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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure how common it is but I got to watch one of my double deeps go from the usual activity to full swarm this afternoon. Who tells these things the schedule?

Anyway I checked both my new-this-year hives yesterday after a few days of rainy weather. Confused as most beginners I try to take a bit of time to figure out whats going on in there. I put a second deep on both hives 2 weeks ago and kept feeding them to help build up the comb. Yesterday the upper deep on both hives was 60-70% drawn so I added supers to both and took the feeders off. There was a lot of burr comb built up between things and on the hive that swarmed today I had seen two queen cells at the bottom of one frame. One was capped and the other was empty. What else should have told me that the girls were moving out? Experience I guess is needed to tell the diff between an overcrowded brood area and one that's just doing good. I'm not so confident anymore that the other hive isn't planning the same thing.

So I watched the backyard full of bees until I noticed them starting to collect in one area. I had read this would happen and was happy to see it happen nearby. I took a shop vac and plumbed it through a cardboard box with gauze over the suck end of the box and managed to suck up most of the bees. They were a bit pissed at me and one found the crack in my veil zipper. So what do I do with a beer box full of bees? I have stuff on order as I was planning on trying some splits but nothing yet. I built a deep nuc yesterday but have no deep frames. For now I took the new super off the hive that swarmed and cobbled up a bottom and top and put them in there. I shimmed up one corner and at last look they were coming and going thru the crack. Looking for me no doubt.

So that was my day. I thought y'all would enjoy the exploits and mistakes of a new guy. I guess I got my split done for me. I should have gone to medical school instead of getting bees. Easier and less complicated.
 

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I should have gone to medical school instead of getting bees. Easier and less complicated.
Well, that's debatable...;) I don't remember how many years it was before I got to see a swarm in the air. Consider yourself lucky. Sit back & enjoy the ride. I'd take bees over med school, still.
 

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I had MY first sting and first swarm with my first hives last weekend. Although mine was less of a swarm and more of an indignant evacuation. After two bear attacks and a major move, my girls were just DONE. I had never seen a swarm before and the cloud of bees in my backyard, eventually coming to rest on a limb of my neighbor's tree, was enough to startle me into cold-calling a more experienced beekeeper. Fortunately, she was willing to load up her ladder and come help me shake my bees back into the hive. I'm just glad I have one seriously resilient queen. It's nice to know I'm not the only newbie who's crammed a whole lot of firsts into one day. :)
 

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Look like this? My wife saw this one, she thought it was a great Orientation flight:lpf:
I noticed it on the camera the next morning, luckily they were 20' up in the front yard. Now they are in a box........:thumbsup: G
Bee Insect Apiary Honeybee Beehive
Bee Beehive Insect Honeybee Honeycomb
 

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I love watching swarms....unless they're mine! Oh yes, a couple of days of rain followed by a nice sunny day is swarm time in the spring. I remember a couple of years ago I walked out to my hives and walked in front of each of them around 10 in the morning. Two seemd really busy and I thought to myself that I should get in there, check them to see if they need another box and maybe do splits. It was the first sunny day after a week of rain. Got in my truck, went downtown for a coffee and when I got back the air was filled with bees. Both of the suspect hives had swarmed. Standing in the midst of them while they gathered on my apple trees was pretty cool and, in a way, quite humbling. Still, it's better when someone elses hives are doing the swarming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is a humbling experience. Amazing how all of those bees can fit in one hive.

I'm kinda feeling relief now that they swarmed. Life in the hive goes on. No big deal. They'll sort it out in the end.
 
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