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Hello from North Texas

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Howdy Y'all!

I am Brian. I am the proverbial drone to my wife who started us on beekeeping and I am apparently behind the learning curve. We are two months into our adventure and currently have 4 hives and will be attempting a bee abscond in the next week or so of a raiding tree hive, the raiders showing up about 10 days ago. We are certain of their arrival because they lodged in a hole in a tree at waist level right next to where we park. My wife has been working with a mentor and I have largely been providing assistance and manual labor.

Our hives are located just outside the city limits on 7 acres about 10 minutes from our home. We hope to grow to 10 hives over the next year and go into minor honey production for family/friends. The real goal of the endeavor was to have at least 7 thriving hives in order to qualify for a tax exemption, but this is turning out to be quite an enjoyable endeavor.

The four current hives are Italian bees. Each is turning out to have its own personality. The hives are names with military designations as my wife is former Army Reserve.
Alpha - our most aggressive hive. I am convinced they hate me. This hive is thriving.
Bravo - calm hive. Hive is healthy
Charlie - somewhat aggressive and recently has been under attack from Echo (current tree hive not under our control, yet). This hive also seems to be thriving
Delta - our most chill hive. Life in this hive seems to move at a slower pace. Plenty of brood and plenty of honey, but this hive has the lowest activity level.

Echo - these are our raiders. We have put a hive box next to the tree with feeders on it to lower their raiding of the other hives, but I don't know if it has helped. They are feeding heavily from the feeders. We have been watching videos on bee absconds, have built a bee vacuum, and with the help of our mentor, hope to move Echo into its own box.

The bee abscond seems like a higher level undertaking, although it seems fairly straight forward (assuming we can find the queen). Even so, I am still at the stage where hive inspections are rather amazing and visually overwhelming.

So there you have it. I am hear to learn...
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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
6,894 Posts
Welcome Brian. With a little luck, you will have Juliet in no time.

So you are planning on doing a trapout of a swarm that has taken residence in a tree. Probably want to wait until springtime as this type of capture is not likely to succeed this late in the season. Best bet is to provide them with a feeding station so they have plenty of stores to over winter and won't be robbing your other four hives

You may want to get a little more specific with your location. North Texas could be Amarillo, Texarkana, or anywhere in between.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We are anywhere in between, LOL. Actually, we are located about 40 minutes north of the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Denton County.

We had given the timing some consideration and it had been suggested to us that borrowing a frame of honey from each of the other hives and possible a frame of brood could make the endeavor successful. Our current hives consist of a deep and medium as supers with the deeps fully involved and the mediums 1/2 to 3/4 full. We are not yet running excluders.

Our thinking was that since the tree hive was so new, that it would stand a better chance for winter survival if we could get them into a box, bolstered by the resources from the other hives. Maybe not? Robbing is still ongoing. What you suggest has merit and we will take it under serious consideration. Thank you.
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