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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i'm new to beekeeping, 1st year went ok till winter hit. I'm in upstae NY. Loss 3 hive from possible mites or cold or both( lesson learned, i'm fully educated on mite treatment now) . This spring i'm starting with 2 new nucs and 2 splits from a friend, everything is going good. I have built a long hive that will hold 30 frames. Due to my feeding of sugar syrup last year i'm not sure what leftover frames have nectar honey and what frames have funny honey, so i'm using my long hive as a robbing station to empty these frames. After about a week I checked on the long hive to see the progress, There were massive amounts of bees inside, buzzing louder than my nucs. I also noticed some of the frames had been bridged with wax. I viewed few frames and they don't look like a typical robbed frame, but it looks like an active hives frame. I'm boggled by this. I did look deeper thinking I had a swarm move in but I see no signs of eggs or larvae. I put everything back together and closed up the hive. What do you guys think? My other hives are not smaller so no swarming there.
 

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Wait until sundown or close to it. Check it then. If it was robbing, there won't be any bees there. If someone moved in then you caught something.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Robbing is usually a pretty destructive process as far as comb. If there are wax flakes on the bottom of the hive and the edges of the comb are ragged, it is robbing. If new comb is being built, you may have caught a swarm. If it was a virgin swarm, you may need to wait a good two weeks before you see eggs. Most likely though, it is robbing. A good way to tell for sure is to pop the top late in the evening, (please post the video). If there are a lot of bees in there after dark, you got a swarm. The robbers will have all gone back to their respective hives.

Absinthe, you beat me to the best way to tell, though not necessarily the safest, if indeed a swarm has moved in.
 

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You know you don't have to throw away honey regardless of whether it is nectar based vs sucrose based. You can always use it to feed your bees. They won't care. And come winter, if they haven't built up enough stores for the winter, you will wish you had some funny honey. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok Kool thanks guys, the night check might be in order, Ill have to dig out my red light, I found out quick about viewing bees at night :pinch:. I did notice some flakes of wax on the bottom, but not alot. Absinthe, i still have 3 full boxes of honey, so thats not a bad idea to store them for a fill in before winter. my bees are not in my backyard so ill try tomarrow early morning before sunrise or tomarrow sunset. I try to do a video.
 

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Night check usually tells as others have suggested. If you want this this to be a swarm trap it can’t have any honey, nectar or dead brood. Just cleaned out old comb with lemongrass oil bait and leave some vacant space. Robbers and ants will drive away real scouts. I would save the frames with honey etc to put in the hive once you actually catch a swarm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I had my brother who lives at the property with the bee yard Do a check for me seeing how I am a little distance away about 10 miles. He’s a night owl he went out to the hive around 3 o’clock in the morning and told me that the left side door had lots of bees over it, He didn’t want to get any closer to check it out. I guess from here I’ll leave it be for a little while and I’ll throw up some pics so you guys have an idea of what it looks like.
 

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No matter how nice the hive is, robbers won't draw wax. That runs counter to their present objective.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just got back from a trip to the bee yard, Didn’t want to be there long seeing how it’s 90° here right now. Went up to the hive in question and observe the traffic coming in and out. The landings do not have flaked wax like a typical robbed hive and I noticed most bees coming in have pollen on their legs. There’s no fighting no aggressive behavior. If I did catch a swarm whether it is a virgin swarm would it be my best bet just to leave them alone for two weeks before Peeking inside for another inspection?
 

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I just got back from a trip to the bee yard, Didn’t want to be there long seeing how it’s 90° here right now. Went up to the hive in question and observe the traffic coming in and out. The landings do not have flaked wax like a typical robbed hive and I noticed most bees coming in have pollen on their legs. There’s no fighting no aggressive behavior. If I did catch a swarm whether it is a virgin swarm would it be my best bet just to leave them alone for two weeks before Peeking inside for another inspection?
Congrats, you got yourself a swarm.
2 weeks of grace period is just fine, since the bees are already in the permanent hive.
 

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If I did catch a swarm whether it is a virgin swarm would it be my best bet just to leave them alone for two weeks before Peeking inside for another inspection?
Are you leaving it in that yard or moving it? If you are leaving it there waiting 2 weeks isn't going to hurt anything other than your patience. If you are moving it to another yard you can pick it up in the evening and take it to where you want it.

I do the later and then give them a few days to acclimate. I haven't had one leave the bait hive yet. Oh, and I replace the baithive with another. Tonight I'm bringing home my 3rd swarm from the exact same location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When I started beekeeping I started out with two Langstroth hive’s that I bought off a local Amish who makes them from scratch early that summer I was able to make two splits resulting in four hives, at that same time I started a garden and bought a dozen chickens chicks for a small farm. I like to do things the more natural way and I never realized Verroa was so serious therefore I ended up losing all my hives due to mites, this spring I’m starting fresh again with much more education on the mites and ways of treating. I actually learned about this forum from Johno and his Easy Vape plans I actually just finished building one myself. I like to build things I’ve seen a lot of pictures of long hives and a lot of people say that they’re more better for the bees so I decided to look at a bunch of different variations and I built one I put it in the bee yard the thing is made out of 2x10’s instead of 1 by wood, The darn thing weighs close to 200 pounds empty it will remain in its current bee yard with the other bees. I get a ton of white clover sunflowers, there’s an apple orchard 2 miles down the road and in the fall the land is covered in goldenrod. I actually had no intentions of using it this year I guess my plans have changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Curiosity got the best of me I had to go peek. Another beekeeper friend told me if I did catch a swarm there should be eggs in there today he pretty much convinced me to go look so I did. And result more cross comb and I did find eggs larva and capped brood. I guess I successfully caught my first swarm 😁
 

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Congratulations! I think catching swarms is a blast. I've been fortunate that I was able to watch my 1st and 2nd swarms actually fly in and move in to the trap. What a hoot!
Nothing so far this year, but there are still a few weeks left.
 

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And result more cross comb
What you observe is not "cross comb", to be technical.
Those are just normal bridges.
Looks like your frame are not pushed together as tight as they should be, hence the bridges.

Example of "cross comb" case would be when the bees build entire comb at ~90 degree angle to the frames.
 
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