Monday, May 25, 2015

2 cast system

Things were hectic before 9 this morning as I looked out and the sky was amass with flying bees again.  So many in fact that I thought my troubled jive was absconding.  Further investigation showed me it was actually 2 hives casting (a cast is a subsequent swarm coming 8 or so days after the original swarm)  off at the same time.  So a prepped everything, sprayed them with sugar water and put both of them in the same hive (now my white hive)

and sealed it up,  They can either duke it out or learn to get along.  Later  PS  They duked it out and I found the lesser of the 2 on the bottom board.

2nd swarm in same trap

On my way to the compost heap I glanced up at my swarm trap and low and behold, there was another batch of bees coming and going from the trap.  Hope this one has a queen.  Will leave alone for a couple of weeks to settle in and maybe make some brood before I transfer the frames into another hive.  Things are looking up.   Later

Octagon hive for sale complete with bees

I have decided to do something unusual and that is to sell one of me hives, complete with a new swarm of bees.  The hive is new and has 4 brood/honey
boxes, insulated roof, screened bottom board with Beetle Jail entrance.  No known hive pests including mites.  Very gentle hygienic bees.  for more info, email me at

(2 box high in photo)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2nd swarm lost

Wouldn't you know it, just as I was leaving to take my wife to Metro Park to catch a train to Washington, activity was amassing at the entrance to the last hive that swarmed.  Couldn't do a thing about it but thought they would be okay while I was doing the 20 min round trip.  Just as I pulled into the yard, I see them flying over the trees.  I drove the neighborhood but to no avail.

Today I added another box to the bottom of the hive as they had built down to the bottom of the box.  It weighs around 80 lbs or so, so should get a good harvest this year.  I also installed a new screened bottom board with Beetle Jail entrance and catch pan under.  A 14" sq pan fits perfect under my hives and I can't believe how good they work.  Anyone have an octagon hive and want one let me know.

The swarm I placed in the queen castle are very active with a lot of sorties.  Next week I'll open it to see how they are progressing.  Whatever killed the last residence seems to be gone with the thorough cleaning.

I also ordered some Nematodes to soak the ground in front of the hive for natural beetle contriol, will be here in 2 weeks or so.   Later

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ist paid swarm catch of the year.

Although I advertise that I catch swarms for free, I don't turn down any offers of gratitude.  Today I am the hero of Westerly as half the block came out to watch and video me vacuum up a small swarm, I mean a real small swarm.  I put them in the queen castle just to see what will happen.  I had cleaned it out and removed all traces of honey that the previous swarm had made.  Can only hope.  If they die too, I'm burning it.  On another note, the recently hived swarm from Sat. has taken to the hive with much activity at the entrance.  Have my fingers crossed.  Later 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

feral hive swarmed

So this morning I was helping my wife in the house getting ready for the new living room rug we purchased.  About 11am I went and checked the feral hive as I knew it was about to swarm.  When I got there, the bees were tumbling out of the hive already and my preparation to catch them leaving the hive went up in smoke.  Nothing to due but sit and watch.  They began to settle in my plumb tree at the very top but so
on came down to within reach from my 6' ladder.  After 3 try's I finally got the queen in my catch basket and deposited them all in my new hive.  Hopefully, they will stay.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dead bees by the hundreds

Opened up the queen castle I made from the swarm to see what was going on inside. Outside the bees are 3 deep in a massive pile and more coming, all dead or dying.  I opened the hive and found no evidence there is an active queen.  They are making comb and filling with honey, no pollen and no brood or eggs anywhere.  Sent samples off to the bee lab in MD, they take forever.  Ordered some menthol on the net and have to wait for it to arrive.  This is for Tracheal mites but they are only suppose to attach to young pupae but this is a swarm with no young????  I have no idea whats going on and the web is useless on this issue.  May have to call Cornell.  Later