Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Whitesburg, KY
    Posts
    30

    Default Captured Swarm, Splits and Robbing

    Hello again everyone. I was lucky enough to capture my first swarm a couple of days ago. There is a wild hive living in the cinder blocks of a church and they swarmed last week and I couldn't get to them. This week they swarmed again and I tried a new approach. They were on the 2nd story brick of a church. I laid on the roof and used rope to lower drawn comb frames next to the cluster and they went to it like a magnet. I'd pull the rope up and put them in a box. I did this for a while till I got about 95% of the bees. I ran out of drawn comb and decided to put a drop of lemongrass oil on a frame and drop it down to see what happened. THE BEES FLEW OUT OF THE CLUSTER AND GOT AWAY FROM THE FRAME AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!!!! I thought lemongrass oil attracted swarms, but I'm new at this so I guess I don't know much. You live and you learn.

    Well I took the bees home where have 1 very strong hive I took over and two smaller splits I had made a month ago. It's been raining non-stop in my region so there is no nectar flow going on right now and I fed the hived swarm and one of the splits some 1:1 with honeybee healthy in it. Learned a quick lesson, don't feed like that during a dearth next to a strong colony.

    I quickly hit the garage and built robber screens (thank you Mr. Bush for the wonderful pics on your website) and installed them, as well as entrance reducers that were already on there. This slowed them down but I think bees might still be getting in. Even if they're not getting in they're not backing off. I'm really worried about it all. I've had one split robbed out and killed by this stronger hive already this year. They took all the nectar and honey from a nuc and then uncapped all the brood. I opened the hive to a pile of dead bees, chewed cappings and a bunch exposed dead brood.

    I DON'T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN TO MY OTHER SPLITS! Any suggestions on how I can feed them and keep the robbing away? It's supposed to be constant thundershowers for at least the next week so nectar isn't going be available.

    I'm not 100% sure I caught the queen with the swam, but I think I did. If so my guess is she's still a virgin queen or newly mated since this was the 2nd swarm and I'm assuming she's still a little smaller and really hard to spot. They are some industrious little bees though, they've drawn out 3 deep frames in a day and a half. I really hope there is a queen in there so I can keep this strain of bees that have survived on their own for the past 6 years.

    But back to the point, any help on what to do about the robbing would be really helpful. I've been combing through archives here, that's how I got the robbing screen idea. I love all my bees but this strong hive is really getting me frustrated. Could I just close them off for a couple days? Would that really solve anything. They have plenty of honey to eat. I just don't know.

    sorry for the long post!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    328

    Default

    I had some problem with robbing last year, especially with boardman feeders. But this year I have used baggie feeders on top of the inner cover ( I used a very narrow "super" that some call a feed rim. Mine was just the scrap from cutting down a medium super into a shallow) So far, no robbing. I think it also helps if you feed all hives if you are in a true dearth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Whitesburg, KY
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Thats been my preferred feeding method as well, the baggie feeder. I didn't think to feed the large colony as well maybe I will give that a try and see what happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Whitesburg, KY
    Posts
    30

    Default

    still fighting the robbing, but i went through the hived swarm today and saw the queen! She had a very large abdomen, but no eggs yet. Doesn't a large abdomen usually mean she's mated? Anyway, I'm excited...my first swarm catch and I was lucky enough to nab the queen. now if i could just get the other bees to stop picking on them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default

    Robbing should not be tolerated. You need to shut it down as quickly as possible. Close the hive up altogether if you have to.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads