the brood boxes...in hopes that it might do some good, probably not and who knows....the little queen just might still be up in those supers.

    Meanwhile, I thought, better go check on the BIG one with 3 supers. What a friggin mess I got into. Same thing, brood in the supers. I shuffled things around bigtime, took some capped honey, put a bee escape on to get them to move down from at least one super that looks half way decent. Wow!

    I just couldn't believe this. I was totally overwhelmed. This was one of those days where I started questioning myself. Everything I had ever heard about Italian bees and basically bees in general came to light. Right now I have so many bees in this one hive that I could care less if they do swarm. I know I could and should have split them, but my goal was to only have 5 hives and I got 2 queens coming that I was wanting to make my splits with that aren't here yet. Then, we have sourwood flow coming and that's really gonna mess things up if I have to split right now. What's a beekeeper to do, This big hive, I feel certain they were getting ready to swarm, it was just a matter of time. I wonder by me opening up all the boxes and shuffling things..is that gonna buy some more time?? Probably not. I think its time to open up a bottle of vino now. Cheers!

    Anyway, bees...they're just darling little critters aren't they,
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    >>I think we need to start a support group for beekeepers...

    Here's my Formal application
    Can you find the swarm? They stayed there for better than 36 hours, if I remember well, and I almost killed myself trying to get them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Aram, that looks like it is 40 feet up! Yikes!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    Yup, that was my guess too. I have a 24' ladder and still wasn't able to reach the branch with the pole saw. I can imagine Cyndi's 50' swarm... I'd just laugh and send them off with a blessing. That's what I ended up doing about mine too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    Actually, that picture looks very familiar...40, 50, 60 feet...it's all the same to me. Like, Bon Voyage,

    You know I agree about the splits, I love that part too!!!....but here's my dilema (sp?)...I really don't have enough equipment. I can see now how some of you guys end of with 50 hives after 3-4 years into beekeeping, LOL!!
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Murphy, NC, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Must have been a really good day for swarming yesterday. My brother and I both lost swarms yesterday. That makes 4 i've lost off of 20 hives this year. No matter how hard I try I can't kill the urge. I've split, split, and split some more.

    On a good note, looks like there is going to be a good sourwood bloom in starting in about 2 weeks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    I wonder if I'm wrong in my thinking that if I split these hives now, am I going to loose my sourwood flow. That's why I didn't split...but, I can see I'm not being smart about this, because they swarmed anyway and this big hive is going to swarm any time now too if I don't do something soon.

    Do you think its possible that if I split the big hive, add it to the small split from the other hive yesterday, that they'll be okay?? There's lots of brood in that small split from yesterday. If so, should I put a sheet of newspaper in between them so they won't fight..or until they get used to each other??
    Last edited by Cyndi; 06-13-2008 at 07:04 AM.
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Murphy, NC, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default

    that's exactly what i'm doing with one of mine today. i found the virgin queen and marked her last week. checked her yesterday and she's starting to lay so i'm going to give her a little boost and hope to get some surplus from them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    Well, your more organized than I. I just grabbed one of the brood boxes, the 2nd one from the bottom, slapped it over underneath the box I took off the other hive yesterday, and walla, I now have another hive. I have no earthly idea where the queen is. That hive was so huge that there was no way to even try to find the queen...not to mention all the bees are pissed at me right now. One thing is for certain, everybody has plenty of honey, brood - capped and uncapped and plenty of other bees now. I think I did a good job,

    Funny note here. I was in the post office earlier. I was kidding with the postal lady by asking her if she saw my bees yesterday. The delivery guy peeped from behind the back and said, "actually, we did see some bees yesterday". He was out delivering mail where he and my neighbor were discussing the huge swarm flying over them. There's no tellin' where they are by now, LOL!!
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    796

    Default

    Look on the bright side: a swarm that gets away today, could be an extraction in a few weeks.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    I thought it was the other way around?? Loose your bees, loose your honey. Now I'm totally confused. But, I'll gladly accept that John,
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,356

    Default

    They may end up in soneones house and you can do a cut out (extraction) I think.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    I don't know about that mac, I doubt I will ever see those girls again. The old farmers around here like it when bees are around. Most of them have empty boxes lying around to put them in too,
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

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