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Tavascarow

Two swarms from one hive on the same day.

We bought a national hive full of bees two weeks ago & immediately split it into three.
Today one of the splits swarmed both prime & cast at the same time.
The cold windy weather the last few days must have delayed them.
Now in the skep & a cardboard box for hiving tonight.
One in a top bar & the other in a friends WBC.
Think there could be a few late swarms around this year.
Photos to follow. :)no smilies
Midland Spinner

I saw a swarm in the garden earlier, as I was carrying a full super down for extracting.

By the time I'd got it indoors & gone back out, they'd gone.no smilies
Mistress Rose

Someone once told me that when the weather is bad the bees don't have much to do and so plot swarms. Not true, but amusing. Seems like yours have had far too much time on their hands.no smilies
Lorrainelovesplants

Had to do an artificial swarm on Sunday - brood and a half - split into 2. It seems this is the time to set a bait hive....no smilies
Tavascarow

Hived the one swarm into a HTBH last night & seem to have stuck.
The other is still in the skep for hiving tonight.

no smilies
Lorrainelovesplants

My bait hive at St Kew is buzzing. My friend heard a terrific droning noise which he eventually realised was bees and ran round to his orchard to see the hive smothered with bees. they took about 20 mins to go in.
He is delighted and said it was incredible to witness.

Was thinking of going on Sunday to collect or do you think too soon?no smilies
Tavascarow

I hive swarms as soon as possible, but that's usually because they are either in a skep or cardboard box.
If St Kew is over three miles from you, & they are on frames I doubt it would make little difference when you hive them.
One advantage of doing it early is you can reset the box sooner to catch another & it will still smell of swarming bees.no smilies
Lorrainelovesplants

Its only a mile and a half away...
I was thinking to wait a week just to make sure she has started to lay properly.no smilies
Cathryn

Hived the one swarm into a HTBH last night & seem to have stuck.
The other is still in the skep for hiving tonight.



Are the bees going in and out of that skep through a slit? I haven't quite finished one but I thought they were just an upturned container that I would prop up to allow all of them in and then move to the proper hive with the bottom covered over in some way. :?no smilies
sean

My guess is that it's a hole rather than a design feature.no smilies
Cathryn

Yeah, I suppose that could be it. :)no smilies
Mistress Rose

Skeps meant for use do have a slit in them as a design feature. Those just used for collecting or decoration don't, mainly because you don't really want bees to be able to get in and out.

I would recommend re-hiving bees as soon as possible after catching the swarm unless you have a fully framed out bait hive, otherwise they will set up home and fill the gaps with wild comb.no smilies
Tavascarow

Hived the one swarm into a HTBH last night & seem to have stuck.
The other is still in the skep for hiving tonight.



Are the bees going in and out of that skep through a slit? I haven't quite finished one but I thought they were just an upturned container that I would prop up to allow all of them in and then move to the proper hive with the bottom covered over in some way. :?
I made it deliberately with an entrance, & about twice as large as the skeps you buy, so if I had no hives spare I can leave them in there longer.no smilies
Mistress Rose

I would suggest that you now leave them in there as they will have produced comb and brood. Some people do run skeps, and if yours is large, you can get a crop off. I did quite a lot of study on this for some work on 17th century beekeeping a few years ago, and there is also a way of getting a crop without killing the bees. If you make another small skep that will go on the top, and make a hole in the top of he current one big enough for a bee to go through, you can use the smaller skep as a 'super' as he bees prefer to put the honey up there.

Getting them out once they are established is quite a performance, especially if they have brood. It was traditionally done about midsummer, both to get a crop (I suspect oil seed rape as 'stone honey' is talked of and osr was grown then), and give them time to build up again for the winter as the brood would be left.no smilies
Tavascarow

I would suggest that you now leave them in there as they will have produced comb and brood. Some people do run skeps, and if yours is large, you can get a crop off. I did quite a lot of study on this for some work on 17th century beekeeping a few years ago, and there is also a way of getting a crop without killing the bees. If you make another small skep that will go on the top, and make a hole in the top of he current one big enough for a bee to go through, you can use the smaller skep as a 'super' as he bees prefer to put the honey up there.

Getting them out once they are established is quite a performance, especially if they have brood. It was traditionally done about midsummer, both to get a crop (I suspect oil seed rape as 'stone honey' is talked of and osr was grown then), and give them time to build up again for the winter as the brood would be left.
These are now in my friends WBC.
I'm tempted to try a colony in the skep.
Read A. Pettigrew's "The Handy Book of Bees" last year & love the Heather skep apiary videos from Germany.
If I get time this winter to make a couple more skeps might give it a go next year.
I'm more interested in getting a couple of colonies running in Warre hives, & I have another HTBH to populate as well, so not on the top of my priority list.no smilies
Tavascarow

Update.
All the splits & the swarm I have at home are now queenright & laying.
Had to super the mother hive & the largest split as they have already filled the brood box with brood & honey.
The split in the 5 frame nuc was filled out so that is now in a national brood box with empty frames.
The swarm in the top bar hive have built eight combs, three of which have brood, the rest nectar & honey.
Little bit of cross combing which I have hopefully rectified.
I've spread the straightest combs & put empty bars between to encourage more straight comb building.
Figure with this heat wave there's little chance of chilled brood.no smilies
Tavascarow

Its only a mile and a half away...
I was thinking to wait a week just to make sure she has started to lay properly.
How did it go?no smilies
Lorrainelovesplants

Well, hive 1 in the orchard that overwintered poorly and i dont rate the queen are ticking over but still on 2 and a half frames.
hive 2, my black bees - having made a quen cell last week, this has now disappeared (?) and they are working like mad. The super I had on last week is full and Ive given them a 2nd one, lots of capped brood but I cant see any young uncapped. Will be going in again this morning to look.
Hive 3 at St Kew, have been back on Monday - cant see a queen, no brood at all, loads of honey, very little pollen, but they are calm as you like, so Im thinking there must be a queen she just hasnt started laying.
Thinking - take a frame of uncapped (possibly from hive 2) and move to St kew?no smilies
Lorrainelovesplants

So, have been and done the bees (before it gets too hot).
Hive 1 in the orchard are exactly the same.
Hive 2 (black bees) are superceding definately - 3 queen cups in the centre of frames and one capped (but open, if you know what I mean) at the bottom. Now, Ive never seen the queen in this hive, so i dont know if she's gone or what...
So now I have to put a bait hive nearby to possibly attract a possible swarm.
Hive 3 at St kew - lots of brood and capped brood, and very quiet - yippee. And just put on 2nd super - 1st one nearly full and capped.no smilies
Tavascarow

Excellent.

It does look like this is a bee year.
When we have an extended dry spell I'm always a little concerned, Perfect weather for the bees to fly but if the ground is to dry plants will stop producing nectar.
My fields are still full of white clover blooms but I haven't seen much activity on them.
The bramble on the other hand is busy with bees. (deeper roots) :)no smilies
Lorrainelovesplants

The field opposite our gate was alive with clover a week ago, the smell was incredible. Its starting to burn off now and everything looks crispy.
have noticed that not much pollen is coming in on the bees :( , but we are to get thunderstorm on Sunday so perhaps some rain?no smilies
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