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Author Topic: Drones flying  (Read 758 times)

Online cao

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Drones flying
« on: March 19, 2017, 05:27:53 pm »
Well the weather warmed up again(the past week had freezing temps at night).  I decided to take off the feeder shims that I had on a few hives that needed sugar bricks this winter.  And what do I see but a couple of drones flying around.  I guess it's officially swarm/split season.  I guess I need to go through my hives this week and check them out.  It just seems awfully early.  The only fruit trees of mine that are in bloom are my hardy almond and they got froze this week.

Offline Rurification

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 05:17:48 pm »
Noooooo!   I'm not ready! 

All of my hives made it through the winter and are building up beautifully, but I was hoping for another month before swarming.   Ours swarmed in June last year.     

Our last frost date isn't until May 15th.   I'm reluctant to add too much space quite yet.    Must go hang out with the hives and look for drones.  If I see them, I'm putting supers on.
Robin Edmundson
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Offline jvalentour

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 05:35:25 pm »
We saw drones around 3/9/17, figure Around April 1 swarm season will start. 
Busy warm weekend coming up!!!

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 07:06:54 pm »
How early  is too early?
Michael Bush said in another topic that you need to split before the bees think about swarming other wise if they get into swarm mode they will swarm anyway.
2015 spring was warm and we split about on time but they had already thought about swarming as we were finding queen cells in some boxes, even though we split strong hives they swarmed anyway resulting in a weaker hive than we intended.

Online cao

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 07:43:14 pm »
When last week we had several days in a row with a hard freeze at night,  and I think one of my hives might not recover from it(down to 20).  I was hoping that I had a few weeks to get ready to make splits before they even thought of swarming.  Now I think that they may be ready to swarm by then.  I plan on going through them later this week to confirm my suspicions.

Offline Rurification

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 05:29:09 pm »
Cao, you totally called it.   I am so glad you said something.

I inspected today and found drones in 2 hives, tons of drone comb in another hive.  No queen cells yet. 

The hive with nothing but drone comb seems to be queenless, so I borrowed a frame of brood from another hive and a frame of eggs from a 3rd.  I left them at one box. 

Fed everyone syrup and put supers on the hives with queens.   

Here's to a year of lots of honey. 
Robin Edmundson
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Offline wadehump

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 10:31:58 pm »
Supers for me this weekend saw drones last weekend forecast looks good for the next 15 days dandi lions will bloom in about 2 weeks if the forecast holds then the buildup will be on

Online cao

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 10:50:06 pm »
Well I finally got a chance to check all my hives(good weather and free day).  About 15 of 20 needed another box(hives packed full of bees).  Five of the hives are now 5 boxes tall(10 frame).  Two had capped honey left over from winter.  Lots of drones flying and lots more drone brood in the hives.  Only saw one queen cup.  Couldn't see if it had anything in it.  It looks like I got a week of maybe 2 until swarms start.  Lots of pollen and nectar in the hives.  A couple of the hives look like they might be backfilling the brood nest.  Looks like I'm going to need to scrounge around for every frame and box I have and do some splits. 

Anyone need some bees? :wink:

Offline Johnny

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 11:57:08 pm »
I was driving on the highway the end of January and ran through a swarm of bees.  There were not any flowers anywhere to be seen so I don't know why they were swarming.
The temperatures were 70's daytime and 40's night time but the bees were full of honey when they hit the windshield. I guess a mild winter in west Texas let them build up early.

Offline GSF

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 02:50:32 pm »
Johnny, they work hardwood tassels as well.
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Online cao

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2017, 09:18:45 pm »
It looks like I got a week of maybe 2 until swarms start. 

We saw drones around 3/9/17, figure Around April 1 swarm season will start. 
Busy warm weekend coming up!!!

We weren't too far off.  It is official.  I caught my first swarm today.  It was on the back of one of my hives.  It covered the back of four 8 frame medium boxes.  They were about 2" thick.  They looked like they were there for a while.  There was lots of little white pieces of wax left on the boxes.  My guess is that they chose the hive to land on to keep warm.  We had a frost warning Friday night.  Is it that common for swarms to land on other hives?  I had one do that last year also.

Offline jvalentour

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2017, 12:28:36 am »
Cao,
I don't know if it's normal but if I were you I'd never move that hive box!

Offline Rurification

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 03:15:32 pm »
Great catch!    This was just the nudge I needed to check numbers one more time and get upper entrances open. 

Have a great year!
Robin Edmundson
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Beekeeping since 2012

Online cao

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 05:30:21 pm »
Came home early today planning on playing with bees.  I got one hive that came through winter extremely well and was packed full of bees about a week ago(added another box).  I pull in the driveway and look towards my hives and see alot of bees in the air.  So I walked over to them and there was a swarm on a branch of one of my apple trees and a lot of bees flying around the front of that particular hive.  It looked like they were just settling down when I got there.  It appeared to be at least 5-6 lbs of bees(maybe more).  I got a 10 frame deep box and shook them in.  They were spilling out so I adding a shallow on top of the deep(I thought they could use the room).  After getting them settled, I went through the hive they came from(time to make up some mating nucs).  Well after about 2 hrs I now have a captured swarm, the original hive reduced to one box, and 11 mating nucs.  Time to take a nap. :wink:

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2017, 09:45:51 am »
I might be harvesting honey in a few weeks down here. Temps are approaching 90 already, although that is odd. I hope to do a split after harvesting the honey.

Online cao

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2017, 10:00:41 pm »
After a short power nap, I decided to mow grass.  After making 3 or 4 laps around a row of pine trees, I looked up an saw a small swarm about 7-8 feet up as I went right under it.  So I had to take a break from mowing to catch that one.  So two in one day. 

Then tonight when I got home I noticed some activity around a couple swarm traps I got setting by my garage.  I decided to take a walk around my hives to check for swarms.  And you guessed it there was one on another pine tree.  This time it was about 25 feet up.  So time to pull out the pole and bucket(and 3 foot step ladder).  I'm glad they weren't any higher.  They filled a 10 frame deep rather nicely. 

bwallace23350
I would harvest but very little in my hives is capped.  I think they need to get out of swarm mode before they cap the honey.  85 degrees today, record 86.



Offline Rurification

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2017, 02:36:05 pm »
cao - glad you caught the swarms!    Plenty of drones here and I think I added my supers in time - we're about a week behind town because of the hollow we're in.    I got a nice split from my booming hive when I double checked a super and found it full of brood.   Just pulled it off and started a new colony.

Must. Make. More. Boxes.
Robin Edmundson
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Online cao

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2017, 06:31:12 pm »
Well as of a few minutes ago,  I'm up to 6 swarms caught.  The last two weren't very nice.  Took a few stings from each.  I think it was weather related(storms in the area).  They were worth it.  The both filled a 10 frame deep.

Must. Make. More. Boxes.

Ain't that the truth.  I'm almost out of frames and boxes and I have at least 3 hives that need splitting.  Time to place and order for frames and get in the workshop building boxes.


Offline GSF

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2017, 11:40:19 am »
Must. Make. More. Boxes The number of boxes you build will determine the number of swarms you have. If you build 9 boxes you'll have at least 10 swarms..,
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Drones flying
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2017, 01:27:14 pm »
>Michael Bush said in another topic that you need to split before the bees think about swarming other wise if they get into swarm mode they will swarm anyway.
2015 spring was warm and we split about on time but they had already thought about swarming as we were finding queen cells in some boxes, even though we split strong hives they swarmed anyway resulting in a weaker hive than we intended.

If you can catch them before they are thinking about swarming you can keep them from swarming and not split them.  If they are already trying to swarm, then I would split them.  They almost never swarm after you split them.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
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