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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Second capure of the year, hope this one has a queen! They are very dark bees, and there were drones with this swarm unlike the last one.

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I got an email response to my Craigslist ad. That guy gave me a number of a guy he had lunch with who knew a lady that had bees by her house. I called him and he said "Just stop up at the Legion, Larry will know where she lives."

Well Larry didn't... so I stopped by the bank and explained that if they could call the lady (I had her name) and let her know I was available to help her I'd really appreciate it. Told them I didn't want her address from them, but just wanted to help her out. So they called and she said come right up.

They were about six feet off the ground on her lamp post. They were laying comb down on the ridges. Textbook capture. I'll pick them up tonight when it gets darker. Sweet lady, she called all over (plumbers, all her friends, etc) to see if anyone knew anyone. She said the last thing she wanted to do was call Orkin because she knew they'd kill them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should really have a nuc with me so I can hive them in the box they'll be in to eliminate another move. Plan on putting some open brood with them to hopefully anchor them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
While not all of the bees in the swarm are THIS black, there are a great number of this coloration.

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Hived them tonight with a bar of eggs/young larva and some syrup in a baggie feeder. Probably about two pounds of bees. Interestingly the bees were clustered in two separate corners when I opened the box before dumping them in. They had spit a significant amount of wax in one of the clusters. The other hadn't put any down. They were in the box about six hours. I don't know if that's good or bad. It wasn't "comb shaped" it was just a bunch of specs all over the corner where they were clustered. I hope two clusters doesn't mean they don't have a queen with them. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hmmm.... it is possible. I have heard say that cast swarms build in corners were primes build in the centre. Not sure how true this is.
They behaved much differently than the last one I captured. When I knocked the first chunk in and sealed the box the bees on the lamp pretty much all started fanning. And about 50-100 bees were fanning at the hole in the box. Last swarm maybe 5-10 bees started fanning is all.

The encouraging part is that they were attempting to build some wax which is more than my queenless package ever even thought about doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think you are good. It took my swarm about 2 days to get with the program.
My brother sent me a video this AM, looks like there are a couple fanning the entrance and a few hovering around orienting it looks like. Will be anxious to check on them in a couple of weeks. They're in a 12 bar nuc, so they should have a decent amount of room to get semi-established and by then we'll know weither our struggling package is going to make it or if we should combine them. All assuming the swarm has a queen of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Strangely, the bees are packed into the 1" entrance hole. They appear to be chewing the wood smooth. My spade bit was a bit dull and it made for some wood scraps left clinging to the hole.
They were also bringing in pollen and appear to be happy with the joint for now. They have a bit of syrup in a baggie and some brood that has hopefully anchored them. Pretty exciting that they might stick around!

I just hope they have a queen, hoping for the genes of whatever queen is making these mostly black bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sadly it appears this hive was queenless as well. I put a top bar of eggs and larva from my strong Carni hive and they are starting a number of queen cells. I just ordered two queens, going to introduce one to this swarm and hopefully one to our perpetually queenless hive. They have another 4-5 queen cells capped... I don't know if they are building empties or what, but they just keep failing to raise a queen given every opportunity to do so.

Better luck next time on a swarm with a queen I guess.
 

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Sadly it appears this hive was queenless as well. I put a top bar of eggs and larva from my strong Carni hive and they are starting a number of queen cells. I just ordered two queens, going to introduce one to this swarm and hopefully one to our perpetually queenless hive. They have another 4-5 queen cells capped... I don't know if they are building empties or what, but they just keep failing to raise a queen given every opportunity to do so.

Better luck next time on a swarm with a queen I guess.


Do you have little leprechauns that go around and kill queen bees? You are having the worst luck.

How much do you have invested so far?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just the price of the package on that hive. Been trying to get them to raise their own and it just plain is not happening. Looked again today and there's some cells that are dark, one looked ready to hatch at any time. The best looking cell from about 10 days ago (it was capped then) is still sealed. I don't understand. I'd just combine them with the swarm but that much bad luck is too much for any mortal swarm to handle.

We've been joking that there's a toad sitting on the entrance and eating all the bees as they come out.
 
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