When you think you are on top of things (update)

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jeff33 

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I popped to the apiary today to pick up 2 supers to take to another apiary and got greeted by this mayhem. I left them to it while I went to the other apiary for a couple of hours and returned to this.
I also lost a swarm in apiary b with another 2 hives making prep. Hive was demaree 3 weeks ago and they were fine last week with a mated queen down the bottom, 3 super and a virgin in the top. Today, no queen and no virgin above.
It has to be the worst start of a season for me and I still have apiary c to check tomorrow.
 

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The Poot 

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What a pain! We’ve all been stymied by the weather this year. I hope apiary c is well behaved!
Chin up, the season is young.
 

jeff33 

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What a pain! We’ve all been stymied by the weather this year. I hope apiary c is well behaved!
Chin up, the season is young.
Thanks, will update tomorrow 😂. I think it put the entire apiary on edge. I opened the 1st hive to figure out who was still at home and who wasn't and they started balling the queen. Closed it straight away and left the lot in peace. Swarms are in boxes now but not sure if it's 1 hive or 2.
 

Antipodes 

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Thanks, will update tomorrow 😂. I think it put the entire apiary on edge. I opened the 1st hive to figure out who was still at home and who wasn't and they started balling the queen. Closed it straight away and left the lot in peace. Swarms are in boxes now but not sure if it's 1 hive or 2.
Boy, they look busy. At least you got those swarms. What's your take on the failed demaree?
 

jeff33 

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Boy, they look busy. At least you got those swarms. What's your take on the failed demaree?
I really don't know, I did the demaree when there were 7 frames of brood and no sign of swarming intent. This hive didn't swarm last year either. I was doing a rolling demaree so the queen had plenty of room to lay. Maybe a coincidence but what surprises me is that the virgin in the top has also gone.
I do wonder if this cold and rainy weather that confines them in most of the time could have triggered it?
I had more swarms this week than I did last year.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Crikey Jeff. keep us in the loop.
It's a great ad for not keeping bees in the garden....mind you I guess you wouldn't Demaree in you back yard. That would be a heck of a swarm!
 

jeff33 

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Looking at it yesterday made me wonder if the process of swarming being triggered by one hive (probably due to pheromones) had a rolling effect on the others when they are in such proximity. I think there were a couple of hives with bees pooring out, one was bearding and the others were super busy. Came back 2h after and the apiary looked as peaceful as ever.
 

robmort 

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I've often noticed concerted behaviour between the hives in my garden, caused by the weather; like yesterday when after a cool morning the sun came out and all the hives went mad with bees all over the fronts and one swarmed unexpectedly. Quiet again once it went cooler after an hour or so.
 

Cuckmere couple 

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hmm, does this also suggest we ought to check the LBB in a demaree more frequently?

eff, did you 'allow' a Q to emerge in UBB or did you miss a q cell?
 

jeff33 

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hmm, does this also suggest we ought to check the LBB in a demaree more frequently?

eff, did you 'allow' a Q to emerge in UBB or did you miss a q cell?
The entire apiary was inspected last Sunday including the LBB as the demaree was 4 weeks old. No sign of any charged cells and plenty of room for the queen. I had missed a Qc in the top box on this occasion. Weather has been so poor that I have decided to hold off for new queens.
 

Cuckmere couple 

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thanks Jeff...interesting...i need to get into a few of mine but weather is poor again

i had QCs in the LBB of one demaree (6-7) but think it must be supersedure as i spit her into a nuc and had 3 more QCs

I also have two nucs which should have seen queens emerge on 30/04 so they need checking for successful mating soon, but as you say, who knows given the weather we have had
 

Hux70 

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I've had a very eventful/stressful start to the season starting mid april. Had a hive that was absolutely bouncing/noisy/bursting with bees so I just knew it was going to swarm. 1st inspection, sealed QC found so I performed a Pagdens split that went like a dream..........until about 2hours later when I recieved a call to say 'your bees are all over your greenhouse'!(from the new hive in original position)
This was followed by several hours trying to sweep them off with the queen into a box ready to rehouse. I didnt manage it before I had to go to work so my allotment neighbour kindly offered to monitor the box and place it infront of the hive when she left at 6pm.
I worried about it all night and checked the next morning. Empty box!.........surely they cant have gone back in the hive. They had! A quick look in and they were all there, I even found the Q.
So I pottered about for a few hours until lunchtime and just as I'd left the plot the neighbour shouts 'your bees are out' FFS not again! I had to shoot home so she watched were they settled and I returned an hour later only to find them 20' up an Alder tree on the trunk in amongst the ivy and just above my owl box with resident nesting Tawny owls. Bugger!
So there they stayed,on the trunk, for 2 frosty nights and a wet morning. On day 3 I managed to disturb them with a ladder, some 8' canes and a small box. They settled in a bush 2' off the floor so an easy catch. Put them back in the hive with a QX on the floor this time. They are still there and the Q is laying really well, text book brood frames. I was lucky not to lose them altogether..
The original hive is another story......if anyone is still awake and is interested:D
 
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hemo 

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1.Old colony with Q may not have lost the swarming urge ?
2. Not all bees accept foundation and may abscond.
3. A frame of sealed brood may keep them from playing games along with some older empty clean drawn comb's.
 

Hux70 

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New hive had the Q on the frame of brood she was on, 2 empty frames of drawn comb and stores. The rest was new foundation.
 

hemo 

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When they swarmd again did the whole colony go or were some bees left behind caring for the brood ?
 

Hux70 

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Probably 95% had vanished with just a few stragglers left in the hive. I checked the brood frame before the swarm was put back in and there was some bees emerging so the cold didn't kill them off.
 

The Poot 

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I've had a very eventful/stressful start to the season starting mid april. Had a hive that was absolutely bouncing/noisy/bursting with bees so I just knew it was going to swarm. 1st inspection, sealed QC found so I performed a Pagdens split that went like a dream..........until about 2hours later when I recieved a call to say 'your bees are all over your greenhouse'!(from the new hive in original position)
This was followed by several hours trying to sweep them off with the queen into a box ready to rehouse. I didnt manage it before I had to go to work so my allotment neighbour kindly offered to monitor the box and place it infront of the hive when she left at 6pm.
I worried about it all night and checked the next morning. Empty box!.........surely they cant have gone back in the hive. They had! A quick look in and they were all there, I even found the Q.
So I pottered about for a few hours until lunchtime and just as I'd left the plot the neighbour shouts 'your bees are out' FFS not again! I had to shoot home so she watched were they settled and I returned an hour later only to find them 20' up an Alder tree on the trunk in amongst the ivy and just above my owl box with resident nesting Tawny owls. Bugger!
So there they stayed,on the trunk, for 2 frosty nights and a wet morning. On day 3 I managed to disturb them with a ladder, some 8' canes and a small box. They settled in a bush 2' off the floor so an easy catch. Put them back in the hive with a QX on the floor this time. They are still there and the Q is laying really well, text book brood frames. I was lucky not to lose them altogether..
The original hive is another story......if anyone is still awake and is interested:D
Don’t you just love them? Little beggars!
 

elainemary 

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Doesn’t it make you question the effectiveness of Pagden yet it’s the most commonly taught swarm control method?
I’ve had mixed results and had a swarm by leaving behind one frame of what I thought was sealed brood only. Problem is it’s easy to miss just one small larva and they will build a cell from this & they’re off within 4 days.
A v experienced beekeeper in our association says he never leaves any brood with the queen / flying bees in a Pagden and always puts a queen excluder underneath, until the queen starts laying to prevent absconding.

Just wondering your thoughts based on experience, of the most effective method of swarm control once you’ve found open charged cells?
 

BigAshW 

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Doesn’t it make you question the effectiveness of Pagden yet it’s the most commonly taught swarm control method?
I’ve had mixed results and had a swarm by leaving behind one frame of what I thought was sealed brood only. Problem is it’s easy to miss just one small larva and they will build a cell from this & they’re off within 4 days.
A v experienced beekeeper in our association says he never leaves any brood with the queen / flying bees in a Pagden and always puts a queen excluder underneath, until the queen starts laying to prevent absconding.

Just wondering your thoughts based on experience, of the most effective method of swarm control once you’ve found open charged cells?
This year I've used demaree on strong colonies to be proactive following JBMs Excellent post.

However one colony had already started drawing cells so I used my trusty snelgrove boards to split. I usually put the queen on an empty drawn comb and shake in a few nurse bees with her then put all the brood above in the top box. I don't tend to bleed foragers down as much as the official version though, I usually swap the doors over on the next inspection. Seems to work for me.
 

Hux70 

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I'm no expert, I'm only in my 3rd year but I thought I'd got it right. The original hive was left with 1 sealed QC...or so I thought. I inspected it about a week later and found a few more charged cells and a better looking QC so I decided to leave that 1 and remove the rest. As I was closing the hive up I noticed the QC I'd removed was starting to emerge so I put it on top of the frames where she was swamped with bees. Advice from here said to leave the QC as it would be destroyed if they accepted the Q.
I left it another week and checked with the intention of removing the QC if I found the Q. I couldn't find her anywhere and obviously wasn't laying so I had to leave the QC.
I was at work the next day and got a call at 11am. The bees are out:oops: I knew it:(
Luckily the neighbour was about and they'd settled on the floor so easy enough to stick a box over them. I got there about 7pm and theyd formed a nice tight cluster in the top of the box. Spare hive was ready to receive them with a QX under this time! A few frames of drawn comb, a frame of stores and a shallow feeder. What could possibly go wrong. QX stayed in place for 3 days
The weather turned a bit grim for a few days then it cleared up and the bees were out foraging and seemed happy enough.
They stayed for 8 days the buggered of overnight, all of them!
I think in theory I'd done everything right it's just the bees had other ideas!:rolleyes:
 

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