Jump to content
Trevor Gillbanks

Swarm Season 2019/20

Recommended Posts

Well, it has started again.  

From reading Facebook etc, their have been quite a few swarms in the Auckland region.

 

Yesterday, I caught the largest swarm that I have ever caught.  6.5 kg (approx 65000 bees).

I put them into a 20 frame hive and will add another box in a couple days.

All the best folks.

 

 

20190929_145716.jpg

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
  • Like 7
  • Good Info 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

#2 for the season.  6 m up a magnolia tree.  Nice sized swarn, about 3 kg.

 

20191007_124615.thumb.jpg.ee1c44132e115db68c03f45f268e0182.jpg20191007_124255.thumb.jpg.472e09b8a8d3bf9e3e6a3dc454558c8c.jpg20191007_124255.thumb.jpg.472e09b8a8d3bf9e3e6a3dc454558c8c.jpg

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By my diary I'm not due a swarm until tomorrow. I have my doubts about that because the season is a wee bit later I think, plus my commercial yard man hasn't double Q'd this year so swarming may be a bit less likely.

And with just these two yards, there's $1600 worth of Q not been produced by someone....

  • Like 1
  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I had a hive go queenless (it’s likely I killed her by accident). It was a strong hive and getting big fast. There were quite a few emergency cells, so I made 2 splits with the best ones and left 2 nice ones in the hive. They’ll sort it out and the best queen will win right?

Yup, they sorted it out. What an idiot.

 

72ACA42D-F32F-48B4-BE11-15E24DDEA819.jpeg
 

It filled 6 undrawn frames easily and they are drawn out after a day - I went in to remove the sticks etc that went in when I cut the hedge into the box.

Edited by cBank
  • Like 2
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, cBank said:

I had a hive go queenless (it’s likely I killed her by accident). It was a strong hive and getting big fast. There were quite a few emergency cells, so I made 2 splits with the best ones and left 2 nice ones in the hive. They’ll sort it out and the best queen will win right?

Yup, they sorted it out. What an idiot.

 

72ACA42D-F32F-48B4-BE11-15E24DDEA819.jpeg
 

It filled 6 undrawn frames easily and they are drawn out after a day - I went in to remove the sticks etc that went in when I cut the hedge into the box.

Yes, bees just love to use that extra cell during swarm season . ‘ Why let it go to waste ‘ , I imagine is what they were thinking 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, cBank said:

I had a hive go queenless (it’s likely I killed her by accident). It was a strong hive and getting big fast. There were quite a few emergency cells, so I made 2 splits with the best ones and left 2 nice ones in the hive. They’ll sort it out and the best queen will win right?

Yup, they sorted it out. What an idiot.

I have made the same mistake .

At least you got the swarm .  The first swarm site is often accessible but the swarms move quickly into the top of the ratas here.

Sometimes swarms will start as before the  new queen hatches.

Not all the capped cells are any good  so it is tempting to leave two . You can sometimes tell by watching the bee behaviour around the cells .

In the two or three days before hatching the bees will be paying a full cell a lot of attention and ignoring the empty one .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/09/2019 at 6:43 PM, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Well, it has started again.  

From reading Facebook etc, their have been quite a few swarms in the Auckland region.

 

Yesterday, I caught the largest swarm that I have ever caught.  6.5 kg (approx 65000 bees).

I put them into a 20 frame hive and will add another box in a couple days.

All the best folks.

 

 

20190929_145716.jpg

Biggest swarm I cought was in 2013, it was a 20L bucket and a half on the second go and it took 2 full depth boxes to contain

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Markypoo said:

Do you guys ever have any problems with AFB from swarms?

 

When you see the AFB map heat map there is no way I’d trust a swarm, other than my own, in Canterbury. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been mentioned many times on here that while there is a theoretical chance of swarms carrying AFB it's a very small chance and reduced further by making them use their onboard honey resource to build comb.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Markypoo said:

Do you guys ever have any problems with AFB from swarms?

No.  

Swarms must always go into undrawn frames, so that any AFB spores are used in wax building and not stored for baby food.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

No.  

Swarms must always go into undrawn frames, so that any AFB spores are used in wax building and not stored for baby food.

 

I agree. But I confess that while 9 out of ten in my swarm box are foundationless; so I don't even have foundation in there, I DO include one empty dry comb on centreline to get them started and provide an anchor. Thus 90% of the box is their own work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, yesbut said:

It's been mentioned many times on here that while there is a theoretical chance of swarms carrying AFB it's a very small chance and reduced further by making them use their onboard honey resource to build comb.

My mate Gav cough a swarm and it had foul brood

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wondering because I have seen swarms that have been caught and requeened for sale on Trademe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

No.  

Swarms must always go into undrawn frames, so that any AFB spores are used in wax building and not stored for baby food.

 

 

@Trevor Gillbanks If one doesn't use undrawn frames for housing swarms, how long does it take for AFB to establish and/or symptoms are able to be detected? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Markypoo said:

Just wondering because I have seen swarms that have been caught and requeened for sale on Trademe.

I sell swarms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swarms can theoretically carry AFB but I have never seen it happen. For a start if a hive has significant AFB it is not going to be in a fit state to swarm. If it only has a few infected cells then the risk is probably not that great and while it is sensible to put them onto foundation I don't normally bother and have never had any problems.

 

The normal way that swarms end up with AFB is from them being put into already contaminated gear. I once had to inspect a whole lot of hives where the brood and queens had obviously been stolen from another beekeeper's hives. All the inspected hives had AFB and it wasn't from where they were stolen it was from  the old crap infected gear they had been put into. I knew the gear had been stolen but it would have been difficult to prove in court and at least the perpetrator didn't gain from his crimes and we found and burnt everything before it had a chance to spread to someone else.  I have often wondered how many AFBs came from when the crooks original hives died out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, John T said:

 

@Trevor Gillbanks If one doesn't use undrawn frames for housing swarms, how long does it take for AFB to establish and/or symptoms are able to be detected? 

From memory I think 12.5 days is the earliest for visible afb symptoms to appear .. but this will depend on the queen, as it may be a swarm with virgin.. which will take longer.

Always afb check once the brood is capped  

 

to reduce the chance of your swarm bees feeding larvae with infected honey and initiating the disease please always use foundation for swarms. 

 

It’s industry best practice... simple as that.

 

They draw the frames out incredibly fast and by the time it’s drawn the Queen is usually laying up a storm. 

Edited by Stoney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent. I caught a swarm Oct 16 last year and put it onto undrawn foundation. there is always a niggling thought that they could be an AFB risk.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Markypoo said:

Excellent. I caught a swarm Oct 16 last year and put it onto undrawn foundation. there is always a niggling thought that they could be an AFB risk.

 

I’m sure you will spot it on your regular inspections if it does show up. 

When we find afb on a pallet we usually find another one or two on that pallet, sometimes up to a yr later.. which is interesting because we full brood check risk sites ( where afb has been found) every round of the season. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, John T said:

 

@Trevor Gillbanks If one doesn't use undrawn frames for housing swarms, how long does it take for AFB to establish and/or symptoms are able to be detected? 

I don't have any scientific data.

However, for my own piece of mind I always put swarms onto undrawn frames.

I then always carry those colonies thru 2 full brood cycles (about 2 month from first eggs sighted).

I do a full AFB check at least 3 times during that 2 month period.  

After 2 months I then consider if that colony is for sale or use in some other way.

 

I am sure this is over kill and I have never found a swarm with AFB.

Nice cut out today at my old place of work.

3 kg bees (30000) 

 

20191011_094207.jpg

 

Also caught this small swarn on a car, however, there was no queen with it and the bees absconded.  At least the car owner was happy.

 

20191010_142850.jpg

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
  • Like 4
  • Agree 1
  • Good Info 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a football size swarm land on a tall fern at home yesterday. Stayed for about 2 hours and left to the opposite direction from where they came from. May have been a rest stop on the way to a new home. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cought one about the same size yesterday just below one of my sites while I was on the track up to do supering, there were 2 hives developing swarm cells and the rest were too strong to aqualize so I done a bit of shook swarming and when I cought the swarm on my way out the holey bucket was 3/4 full. 

Edited by Maru Hoani
Correcting a mistake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not lost one yet this season, stopped two today each hive with capped cells and very lazy bees, I got lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...