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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Add-on to top bar didn't keep 'em...

    Hi All,
    The nuc I added to my top bar as a "caboose" didn't keep my bees from swarming. Now it's going to be a box for a split or maybe a swarm trap in the garden for awhile;he/he.

    Half? of my bees left today but I totally missed it. I don't know if it was before 9:30am or some afternoon time because both times I looked at the outside of the hive(9:30 and 2), the flights looked normal! I wasn't surprised they left,I'd been expecting it, but I was surprised I missed the whole thing when I finally looked Inside at 3:30.... Pooh.
    Looking close at the door for awhile the bees DO seem a bit agitating or moving faster than normal.Maybe I just didn't notice earlier. I closed the entrance down since I'm unsure yet if the numbers left are vulnerable or if it'll be 'business as usual'....
    It's all OK since I couldn't get a second hive together in time and came to grips with this probability as of 2 weeks ago. Now I get to wait and go through the learning experience of hoping a virgin queen hatches and comes back safe and starts to lay,etc etc! That's a whole new excitement and I really don't mind having this experience happen my first year.....just heaving a big sigh over it. That was a heck of a queen that left, filling my hive in two months, so I'm a little sad to lose her.....sigh again. Sure hope the daughter has awesome genetics too and mates local survivors! Yeah....I'm always hoping for the best! HB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Add-on to top bar didn't keep 'em...

    OK I did the inspection all the way to the front that I "should" have done two weeks ago when I "should" have made a split into my nuc instead of trying to add space to the hive with it. Learning,learning and that's OK. Two combs had 2 capped queen cells each and another partial and open queen cell was seen so that looks good. Plenty of capped worker and drone to repopulate already capped and half again as many larvae in there so that seemed reasonable too. My estimate is that about 6K left and I have 4K left but heck I'm SO guessing....I just don't know how to count yet by visual volume. I saw pollen coming in for the first time in two weeks and a lot of flight so that seems good too. I sure made the hive mad by screwing with them right after they lost their queen and buds though.I had burr comb to cut on every front bar and I was dripping inside my suit and foggy my glasses and probably ended up squishing at least three bees as slow as I was tryng to slide and set bars etc it was too big a mob to avoid em all.....ugh. To tell the truth it was exciting and exhilarating to observe and learn new things again though.NOW I'm not gonna touch them for 2 weeks or so.I've had to go back to my books and read all the sections that are often for the Second year....ie swarming and hatching queens etc etc. "If only" I'd been more prepared for such a thriving populating hive but I have a lot of gardening to keep on top of this time of year too and other "life" stuff. Better late than never! This way I'll have my second hive ready for next Spring and try my nuc as a swarm trap and all that kinda good stuff. Having such prolific bees that they got ahead of me sure isn't the worst that could happen! HB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lucasville, OH, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Add-on to top bar didn't keep 'em...

    Hi, HB!

    Sorry to hear about the swarm, but thinking that your numbers may be off a bit as far as how many bees you have. Did you start from a standard package? (I've gone back and looked but couldn't find a thread from when you started.) Everything I've read said a 3 pound package is about 10K to 10.5K bees, but of course there's a drop-off of population as the package bees die off before the new brood starts to emerge. It just seems odd to me that a colony the size of a package would have swarmed, but I'm new to this too. ;-) I am of course making a couple of assumptions here. Was the population at about the same as your original package (assuming you started with a 3# package?)

    Whatever happened, it sounds like your colony is now where mine was a couple of weeks ago. Here's to a successful re-queening!

    Cheers,
    Tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Add-on to top bar didn't keep 'em...

    Hi Tango
    Ah. I'd THOUGHT I'd read a package is about 3K bees....maybe I mixed that up with 3 lbs? my bad. TOO much in my head and I'm 60 which makes it worse!!!!!!(laughing). Anyhow over half swarmed, how ever many that was....What's left looks to be more than my package but not by a whole lot. At this point I need to go back and reread A LOT! Thanks for pointing the number thing out to me;it would have been the last thing I checked!ha.Now I'll do that sooner! HB

    edit PS- Yup,right you are Tango;10K to 12K in 3 lb package although some sources do say 3K but I think they make the same mistake I did! My revised math says I had about 25K and lost 15K or so.... That's closer!
    Last edited by HappyBeeing; 06-15-2013 at 06:35 PM.

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