Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Swarmed 3.19.13

What started out to be an interesting day…yesterday…ended up being disappointing.

I was happy to see more pollen coming into the TBH than had previously been coming in…and I thought I had solved the ant problem.

My neighbor, George, has 2 hives and came up to see my bees. I opened the observation window and it was empty…just the comb and a few bees. We looked overhead and could see them flying around the top of a tree. They had left home. When I opened the hive there were more red ants. I don’t know if they didn’t like the TBH we built or the ants ran them out. At any rate, they are free.

I could hear them in the trees and finally saw where they were sitting in a nice big swarm….about 60 or so feet in the air and back in the woods a bit. Didn’t see them this morning but the sun is just getting in the trees. I’ll look for them later.

I took the 2 combs they had made and the 2 that I got as starters from Sam out of the hive and Jim installed the bars they were on into Langs frames. When I put them into the Langs hive I looked for ants and didn’t see any. I guess the screen on the inner cover helped keep them out and the bees did a good job of guarding the entrance.

I went out to check the hive stand for ants about 10 pm….there were several running around. Jim has a 5 gallon can of grease and we did up the legs. I checked again at midnight and there were ants at the base but none going up. It is a temporary fix…big red ants weakened a hive I had year before last. They are a problem here in the woods. The hive stand was set in concrete so we can’t set the legs in cans, but Jim reminded me that area can flood and that is why ours are near the top of the stand. They just need a bit of modification.

About mid morning, Jim gave me a call and said they were on the move. They settled in a tall tree closer than they were yesterday afternoon. A little later he hollered again…they were moving. This time they settled in a tree about 40 ft off the ground and almost directly behind the hive they had vacated. They were still there when the sun went down. They’ve swarmed to 4 different trees since they left and all are in the same area…getting closer to the hive?

I’ve watched bees go in the TBH …sometimes only 1 or 2 at a time….sometimes several. Maybe they are going to come home? I hope so…don’t know if they do that or not. If the scouts have been checking the hive and find it OK…maybe they will.

Tomorrow looks to be another interesting day.

The Langs was really bringing in pollen today. Maybe the Queen needed the extra comb for laying.


Early this morning I think over half the bees were bringing in pollen.

Here’s a short video of them early afternoon. I didn’t see quite as much. Don’t know much about pollen…it may be more available early in the day. Something else to learn.

It’s been dark for several hours…I just did my ant bed check. None on the hive stand and the guards are in the entrance of the Langs.



1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that your bees absconded. Bees are wonderfully unpredictable. I had a nuc that swarmed after I installed the bees into my hive, with lots of nice comb and honey. After 3 days up in a tree, they moved into the now-empty nuc box. I got lucky and I hope you do, too.


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