Archive for May, 2012
Strange subject line, eh?
My oldest hive seems to have lost its queen over the last month or two. The brood boxes are full of honey and pollen.. and LOTS of drones… but not a single egg, larvae, or capped brood in 2 deeps and 2 supers.
My latest captured swarm has filled out EVERY available newly waxed cell with eggs – so this evening, I took one of the new frames of eggs, and placed into the lower brood box of my original hive. I knocked down the bottom 1/3 of 7 or 8 of the cells in order to persuade them to create a new queen from one of the freshly laid eggs. I’m REALLY liking the last captured swarm.
I received a message from a friend today about a swarm that had taken up a temporary home in a tree in her back yard. I loaded up the extension ladder, and high-tailed it to her home before it got too late in the evening, and evaluated what we had going on… It looked to be about 2-3 pounds of bees firmly holding on to a thick branch.. about 18-20 feet in the air.
I tried shaking the branch – but it was too thick to get a good movement of the bees, then I tied a rope to the branch – to shake from the ground. Again – No luck. Back up into the tree I went (with a ladder this time), and decided it was time to scoop the bees by hand. This seemed to work. I got about 75% of the bees into the box. It’s unknown, though as to whether I got the queen into the box – they were clustered pretty tightly.
It was dusk, so I decided to leave the box until I can make it back to check on them. It may be a few days – so hopefully, they decide that my nuc-box is a great place to live. I’ll find out then whether or not the queen has decided to take up residence in the box.
Today I checked up on a trap-out that was started about 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, the 1-way screen was blocked with masses of dead bees – and the survivors chewed through the other blocked entrances/exits to get out. I can’t say that I blame them for their industrious nature!
I made the appropriate repairs to the trap-out, and re-sealed the openings – this time, I embedded a physical barrier of a galvanized wire mesh into the sealant. So they will not be able to exit via these spaces again. unfortunately, this means that the trap-out essentially “starts over” from today. They’ve been adding pollen & nectar for at least the last 1 week.
Video to come later in the week.
Unfortunately, the queen did NOT last the extra 2 days between Monday & Wednesday when I checked on the trap-out again. We’ll see what’s going on with my hives, and maybe I can find a frame of eggs to supply.