Monday, May 12, 2014

Hiving the new Swarm Day 1

The first step in hiving the newly captured swarm has been completed. The way I do it around here whenever I notice a swarm has moved into one of my traps is I go pick it up after sundown and put a new trap in it's place. I have noticed I catch more swarms in the same location sometimes pretty quick after removing the first one.

I then take the trap box to the location I plan on hiving the swarm at and place the trap on the waiting bottom board that will become their very own.

A note of caution here. As we move further into Summer the Assassin bugs will move into the area under the swarm trap and wait there snatching up forager bees as they return so this step shouldn't be allowed to go on more than a day or two max. That little gap there were the entrance will end up being is the perfect Assassin bug ambush point. The evil looking things can lay around in the shade and grab the girls at the leisure. I think Assassin bugs must be from Nigeria and have ties with Al Quida :)

I then hang a branch of leaves down over the entrance hole so the bees coming out in the morning realize pretty quick the scenery has changed over night. This will cause them to re-orient their internal GPS to the new location before flying off to find nectar and pollen.

That's about all I do on the first day. After sundown I will go out and remove the limp branch and leaves from the entrance as the foragers should now have a fix on their new location.

The longer I leave the girls in the trap the harder it is to get them out because they will be building comb off the top and getting all settled in. I think it is important though not to mess with them too much too fast though and cause them to get pissy and find a new home. Also they only have a few days worth of stored honey and I need to start giving them some sugar syrup pretty soon after moving them as it will also take them some time to start finding forage in their new location. We wouldn't want them to starve either.

After making sure the new swarm was remaining in place I started the finishing touches on the garden. Running the hose from the rain barrels, digging in the water tub, putting in a few stakes and polishing off end rows with Marigolds and Sunflowers.





The potatoes are pushing up nicely. This time of year the poor new plants always look so dirty as the rain splashes mud all over them. I have determined that my first two plantings of pole beans need to be sown again for sure because the third trellis I planted after them are all sprouted and growing strong already. My guess is the ground still wasn't warm enough for them and the hard rain did em in.




The supervisor doesn't care she just wants me to get finished and sit down so she can climb up in my lap. All this moving from one spot to the next is really stressing her out and interrupting her nap time.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


11 comments:

  1. We have received another round of rain. I think I'll see what else tries to come up - some of the things I thought were not going to are starting to appear. And potatoes this time for sure!

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    1. TB - So far the only things I have not seen coming up that should be are the first round of pole beans and a new cucumber variety I planted. I think I put them in too early. We got another 2 inches of rain over night and more today. I think we are out of the near drought conditions now I hope.

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  2. We don't have many assassin bugs here, when I see one it is eating a stink bug so I leave them alone. My supervisors got into two fights this afternoon and the dog broke them up. She doesn't allow cat fights, just can't stand to have a cat fight going on and put a quick end to it.
    Potatoes are up here and I have left weeds around them to try and hide them form potato beetles.

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    1. Sf - The Assassin bugs like to ambush my bees. Somewhere I have a pic taken a few years ago of one with a bee in his grip I will look for it.

      You think the weed camo works?

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  3. I wonder if Assassin Bugs all have little prayer rugs and genuflect to the East five times a day? I bet they do.

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    1. Harry - I bet those evil things do too :)

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  4. PP,

    Are the assassin bugs waiting around for bee's or just the sugar?

    Your poor cat, the "Supervisor" is getting tired of following you around. Take a break and sit down a bit, and give that cat a scratch behind it's ears.

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    1. Sandy - Oh ya those Assassin bugs love to eat bees. I don't think they do anything but eat other bugs.

      The supervisor get's her share of petting and half the time she is riding around on my shoulder anyway so it isn't always such a pain for her to have to follow me. I have to be careful when I am bent over and she is around cause she will leap onto my back and then hold on.

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  5. I need to check my traps. It's been cold and rainy so I'm sure nothing is going on :/ If I don't catch a swarm. I'm calling the guy at the bee farm I went to. He might be sold out but I think he will give me a split :)
    My potatoes have already flowered but my watermelons haven't done squat :/

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    1. Kelly - Swarms will be goign good here now until at least the end of June and I have captured a few that made it through Winter as late as July. After that it gets a bit dicey on if they have enough time to build up the stores needed.

      A good split with a queen could be made as late as July as well especially if you are going to feed em or if the split gets some stores with it. I would stay away from a walk away split without a queen after June though as it will take the colony over a month to get back into laying eggs etc.

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  6. I'm surprised that your supervisor keeps you around. It sounds to me like you're just one big slacker.

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