Buzz from jeb532 - 280 Mar 13, 2012

Buzz from jeb532 - 280 Mar 13, 2012

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Was off yesterday afternoon trying to prevent “swarming” of my bees. Didn’t quite get finished..and was up till 1 am making hardware. I will have to finish this afternoon. You have to have 75F+ temps and no rain to do swarm prevention manipulations. Remember I’m new at this beekeeping thing...so I was more than surprised/perplexed at what I found. My BeeWeaver breed hive had THIRTEEN swarm queen cells! The BeeWeaver hive has built up from the original 10,000 bees I bought last April to probably around 80,000 bees. I have split this hive into two “nucs” (half-width hives), each with a few queen cells, and the original hive with a few queen cells. If I’m lucky, I’ll get three hives from one. I also destroyed about half the queen cells to inhibit swarming. Somewhere in the mix, one queen cell was “piping”. I never figured out which queen cell it was. The first picture shows both the young and old pupae stages of a bee. This bee was just a day or two from hardening and emerging. She was in the burr comb between two hives. The second picture shows what the population was like in all three boxes on the BeeWeaver hive. Note...in these pictures at least half of the bees that live in this hive are not visible because they are out in the field collecting nectar/pollen. It would be really crowded at night when everybody is home! The third picture shows a frame of brood is almost all “drone” cells (males). The fourth picture shows the short hive on the left (a “swarm trap”). Middle hive is the duplex “split” off the top of the right hive that I hope gives me two new colonies. Right hive is the BeeWeaver hive. I added a 3rd box back on the top, moved some populated frames to it, and interspersed empty frames throughout. Now I keep my fingers crossed that they don’t swarm anyway....or if they do, that they chose the surrogate hive to live in.

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