Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ? - Page 36
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  1. #701
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    ... but when you think about it, bees don't think in terms like we do...
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    ... the terms always and never are inaccurate descriptions when talking about bees.
    JRG and Gray Goose:

    Thank you both for your detailed and helpful responses. While I don't yet know enough to wade into the queen cell discussion, I've seen enough over the last year-and-a-half to appreciate that colony-level decisions are sometimes mysterious and often do not look 'textbook'. It has sought to remind me repeatedly that there are quite a lot of facets one must evaluate what is before you by in order to accurately predict what is likely to happen next.

    Thank you both again for your input- I really do appreciate it.

    Have a great weekend.

    Russ

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  3. #702
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Last night I hived a cast swarm (assumed from #1903) that was hanging fairly low in an oak tree when I got home from work.

    When I saw it I thought to myself, 'This is great- they are tightly clustered, the branch is small and I can easily get to it from a step ladder.'

    So I confidently got out my ladder, pruners and bee gear and set to work (stop me if you've heard this one before)...

    I'm not sure what happened next, but I suddenly had an empty branch in my hand, a pile of bees on the ground, more than a few in the air and a good many busy stinging me on the ankles.

    Amazingly, they quickly reorganized and the bulk of the bees re-clustered on an adjacent branch. After successfully removing this branch with cluster intact, I was able to move the cluster immediately above the pile of bees on the ground and get the vast majority of them to join their clustered sisters.

    The remainder clustered on the step ladder so I ended up shaking-in the cluster, a couple handfuls of stragglers who re-clustered in the tree and a couple shakes off of the ladder. As of this morning, they seem quiet and well-ordered so I am optimistic that the queen is still in good shape.

    p.s. My experimental Langstroth bait hive with upper entrance was the only hive set-up I had handy, so I will have to set another up to continue the trial.

    20190509_173321.jpg 20190509_173827.jpg 20190509_174316.jpg 20190509_175026.jpg 20190509_181338.jpg

  4. #703
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Last night I hived a cast swarm (assumed from #1903) that was hanging fairly low in an oak tree when I got home from work.

    When I saw it I thought to myself, 'This is great- they are tightly clustered, the branch is small and I can easily get to it from a step ladder.'

    So I confidently got out my ladder, pruners and bee gear and set to work (stop me if you've heard this one before)...

    I'm not sure what happened next, but I suddenly had an empty branch in my hand, a pile of bees on the ground, more than a few in the air and a good many busy stinging me on the ankles.

    Amazingly, they quickly reorganized and the bulk of the bees re-clustered on an adjacent branch. After successfully removing this branch with cluster intact, I was able to move the cluster immediately above the pile of bees on the ground and get the vast majority of them to join their clustered sisters.

    The remainder clustered on the step ladder so I ended up shaking-in the cluster, a couple handfuls of stragglers who re-clustered in the tree and a couple shakes off of the ladder. As of this morning, they seem quiet and well-ordered so I am optimistic that the queen is still in good shape.

    p.s. My experimental Langstroth bait hive with upper entrance was the only hive set-up I had handy, so I will have to set another up to continue the trial.

    20190509_173321.jpg 20190509_173827.jpg 20190509_174316.jpg 20190509_175026.jpg 20190509_181338.jpg
    Cool deal Russ, You got them so congrats. BTW nice pics
    Next time lay a sheet on the ground, Place the hive under the cluster, tap the branch with a rake or hoe handle and use what you just seen happen to your advantage. The cluster IMO seems to fall easily, so fall them into, onto a hive.
    bottom line you got the swarm and a little venom for your arthritic knee as well.
    And if you know where they came from you may be able to get a queen cell for 1803 or what ever the weak one was this spring where you had to boost them. so if any Queen need replacement this is a good time to use that resource as well. Likely you have some unhatched queen cells in the hive the swarm came from. or split ....
    still in the 50s-60s here willows just opened so i am a few weeks behind you.
    GG

  5. #704
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    russ
    We are going to have to change your name from Russ to bee whisperer.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #705
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Next time lay a sheet on the ground, Place the hive under the cluster, tap the branch with a rake or hoe handle and use what you just seen happen to your advantage. The cluster IMO seems to fall easily, so fall them into, onto a hive.
    bottom line you got the swarm and a little venom for your arthritic knee as well.
    And if you know where they came from you may be able to get a queen cell for 1803 or what ever the weak one was this spring where you had to boost them. so if any Queen need replacement this is a good time to use that resource as well. Likely you have some unhatched queen cells in the hive the swarm came from. or split ....
    still in the 50s-60s here willows just opened so i am a few weeks behind you.
    GG
    Gray Goose:

    Great advice- I am going to make a mental note of the procedure you described and look to employ it should I find myself in this situation again. I really don't mind getting stung too much, but the ones on my face have garnered me more than my fair share of curious looks...

    Regarding other swarm cells that are no doubt in #1903- I have a quandary in that these hives are true Warre set-ups with just top bars (i.e. no frames). So to make an easy split, I would have to come up with more un-utilized Warre equipment, which I do not have at the moment.

    All along, I have assumed I would utilize the Warre colonies as 'genetic resources' and simply transfer cast swarms from them into Langstroth equipment- I am quickly learning that this is easier said than done and is far less than a sure thing... any suggestions how to simultaneously forestall swarming and move resources from a Warre into a Langstroth?

    Also, I had not even considered re-queening #1804 (this winter's micro-cluster). In light of what appears to my untrained eye to be a viral issue, is re-queening the best thing for this colony? I ask this question without a hint of sarcasm- I really don't know what would be the best approach to try to getting them straightened-out short of continuing to add nurse bees.

    Thank you again for all your help and advice- I do appreciate it.

    Russ

  7. #706
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Next time lay a sheet on the ground, .......GG
    +1
    Best to have white (or very light) sheet.
    Good chance to spot and snatch a queen then (especially if marked).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #707
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    russ
    We are going to have to change your name from Russ to bee whisperer.
    Cheers
    gww
    GWW:

    Thank you for the encouragement- what success I've had thus far is largely as a result of all the generosity and good advice I've received here.

    I also am reminded of what King Ahab told Ben-Hadad, "The one putting on his armor should not boast like one taking it off.”

    In other words, I am withholding judgement regarding success or failure until a few more winters have passed...

    That said, it is fun to have an increasing number of boxes with bees in them.

    Again, thank you for all your help and advice- it has been of great practical benefit to my fledgling beekeeping efforts.

    Have a great weekend.

    Russ

  9. #708
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Good chance to spot and snatch a queen then (especially if marked).
    Great point, GregV. That was my main concern- an orphaned queen (especially in light of my propensity to lose queens). I have used a white sheet to transfer bees before but had not considered using one when hiving clustered swarms. I can visualize how the white sheet would make locating her much easier.

  10. #709
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Litsinger,

    Search blue green horizons and look up the queen throne. Easiest way to catch swarms.

  11. #710
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Litsinger,

    Search blue green horizons and look up the queen throne. Easiest way to catch swarms.
    JRG:

    Thank you for making me aware of this- I found the following website:

    http://www.thequeensthrone.org/

    I think it is quite generous of them to share this idea for free to allow others to build their own.

    Also, the following video was informative- I suppose in the right circumstances, one might not even have to shake the bees down but they would move in on their own:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2drua6n7ITM&t=117s

    On a related topic, I decided to build two Russian Scions yesterday afternoon. I took a jag of burlap I had and soaked it in a propolis tincture. I then took four 1 X 6's and built a peaked roof. After installing bailing wire to the roof for attaching the scion to the tree, I attached the burlap to the roof, applied some 'bee butter' to the underside of the roof and sprayed the burlap with a LGO spritz.

    I then attached the scions in the general vicinity of my two hive batteries- not sure they are in the right location nor height but I thought it was worth a try.

    20190510_184225.jpg 20190510_184415.jpg

  12. #711
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Russ
    I then attached the scions in the general vicinity of my two hive batteries- not sure they are in the right location nor height but I thought it was worth a try.
    I agree that it is worth the try and good luck.
    gww
    zone 5b

  13. #712
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    I agree that it is worth the try and good luck.
    gww
    GWW:

    I have you to thank for the idea- I appreciate all your helpful advice along the way- it has been of great practical benefit.

  14. #713
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    I thought this was a neat video worth sharing with a lot of good close-up images of a forager's pollen gathering efforts:

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2792551914118970

  15. #714
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Things seem to be settling-in at the 'bee tree'.

    +/- 90% of the returning bees are going straight to the upper entrance, though there are still a few stubborn bees who are desperately looking for another way in. They have exposed a few chinks in my tree wrap, but it hasn't been anything that a little painter's tape couldn't fix.

    While I have not pulled the frames yet since introducing a frame of open brood (it has been cold and wet here), I did peek inside this morning and there is a good bee population filling the frames in the upper box and quite a lot of bees festooning from the screened inner cover.

    Assuming upon inspection that I find brood present at an appropriate age, I will plan on relocating the hive set-up to the farm (taking care to make sure the current queen is not in there) and allow the now queenless bees to raise one from resident eggs.

    Upper Entrance.jpg Tree.jpg Screened Inner 1.jpg Screened Inner 2.jpg

  16. #715
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    I recently read a 2016 article from Science magazine which challenged the strict definition of species / sub-species based on scientific observation. In short, the article sought to demonstrate that hybridization among related species is more common than historically assumed, and can be more easily demonstrated via the genome mapping tools now available to the scientific community at-large. A few of the thoughts from the article seemed particularly germane to the study of Apis Mellifera:

    Most of those who studied animals had ... bought into the argument by the famous mid-20th century evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr that the formation of a new species requires reproductive isolation. Mayr and his contemporaries thought that the offspring of any hybrids would be less fit or even infertile, and would not persist.

    By the early 1990s, however, these ideas “weren’t reflective of all the information out there,” recalls [Dr. Michael] Arnold [University of Georgia], who has championed the importance of hybridization in animals in four scientific books. Support for his view had already begun rolling in from some of evolution’s most iconic creatures, the Galápagos finches that Darwin observed as he developed his ground-breaking ideas.

    Princeton University evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant were making annual visits to a small Galápagos island called Daphne Major and observing the Darwin’s finches (Geospiza) there. They recorded matings, how many young survived, and what the birds ate. Early on, they noticed that 1% to 3% of the pairs consisted of a male of one species and a female of another.

    Such hybridization surprised them, Rosemary Grant recalls. “Our mind frame was that it wasn’t happening.” The hybrid offspring varied quite a bit, in traits including beak size and shape. That variation came in handy when drought or floods destroyed the bird’s usual food plants, leaving behind seeds ill suited to the parents’ original beak size. Far from being less fit, the hybrids with their intermediate-sized beaks thrived. There were even hints that hybridization was leading to new species of finches. In 1992, the Grants surveyed the avian literature and found that Darwin’s finches were far from unique. Almost 10% of all bird species failed to respect species boundaries, they reported.

    The mixing was so great that, genetically speaking, two different finch species on any particular island were more similar to each other than to the same species on a different island.

    Given the ability of hybridization and introgression to speed adaptive changes, says [Dr. Stuart] Baird [Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic], “closing that door [with reproductive isolation] is not necessarily going to be a good thing for your long-term survival.”

  17. #716
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    interesting, ty for sharing
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  18. #717
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    interesting, ty for sharing
    Glad to do it- thank you for your feedback.

    Have a great weekend.

    Russ

  19. #718
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    Default

    Dug through the 'bee tree' hive this afternoon and concluded I was too late adding the brood frame. The box is full of bees but no genetics as almost all the cells are full of nectar, with more comb being drawn off the screened inner cover.

    There were a few open queen cells that I can only conclude might represent the lack of queen pheromone in this 'annex'. None of them had any larvae in them.

    At this point I assume they are in full-on gathering mode so I am now deliberating what to do with the hive set-up- I don't want to encourage them to overwinter in this hive, but I also do not want to take away their stores if they have decided to give preferential storage to the hive set-up due to its relative ease of storage versus traveling back to the tree cavity.

    Anyone have any bright ideas? I am at a loss at the moment.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Litsinger; 05-19-2019 at 05:01 PM.

  20. #719
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Russ
    They can probably live with out the honey in my opinion. If there were enough bees in the box when you remove it to make a viable hive start, you could move it three miles, add a queen and some space on top and they would probably clean a place in the honey for the queen to lay and use the honey to build more comb for storage above. This is my guess. Or, move a few frames and add more open brood and maybe they will build a viable queen cell that you could move with the bees. It will be younger bees doing the wax drawing and probably a good start to a hive.

    I am only giving my ideals as I have never done anything like what you are doing. Just saying what I think might work.
    If I am wrong in my thinking, I hope more experience bee keepers on this site feel free to correct me.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  21. #720
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Russ
    They can probably live with out the honey in my opinion. If there were enough bees in the box when you remove it to make a viable hive start, you could move it three miles, add a queen and some space on top and they would probably clean a place in the honey for the queen to lay and use the honey to build more comb for storage above. This is my guess. Or, move a few frames and add more open brood and maybe they will build a viable queen cell that you could move with the bees. It will be younger bees doing the wax drawing and probably a good start to a hive.

    I am only giving my ideals as I have never done anything like what you are doing. Just saying what I think might work.
    If I am wrong in my thinking, I hope more experience bee keepers on this site feel free to correct me.
    Good luck
    gww
    GWW:

    Your ideas are good in my opinion and will likely be what I will end up doing. I was hoping to tap into their genetics by getting the resident queen to come into the annex and lay in there- seems like she has plenty of room back in the tree cavity, and thus has no need for the hive volume for brood building.

    Ultimately, I suppose it is not the end of the world if I am able to get 4-5# of bees and plenty of nectar and pollen to have a well-provisioned nuc started from one of my resident hives.

    This is likely what I will do in the next several days.

    Thank you as always for your helpful advice. I really appreciate it!

    Russ

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