Tuesday, April 9, 2013

@#$% BEE"S

and now for the rest of the story.....

No pictures today.  I told Papa Bear to stay far away while I handled todays situation. He got enough stings taking pictures yesterday.

I planned on putting a frame of eggs into the brood box today as Pioneer Preppy at the Stronghold  suggested.

I milked the goats this morning.  The little spoiled things were out of Alfalfa pellets so I needed to go to Tractor Supply.  I decided to run my errands and then deal with the bees.

I got back home and Papa Bear and I were standing outside at my Mom's who is next door when a swarm of Bee's started clouding the air. Almost at the same time as yesterdays swarm.  Papa Bear jumped in the golf cart to chase them and I ran to the Apiary to see if they were ours.

I got to the Apiary and opened the hive we had put the swarm in from yesterday and the little witches were gone!  On second thought I opened the top from the swarm we installed on the second of April and they were gone as well....CRAP!

The only thing different I did with the week old swarm is yesterday I took a feeder from the top and put anew feeder I had ordered on the front.  I didn't like it when I put it on as it has a space on each side that robber bees can get to.  I don't know if this is what caused them to leave or not.  When I checked them yesterday they had drawn out part of a frame but I did not take the time to see if the queen was laying.  I assume not as I did not think they would leave eggs.

I walked back toward the house and saw the empty golf cart sitting by the fence.  Papa Bear had jumped the fence and was following the bees.  He called me and told me to suit up he was coming after me and the equipment.  

This time the swarm was over a thousand feet from the hive and was up in a tree far enough that I needed a small ladder.  I sent Papa  Bear back for an empty brood box as I saw after the first attempt in shaking into a bucket, this was going to take a while.

I must have got the queen on the second try of getting them in my bucket.  When I shook that bunch into the hive, the others slowly started gathering on the outside of the brood box.  I had the opening blocked and when I opened it a little they started going in.

I put a bungee cord around the brood box and it and myself rode on the tailgate of the truck back to the Apiary.  I opened up my established hive and stole another frame of eggs and put it in at once with this swarm. 

Papa Bear came in from taking hay to the spoiled goats and told me to go look at one of my swarm traps.  It had bees all over it and they were going in.  This is either one of my swarms I lost today or another.  Doesn't matter to me.  I am back up to what I had yesterday.  We got those tonight and I put them in a medium super.  I want to do an experiment to see if I like it better than the brood boxes.

I saw a couple of frames of brood in the bottom super of the established hive so as soon as I milk in the morning I will take those frames out and give them to the swarm.  Maybe this time they will stay.

I will be camping out at the Apiary tomorrow around 1:00 PM....just in case!   

 

12 comments:

  1. That chase was funny! It is almost as if you had cattle or horses on the run, livestock that had to be chased down and roped. Maybe I don't want or need bees? I will live vicariously through you....until I get in a place that will allow me to have bees.

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    1. Linda...I imagine the life of a new beekeeper can be quite entertaining!

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  2. Wow glad I have sheep and goats, much easier to see when they get out and certainly much easier to round up with the help of the dog.

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    1. TL...it's just swarm season and bees are doing what they are supposed to do. I just want more colonies so I am willing to chase them down for now.

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  3. I had a swarm last year that wouldn't stay put and I had already taken all the eggs and larva I thought I could from the other hives that I had none to spare. What I did was take a plastic queen excluder and cut a section off and placed that over the entrance of the nuc I had them in. The other bees would try and leave but the queen couldn't so they would have to come back for her.

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    1. PP..That is one of the reasons I used a super on the swarm I got last night. I have several frames with brood in the super so I will be able to use these. After making two splits (lost one so far) and pulling another frame of eggs for the first swarm, I don't think I should take any more from the brood box. I'm learning! Now if they will just stay put a few more hours until I get through with chores.

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  4. Mamma Bear,

    Gosh, sounds like your doing an awful lot of rounding up bee's. Is it normal for the bee's to move so much? I didn't realize bee's were that much work.

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    1. Sandy..It is normal for bees to do this during swarm season. It is mother natures way to insure the bees will survive the next year. A new queen hatches and the old queen will leave and take part of the colony with her leaving a new queen behind to carry on. You can just let this happen as there is still enough bees left in the hive they came from or capture them to start new colonies. I prefer to capture at this time so I can have more hives!

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  5. Sounds like you guys are having fun and staying busy LOL!

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    1. Kelly...It's a bee rodeo! Come on over!

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  6. I am trying to get caught up on your Bee posts.. Geez Louise! between Kellys chicken and goats, and your Bees.. I am lost..lol

    Good luck catching them..Yippe Kai Yay Mama Bear!

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