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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oakdale, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Question regarding a hive cut-out and a swarm

    Hello. A buddy and I are getting into the hobby this year and so far we've had the opportunity to try and retrieve a hive from the wall of a house another friend was remodeling. We had some success vacuuming a great number of them out of the wall, but the hive was extensive and we didn't want to tear further into the house so we settled with what we had and placed several frames of brood in the hive with what appeared to be appropriately aged larvae on it in the hopes that they would create a new queen. It's been a week and we opened the hive today with the hopes of seeing queen cells, but no such luck. What we were greeted by was a hive full of highly agitated bees who came at me with a vengence when I pulled out the first frame. I got 4 stings for my troubles. In their defense, I didn't help matters running away flailing my arms like a little girl. But still, they seemed mighty aggressive compared to all of the videos I've watched on youtube.

    The plan was to order a queen to put with them, but as luck would have it today, another friend called with news of a swarm on a stick in his yard he noticed while cutting grass. We rushed over with another hive and managed to capture this swarm and verified that there was a queen in the hive before we closed it up. Compared to the other hive, these were much more calm and didn't try to sting either of us as we worked with them. As of now, this hive is on my carport with the entrance blocked and a feeder in place with 2:1 sugar water.

    Now here are my questions:

    How long should I keep them closed up before moving them to a permanent spot and opening the doors?

    As this is a small swarm (about the size of two closed fists) would it be beneficial to combine them with the queenless hive? What is the best way to go about doing that so that they play nice together?

    Is the original hive so hot because of being queenless or did we luck out and find a hive of AHBs? Even after leaving the hive, they follow you for quite a ways steadily attacking my veil with a really high pitched buzz.

    Sorry for so many noob questions. I've enjoyed reading the forums so far and have learned quite a bit but it's no comparison to the real thing.

    Thanks in advance!

    Michael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Question regarding a hive cut-out and a swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by medicmiked View Post
    What we were greeted by was a hive full of highly agitated bees who came at me with a vengence when I pulled out the first frame. I got 4 stings for my troubles. In their defense, I didn't help matters running away flailing my arms like a little girl. But still, they seemed mighty aggressive compared to all of the videos I've watched on youtube.
    Well, you *are* in the part of the country where AHB are a very real possibility, AND you are dealing with a most likely queenless hive. Give them another couple days, then suit up COMPLETELY & go in to see if they made you any Q cells (so far, I've gotten less than 5 stings through sweat pants over bluejeans...just have to tape the cuffs to the tops of your boots)


    ... a swarm on a stick ... Compared to the other hive, these were much more calm and didn't try to sting either of us as we worked with them.
    Swarms are generally MUCH calmer than bees who have a hive with brood, combs, and honey to defend...don't judge how mean/calm your bees are going to be until they're established, and you have about 2 deeps full of bees...THEN they'll start showing their "true colors" IMO.


    How long should I keep them closed up before moving them to a permanent spot and opening the doors?
    As soon as they start building comb, your chances are better than not that they'll "stay put" once you put them in their "permanent" spot & open the door...after 24-48 hrs, I'd consider them "hived."


    As this is a small swarm (about the size of two closed fists) would it be beneficial to combine them with the queenless hive? What is the best way to go about doing that so that they play nice together?
    Hmmm, first thought here is that AHB often throw really small swarms; I've worked with a couple about that size down here, turned into NASTY mean hives once established. Aside from that, if you verify 100% that your other hive is queenless AND didn't build any queen cells, then you could newspaper combine the two...but be 100% sure of queenlesness in the other hive first, or you could launch WW3 in the hive box when those queens get together lol.


    Is the original hive so hot because of being queenless or did we luck out and find a hive of AHBs? Even after leaving the hive, they follow you for quite a ways steadily attacking my veil with a really high pitched buzz.
    Time will tell; if my bees "give chase" for more than 300-450' after I've been in the hive, I usually requeen them assuming they're AHB.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oakdale, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Question regarding a hive cut-out and a swarm

    Today I had intended to combine my hives, but I wanted one more look to make sure the original hive was still queenless and there were no queen cells formed. First, let me say that the hive was much more docile today. I was able to go through all of the frames and the bees were as calm as could be. 180 degrees from last week. I was unable to find a queen or any cells but there were young brood on the comb I had placed in the hive from the cut-out 7 days ago. Unless we somehow managed to catch the queen originally, I don't think there has been enough time for them to make a new queen. Would a worker have started laying in 7 days? In light of this, I didn't want to try and combine the two yet, so I set the second hive from our swarm about 6 feet away for now. If it is a worker laying hive, I only have two frames of comb in that hive. Would it be possible to put those two frames in my queenright hive, depriving the laying worker of anywhere to lay and then after a certain period of time, combine the two?
    The queen right hive has new foundation in it, but no brood yet. What are my options?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Question regarding a hive cut-out and a swarm

    With only 7 days, you're NOT going to be seeing any brood from a laying worker....I'd give about 99% odds that you have a queen in there with that brood; she just may very well be an accomplished "hider" lol

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oakdale, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Question regarding a hive cut-out and a swarm

    we'll have to go through the hive better and see if we can find her for sure. i was just amazed at how much more well behaved they were today. and the weather was overcast with a slight dizzle. I was under the impression that they were more irritable in bad weather. I got all suited up for nothing.

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