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New Zealand Swarm Dates for 2011


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crikey, they just aren't letting up. We had a callout on Christmas Eve - swarm in a front-lawn Christmas lights display

I put it down to the weather.

It has been raining alot and the girls got delayed.

Hence they are coming out later than usual.

In saying that, I have counted more swarms this year than ever.

 

Maybee they know something we don't, yet?

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*hiccup*

 

oops :)

 

heh... I'll have to lean an ear to the next one - if I hear them humming 'so long and thanks for all the fish'.... we know we're in trouble.

Sounds like, what nature has been able to maintain for hundreds of thousands of years, MAN has been able to destroy in less than a century. How do you hook an anchor into the seabed if the chain is too short?

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7 Jan 2012. Just as I was sitting down to lunch a beekeeper friend ran to say she had a problem and there were bees all over her backyard. I said I would get some gear together and come up and see what I could do. By the time I got there 20 min later the girls had left and were now 4 doors down the road. I tried to set up a swarm trap nearby but they were not interested in that as they were starting to festoon 8 m up a totara tree.

After speaking with the neigbour and asking if I could use his driveway as access I told him that I needed to get my ladder and capture equipment and I would be back.

 

8 m up a totara tree.

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I then climbed the tree and collected them in my 20lt capture buckets

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Next was to transfer the 2 x bukets of bees into the new hive

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Remove the bits of totara tree.

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Survey the handiwork

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Needless to say there were still a lot of flying bees and it was not long before they decided to move on. We followed them for a while as they appeared to be going back to the original hive. They then decided to re festoon in a nearby camelia tree about 4m tall and of course right on the very top.

 

I set up the ladder again and after waiting for about 30min they had formed a good clump so it was time to capture again.

 

Top of camelia tree.

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The festoon getting larger

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Close up inspection and removal of the swarm

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The swarm about to go in the bucket

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The girls in their NUC box.

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Hey Trevor... well done!

Do you think each of the captures has its own queen?

 

No. 1 queen only. The big lot from the totara tree is still roaring 24 hrs later. The queen was in the smaller lot (10lt) and is now in the NUC. They are quiet and all settled already. Decision now as to whether I recombine the 2 lots or put a queen cell in the big queen lot. I am leaning toward the first option.

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No. 1 queen only. The big lot from the totara tree is still roaring 24 hrs later. The queen was in the smaller lot (10lt) and is now in the NUC. They are quiet and all settled already. Decision now as to whether I recombine the 2 lots or put a queen cell in the big queen lot. I am leaning toward the first option.
So that's what they call "roaring queenless". Good luck!
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So that's what they call "roaring queenless". Good luck!

 

Turns out not a problem. I opened the hive that was Queenless and they all moved house and decided to live in the NUC box where I thought the queen was.

Just to keep them all confused I then opened the hive and tipped the NUC into it presumably along with the queen. Anyway it must have been OK because now the NUC is empty and the hive is working very active today bringing in pollen and I assume nectar. No noise other than the sound of busy wings. All the roaring has gone. Let's hope they build quickly for the honey flow.

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My TopBar swarmed today, very impressive, flew to a tree 10metres away and settled. Was able to sweep into a cardboard box and then tip in a Nuc box. Hopefully they will settle in there and I'll have number 2 top bar up in running in a few days.

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Turns out not a problem. I opened the hive that was Queenless and they all moved house and decided to live in the NUC box where I thought the queen was.

Just to keep them all confused I then opened the hive and tipped the NUC into it presumably along with the queen. Anyway it must have been OK because now the NUC is empty and the hive is working very active today bringing in pollen and I assume nectar. No noise other than the sound of busy wings. All the roaring has gone. Let's hope they build quickly for the honey flow.

 

Checked the new swarm today which I caught on Saturday. They have drawn out 3 frames of foundation. 2 frames already full of eggs. Not bad for 4 days. I guess I will have new brood by the end of the month. All looking very good.

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I caught a swarm in town (Rotorua) today. Average size I guess, its is my first one so don't have anything to compare it with. It was up in a Rimu tree at the front of a property. I am scared of heights so I had one look and rang my husband ;-) to come with a ladder and his suit. We seemed to have a lot of trouble getting the queen down, they kept reforming in the tree but eventually we managed to cut the thick branch and put it in my swarm "bucket". They are now at home setteling into their new hive, lets hope all goes well. I must admit, there is nothing like driving through the middle of town in my beesuit with the odd bee flying around in my car, the people on the bus had a good laugh :-)

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I caught a swarm in town (Rotorua) today. Average size I guess, its is my first one so don't have anything to compare it with. It was up in a Rimu tree at the front of a property. I am scared of heights so I had one look and rang my husband ;) to come with a ladder and his suit. We seemed to have a lot of trouble getting the queen down, they kept reforming in the tree but eventually we managed to cut the thick branch and put it in my swarm "bucket". They are now at home setteling into their new hive, lets hope all goes well. I must admit, there is nothing like driving through the middle of town in my beesuit with the odd bee flying around in my car, the people on the bus had a good laugh :)

Good on ya!

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Hi Judy the bees will usually reform( to a certain extent) on the branch after you have boxed the swarm probably because her pheromone is still quite strong there.

I figure that If I got most of the bees off in the first few shakes of the branch the queen is most likely to be in the box.

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Hi Judy the bees will usually reform( to a certain extent) on the branch after you have boxed the swarm probably because her pheromone is still quite strong there.

I figure that If I got most of the bees off in the first few shakes of the branch the queen is most likely to be in the box.

 

Ah, I see! They kept flying up the tree but after our third attempt they all stayed together and calmed down.

I just hope they like their new home and have a healthy queen in there too.

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Hey Judy, well done! Do you have texts on starting with a swarm?... Read the bit about mid to late season swarms and feeding copious sugar syrup. Need to get them ready for the winter and a good start next spring! Good luck :)

 

Thank you Graham. I didn't read much about it but when I got home yesterday I figured I make them some syrup to get them started. They are in a hive with a window so I can keep a closer eye on them. I will be reading my bee books today since it is raining again and hope to go and have another look this afternoon.

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I caught a swarm in town (Rotorua) today. Average size I guess, its is my first one so don't have anything to compare it with. It was up in a Rimu tree at the front of a property. I am scared of heights so I had one look and rang my husband ;) to come with a ladder and his suit. We seemed to have a lot of trouble getting the queen down, they kept reforming in the tree but eventually we managed to cut the thick branch and put it in my swarm "bucket". They are now at home setteling into their new hive, lets hope all goes well. I must admit, there is nothing like driving through the middle of town in my beesuit with the odd bee flying around in my car, the people on the bus had a good laugh :)

AWESOME Judy!! lucky you, now you have two hives:) I am hoping my bees make it through winter and I can make a split next spring. Or hopefully I can get hold of another swarm or two. Oh, and I checked some drone brood yesterday and I found two varroa mite out of twelve drone pupa inspected:( not totally unexpected, but you still think you may have been the lucky one and missed out on the wee beasties infecting your hive. Onceagain good on you, and you got to use your fancy swarm collecting kit;)

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Thats great Judy! I still have three unoccupied TBH's... My bees in their Lanstroth homes refuse to cooperate with a swarm or two for me...

Graham - It could be worth trying a shaken swarm next spring or do a cut and paste from a lang to a tbh. Havent done it myself but have read about it.

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Graham - It could be worth trying a shaken swarm next spring or do a cut and paste from a lang to a tbh. Havent done it myself but have read about it.

I started by putting 5 Lang frames from a Nuc into my TBH. I had to cut the sides off the frames to fit the sloped TBH but as they were plastic it was not too hard, but certainly messy with sawn up honey, brood and pollen! I then shook all the bees in. I now have 20 bars drawn and what seems to be a growing hive.

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