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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dominican Republic
    Posts
    8

    Default first 24 hours and bees are swarming

    Yesterday I took the plunge and set up a bee hive from a local Dominican beekeeper.
    Everything seemed to be normal until this morning when I observed a lot of activity (compared to yesterday) and noticed a few bees on the ground. It appears that they are dying.
    About an hour later I then noticed massive activity and then above the bee hive I can see what is called swarming. There are 100's of bees crawling all over each other in a ball, obviously protecting the queen.
    Now, is this normal within a 24 hour period? Is the colony unhappy where they are? Did the beekeeper give me an old queen? Or is it another colony wanting to move in?
    I have called the man who hooked me up with the bees/ hive and he is expected to come soon, but I wanted to ask people on this board what is going on and what to do?
    Any suggestions welcomed, thx.
    Live in harmony with nature, not against it.
    www.edenranch.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    961

    Default Re: first 24 hours and bees are swarming

    I believe you just need to wait for the beekeeper to help you out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dominican Republic
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: first 24 hours and bees are swarming

    Yes, I am waiting for the guy to come and help the situation out or at least explain to me what is going on. I have noticed several bees walking on the ground very slow and not flying.
    I can say that where the bees are located (the hive) they have plenty of access to flowers and flowering fruit trees. Is it possible they wore themselves out this quick?
    Live in harmony with nature, not against it.
    www.edenranch.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: first 24 hours and bees are swarming

    The ball is not protecting the queen, they're killing her.

    It sounds like your hive is being invaded by a swarm, the dead bees you see are the casualties.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dominican Republic
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: first 24 hours and bees are swarming

    The Dominican beekeeper arrived and took a look at what is going on.
    African fire ants have infiltrated the hive and for whatever reason (not known at this time) the bees do not eat or kill the ants. In fact, the ants have demolished half the colony. At the bottom of the hive/ box (keep in mind this is a very meager set up with just a single box with 8 or so frames inside) are nothing but a pile of dead bees.
    The ball, as I stated earlier, grew into what looks like a pendulant Christmas ornament coming to a point at the bottom. This was growing on a low branch above the hive/ box. The queen was inside (I got my first look!) and now we have moved the hive/ box to another garden. Lets see what transpires and how they settle in. What an ordeal!
    I had no idea ants could do this kind of havoc on a bee's hive. Something to seriously look into at this point.
    Yesterday, I discovered a website of a "natural" bee keeping operation in this country that has 25 hives, they are foriegners, such as myself (ex-pat American) and just started about a year ago. I need to get in touch with these folks as they are way advanced than I and obviously are doing well. I know they have the same African fire ant issue as I do here and perhaps I can ask for some guidance. Surely they can help.

    Edymnion, there is another bee colony at the base of my property living in a hollowed out palm tree, one that I wished to extract and once I read your post I got terrified that in fact, you are correct that they were the invaders. I am pleased to announce that this is not what happened, but still could I guess. This other bee colony is just on the otherside of my property border, therefore not on my property per se. This is what got me thinking about starting my own and I wanted to remove that colony and offer them new housing. The Dominican beekeeper said that if it is not on my property best not to mess with it as another Dominican must have put them there (??), so he was not all that motivated to "steal" them for me.
    Wow, so much to learn!
    Thank you for the posts and I will keep everyone updated.
    Muchas Gracias!
    Live in harmony with nature, not against it.
    www.edenranch.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    961

    Default Re: first 24 hours and bees are swarming

    Wow, that is a rocky introduction to the world of beekeeping. I hope everything else is smooth sailing from now on.

    As far as the "tree" hive is concerned, you may want to read up on swarm trapping and try to catch some of the swarms this colony throws.

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