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GWW:

I like that you are always willing to experiment and keep improving.

Glad to hear that you are building-up your sting 'immunity' 😉.

Thank you for your kind wishes- we are doing well by God's grace.

Russ
 

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russ
Some day I might carry me a little hand sprayer with a little sugar water on them and see if that really works to keep them busy and too fat to sting. It is what I have heard but never been organized enough to try.
These were my first stings of the year and I was wondering if I would retain my low swelling and such but though I did swell, it already seems to be going away and so not like when I started 5 years ago.
Life is good. Hope you stay well.
Cheers
gww
Sounds like me. I rarely have things planned in advance. Right now I am considering more splits but am getting low on frames. Most of my frames always seem to be out in swarm traps. After a few times trying to cut out comb in swarm traps I decided I did not like that process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #544 ·
Pretty sure I have another swarm in a trap. Think it is small. I will pick up tonight.

Caught three here over the years. It is not impossible that I am wrong as I did not see pollen coming in but I think they are in there. This is about 9 miles from my house.

The one I moved last night has been doing a continuous orientation flight all morning. A bunch are also flying all over where I moved them from last night and the cedar tree. They are not landing though and so I think it is going to be all right though it is still pretty intimidating walking down to my hives with all those bees in the air.

I really need to get out of this lazyboy and go make a replacement trap. I might just steal one of the two that is in my back yard that I keep track of to know when to walk to the hives and check my cedar tree. God I am bad. Nobody could call me mister motivated.
Cheers
gww
 

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God I am bad. Nobody could call me mister motivated.
Cheers
gww
And yet, here you are. Sometimes no action is the right action.

My theory is that everyone is crazy in at least one way or another. What matters is does the crazy work out or not. The human species is a junk-pile of compromises, some brilliant, others just loony. Brand new as a species and just beginning to work things out. Compare us to ants or bees that have been working out the same pattern of life for millions of years. They are finely tuned machines.
 

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Good deal, gww.
Good to have confirmation that the trapping is actually working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #549 ·
If they live, this is turning out to be my best year not counting the one from my hives. First year anyone ever told me about a swarm in their yard and three in a trap was most I ever got in one year with year one being none and last year only one. Must be the weather.
I don't know what I really have though, Queens? size? I know one was tiny and in my first year I combined a swarm like that with another swarm to make a bigger hive.

Time will tell how it works out but I am pumped up with excitement right now cause except for the work, it is exciting.. I did put a skirt on a bad hive body to make a trap. Still need to do one more to replace my little medium trap. Hope it don't fall apart while I take it down. I will say this. I took a year and lowered all my traps but I still have them too high and have to stand on my tip toes. Never again will I purposely go even that high with a trap.
Cheers
gww
 

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Discussion Starter · #550 · (Edited)
I moved three swarms to regular hives today. One was the tiny one I took out of the tree. I had fed it three quarts of thick sugar water and it had drawn a six plus inch circle of comb spread out over about five frames. They are heavy little combs and there is no laying yet though I did see a tiny bit of pollen stored. It seems like it has been a couple of weeks since I hived this one. I forgot to look before typing. Either way, I could see no laying but I did see a super skinny long queen and so I am hoping she has been mated and might start any time now.

The second one I opened was also tiny and in close to the same state as the first one. I did not look much in this one cause I only set it there a day or so ago and didn't want to make them leave. I figure if I did not kill the queen, It will be ok even though I did not look for anything to prove queen. I figure the tiny tree one could have been left behind scouts but the trap one picked a home.

The bees that entered my only medium trap must have been desperate for a home cause it was a giant swarm.
New home.



Old home

My pictures never show how many bees are really there not counting the ones in the air. I don't think they have been there too long and they are drawing on every frame and the dirty dogs are drawing wonky in the middle of the frames. I think they started twenty humps, two per frame and then tried to miss each other in the middle and started over lapping. Needless to say, I moves stuff around on them so the gaps would not fit right for them and smashed stuff and cut some out. I did not have perfect frames to move to an added box and so I just put an empty box of empty frames under them. The were festooning and dropping in big clumps when I moved the frames and so I don't think they are 70% drawn on the first box yet and so I hope to have bought a little time for things to calm down and I can get back after it. I hope they take the hint on all the comb manipulation I have done and get their act together and go a little straighter. The box I put under them still had ruminates of wax moth and so we will see how they like that.

Lastly, I opened the swarm that was in the trap all winter and I am sure it is the hive that swarmed. It is not full of bees now. It is active at the entrance and the only thing it means is that I won't now get honey off it but it should grow great if the queen gets mated. Plus, if it was the only hive that swarmed, it let me hive another monster swarm out of my favorite cedar tree.
Thanks for reading and comments are welcome.
Cheers
gww
 

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If they live, this is turning out to be my best year not counting the one from my hives.
GWW:

I just finally finished reading all you recent updates- I am glad that swarm season has been good to you this year, and hopefully this helps balance out some of the challenges you have had with a few of your overwintered colonies.

I imagine the flow is really on up in your area about now?

Keep up the good work.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #552 ·
Russ
The bees are active. I am not sure yet that I will get any honey out of all of them and if not, it would be a first for me though I never get MO average. Time will tell.

It was exciting to get two of the biggest swarms I have ever gotten and the one that was already built out. That is like getting three hives instead of three swarms though one I let swarm and so don't know how to count it now.
Cheers
gww
 

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Russ
The bees are active. I am not sure yet that I will get any honey out of all of them and if not, it would be a first for me though I never get MO average. Time will tell.

It was exciting to get two of the biggest swarms I have ever gotten and the one that was already built out. That is like getting three hives instead of three swarms though one I let swarm and so don't know how to count it now.
Cheers
gww
GWW:

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on you coming out sunny side up. Did the late freeze events impact your flow too much?

Regarding the swarms, I'd say it is your yard so it is your rules :D. I imagine finding a swarm you weren't expecting is kind of like finding a $20 in your jacket pocket from last winter.

Good luck to you the rest of the year-

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #554 ·
I won't say I really inspected but I did open all thirteen swarms/hives in some way today.
The two smallest swarms, that consisted of only taking off quart jars and not even removing the inter cover. Started early and it was already hotter then heck.

The two really bad hives I have been watching still do not have any capped brood of any kind in them. Yet the bees were pretty calm and I don't understand how the one still has so many bees in it with no influx of new bees. The other one, not so much and I don't see how they have gathered honey at all but they have added at least a frame or two that was not already there and a lot was already there. The one good thing is even with so few bees, they seem to be keeping four boxes of comb from being waxmothed, so far of course.

I do see bees in what looks like cleaning out dead larva and I still see a little big larva in it and so these hives do seem like they are going to go down due to the efb or what ever is affecting them. I would say that has to be the most likely problem though it still does not look right (to me) when comparing pictures. I just don't feel like making queens to try and replace and will let these hives go whenever they finally must.

I have other hives that I think should be further along but I also know I am not really a good judge of that.

I do see some of the bees have moved too lower boxes and am surprised that one or two of them seem to be putting more honey mid box rather then top super. I did not dig for brood but mostly stopped when seeing a partial frame with some capped brood on them. Good enough for me. It does show a bit of back filling even though they have empty comb to use. I stuck another empty beside one comb of brood and moves up a comb of honey to see if I could keep the bees motivated enough to draw one more frame.

The three swarms that were big are amazing. They are drawing comb. The big one that I caught in a medium box has finished the first medium, filled it with a bunch of honey (heavy) and has accepted and started drawing in the second empty medium that I put under them. It was nice that I did not have to bait this box. I am really going to all three of these bigger swarms hard to make sure I don't crowd them too much.

I have found that posting this stuff here works as my memory. Every time I get to wondering about when I did something or should I do something, I can look back and see when and what I did last. The ones with the pictures really help. So if I get to wondering when I hived a swarm, I can look back for a picture and not have to do a lot of reading. Oh well, no pictures today.
Thanks for reading.
Cheers
gww
 

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The two really bad hives I have been watching still do not have any capped brood of any kind in them.
GWW:

Good update- if I am following correctly, does this mean that it has been over six weeks and there is still no capped brood in either hive? But you are seeing open brood, evidence of bees removing larvae and they are drawing new comb?

While I am no expert, what surprises me is that there is no capped brood at all- most of the photos I see of EFB have a 'shotgun' pattern, but maybe with a significant infection there are no brood that remain viable. Have you thought about testing one or both?
 

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Discussion Starter · #556 ·
Russ
Good update- if I am following correctly, does this mean that it has been over six weeks and there is still no capped brood in either hive? But you are seeing open brood, evidence of bees removing larvae and they are drawing new comb?
Yep, you heard right. I won't buy a test kit. I will use a tooth pic if I ever see any thing really bad or read about the milk test again. I am pretty sure that is not the problem but not so sure I will count it out completely.

I might see a capped brood here and there but just so there is no mistake, I am talking maybe 5 on a whole side of a frame. I did see a queen in one that looked pretty nice and fat compared to the skinny little one I seen in one of the tiny swarms.

If one of my hives would swarm, I would move a protected cell to the one with the most bees but the other hives don't look good enough for that either and we are probably at the end of expecting any swarms.

I am surprised at how few bees is in one of the bad hives and how many is in the other. Considering what I quoted from you above in this post.

Except for the rain still coming regular, on a dry year, I have seen our flow end around the 20th of june.

So, I am not really looking for improvement but am still finding the watching them interesting. I kinda want to add up the year of the whole apiary so if I ever sell some more bees, I am not setting up somebody for a fall. I never like losing any hives but also right now don't feel the pain in the big picture. I go every year expecting worse. This does not mean I won't ever address issues like this but I probably won't this year till I see more. I have thought about adding a frame of brood to these and also to my two small swarms. I still have not made my mind up on this yet. I don't think brood would be the same as a queen cell on the bad hives but I have found what makes the difference to be surprising here and there. I have only moved brood to a hive one time and that hive went nuts with just one frame. I have not ever reduced the space which I have no doubt would help the bees. They are keeping my comb clean if I have the guts to use that comb in other hives later. This is one reason to let stuff run its course. Might help me assess the affect on the other hives that sit right next to them. It is not much but I will see in the end.
I will keep posting how it is going and welcome comments.
Cheers
gww
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Glenn, the toothbpick test is for AFB, not EFB. The EFB test kits are not expensive, around $16. Left untreated, EFB could take out your entire apiary and leave you with boxes and comb that are unusable. If nothing else, you should move that hive a good ways away from the rest of your bees. I really hope it is something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #558 ·
Jw
I realize the difference of afb and efb. My post was to show the one I would most be fearful of. I might should be just as scared of efb from others reports of their experiences but my reading says that with efb, I at least have a good chance of the bees handling it. Not suggesting they will though. Nor suggesting I would never do anything about it. I have looked at franks pictures and I am not sure but my mind is telling me efb has to be most likely. I don't want to spend $13 bucks for a test to find out if it ends up only killing off two hives that might be too far along to save whatever I do. I also could have tried other stuff that people have suggested, like queen changes or feeding. I was unsure enough of what is going on that I let it go so I could see. I was thinking of other things that might have happened that needed eliminated like maybe a swarm or queenless and such as that.

Now I have seen a queen and on the other, they never capped drone brood in worker comb and stuff like that. Me being a slow learner. It took a bit of time to eliminate some of the other things that could have been wrong and also for it to get warm enough to just see what that did. I did things different this year and so may deserve some issues. I miss judged the weather and put lots and lots of space on the hives before the bees could support that space.

So, putting it all together is hard for a dummy and I am willing to take my lumps and try to learn a little.

Except for time, I really don't have a lot of money in my bees and don't want to put much in them and don't need much out of them and so I may not be as risk adverse as I should be if I had any sense.

My pride does not want me to fail but I will take some risk and put it to things I have read and see if they come out the same.
Cheers
gww

Ps I have not even decide yet that I will not use the comb in other hives. I might. I do not contest that I might also suffer. I am reading many experiences on this subject and even large scale bee keepers have differing experiences with efb.
 

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I was fairly certain that you did know the difference, but the post seemed to indicate otherwise. My understanding is that a lot of EFB goes away with good nutrition. What happened to Squarepeg last year though makes me nervous. He must have gotten a particularly nasty strain. That is not something I would wish on anybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #560 ·
jw
I don't always listen but I do always appreciate any comment on this thread. Even if that comment is to make sure I understand something. If I were you, I would never think that I understand anything. That is both of our safest bet.:)
Thanks
gww
 
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