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Rob Stockley

New Zealand swarm dates for season 2017/18

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Hi Trev I will see if I can get someone to come and have a look I live quite away out of town so I will see how I go.  There are two 3/4 boxes of drawn comb and a third box with some undrawn and some drawn.   I have placed an excluder between the second and thrid box.  I am looking for swarm cells but clearly not hard enough and I haven't been feeding this hive.  I have fed only the split I did from this hive and the two swarm hives who have two frames of drawn comb and seven of undrawn wooden frames with medium foundation and seem to be drawing the comb quite rapidly.  

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5 minutes ago, BJC said:

Hi Trev I will see if I can get someone to come and have a look I live quite away out of town so I will see how I go.  There are two 3/4 boxes of drawn comb and a third box with some undrawn and some drawn.   I have placed an excluder between the second and thrid box.  I am looking for swarm cells but clearly not hard enough and I haven't been feeding this hive.  I have fed only the split I did from this hive and the two swarm hives who have two frames of drawn comb and seven of undrawn wooden frames with medium foundation and seem to be drawing the comb quite rapidly.  

Remove the queen excluder.  I feel it is too early in the season for excluders and they can prevent the bees from expanding.

 

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Thanks Trev will do.

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My swarm trap seems to be getting a lot of attention today. 

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I got 3 messages via Facebook this morning (all different origin, friends, customer and via the swarm page) of a swarm on fence post rural Putaruru.

Armed with the address I headed off with boxes. Bad cell phone reception out there but managed to find a spot with 1 bar of strength and rang the farmer to let him know I was there. He took me down the farm race to where the bees were huddled up. He said that they had been there for a week. He had posted on a swarm collection site with people from as far as Wellington saying they would come and collect, up till today there had been no takers. He kindly turned off the electric fence while I swept the bees off in to the hive lid and tipped in to the hive box. I was suited up for this one as I was expecting grumpy bees, they were pretty placid considering they had been hanging around for a week. In total they were about 6 FD frames covering of bees.

I now have 3 collected swarms at home. It’s really hard to not have bees at home, I am trying really hard but I think they have got the better of me again??

Edited by dansar
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5 minutes ago, dansar said:

I am trying really hard but I think they have got the better of me again??

Well I'm ok, a bloke has just come and collected my 6 swarms, and refilled my frame dept. :)

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I caught another nice little swarm today.  5 x framer on a camellia street tree.  2 m plus high.  Nice

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11 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I caught another nice little swarm today.  5 x framer on a camellia street tree.  2 m plus high.  Nice

 

Very nice @Trevor Gillbanks

 

Ahhh I have enough bees, but all this swarm talk....

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Out to check a couple of apiaries after dinner. 
Look what I found...doesn't look like it came from my hives.
And now at home the little darlings have all spilled out of the nucleus box and are hanging off the front. I will tip them back in early tomorrow morning. I have this feeling they will abscond.

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strange out of 33 swarms over last while I've never had one abscond (so far, touch wood).

Is absconding something that happens regularly in some areas or weather or situations?

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2 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

strange out of 33 swarms over last while I've never had one abscond (so far, touch wood).

Is absconding something that happens regularly in some areas or weather or situations?

I don’t know. I have had maybe 3 over the past 8 years that have absconded. Who knows what they don’t like maybe it’s the box, frames, location, they way they were handled when put in the box. Any number of reasons.

 

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2 swarms caught today.

1 smallish swarm on a fencepost, right on the footpath, they just marched in, so easy. Didn't see queen there, but did when transferring into a hive.

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and the other large swarm 6m up a bloody tree... the originating hive was 20m to the right, behind that house.

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and while checking a small cluster of about 20 bees on the grass after the second shake, found her majesty. She climbed onto my finger, and then climbed off and straight into the box.

The bees kept going back up into the tree, when a neighbour came to help... with an extension ladder and a branch chopper on a suitably long pole. The final cluster was tricky, but managed to cut branches and carried it down the ladder, and they to marched into the box..

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Very rewarding day....

 

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Caught a good swarm on sunday this one filled a box, was lucky to find it

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Accidentally caught a swarm yesterday. Himself and I were at a friends citrus orchard he was stoked as it saved him ringing us. He's surrounded by kiwifruit, obviously someone's hives got too strong. We only had boxes on board. (Really, the swarm season and no swarm catching gear - sometimes being a commercial is soooo boring!) so I improvised! Some fire wood and the window shade thingy wrapped around an excluder.

The girls didn't care they just marched in anyway! No smoke! Had to go back to get base and lid. Ate fish and chips watching them fly in. Looks like we'll get some citrus honey this year.

 

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Edited by Bron
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17 hours ago, dansar said:

Out to check a couple of apiaries after dinner. 
Look what I found...doesn't look like it came from my hives.
And now at home the little darlings have all spilled out of the nucleus box and are hanging off the front. I will tip them back in early tomorrow morning. I have this feeling they will abscond.

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They were all hanging outside the nuc box at 5.30 this morning. I dumped them in to a 10 frame box. Just had a peak under the inner cover this afternoon and they are covering about 4 frames.

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I spotted this on an empty hive box thinking it was a tiny swarm, then I flipped it over to see this.

They must have been there a little while because there was a bit of comb on the bottom and they had started to fill the drawn frames in the hivebox with honey.

 

All the queens from this backyard were present and none appeared to have swarmed, must have been from the bush this property is next to!

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Edited by Qkrwogud
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2 more swarms today.  1 in a large Pohutukawa tree and will fill a 10 framer.  I dumped it into a 5 frame NUC but put another 5 frames on top when I got it home. About 3 kg of bees (25000 bees).  I forgot to take a photo when they were in the tree.

Second swarm was about 3m up, inside a very large Elm tree.  Unfortunately, I hard to terminate them as they were in a public park.

 

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I caught a very small swarm that was freaking the neighbors out during a Halloween party today.

It seemed like it was maybe mini basketball size but now it’s in the box it seems like a pretty pathetic number of bees. I doubt it will survive, and have no idea if there is a queen in there (though most remaining bees went into the box).

I’ve put a couple of frames of foundation and a feeder in with them - anyone have any tips on the off chance they survive?

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Keep the entrance very small, leave it alone, and see what happens.

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47 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Keep the entrance very small, leave it alone, and see what happens.

Thanks - it’s at about 1 bee wide so I’ll leave it alone.

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While working in my garden yesterday I was suprised to see a mass of bees flying around the lemon tree - it was a swarm! Unfortunately it was a small one, about half the size of a netball.  As one of the club's swarm collectors (to keep the council happy and to help newbies get free bees) I'd normally pass this on to a newbie, but I decided it was just too small so I merged that with one of my queenless hives.

 

The weird thing is that my backyard hive swarmed the other week ago, surely this swarm didn't come back?

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Chased a “really big swarm “ around my school property today with lots of excited onlookers. Wouldn’t settle and eventually departed for a better tree! Kind of lucky for me really cause I was on my trusty treadly this morning! But pity they didn’t notice my two swarm traps. 

 

Got this one the other day. Needed to put on a second FD box to make them happy! Will probably collect honey off them this season. Nice n big! And conveniently roof rack height. 

 

 

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On 10/31/2017 at 2:49 PM, dansar said:

They were all hanging outside the nuc box at 5.30 this morning. I dumped them in to a 10 frame box. Just had a peak under the inner cover this afternoon and they are covering about 4 frames.

And.....they have absconded ??

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12 minutes ago, dansar said:

And.....they have absconded

I had two a couple of weeks ago that "absconded" straight in with the lot next door. Had seven in a row one morning. That evening five in a row., two of them needing three more frames each. I put it down to missing Qs.

Edited by yesbut

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