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Author Topic: Prevent spring-time absconding  (Read 248 times)

Offline omnimirage

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Prevent spring-time absconding
« on: August 16, 2017, 04:13:24 am »
Spring is approaching here in Australia. Last year, I had a number of my hives abscond on me, which I want to prevent this time.

My plan is, to go check on all my bees, before the warm spring weather hits. I believe I need to go through them, and look for drone laying activity, and queen laying activity. I need to kill excessive drones that have been laid, and remove extra queen cells. I need to then provide them with plenty of space to expand; I can do this by either adding a super, or removing some honey if there's an excess (unlikely as we're leaving winter). I also plan to set up a few traps hives in case any swarms want to set up in there.

Last year, the Spring weather hit a week before Winter. How common is that? Can I do anything to get more of a prediction on when it'll hit?

What do I do with extra queen cells that I find? It looks like one of my hives may be missing a queen. Can I put on in there? I'd be interested in trying to split some hives with them if I can.

Is there anything else I should be doing for my bees during the beginning stages of Spring?

Offline eltalia

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Re: Prevent spring-time absconding
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 06:31:38 am »
Dunno about Winter being over for some, omnimirage. Heard on ABC radio the other day
Tassie was in for a -17C windchill factor under 120km/hr winds! In FNQ winter went - thataway.
Those Spring absconds you saw may well have been down to conditions of those colonies in
maybe not liking their home and pinging off on the first sign of a Spring flow. Usually, as you
say, the colony is in build mode after winter, not abscond mode, that comes later as summer
creates conditions for swarms to build.
On drones, usually I leave these for the bees to look after. An exception is when doing a trapout
as they are part of the first stage in denying them entry to any of the work.
On honey, it is not my thing to worry too much beyond preventing honeybound colonies so
usually I extract the outer capped frames and, as they approach a full backfill, add a super+excluder
and maybe four frames. If there is indeed a flow on - a strong one - then that method gives some
time to organise a couple of supers for honey, in preparation to throw them on top. But usually I am
engaged in nursing other colonies so extras go to those over extracting for personal use/sale/freebies.
On queening, be very very sure as to;
a.) proof positive a queen is present or not
b.) the mood and condition of any queen
... anything else and there will be tears, trust that.

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Prevent spring-time absconding
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 06:30:52 pm »
Are we talking about all bees leaving a hive or normal swarming?
If we are talking about all bees leaving, then doing swarm control will do nothing, find the reason for them not liking home.
If you are doing swarm control then the degree of control you employ will be dependant on the inflow of nectar and pollen. Bees on canola will expand quickly and may need swarm control.
Extra queen cells can be used to put into a nuc for a split. One frame of honey, two frames of brood with bees, empty frame and a few field bees will set up a nuc. Make sure the queen is still in the original hive.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Prevent spring-time absconding
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 07:49:34 pm »
I meant swarming, got the terminology mixed up!

It's interesting about the weather. Maybe it will hit lateer than expected.

I'm really unsure about what the flow will be like in this new apiary site that I established.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Prevent spring-time absconding
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 08:44:12 pm »

"I'm really unsure about what the flow will be like in this new apiary site that I established".

From what I recall of the thread you had a few hurdles to get through, OM,
but if it is indeed the "gold mine" reported the a busy happy BK ye shalt bee :-)

Lucks with it all.

Bill

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Prevent spring-time absconding
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 06:55:12 am »
Removing all of the queen cells is a good way of making your hives queen less.
If the cells are already capped the the hive has probably swarmed. 
I also recommend that you use the queen cells to make nucs. That way is a hive ends up queen less, you can fix it just by combining the Nuc with the queen less hive.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Acebird

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Re: Prevent spring-time absconding
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 09:15:44 am »
I meant swarming, got the terminology mixed up!

Less intervention ...
Give the hive space and let it build up, maybe double.  Then split in half and add empty box.  Wait two or three weeks and then split the queen right side again.  Add boxes if they continue to expand.  Enjoy the honey in the Fall.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it