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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    833

    Default long story but need advice

    I had a small colony I "rescued" from a water meter at a co-worker’s home 2+weeks ago, her husband was going to destroy them so I went to get them. I took 2 frames worth of brand new comb they’d built that also had capped brood and larvae. I thought I got the queen because after gently scooping bees in after framing comb from meter box (in-ground) they were going into hive on their own. I brought them home and left them for 10 days before going in to the box to see what was going on. I found almost all brood hatched out, no larvae, and all that was left was 4 supercedure queen cells.

    I knew it would be no less than 4 weeks before new bees would be hatching. Last Friday I put another box on top, newspaper barrier and top box had 2 frames of brood comb and a med super honey frame full of honey but only 25% capped, taken from a strong hive.

    On Sunday morning as I was leaving for church, the bees were leaving, swarming into a bundle in a nearby tree. I had to decide--stop and recapture, or hope they stayed til I got home less than 2 hrs later. They didn't stay. Gone. They didn’t appear to fill up from the honey frame before they left. About half or more of the nurse bees remained with the brood comb I’d just added. I took that box back out to my apiary yesterday and wanted to put frames back in original hives but it was drizzling with the threat of downpour. They are there as I left them.

    Also yesterday I set up a nuk with their comb and sprayed with sugar water and lemongrass oil and set it on a ladder at the spot where they swarmed to and bundled. This morning I noticed a decent amount of bees checking it out, then they were gone. Couple hrs later, more bees checking it out. I ran some errands and then came home to a backyard sky full of bees and going into the nuk. Took maybe 15 min to go in and then I gave them sugar water. They were gone for 48 hrs, if these are that just left.

    Now what do I do, in particular with those frames I pulled on Friday? Can I add these into that box? “Increase Essentials” says I can add them in. Do I do it right away or with that make them take off again? If I combine with those brood frames/nurse bees, which by the way one of the frames has a capped swarm queen cell, to add to the fun. The nuk has 3 frame right now of drawn empty comb, some their own assuming this is the same bees from the meter. Do I use newspaper method and later combine frames into one box? It is the end of September, though I am in SW Fla.
    Thanks.
    Beverly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: long story but need advice

    >I knew it would be no less than 4 weeks before new bees would be hatching.

    Actually it's about 4 weeks until the new queen is LAYING and another 3 weeks before new bees would be emerging.

    >the bees were leaving, swarming into a bundle in a nearby tree...

    Under the circumstances this would be "absconding".

    >Last Friday I put another box on top, newspaper barrier and top box had 2 frames of brood comb and a med super honey frame full of honey but only 25% capped, taken from a strong hive...
    >sky full of bees and going into the nuk...
    >Now what do I do, in particular with those frames I pulled on Friday?

    Put them in the the bees, the sooner the better. You should have skipped the newspaper the first time and the open brood might have anchored them there. The sooner you do it the more likely (however unlikely) some of the capped brood might survive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: long story but need advice

    If I get those frames in there this morning, well I guess I'm concerned that disturbing them again will make them abscond again, even though this time they chose this site. Do I risk putting frames in or maybe I should put those frames back into original box, and if there's any honey left in the 3rd frame give that to the returning swarm. They had chewed through newspaper before absconding. I didn't know if disturbing them is why they left--they were fine for those 2 weeks til I added the top box.

    Ps: would they abscond with immature or unmated queen, or does that mean she was ready? The swarm seems a bit nervous yesterday and this morning too.

    Michael, I'm ordering the first 2 volumes of your book with the Barnes and Noble gift certificate I got from co-worker who had the bees.
    Last edited by bevy's honeybees; 09-28-2011 at 06:26 AM. Reason: added question

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: long story but need advice

    >Do I risk putting frames in or maybe I should put those frames back into original box, and if there's any honey left in the 3rd frame give that to the returning swarm. They had chewed through newspaper before absconding. I didn't know if disturbing them is why they left--they were fine for those 2 weeks til I added the top box.

    You can put them back in the orignial. The main thing is to put them somewhere. The open brood is probably gone, but the capped, if it hasn't been chilly at night, might still survive.

    >Ps: would they abscond with immature or unmated queen, or does that mean she was ready? The swarm seems a bit nervous yesterday and this morning too.

    Usually if they chose it they will be unlikely to leave, but any hive that has no open brood yet is more likely to.

    >Michael, I'm ordering the first 2 volumes of your book with the Barnes and Noble gift certificate I got from co-worker who had the bees.

    Cool. When you've read it, leave a review please?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: long story but need advice

    Ok, should I bring another frame from yard that has open brood, not the ones I'm bringing back? Or just let bees be bees? It's 9am here, I'm heading out in about an hour.

    Yes I will certainly leave a review. Our beekeepers association often focuses on your material for our teaching time at meetings. I've learned tons from you already, thank you for all your hard work!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: long story but need advice

    Now that they moved in on their own, I'd leave them alone for a couple of weeks.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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