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Swarm Season 2020


Trevor Gillbanks
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Interesting cutout today at Massey University. Thanks

to Allan and Dan from Clearview for your efforts today.  Not everyone is brave enough to be in a room full of bees.

Colony 3 m tall and 1 m wide and 250mm deep. A very large colony which has been there for about 2 years.

 

First cut at the bottom

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Where the rest of the colony was.

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Getting into the work.

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Just a few more bees.

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Cutting the next section of wall.

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Removing some honey.  over 20 kgs

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Bees do make a heck of a mess.

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The last section.  I am glad I am not doing the fix up.

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8 hours ago, Mummzie said:

what was their varoa status Trev?

They looked in great order.  It took 5 hours to do the cutout so looking for varroa was not high of the ToDo list.

I will treat them once they have settled in.  Also I will do an alcohol wash once they have fresh eggs in the colony.

No sign of AFB,   Huge blocks of worker brood and also lots of drones.

A very high activity hive, however, I have put them into fresh foundation as well as 3 frames of there own brood.  They are currently occupying 2 brood boxes and I think they will need a third (once they settle down)

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are you a little tempted to run them with just monitoring to see if their (assumed) varroa free status is notable?

Were they in a relatively bee free location and didn't go robbing...or all of the other varroa spreading behaviours.?

I suppose what I'm asking is 'whats your opinion on why they have survived in the wild' 

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9 hours ago, Mummzie said:

I suppose what I'm asking is 'what's your opinion on why they have survived in the wild' 

Ah, But here is the conundrum.  

Whilst there have been bees in that wall for at least 2 years.  Are they the same colony, or has the cavity been reoccupied by another swarm.  

I don't know the answer to that, so I will be treating them once the queen has go to lay again.

Currently, I am more concerned that they have a laying queen , rather than they are the varroa survivor of the bee world.

Either way, I don't much care.  I already have plenty of bees and at this time of the year it is just another hive to look after.

 

Pretty much, I prefer to raise my own queens or get them off @glynn, @frazzledfozzleor Lion Apiaries.  They all have very nice, quiet and productive bees.

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13 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

 

Currently, I am more concerned that they have a laying queen , rather than they are the varroa survivor of the bee world.

Either way, I don't much care.  I already have plenty of bees and at this time of the year it is just another hive to look after

Awww! Come on Trev. This could be a super duper special tough bunch. ????

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  • 2 weeks later...

Huge Swarm Entering Cavity - How to Capture?

Got a call from our pest control guy last night. He had been called out to a bee swarm that was obviously in the process of moving through a grating into the cavity of a bay window of a house. He said he had  ever seen anything like it, so many bees in the air and dripping from the trees, said you could bring 10 beehives and it wouldn't be enough...I think that may be a slight exaggeration presuming they came from one hive!  I would be interested to know if anyone has been successful in using smoke or fume board stuff to flush them out and divert them into a box - I have seen it done on video in America. They wouldn't have had any brood comb to hang onto which would've made it easier. I gave him the number of our bee club guy who does swarm captures and asked him to keep me updated, but next I heard they had got the chop☹. Am wishing now that I had a go.

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22 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Pretty near impossible to get out.  Trap outs can work, but very rarely and take a long time.  Extermination is usually the best.

except in the first 24 hours. On several occasions now we have put a baited swarm box adjacent to colony that has moved into a house and they've reversed their decision within 3 days they are all in the box. I originally felt it was a roll of the dice and worth a try. Now, I am pretty confident about it, but only if less than 24hours. One of these was captured on video but it is on facebook and I don't know how to copy it. however here is a photo of it in progress. They all came out of the grate in the house, video shows them all in the air doing a couple of circuits of the garden then they move back to where they started, but this time into the box.

colony moving from house to hive .jpg

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19 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

except in the first 24 hours. On several occasions now we have put a baited swarm box adjacent to colony that has moved into a house and they've reversed their decision within 3 days they are all in the box. I originally felt it was a roll of the dice and worth a try. Now, I am pretty confident about it, but only if less than 24hours. One of these was captured on video but it is on facebook and I don't know how to copy it. however here is a photo of it in progress. They all came out of the grate in the house, video shows them all in the air doing a couple of circuits of the garden then they move back to where they started, but this time into the box.

colony moving from house to hive .jpg

That's what I wondered - that there is a chance if they have not yet set up camp.

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On 22/12/2020 at 8:47 AM, Philippa Thomas said:

That's what I wondered - that there is a chance if they have not yet set up camp.

the 'baited box' as above contains 8 bare top bars with no foundation nor starter except for a triangle of wood at 33-34mm centres. In the centre of the box are the remaining two, both fully drawn combs, these have been baited by pouring 2:1 syrup into the cells on one side of each comb. The syrup stays put with surface tension. It is not enough to count as feeding about one cup total it acts as a house warming gift that ensures plenty of visitors into the box.

Nekminit the whole box is fully drawn..

 

The first time (Papamoa) I did this I used a five frame box, I can't remember why that was. It was placed on the roof of the garage the swarm had hived itself couple of hours earlier into a fibrolite batch 5m away that was 2 storey. I really didn't think it would work. In the photo above (Judea Tauranga) it was when the homeowner managed to video the whole thing. I think it shows that bees are very pragmatic if you can put the right thing in the right place at the right time. More than once it has been a chimney with no access, left a box up there strapped to the flue and they hived themselves into it. 

 

If I'm collecting a swarm I'm much more proactive, but when they are in an inaccessible place I go for this option first before recommending extermination if the timing is right. If the timing is wrong I sometimes go through the exercise if their arrival date is borderline. In every one of those cases it still resulted in extermination.

 

The 24 hours is a pretty short timeframe. 

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