First swarm of season

Go down

First swarm of season

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:05 am

I got my first swarm of the season today. I knew it was coming as there were scout bees checking out the bait hives for the last few days. Thiscswarm came out of one of my own hives and hived themselves in an empty hive at the other end of the garden. Just before it got dark, I moved them down to sit next to their parent hive. I will move that hive away tomorrow and put the swarm in its place. That way all the foraging bees will end up joining the swarm and the parent hive will be depleted to mostly young nurse bees. I intend, then, to split it up into three nucs - each furnished with a queen cell.

Sean Ph'lib

Posts : 161
Join date : 2017-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by wayland on Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:48 am

Proper job Sean. How many full colonies have you?
avatar
wayland

Posts : 266
Join date : 2017-10-03
Age : 70
Location : Co Wexford. Ireland

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:47 pm

wayland wrote:Proper job Sean. How many full colonies have you?
Last count, I think there were around thirty (ish). This time of the year it varies from day to day, what with swarms and splits etc.


Sean Ph'lib

Posts : 161
Join date : 2017-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:58 pm

More swarms today. What with hiving swarms, putting on supers, taking off honey, making splits, shifting splits to out-apiaries, bringing home splits, making up frames, extracting, bottling... there aren't enough hours in the day! Hardly time for a mug of cider - but, by God! when I do get a chance, it goes down well! drunken

Sean Ph'lib

Posts : 161
Join date : 2017-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:28 pm

Just in case people run away with the idea that beekeeping is an idyllic pastime,   I had a couple of rather tricky jobs to do with a couple of hives this afternoon - equalising brood and taking a split and transferring a stock from an old hive which needs a bit of repair.  It being so hot, I stripped off and donned just the beesuit. Even then, it was sweltering inside it.  By the time I was halfway through operations, I could feel the sweat running down my back in rivers. Two or three of the more adventurous guard bees then decided to check whether a sweat-soaked beesuit was still bee-proof - especially when the occupant was wearing no padding inside it.  They found, no doubt to their glee, that it was, in fact, now quite permeable to their weapons of mass destruction and straightaway made use of them, all the time encouraging their mates to come and join in the fun.  Now, when bees are stinging you on the shoulders and back - with an odd rasper on the ankle, thrown in, no doubt, in the interest of variety - there is very little one can do. Killing the bees that are stinging you accomplishes nothing - makes things worse in fact.  Your only choice is: adopt the attitude of the English during the Blitz: "Keep a stiff upper lip and carry on!"  or abandon the task in hand and head for the hills.  Since the latter option would entail having to go at it again some other time, I gritted the old teeth, stuck to it and finished.
 Stripping off the sodden beesuit afterwards, I counted twenty-seven stings still stuck in it. Beekeeping ain't all fun!

Sean Ph'lib

Posts : 161
Join date : 2017-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by wayland on Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:15 am

Bless them. Very Happy Keeping the quantity you have Sean, although lordable from a conservation perspective is a lot of work, especially in these conditions. I am hoping for an apiary of 4/5 max if I can (fingers crossed). I once had a colony of the most evil Bees ever. While being inspected by the min of ag bloke this hive erupted into a black mass of pain. The inspector was not to impressed. Even the smoker was attacked by the hord, the sound of sizzling bees was not what one expects from a device that was supposed to calm them down. Like you Sean. I had twenty seven stings on one hand! It was that number that finally got me immunity from the stinging effects. I have not been stung for about fifteen years. I wonder if the immunity is a lifetime one? I reluctantly did away with those Bees.
avatar
wayland

Posts : 266
Join date : 2017-10-03
Age : 70
Location : Co Wexford. Ireland

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by wayland on Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:31 am

Sean, it sounds like you have a great honey harvest this year. Lots to sell then?. Honey sells for 7 euros 50 cent at the local mart. Which seems a bit pricey to me, but it does sell!. With the number of colonies you have it would seem to me that you need some help. I would be happy to muck in if I lived nearer mate Wink My Bees are also doing well. I had some scouts around my catcher hive but no sign of another swarm yet. I do spend perhaps too much time just sitting watching them. After so many years without any this is just great. To take up an earlier point made about bees prefuring empty space to foundation. I have a bit of a problem with this. When I set up the hive and anointed it with Lemongrass oil. I had no real hope that it would work. I had no crown board at the time so used a quilt. Putting on the lid I must have raised a corner of the quilt. You guessed it Rolling Eyes. They went straight into the roof space and built wild combe there. Bugger!!!. So now I am leaving them until later in the season where by the colony would have moved down to the supers and brood chamber. Then I can put in the queen excluder. Powerful they are and I am half expecting them to throw a swarm which is fine providing they go to me catcher hive nearby.
avatar
wayland

Posts : 266
Join date : 2017-10-03
Age : 70
Location : Co Wexford. Ireland

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:23 pm

Wayland, if you leave them as they are, they will completely fill that roof space with comb to the extent that you'll have trouble even getting the lid off! What I would do is: take off the lid and set it aside. Look for the queen. Once you know she is in the hive proper - and not in the wild comb - I would put on a crown board or quilt and a new roof. Then, prop the old roof up nearby so no rain (!) can get in and the bees will rob out the honey and put it where you want it.

Sean Ph'lib

Posts : 161
Join date : 2017-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by wayland on Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:36 pm

This is what I had in mind. I have just left it long enough to enable the queen to move down on her own. Once I see eggs/brood in the super I shall deal with the wild comb. I am a bit nervous about damaging the queen if I get in there too soon. I am hoping that the wild comb will have a "B" space above the super frames and so just lift off. Or do you think this si just wishful thinking.
avatar
wayland

Posts : 266
Join date : 2017-10-03
Age : 70
Location : Co Wexford. Ireland

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:06 pm

Trouble is, if she's laying in the wild comb and they are actively building comb, she might not move down or may spend her time going up and down as cells become empty. I would check and, if no brood in the wild comb, I'd get it out. If the worst happens (which it probably won't ) and you damage the queen, they'll just replace her. One other thing you could try: put on an empty super, get a bit of plywood, put a bee escape in it, and put the roof on top. If there's no brood in the wild comb, all the bees should go down over 24 hours and just leave the comb.

Sean Ph'lib

Posts : 161
Join date : 2017-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by wayland on Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:10 am

Yep Sean. I have considered using Bee escapes to clear the roof space. and will do at some point. Its a bit of a delemer knowing which way to jump. She may well stay in the wild comb and clearing the workers would make finding her easier. Then as we are in the main nectar flow the combs will be filling and so forcing her onto fresh comb... Perhaps. I have even considered inverting the roof and placing supers on top and creating a new colony. Perhaps not as stupid as it sounds. Whatever! it will be sorted soon. Thanks for your advice
avatar
wayland

Posts : 266
Join date : 2017-10-03
Age : 70
Location : Co Wexford. Ireland

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by wayland on Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:39 pm

Well the deed is done! Not a pleasant job for myself or the Bees, but fingers crossed the Queen is ok. The entire roof space was full of comb. All very neat and impressive. 80% of the space was stores. 10% sealed brood and 10% empty cells. No eggs or young brood and so I am hoping she had gone down. Despite my best efforts I was unable to find the Queen but there was many many Bees in the roof space. I tried to lessen the number by repositioning the roof away from the hive but this did not seem to work.
avatar
wayland

Posts : 266
Join date : 2017-10-03
Age : 70
Location : Co Wexford. Ireland

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:53 pm

Keep checking it. There will be young nurse bees which will not desert the unsealed brood. But the majority of bees will return to the hive. You can expect major activity as the bees rob the combs and bring the honey back to the hive. If the queen is in the roof, you will see bees stampeding out of the hive looking for her. If everything looks calm in the hive, she's more than likely in there.

Sean Ph'lib

Posts : 161
Join date : 2017-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by wayland on Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:20 am

Cheers for your help Sean. I checked around last night an a vast majority of the Bee`s that were on the comb had returned to the hive. I was surprised at the size of the colony, I will leave them for a couple of days and then put on another super.
avatar
wayland

Posts : 266
Join date : 2017-10-03
Age : 70
Location : Co Wexford. Ireland

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First swarm of season

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum