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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Vero Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23

    Default Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    I built 2 hives from scratch this summer, planning on getting bees this coming spring. I've been taking my time and trying to collect everything I need to do it right, being very patient! While at church on Sunday I learned of a bee problem in the parking lot. After church I went and surveyed the small swarm (softball size) clinging to the bottom of the palm frond. My wife and I talked and decided to bring them home. I cut the frond off and placed it over a bucket, placed the lid on the best I could with the frond hanging out. She rode the whole way home with her feet on the lid to keep it closed, only a few got out in the car. Here is what I had waiting for them at home, 2 hives both setup identically from components that I made, all out of Cedar (even the frames).

    Screened bottom board
    2 Medium Bodies
    Inner Cover
    Garden style cover

    The 8-frame Bodies all actually have 9 frames each. I'm not sure how that worked out but it did. The empty frames all have a 3/4" sliver of wood in the groove running the length of the frame as a guide for straight comb, there is an empty frame against one wall, then a frame with foundation, two empty frames, a frame with foundation, two empty frames, frame with foundation, two empty frames, frame with foundation, and an empty frame.

    (like this)
    E F E E F E E F E

    The hives a set up 2' off the ground against a fence facing south.

    When we got home I emptied the top body of one of the hives, I took the frond with all the bees on it still and put it over the top body and put the inner cover and the cover on like this.

    211.jpg

    Within an hour or so bees were foraging in the yard, visiting some of the flowers and the vegetable garden.

    I later regretted leaving the palm frond there, and not wanting them to build some wonky comb on it, I went back, shook all the bees onto the lower box and removed the upper body. The queen was obvious as she fell on the top of the group of bees. I brushed a few bees from the edge and replaced the inner cover and the top. I did this in shorts with no veil or gloves without any problems

    I assume that honey would be better for them nutritionally than white sugar and so mixed up some 50/50 honey water to put in the feeder. Some bees were in flight above the hive for a few hours but then things calmed down quite a bit

    As of last night they were hunkered between the foundation of frame 8 through frame 9 and against the hive body wall, nothing had been consumed from the feeder.

    Are there any chances of survival of this tiny swarm? What can I do to help them out. I have no hives to borrow brood from.

    The hive that this swarm swarmed from is living in one of the block walls at the back of the church. Can I somehow use this hive to bolster this tiny swarm? Place my other hive close to it and put a one way cone over it maybe, bring the queenless hive back home and combine them somehow? the last few days have been highs of 70's lows in the lower 50's; looks as though it may bee this way for a week or so then it's going to cool down another 10 degrees or so.

    Thanks for all ya'lls help. I tried to answer as many potential questions as I could. I'm sure ya'll will still have some though!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    If it were me, I'd make a follower board (inner wall) to decrease the width of the hive to only a few frames so that they only have a little space.

    Maybe try open feeding them, or give them a candy board / sugar brick.

    Good luck,
    Tony P.
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Vero Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    They were active with some of the honey water that I dripped on the hive rack. What is the best way to open feed? Should the follower board go all the way from the inner cover to the bottom board?

    Thanks,
    Nick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    I would not open feed. If you only have a boardman feeder, put it in a box on top of the inner cover with the outer cover over it, sealed so that no bees can get in.

    Feed them part of a protein patty and as much 1:1 syrup as they will take. Chances are they will build up, although slowly, since you won't have winter like we have up here. White sugar is just fine, less likely to ferment, and they will be out foraging some anyway.

    Worst case they will die out after drawing some comb, and you will have nice drawn comb for next time.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,058

    Thumbs Up Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    I would turn that entrance reducer to its smallest opening.

    Peter has described a good way to use the boardman feeder, do it. Feed, feed, feed! Here is a good link about feeding. I wouldn't be surprised if they make it....
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    You might want to check the swarms and trap-out section for the cleo hogan trap-out method if you want to get more bees from the original hive to bolster the numbers of your swarm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,058

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    Good idea, but his new colony needs something to anchor them to that new hive....That means comb and eggs, that will take a few days to get started. Don't move them until they are anchored to that hive box.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 11-20-2012 at 04:26 PM. Reason: UNQ
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    I did a hive rescue a couple of weeks ago and it was about 2 lbs . maybe. I ended up putting the pieces of recovered comb into 3 deep foundationless frames with rubber bands, then put 2 frames of plasticell in between them in a plywood 5 frame NUC. I put a 1 qt. Mason jar feeder. They are now foraging on warmer days and doing some comb building. On a warm day, deer season, non weekend, I will do a better inspection.
    I am feeding 1:1 with Honey Bee Healthy and Amino B Booster, plus Mega Bee patties (1/3). I hope to nurse them through winter to move them into a 10 frame hive.
    Yes feed to build them up! Inspect sparingly.

    Update the NUC is in the background of the first picture of a set in the picture forum .
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...094#post869094
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Vero Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    I put the feeder on the far right side of the hive (where the cluster is located), and I had reduced the entrance to 1" x 3/8" b y the end of the day Sunday. Can I make a protein patty or do I need to get them from somewhere? I like the idea of the Cleo Hogan trapout; wouldn't be able to get the queen (I have no brood) but could gain another hive from it.

    One of the great things about a screened bottom board and being 2' off the ground is that you can observe without disturbing from beneath.

    Today they consumed about 1/4 cup of 1:1


    Nick

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,530

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    i asked once about diluting honey down with water, and was told that it would start to ferment quickly after adding the water. maybe not a problem if they don't take long to empty it.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,884

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    Supplement them with bees and sealed brood from another hive.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    Definitely brood on both sides of the frame of their own drawn comb. Their honey has nice white cappings (top of the frame) and the brood has the off white (center). I couldn't see any eggs but look close at a good picture and you might. They look like tiny grains of rice standing straight up in the bottom center of a cell. After they hatch the bees add royal jelly which looks like a milky white fluid in the cell bottom. It looks like they are trying to make it. Keep feeding them the pollen pattie, they need it for the brood.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,110

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    You do have brood
    Leave them alone
    I know its hard
    They will build and do more without being opened
    You set them back when inspecting
    Its hard when new but try

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    There are 9 registered beeks in Vero Beach...See the attached...

    http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/p...epers_0612.pdf

    Although you still need to do some leg work to contact them, perhaps one of them would be willing to sell you a frame or two?? Even just a couple of frames of drawn comb would be a help for them. Those poor girls have a LOT of work ahead!

    I also totally agree with the follower board (inside wall). Bees like to be tight together. I would definately reduce the space they 'see' so they are less overwhelmed. I would put a frame with foundation on either side of the cluster, then close off the rest of the hive until they have had time to fill their space. It is a lot less territory for them to have to defend, as well. Just my two cents! Keep us posted.
    Last edited by Bees In Miami; 12-05-2012 at 12:50 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    Looks great!

    Button them up, keep feeding, and leave them alone -- too risky to keep peeking in with that small a cluster!

    You can gauge progress easily if you have a screened bottom board, as the bees constantly drop bits of wax and debris. If you keep the board dry, you can pull it out and brush off the stuff once a week or so, and the fresh trash will tell you how much room they are using. You will have new bees emerging in a couple weeks, hopefully that will mean faster comb building and more brood!

    Peter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Vero Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    A follower board has been installed to limited them to 3 frames, and the entrance has been reduced to slightly larger than a bee space square. Crappy weather has kept them in this week.

    Nick

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    How did they look when you added the follower? Colony increased at all yet? Brood should be hatching well by now. Patience grasshopper...let 'em do their thing, and feed feed feed! Will be looking for updates in a month or so... Good luck!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Vero Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Tiny swarm with queen, nuub needs help.

    Some of the brood has begun to hatch, I can tell because the previously capped brood cells are now open, and have small larvae in them. They are going through about a pint of 1:1 a day. Any suggestions for feeding Mega-Bee dry? I've made up some small patties (about 2oz each) but they don't seem interested in it.

    Nick

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