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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

One of my hives is obviously not happy with me. In a feverish flurry of activity, they decided to split up, and now half of them are in a swarm in a tree. Way up high, at least 40 ft.

I inspected, and discovered a TON of drone comb.

There are no other eggs.
I hate to admit it, but I've been popping in to check in on them this spring so far, but haven't done a full inspection, I was saving that for this coming week. :doh::doh::doh:
I did notice that they were thriving, and growing in number, and added a super last week.

The last few days, though, I have noticed an extremely large number of drones at that hive.

I feel like such a fool!
I scraped away the drone comb… probably a stupid idea as well.

I've reached out to my local association.

Any ideas from you guys for some kind of luring mechanism to get the ones in the tree back?
I can't imagine possibly getting to the branch where they have perched themselves.

As an aside, The hive next to it has been very weak in number. I inspected that one as well today, it was like a ghost town, even though I saw the queen, there was very little brood. They are working hard bringing in pollen and drawing comb.
Both were new packages last May.

Thanks!
 

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You can try putting out another box baited with some lemongrass oil.... The odds of them deciding they want that as their home are remote, but at least you tried. Put the box upwind, about 6-8 feet off the ground, and hope for the best. The other option is to rent a lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That doesn't sound like a bad idea! Can it possibly wait until tomorrow? How long do you think they will hang there for? I need to go get supplies. I only have one box extra, and that is for the split that I now have to do with the remainder of that hive. I am making a trip for a queen tomorrow.
 

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>Any ideas from you guys for some kind of luring mechanism to get the ones in the tree back?
I can't imagine possibly getting to the branch where they have perched themselves.

If you have some QMP (queen juice or PseudoQueen) and some lemongrass essential oil and some old comb you have a fair chance at luring them down. Then give them some open brood from a queenright hive so they can replace the old queen...
 

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Are you friends with someone with a basket truck? Maybe the cable guy or phone guy. Rip out your cable. When the truck comes to fix it ask if you could use his boom real quick. A jar of honey might do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had enlisted some help from my association's experienced keepers. One man was kind enough to come out. I had already done an inspection, and he also did one. I had scraped away all my drone comb. But he spotted queen cells and scraped them all away and advised me to get a new queen for the remaining hive.

I called around and just cannot find a new queen. I contacted the association, and the new website makes it very difficult to reach out to the group.

I am starting to panic now because I fear the queen they would have made has been eliminated.
Will they continue to try?
 

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One man was kind enough to come out. I had already done an inspection, and he also did one. I had scraped away all my drone comb. But he spotted queen cells and scraped them all away and advised me to get a new queen for the remaining hive.

I am starting to panic now because I fear the queen they would have made has been eliminated.
It's time to panic.My advice may not be much help but you need to find a queen somewhere or put a frame with eggs and young larvae.FWIW don't ever invite that "beekeeper" back.I can't imagine killing queen cells in a just swarmed colony.
 

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I had enlisted some help from my association's experienced keepers. One man was kind enough to come out. I had already done an inspection, and he also did one. I had scraped away all my drone comb. But he spotted queen cells and scraped them all away and advised me to get a new queen for the remaining hive.

I called around and just cannot find a new queen. I contacted the association, and the new website makes it very difficult to reach out to the group.

I am starting to panic now because I fear the queen they would have made has been eliminated.
Will they continue to try?
I had a similar case where my hives swarmed 2 times. The first time was massive and it stayed in the neighbors tree for 3 days before disappearing. Same with the second. I looked inside and on 3 frames that i checked I saw 5 queen cells. I was told by a local bee keeper to buy a queen. I also got different advice but in the end decided to let the bees do what bees do. I now have a mated queen and she's a layer. The hive is booming again and I just added on a medium. The bees know what to do and I think some just do to much to the detriment of the bees.
New beekeeper and I know nothing but the bees know all.


Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you Michael. I can drive to Kelley's and get some pseudo queen if they sell it. I'll also need some more boxes...I do have lemongrass oil.
 

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I would not have removed the queen cells if it was my hive, but what is done is done. I would keep trying to find a new queen, local would be my first choice, but I would have 1 shipped if I had to. As for attracting the swarm, old comb and lemmon grass oil might work, but it is probably a long shot. Maybe you can get lucky, I wish you good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>

If you have some QMP (queen juice or PseudoQueen) and some lemongrass essential oil and some old comb you have a fair chance at luring them down. Then give them some open brood from a queenright hive so they can replace the old queen...
So, the swarm in the tree does not have a queen up there with them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
May 1st in the soonest I can get a queen. I thought that may be way too long, but maybe I have no choice. Is there any way I may be lucky with what was in there? I did see that one queen cell was opened up out of the like 6-7 that he removed that had a developing larva in them.
 

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Hi all,

There are no other eggs.

As an aside, The hive next to it has been very weak in number. I inspected that one as well today, it was like a ghost town, even though I saw the queen, there was very little brood. They are working hard bringing in pollen and drawing comb.


Thanks!
If no queen cells are present within 3 days in the hive that swarmed and had the QC's squashed, I would seriously consider a news paper combine. Could be a win win for both hives. Ordering a queen is likely in order, also. Sounds like you may have a poorly mated queen in the hive with low numbers. None of my bees wax...but I have always been told that mashing queen cells is theeee easiest way to earn yourself a queen-less, doomed hive. Also remember...You can ask 10 beekeepers a question, and get 11 different answers. Good Luck!!!
 

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If you now have an open queen cell being built now, then by May 1 when the new queen arrives, you'll have a virgin queen in the hive, and she'll kill your new ordered queen.

What I suggest is to remove all queen cells again, then join your weak hive with this hive. This will give strength to the weak hive and the queen should start laying better with more bees to take care of brood and forage. Then, when the new queen arrives, split this hive and give the new queen to the queenless half. This way, you'll end up with two hives of better and equal strength.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice and replies; I really appreciate the insight.
I was hoping when I woke up this morning that I'd had a crappy dream, but no, it was real.

So what makes the most sense is to combine. Heck, maybe I'll end up with some honey this year.
I have an entire hive body of drawn comb sitting empty that I removed from the weak hive yesterday. I don't want the moths moving in.

It had to have been overcrowding. That swarm is not small, I'd say about volleyball-sized.
I'll still do my best to lure that swarm down.
I really want to try a Warre hive, is it foolish to try with the swarm I'm trying to lure? I read that they are primed to build comb once they find a new destination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The swarm moved on Thursday 4/24 it seems. Now I'm on a side-mission to catch a swarm of my own!

Three days ago, I had reached out to our state apiarist, as I was really concerned with combining, putting all those bees from the remaining hive, trapped, above the weak hive with a queen. He put me at ease, and I decided to wait until today, 5 days after the swarm day to open up and see what I had to work with.

Thank you RayMarler:
What I suggest is to remove all queen cells again, then join your weak hive with this hive. This will give strength to the weak hive and the queen should start laying better with more bees to take care of brood and forage. Then, when the new queen arrives, split this hive and give the new queen to the queenless half. This way, you'll end up with two hives of better and equal strength.
Update:
There are still so so many of them left! They took up 2 hive bodies and 2 shallow supers, one doesn't count (explanation to come). After a thorough inspection, I found absolutely no eggs at all. There was patchy brood, and even emerging bees, but no sign of a queen. I was really hoping there was a chance that all the queen cells had not been totally destroyed, or that one had merged before my helper took the cells out. No such luck. Just lots of testy bees.
I also didn't have a queen excluder on, and there was brood in a super, so I just left it be for now.
Here are some pictures form the recently swarmed hive (sorry, but I had to resort to dropbox):

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/wzhxpj6dwejeeai/NWOkkXm8Gi

There is a strange cell in the middle of one of the frames, I'm thinking it is a supersedure cell?

If it is not, could it be a last-ditch queen cell? I read that they could be weak queens if reared too late into development.


I decided to combine the weak hive with some of the remaining bees from the swarm. But for some reason, I only had the heart to combine one of the hive bodies.

Now that I've waited to make my decision about a queen for the ones left, I have to wait until the 6th for a new one, but I'm hoping for the 3rd. That would make it three weeks from swarm! I hope I can somehow get one sooner. I feel foolish for waiting, but I was going to combine them all. My gut told me not to. I am going to trust it a bit more often now :).
 

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I don't understand why your helper would mash all the queencells from a hive that just swarmed and would obviously be queenless.
 
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