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Thread: Swarm challenge

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  1. #1
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    Default Swarm challenge

    I got home today from a 8 day vacation, which began with 3 days at Master Beekeeper program and Bee College in St Augustine Fla. I have bait hives in my back yard. Nothing. So I expected nothing at my other bait hives. I went out to my apiary where I have one bait hive and low and behold, bees have moved in. Not a large colony and I didn't want to poke around too much, they are in a deep box building comb on 2 foundationless frames and covering the 2 drawn frames I put in. Then I went to my son's where I have a nuk bait box on a ladder next to the garage, and they are moved in there. I could hear and see plenty of bees. I didn't take pics. I have 3 boxes in my back yard and I still have 2 more sites to place boxes.

    Makes up for the colony I lost this spring. It is certainly spring in SW FL. I got some great teaching on africanized bees, as this is a big concern in my area. I am equipped to deal with that too. Bee college was fantastic, and I am now an "apprentice beekeeper" in the Master Beekeeping program.
    Beverly

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Bevy pulls ahead with two catches. A week of rain here.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Congrats Bevy! The rain here is horrible
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    Problem was it started to RESEMBLE TV... Reality TV with lots of twists!
    Let's not lose focus of who has challenged us to this swarm catching contest:

    Ollie.jpg

    Sir Jollie Ollie, he's the one to beat!
    Last edited by Charlie B; 03-16-2012 at 07:25 PM.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Let's not loose focus of who has challenged us to this swarm catching contest
    What have you been smoking? I didn't challenge anybody. I am a completely non competitive entity. I don't care if you can run a longer marathon, swim a wider river, have a better looking wife...I don't care. You are so threatened by my twelve frame Jumbo hives against your wimpy eight frame mediums and the swarm traps that I set a mile away from you that that you started this challenge. Bring it on... I just made another wine box trap this afternoon. Anyways, I caught MORE than 50, so there.

    Here is post #1 of the original thread started by Charlie himself:
    Are you willing to take the odfrank swarm catching challenge? Are you ready to go up against the Jolly Ollie? The notorious swarm catcher that terrorizes beginner beekeepers by surrounding their hives with hundreds of swarm lures and then lurks in the shadows only to watch their hives swarm right into his traps?

    Can you beat odfranks 2011 record of capturing 50 swarms?
    Breakout the lemongrass oil and old comb and let's kick odfranks butt this year. Keep a count of how many you catch and "report in" to this thread.
    WE CAN DO IT!!! Vice President, San Francisco Beekeepers Associationwww.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Ollie those are just little details that don't really matter. The point is just like in the old west, the fastest gun always get's challenged so let's just relax and try to be a little more positive.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  7. #7
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    Big Grin Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?


    NOT TO BRAG...BUT... #2 today. Right next to # 1 which came on 3/8, might be an after swarm from the same hive, it is about 1/3 the size. First scouts came this morning, the weather was nothing special. And not from my hives 2 miles across the valley, checked them yesterday, 66% dead outs, the remaining ones still there nice. Two out of three of mine dead, four out of six of my buddy's dead. So we had the same percent loss, other than at the same site our hives are in no other way connected, except sharing the same extracting setup.
    Last edited by odfrank; 03-21-2012 at 07:23 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    So we have a tie at this point, nice going odfrank!

    Tomorrow I'm returning the same bait box to my son's as he must be in some kind of hotspot. I got the swarm moved into his garage wall last year, then the one last week at the same wall spot, then on Sunday a swarm flew right over him in his driveway. I also put out 2 more at new locations, my friend's backyard, and in yard #2 of my apiary.

    The colony from last week--I moved to my apiary and into a deep this morning and they had drawn out all 4 frames, had brood, and were very gentle. I forgot my smoker and it was not a problem.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Gypsi, if you were to put out honey on a pan would you get any foragers? What a bummer about the pesticides.
    I constantly get foragers looking for cappings and clean up items as I do this every extraction. But they don't like my bait hives

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post

    NOT TO BRAG...BUT...
    We're used to it.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  11. #11
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    Post

    I have a deep hive box (half the frames removed to make extra room) with shallow super (full of wax foundation frames) set up about 15 feet off the ground, with a Mann Lake swarm lure in it. Yesterday I noticed bees checking it out (and I have not seen ONE honeybee here all spring before this -- the only bees visiting my fruit trees have been bumblebees and other small native pollinators)

    At one point yesterday I was certain they had moved in because there was massive activity coming and going (nobody was carrying pollen though) and the hum coming from the thing was awesome.

    But this morning there were only a few bees on the box, coming and going kind of lackadaisical -- nothing like I would expect from a full hive.

    But I just went up there a while ago and there are still bees checking it out. Are these just stragglers from yesterday, or might the swarm still have scouts out there looking?

    Seriously, at one point there were so many bees buzzing around I was sure that (1) they had moved in or (2) they were building up critical mass for the swarm to move in. Disappointing that it was so quiet this morning.

    My goal is to catch any feral swarms to prevent them from moving into someone's house and getting exterminated. Wish me luck.
    Last edited by TomHudson; 05-16-2012 at 02:56 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Swarm challenge

    Hi,
    If any of the deep frames are drawn with remnants of honey on them it could look like a swarm moved in.
    I'd put all ten of the frames in the deep, even a large swarm would be happy with that amount of space. If one moves in you'll want to leave them alone a week or two, in that amount of time they could make a mess of comb in the empty space.
    Dan

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    I made two more winebox baithives and have developed a new method: embedded LGO. I place a pile of propolis and wax on the inside above the entrance hole, drip a few drops of LGO on it, and then melt it down with a heatgun chasing it around the inside of the entrance, embedding the LGO in the wax/propolis/wood mix.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    That sounds like a great idea. I wonder if you did that on foundationless frames, like on the starter strip if that would work. I don't see why not.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    I think the rest of the country is going to pass the california beekeeper in this challenge. We've got another pretty solid week of rain ahead of us here in northern california!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    I think all the bees in my part of Texas died of something again. Maybe another bad removal on the ferals - you know, take the bees, leave sevin dust behind in what appears to be a local Texas tradition. I've got no pollinators. Never mind bees checking my traps.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    I'm sure that whatever it was that got the ferals was Texas-sized!

    I'd hate to see the size of the mites down in Texas, but im sure that Texas-sized bees can normally handle them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    I think all the bees in my part of Texas died of something again. Maybe another bad removal on the ferals - you know, take the bees, leave sevin dust behind in what appears to be a local Texas tradition. I've got no pollinators. Never mind bees checking my traps.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    I didn't know that she is in a wheelchair. Being handicapped myself, I am going immediately and pick up any baits within 20 miles of her house. I feel terrible now and apologize for taking advantage of a handicapped old lady.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    Frank,
    I think the neighborly thing to do would be to remove brood from all of her hives. Place them in nuc boxes & take them home with you.
    This way you could help her in swarm prevention.
    Dan

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Why is the odfrank challenge closed?

    In the long run odfrank is going to win,,,BUT,,,today I got my third swarm. I sent pic via phone to my facebook, maybe I can figure out how to post here. It's the bait nuk in my back yard, on 5' ladder under tree where I've had swarms before.

    I saw scouts there this morning, I'd put out a cardboard nuk box, no frames but had honey in it as I brought orange blossom honey frames home yesterday. That drew them this morning, and at the same time I saw them going into hive. At about 12 when I was getting ready to leave, they were gone. When I got home a couple hrs later I noticed alot more bees around my house but I figured they were looking for more feed from my extracting. Not long after that I went outside to get something and low and behold, the front of the hive and some bearding down the front, which is still going on now. I have the entrance reduced to about an inch so it will take awhile. I will probably let them clean up these newly extracted frames. I pulled 13 frames in all. Now I will leave them alone for a few months--only wanted to get some straight (or almost) orange blossom honey. Last year something funky happened with orange blossoming and my bees, got very little.

    I got so excited about the swarm I called over my neighbor who I barely know to show him. Thank goodness he wasn't afraid of bees. He congratulated me.

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