bet a local beekeeper is ****ed! swarms!!!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Mel-, May 16, 2005.

  1. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    we've had 2 possibly 3 swarms this week. one took up in a hollow tree by my house. the other was a huge swarm that went right over my head while I was in my sisters yard (she lives next door). it was huge, probably 2 basketballs size when it settled in a tree in her yard. called my dad and he brought over supers or hives or whatever and knocked them out of the tree onto a piece of plywood and they all marched right in !

    the problem is the one at my house. like I said some took up in a hollow tree. then a couple of days later it looked like they had dissapeared, no activity at all or any appearance of them still around. then today I go outside and find a swarm attached to my deck! dad thought it might be the same swarm as in the tree and they didn't like it.

    he brought over what hives he had (he used to keep bees) but these couldn't be knocked down since they were right on my deck. it was really cold today, only 50 or so for a high and 40 tonight. he tried a broom and sweeping them into the hive and put a jar of sugar water in it but they just rehuddled back up on the deck (while it was still relatively warm some did fly in and out to get to the water I assume).

    anything else we can do to get them to move into the hive? that first swarm moved in just like they knew exactly what we wanted! I'm afraid they won't even make it in this cold, lots of them were laying around loose in the grass and just crawling.

    I'm not thrilled to have them attached to my deck! I have a couple of yorkies who are missing their outings in the back yard but dad didn't want me to hose them with water to get them to move on. he figured since he had already been dragged back into beekeeping when I called him in a panic with the other swarm, he might as well keep this one too ;) my sister's husband was going to kill them as he was NOT thrilled to have them in the yard. dad was able to move the hive back to the back of the farm by the barn.

    somebody has lost a lot of bees the last few days! though I guess they could be wild. is this just a wierd year or just coincidence that I saw them? I have lived here four years and never seen a swarm, my sister has lived on the farm for almost 15 and never seen a swarm (course she didn't see these until I ran and told her!). I didn't even notice the swarm on my deck until my dogs saw them! my cat almost stepped on the swarm because she didn't see them. just seems wierd that I've never seen a swarm in my life and have seen 2 or maybe even 3 in the last few days!

    Thanks as always.
     
  2. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    The best way to transfer a swarm is for your dad to try and locate the queen which is a hard thing to do unless you have done a fair amount of it, especially in a swarm. Once the queen is in a hive body, the rest of the bees will follow and possibly set up housekeeping. If they are still there in the morning, your dad can get another crack at them.

    Bees are very docile when they don't have a home to protect so they shouldn't bother you or your dogs.
     

  3. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    they are still there as of this morning at almost noon.

    it is still only about 60 degrees outside. they still aren't crawling into the hive but there are several dozen flying around in the air around the hive and going in and out.

    my dad kept bees for several years (and his father before him) so he probably knows how to tell the queen but not so sure he would want to be poking through them. he only has his bonnet and netting left in terms of any kind of protective gear.

    my dogs are just incredibly curious about this new thing in their yard and I'm more afraid of them stepping on one than anything. I've been going out with them today and just shooing them away from the hive. can bees stingers sting after they are dead? there are several laying in the grass that died yesterday.

    I'm supposed to keep an eye on them (!) but if they move into it he will come over tonight and move them out beside the others. maybe some warmer weather will help though I think they are saying low 60s for the rest of the week (and more rain moving in later).

    I did something incredibly stupid as a teenager. my dad had taken the combs out and put them in his garage to drain the honey out. I left the garage door open! and an hour or so later came out to a garage full of bees. my grandfather was there also and had my sister and I carry the combs back outside and lay them on a table. he had kept bees all his life and kept telling us *they won't hurt you!*. hard for a teenager to believe when there are hundreds that appear to be divebombing your head ;)

    Thanks for the help, hopefully they'll move in or move on pretty soon.
     
  4. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    The bees floating around the hive are likely the scout bees, sent out to look for likely digs. If they approve of your dads hive, and they likely will, they'll soon gravitate to it enmass.

    I've been stung by recently dead bees, but if they've been dead awhile, there isn't a problem.

    I worked with bees quite a few years, but I still have trouble locating the queen sometimes, even on comb. It's really hard to find them in a swarm.




    I think we've all made some pretty stupid mistakes regarding bees. I wouldn't even know where to start with some of my boneheaded tales. Suffice it to say, that if a swarm of bees is thirty feet up in a tree and your extension ladder is only 20' high, it's best to leave them be! It ain't the bees that get you, it's that distance to the ground when the branch you've leaned the ladder on breaks that really hurts.

    The gal that called me about that particular swarm was video taping me at the time too and I refuse to watch America's Funniest Home Video's because some day it'll probably occur to her to send it in.
     
  5. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    :haha: :haha: :haha:
     
  6. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    lol bare! be sure and let us know the airing date if it does <feeling much better now, snicker>.

    well, the bees are still there but they aren't moving into the hive. they have gone in and drank about 3/4 of the quart of sugar water though. It only got up to about 62 today, there were several dozen flying around the hive all day but no go in terms of moving in.

    my dad is beginning to wonder if they don't have a queen? when I asked him why the other hive just marched right in and then this one isn't budging he made some snide remark about them all being female bees (was he trying to imply females are picky??? nah, surely not).
     
  7. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    well, the darned things decided to move back into that tree they just moved out of (maybe my dad was right about the illogical female thing!).

    I should have plugged the holes when I had the chance but I never thought they would move back into something they had just apparently left.

    oh well, we're going to leave the hive set up a few feet from the tree in case they decide to move again. If they stay in the tree I'll probably have to kill them, it is only about 6 inches from my in progress deck and I don't want to have to fight them to sit out there :(
     
  8. thornapplehill

    thornapplehill Member

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    I heard you can bait your hive with lemongrass oil with good results. Maybe it's too late now that they're settled in again.