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Author Topic: Unmotivated swarm  (Read 721 times)

Offline Seeb

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2020, 07:01:47 pm »
"are any bees spinning"

FG - what do you mean by this?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2020, 09:10:43 pm »
Leoj900 If are you sure there is no queen, eggs, larva, or brood. Now would be a good time to call upon your bee association asking for a frame of such. Surely one of your local membres would be glad to help. Getting that frame home without chilled brood is the next trick.  Good luck.

Phillip Hall

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2020, 12:46:37 am »
Seeb - When guard bees fight intruder bees, they grip each other and fly against each other.  So they spin or whirl on the landing board or ground. If you see it, kill both bees.  Sad to end their short lives but you can't risk the robber being emboldened to bring the rest of her colony. 

Leo, imho those are not enough bees to even put in a mating nuc to raise a queen.  Although years ago I seem to recall the account of a patient scientist type person who took 28 bees, a queen, an incubator, and immense special care to nurture and build a massive colony.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 11:08:38 pm by FloridaGardener »

Offline Seeb

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2020, 10:39:17 am »
Thanks Florida

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2020, 09:04:36 am »
I also saw pollen gathering on a dying robbed hive this spring, Leo. In my case, I had done a bad job making a split. At the end, there was nothing but old, unhatched brood. No egg or larva, and little nectar or resources, but the foragers were still working along, trying to continue the hive, bringing in nectar and pollen. Sad. I shook them out, and let them beg entrance into another hive.
But we can still learn from our loss. It makes me want to succeed all the more.

Offline Leoj900

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2020, 09:34:04 am »
Thanks everyone. I definitely know that I caught the ?bug?. I have reached out to a local beekeeper who was very encouraging and will help me out with some bees. For now I am just encouraging my bees to make the most of their time. They just went through a cup of sugar in two days, with is remarkable for how few there are. I assume they are just storing it though since there is nothing else to be done right now without a queen.
I appreciate all your advice. 

Offline Leoj900

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2020, 03:37:36 pm »
Here is a very late update for anyone who is interested. After over a month since giving up on my poor queenless swarm, I went out to help a local beekeeper and one of her hives had bees building burr comb that we cut out. The comb turned out to be full of eggs. I ended up bringing home some of the eggs and stuck them in my hive. Today I inspected and found a queen cup was being worked on. If this hive survives after over a month of dwindling away, then I am going to be quite happy.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2020, 03:52:06 pm »
I was and I am interested. Rooting for you. Keep us updated.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2020, 09:32:32 am »
Bee sure they do not have too much drawn comb to protect. Put the excess in the freezer until they start building up their numbers. Then you can give them back one frame at a time.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Leoj900

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2020, 05:15:14 pm »
Happy update! I could not help myself from looking in the hive to see if the queen had made it. The youngest bee in there is at least 52 days old, the eggs I put in there spent 30 minutes in my car while being transported over, and there are so few bees left... but there is still hope! Look at her!
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Nobody told me the roller coaster ride of emotions that having bees could be.

Offline Leoj900

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2020, 05:17:48 pm »
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2020, 06:07:53 pm »
Congratulations. You did good. 😀
Jim Altmiller

Offline .30WCF

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Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2020, 11:55:24 pm »
That is kinda a crazy story. Good luck.


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Offline Leoj900

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2020, 06:08:36 pm »
https://streamable.com/fffwf9

I got her on video! I saw her head off to a DCA and ran and grabbed my camera and sat like a worried parent by the hive for her to return.

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2020, 06:40:12 pm »
REALLY neat video.  What I noticed was how she had her butt wide open and waving it around.  She's definitely ready to go play.  Crossing fingers she has a good time and makes it back safely.

Assuming she makes it back and starts laying, your next biggest challenge is going to be simply the bee population and age.  It does not take many bees to care for the new queen and get her mated.  However it takes a critical number of young bees to raise enough brood to increase the population size.  It will take 3 weeks from when she lays the first egg to when any new bees will emerge.  There are few bees in the pictures shown and the ones that are there are already geriatric.

What I am saying is that beautiful queen may make it, but the colony as a unit is doomed unless you can get some help from a donor hive to boost the population at about 5 days after she has started laying.


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Offline Leoj900

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2020, 06:44:34 pm »
This is her returning from a good time. She has some white stuff sticking out of there. Now I just have to wait and see if a couple ancient bees can raise enough young to make this miracle hive survive.

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2020, 06:59:18 pm »
Good.  Now wait 4 days.  Before looking in.
In the meantime, make a plan to boost them so she has help.  Do you have a friendly beekeeper nearby willing to shake a bunch of loose bees from the heart of an active brood nest into a small/medium cardboard box for you? You don't need much and you don't need any of his/her frames. Explain that you just need some bees of young age to help your new queen get through her first brood cycle.  He/she will understand.  You need at least 2 good frame shakes of bees.
On day 6 from whenever that video was taken. Go get the donor bees into a basic cardboard box. Like a shoe box. Damp and clamp them down with sugar water in a spritzer bottle as they are being shook. Get them over to your new queen's hive.  Wait 1 hour. Crack a space in the box and again damp and clamp them with sugar water and shake/roll and bang the box around so they are sticky and clumped together and cannot fly; then quickly dump them into the bottom of the hive at the opposite end of the box from where the queen is.  Close up and leave them all alone together for a week. Come back to a nice patch of healthy capped brood and a colony that is on its way to recovery.

Hope that helps!


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Offline Nock

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Re: Unmotivated swarm
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2020, 08:45:18 pm »
That?s awesome. Glad your work paid off. Good luck.