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Thread: My little homestead

  1. #41
    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    Here are the hives...they were crazy busy today...My little homestead-hives-06-16-2017-jpg

  2. #42
    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    OOPs...don't know how to rotate...it was not at this angle in my folder

  3. #43
    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    We have what is called Water Primrose all around the lake and this is an excellent nectar and pollen source for them...also have several privet trees close by in neighbors yards...also a good source...

  4. #44
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quest View Post
    OOPs...don't know how to rotate...it was not at this angle in my folder
    Looking at it sideways means it fits my widescreen better so no problems.

  5. #45
    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    Looking at it sideways means it fits my widescreen better so no problems.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Quest View Post
    Have not reported so thought I would give an update...since we had such a warm winter my bees flourished and the queen started laying early..therefore I had swarms, 5 to be exact...I caught 4...

    So now I have two strong hives. One is exceptionally strong (caught the swarm and after figuring out that hive was queenless I manipulated them into accepting the swarm back into the fold...
    You're gonna have to use layman terms or just explain what some of those things mean.

    For example...what does 'swarm' mean and how did you catch them? ...and how do you manipulate them?


    ...and bumping for Fuego. ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by fuego View Post
    And be sure to get video getting it with the spigot thingy.
    Quote Originally Posted by fuego View Post
    Cool. Don't forget the spigot video when you get your first honey.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to krystian For This Useful Post:

    Quest (06-17-2017)

  8. #47
    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    A swarm is a large group of bees that decide to leave the hive with the queen to find a new home. This happens when they feel overcrowded or they sense an inadequate food supply....in my case it was overcrowding. Due to the really mild winter the queen started laying earlier and I was not on top of the issue early.

    Before they swarm the workers choose a number of new larvae bees to be new queens and start feeding them royal jelly. The swarm will leave a day or 2 before time for a new queen to emerge...they stuff themselves with honey to sustain them until they get settled in a new space.

    When the first queen hatches she will go around the hive stinging to death any unhatched sisters...in a perfect world she would kill them all, take a mating flight, return and assume the throne. Sometimes a swarm will leave with her...and it can happen numerous times leaving a hive with a very weak population...fine for bees but bad for beekeepers who hope to get surplus honey...If this happens the hive can become queen-less...mine did.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Quest For This Useful Post:

    krystian (06-18-2017)

  10. #48
    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    Catching swarms: When they leave they will first land somewhere close by, form a strong cluster around the queen and send out scouts to find a new home. They can leave within an hour or stay as long as 3-4 days. Because they are stuffed, like we feel after Thanksgiving dinner, they cannot hardly lift their abdomen to sting...one can grasp them with bare hands...I did not!

    The multiple swarms took pace over a period of a month. The easiest one I caught landed on a neighbors house. He has a built on back porch that sits on 4X4 posts about 18 inches off the ground...they all clustered on one of those poles..I sat the new hive box by them and just scooped them into it, being sure to get the queen. I closed the entrance for a few hours to give them time to inspect their new home and they settled in quite nicely..after 10 days I inspected the hive they came from and it was queenless...either the queens failed or did not return from mating flight. so I merged the old queen back in...caught a few more but one re-swarmed the next day...one landed in top of a 50 ft pine tree and left a few days later...probably taking up residence with a neighbor..:) I have been watching the Facebook page to see if anyone in the community asks about bee removal...:)

    I placed newspaper on to f the original hive box so the bees would have to chew through it to get to the queen...by the time they chew through they typically accept the old queen back..unfortunately it seems they didn't or something went wrong...when I checked again they were queen less...I hated that, she was a fantastic queen...my original from the NUC last year.

    I cannot spot queens so I knew there is one if I see eggs, larvae and caped brood...capped brood is when a larvae reaches a certain age the bees cap the cell with wax. When they compete their transformation they chew their own way out..

    The goal of most beekeepers is first to prevent swarms by splitting the hive, thus increasing their hive quantity...I wanted to maintain only 2 so this was a serious learning curve...what I learned is to start inspecting in Feb. if we have a mild winter...( I was not adequately advised and waited until mid March, and they were already in swarm mode........) make sure I have equipment to do splits if needed...I did not handle that correctly due to my excessive attempt to limit my hives, and use the splits to strengthen the hives in Spring by putting them back in when the nectar flow is strong and there is plenty of work for them....And secondly have those queens just in case any swarm queens that form fail....if the new queen does not fail I will have to remove one or the other...either kill her or sell her...and do the newspaper merge again to get the workers back into the main hives...I ended up buying new queens...I lost both my original queens and none of the new ones worked out...they likely did not return from mating fights...

  11. #49
    Super Moderator Quest's Avatar
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    Manipulating a hive means understanding their natural process and working with it to achieve MY goals...this Spring I did not work well with them and they proved their mindset is stronger than my will. :)))

    A split is taking 2-3 frames from original hive, with queen and some workers brood and honey, and start a new hive...replacing those removed with empty frames in the main hive to create plenty of ROOM; this creates a false swarm.. next eliminate all but 2 queen cells in the original hive...if several hatch at same time they could cause several more swarms...but odds are with only 2, that won't happen....

  12. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by krystian View Post
    You're gonna have to use layman terms or just explain what some of those things mean.

    For example...what does 'swarm' mean and how did you catch them? ...and how do you manipulate them?


    ...and bumping for Fuego. ;)
    Definitely....I am considering taking a frame to a bee keepers meeting and extracting it there for a demo...I may do one at home first to make sure I cover all the bases, issues, first...

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