Small brood chambers (twenty-four medium frames), even (importantly) during the boom, high humidity, few inspections or intrusions below the queen excluder, no killing bees to sample for Varroa, frugal and disease resistant feral lineage, cedar boxes, foundationless frames (so natural cell size) in the brood chamber, no artificial requeening (other than pinching queens in aggressive colonies and letting the bees naturally requeen), year round small entrances (⅜" x 13ĺ"), no feeding, leaving sufficient honey all year (including during mid and late summer), no treatment, and reasonably sized beeyards. Low impact and efficient in terms of man hours, leave 'em bee-keeping. Has worked well for me. Your mileage will vary. You be you.
Did a cutout today. New small colony. Got the queen. She's locked in with a queen excluder on the bottom and top. We intend to pull off the bottom excluder when they start bringing in pollen. Never gets old. We also moved three full sized production hives to a new nursery and sales yard tonight. Never gets easy.
Last edited by Riverderwent; 03-28-2020 at 12:42 PM.
I just ordered Swarm Commander. Don't judge me.
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.
I pulled three swarm traps with bees off of trees today.
it's been consistently cool and wet up here on the ridgetop which i believe has held back swarming just a bit. i've managed to get my 4 traps set over the past few days.
i am optimistic about my chances with the upcoming warming trend. the few hives i've been into recently were just starting to backfill the tops of the broodnest with lots and lots of solid capped brood in them. i went ahead and artifically swarmed them.
(still have a few more to get into for their first spring inspections, will update my thread after having a look at those, fingers crossed no efb showing up so far!)
Well, I rather optimistically put out a swarm trap, basically an empty deep with a medium full of comb on top. Lemongrass only. The scouts are checking it out, but this early I suspect they are looking for a free meal rather than a new home. It's on my front porch so I often check it from the front window.
Today I transferred the three colonies from swarm traps that I had moved yesterday. One of those swarms had overwintered in the swarm trap. They went into a regular hive, and I expect to harvest honey from them this year. The other two colonies were farm fresh. They were particularly big swarms and were building out quickly and stocking their larders.
One of those fresh colonies was caught in a trap that we had put up beside a new bee yard before we put any colonies there. I moved it at midday yesterday about forty feet to its new hivestand. No brush or reorientation obstacles in front of the entrance. The bees did not skip a beat. I did not leave a capture box at their original location because I think that confuses them. We will wait a few days to put another trap on the tree where that swarm trap had hung, but today we did set another trap on a cultivator not too far away. Iíll be curious to see if it will catch another swarm in the next week or so.
We pulled seven more swarm traps with bees off of trees Wednesday and transferred them into nucs yesterday.