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Author Topic: Another swarm trap observation?  (Read 325 times)

Offline Nock

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Another swarm trap observation?
« on: April 30, 2021, 09:53:40 pm »
So I checked 4 traps today on the way home. Two had bees that already moved in. No activity on another. My question is what I saw at the fourth. There was a lot of scouts present. I watched for a few minutes. And twice I saw bees fighting. Once they drug it out and all the way to the ground. Other time just to entrance and let her go. So was there scouts from multiple colonies present. Will scouts fight off other bees? 

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 10:40:50 pm »
Nock,
Yes scouts will fight over a good hive location. I have also seen scouts fighting. As you, I assume they are from different hives.
Jim Altmiller

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 11:42:52 pm »
Nock,
Yes scouts will fight over a good hive location. I have also seen scouts fighting. As you, I assume they are from different hives.
Jim Altmiller

Sounds reasonable Jim.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 12:21:48 am »
Nock,
Yes scouts will fight over a good hive location. I have also seen scouts fighting. As you, I assume they are from different hives.
Jim Altmiller
Wow, that's amazing!  I didn't know that. 

Related question: I had one of my hives swarm a couple days ago.  I shook them off the tree, dumped the bees in a new hive, and came back to get the rest.  I set the bin down and was talking to my sister, and then we noticed two pairs of bees fighting in the bin.  Why would swarming bees be fighting? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 01:42:01 am »
Nock,
Yes scouts will fight over a good hive location. I have also seen scouts fighting. As you, I assume they are from different hives.
Jim Altmiller
Wow, that's amazing!  I didn't know that. 

Related question: I had one of my hives swarm a couple days ago.  I shook them off the tree, dumped the bees in a new hive, and came back to get the rest.  I set the bin down and was talking to my sister, and then we noticed two pairs of bees fighting in the bin.  Why would swarming bees be fighting?

Thanks for sharing Member.  Was these the only bees that y'all observed fighting of this swarm?
I do not want to hijack this thread so I am going to start a new thread of a swarm experience I had yesterday.🙂
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 11:23:49 am »
Thanks for sharing Member.  Was these the only bees that y'all observed fighting of this swarm?
I do not want to hijack this thread so I am going to start a new thread of a swarm experience I had yesterday.🙂
I believe so, I didn't notice any bees fighting on the branch. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2021, 05:07:57 am »
Member,
Were they fighting or is it possible they were grooming?
Sometimes it is hard  to tell the difference. If they were fighting, one of them should have been run off or killed.
Jim Altmiller

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2021, 12:22:37 pm »
I copied this from a post by Jim Steel
I see a lot of posts about swarms on other bee pages. As is common among new beekeepers there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about swarms.  First of all lets define swarm. A swarm is the way a hive reproduces its self. When a hive is ready to swarm the workers will build a number of queen cells often on multiple frames. If you read books they all say the swarm cells are generally on the bottom of a frame. This should be amended to they are generally on the bottom of the built out comb. If the comb is not extended all the way down the frame the bees are not going to just stick queen cells out in the middle of the foundation with no comb. At the same time the workers have decided to swarm the queen is put on a diet so that she looses weight. This also means she quits laying eggs a few days before the swarm occurs. Once swarming begins the workers push.shove, drive the queen out and a portion of the work force leaves with her. The swarm generally does not travel any great distance before settling down. From there the swarm sends out scouts (some sources say that scouts are already out when the swarm occurs) When the scouts find a suitable location for a new hive the whole swarm moves in masse to the new location. Up until the swarm begins to build comb the bees are usually quite gentle and even African bees will be docile. Swarms occur in two flavors. Primary swarms have the original queen while secondary or virgin swarms have a virgin queen.  Again most of the books lead you to believe that the first queen to hatch out will go thru and kill all the other queens before they emerge. However, this is frequently not the case especially when queens emerge on different frames. Instead of fighting each virgin will lead off another group of workers potentially, decimating the hive to the point it won't recover. (Another reason to try to prevent or control swarms. So, what do you do when you discover a swarm or get the call for free bees? Most of the year we carry an empty nuc, some frames, and a roll of paper towels(to plug the nuc) We are both slightly decrepit so we turn down swarms that are out of reach or in dangerous locations but that is us. Also be aware that the general public does not know the difference between a swarm and an established hive and most people are so unaware of the world around them that bees can establish and maintain a hive for months before someone notices. So, we get to the location and determine its a swarm and that its in our comfort zone (low branch, window sill, tire well, kids swing set etc)  Generally, I will still put on protection(minimum a veil) and often gloves. Then its a simple matter of walking up to the swarm and using my hand to push the bees into the the nuc box (we have empty frames in the box to give the bees something to hold on to.) and then put the lid on. Usually some of the bees in the cluster will become air borne so we sit or hold the nuc close to the original spot and wait for the bees to enter the nuc.  If the bees were on a branch we will trim the branch off so the pheromone that is on the branch does not attract the bees back to it. If its a solid surface or something that can not be moved we will spray a little Honey Bee Gone or other bee repellant on the surface. Once we have the swarm contained we close up the nuc and take it away. If the swarm is close to our house or apiary we have to take extra measures to keep the bees from going back to the location of the swarm Either way we will give the swarm a frame of uncapped brood, a frame of nectar and honey and often we will put a queen excluder in front of the entrance. However, if this is a virgin swarm putting an excluder to block the exit will mean the virgin will not get mated.  We generally will close up the nuc for 2 or 3 days so that when the bees are released they will reorient to the new location. If you want some really interesting reading on what bees prefer and want real research read Thomas Seely's book called the Honey Bee Democracy. One of the things he did to research swarms was to create artificial swarms on a deserted island off the coast of Maine. He then gave these bees multiple choices for new locations. His research found that bees prefer a location high in the air (15-20 feet) with a cavity facing south of around 5-10 gallons capacity.  When you are setting out swarm traps keep this in mind. Lots of swarms occur at lower levels but the optimum will attract more swarms. Finally remember that the State of Florida will ask you to sigh a best practices agreement when the bee inspector first comes to do the initial inspection. One of these things you agree to is to requeen all swarms and feral hives. The idea behind this is to reduce the chance of you hiving a hive os Africanized bees. While no one is going to fine your or put you in jail the process is in your best interests especially if you are like most of us who have hives near other people. Its easier to requeen a hive when its small than to wait until the hive is two or three boxes high and full of really pissy bees.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Another swarm trap observation?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2021, 08:01:43 pm »
Member,
Were they fighting or is it possible they were grooming?
Sometimes it is hard  to tell the difference. If they were fighting, one of them should have been run off or killed.
Jim Altmiller

Sorry Jim, I forgot about this thread.  They were definitely fighting, the pair were locked together and spinning. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.