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New Zealand Swarm Dates for 2011


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It really don't get easier than this!

Came home 4:30 PM from the farm. Got a box of beer and a Pizza for dinner.

As I came down the drive I could see lots of bees. A swarm. Can't be any of mine as I got mine all out on the farm and only 2 mini Nucs on the roof.

So I got the Swarm-Box out of the car, put it in the middle of the drive, watched the Queen land and go straight into the box. The others all followed.

How lucky is that?

Now I am eating 'cold' pizza and and enjoying an ice-cold beer!

CHEERS!!!!!

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Today, found one of my hives not apparently as industrious as I expected. Examination found only a small patch of eggs, no unsealed/sealed brood, and 3 superceedure cells on the face of one comb, and 2 capped queen cells on the reverse face. Here's hoping for a beautiful black virgin and a sucessful mating!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got a call at work from my neighbour to say my bees had swarmed and were hanging on a tree. Shot home and suited up to find they were in the middle of an impenetrable blackberry and broom patch and I couldn't reach them let alone catch them. So there they are until I get home again and take to the undergrowth with loppers . . .or they leave. Have put out a nuc in case they want to move in, but I don't think I'll be so lucky.

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Just got a call at work from my neighbour to say my bees had swarmed and were hanging on a tree. Shot home and suited up to find they were in the middle of an impenetrable blackberry and broom patch and I couldn't reach them let alone catch them. So there they are until I get home again and take to the undergrowth with loppers . . .or they leave. Have put out a nuc in case they want to move in, but I don't think I'll be so lucky.

IF you have 'lemon-grass' oil, put a small cotton ball with only 1 drop in the Nuc, or use a piece of lemon grass from the garden. Works a treat!

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Bought lemongrass on the way home and put some in the nuc but I don't hold out much hope they will go there. I tried again after work to get them but you'd need to be Indiana Jones to hack your way in. From the bottom I'd have to climb a steep bank thickly covered in blackberry and broom - I started cutting my way in but then I hit gorse and gave up. From the top I started hacking again and had to stand on the cut blackberry to go forward, which went OK until there was nothing under the blackberry to take my weight. So I reckon it's byebye bees this time.

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Bought lemongrass on the way home and put some in the nuc but I don't hold out much hope they will go there. I tried again after work to get them but you'd need to be Indiana Jones to hack your way in. From the bottom I'd have to climb a steep bank thickly covered in blackberry and broom - I started cutting my way in but then I hit gorse and gave up. From the top I started hacking again and had to stand on the cut blackberry to go forward, which went OK until there was nothing under the blackberry to take my weight. So I reckon it's byebye bees this time.

It's not over till it's Over!

Did you tie the box up, about headhight? Gary (KIWIMANA) did that with his swarmbox.

And did you cut and peel the lemon-grass? About 2 inches long, whack it a couple of (2) times with the but of the knife.

And did you add a few drawn frames? All the better if there is still some honey in them.

Now - if you have good weather and the bees get that this would be a nice accommodation for them, you still have a chance!

Ah-and I almost forgot .... patience!

I still think you will bring dem bees 'home'!;)

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Yay, free bees! Gotta love it... Bet they loved that swarm box of yours...Go some way towards your lost splits...

Thanks Matt!

You got it!

Nice wee swarm!

Hope they settle all right in the Nuc and I'll give em a decent box tomorrow or the day after!

Happy Pbee!

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On the 2nd Dec I got a call from one of the guys from work that there was a swarm just outside of work. As I was at home mowing the lawns it was no problem to stop and head off. I am new to beekeeping and this was my first swarm capture, in the heat of the moment, I did not think to ask many questions. Just as I was about to take off I thought maybe a ladder could be useful. Unfortunately, I also forgot my camera. The swarm was about 5 m up a tree and my ladder was only 1.8m tall. The swarm was in 4 bunches with the smallest group about 200 dia x 300 long. I climbed the ladder and carefully balanced on top, cut off the small bunch and carried it carefully to the ground. I had a 5 frame NUC box with an extra 50mm depth (more room for swarm capture) and put a few drops of Lemongrass oil into the box and shook the bee in. The largest bunch was about 300 dia and 500 long. Once I had them all into the box another bunch formed in the tree. I put this into the box and they did not reform but all stayed in the box. I put in 5 frames with new foundation and closed the lid, the box was over half full of bees.

 

It was amazing as a new bee to see all the bees on the ground walk around to the front of the box and climb in. Within about 30 min there were not many flyers in the air and most of the walkers had got inside.

 

I took the bees home for the night and when it was dark locked them in. The next morning I took them to their new location and transfered them into a FD box. I was quite surprised to see that all 5 frames were almost fully drawn. That afternoon one of the Club members suggested that I should put a second box on them as they will draw the comb very quickly.

 

On Friday the 9th when I checked on them, I found almost all the foundation had been fully drawn.

 

On the 16th, I found the queen and was surprised to see 5 frames of brood in all stages including capped and 6 frames of honey. These girls had been very busy. I returned later with a new 3/4 D for a honey box.

 

Sorry about the long winded story but it is quite exciting capturing your first swarm and have it become a strong working hive.

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Having taken my swarm trap down during the week that rained and put it in the garage. I wanted to try it in another location but I have been to busy to get it there so I sat it up a tree at home, middle of town. Came home from a days fishing yesterday and to my surprise another swarm in residence. (y) My daughter was home all day but didn't see a thing (teenager), I checked my one hive at home to see if it was from there but no still full of bees. This is the now the fifth swarm I have collected from within 2 kms of home. Two cut outs, two shake in a box and one in trap.

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Having taken my swarm trap down during the week that rained and put it in the garage. I wanted to try it in another location but I have been to busy to get it there so I sat it up a tree at home, middle of town. Came home from a days fishing yesterday and to my surprise another swarm in residence. (y) My daughter was home all day but didn't see a thing (teenager), I checked my one hive at home to see if it was from there but no still full of bees. This is the now the fifth swarm I have collected from within 2 kms of home. Two cut outs, two shake in a box and one in trap.

 

Well done. It is great fun collecting the swarms.

How about posting some Pics and ideas about the swarm trap.

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Cheers. Certainly fun, everyone has been different and only the 1st one being a simple shake into box from a tree at head height. Swarm trap details see Gary from Kiwimana website. Easy to make and the only cost was 5 plastic frames and some lemongrass oil. Will do some photos later of where it is placed, have put some more frames back in, screwed on top and put back in tree at home this morning. I'll be hanging out waiting for cereacell to reopen for more supplies.

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I've had two swarms turn up in the last few days, one took up residence in boxes full of empty plastic feeders and I transferred this onto standard frames before it could make too much mess . The other one moved into a stack of drawn plastic frames. It was not laying so I had a quick look for the Queen . I found her under a small lump of bees which were vigourously attacking her and when I attempted to intervene she escaped and then flew away. It really doesn't pay to disturb hives until the Queen is properly laying.

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I found a swarm hanging on a fence batten today beside one of my apiarys . None of the hives were short of room and I just have to put it down to the broken weather we've been having. It's a shame I never had my camera as a swarm was shaped just like a Christmas tree. The batten was covered with bees from top to bottom with the bees extending sideways whenever there was a wire, about 40 cm wide at the bottom and narrowing in a series of scollops to a point at the top.

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Here is one for my records.

I got called out for an 'easy to reach' swarm in Glen Eden yesterday.

When I got there, it was 6 meters up in a pittasporum.

My ladder was too short, and the pittasporum too spindly to climb. So I went around the corner to the firebregade and asked if they could help.

'Sure we can' was the answer and I was all chuffed. When they got there, it was too hard, to dangerous, OSH unsafe... and they left.

I sent a prayer, 'God help'!

The Mad Butcher came with a 6 foot A-frame ladder, a neighbor called on a friend with a furniture truck and 10 minutes later I stood on the ladder which stood on the truck. Big swarm 'filled' 2 boxes, everybody happy!

I am stoked!

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