Monday, March 30, 2009

Careful what you wish for!

After last year with 10 hives without any swarms, I decided this year to encourage them. I purposely left frames full of stores so that laying space would be restricted. Did not check for QC's etc. The result of this is too many swarms and having to deal with them. Perhaps this season is exceptional anyway as far as swarming goes. Even both the hives I have in transfer with Layens frames in the top baxes have swarmed. My thinking that reducing the brood to eight frames in my warre transfer would drive the queen down to lay in the warre boxes has proved incorrect. They just swarmed instead! I would not recommend the transfer box method to anyone now. Same for my Layens/Kenyan TBH transfer. So I started the season wanting to rid myself of Layens hive and somehow get them in warre's and kenyans. I find I now have all my warre and kenyans populated plus most of the Layens.
I had finished waxing some starter strips in layens frames on my porch, I left the hive on the table feeling smug that I was now ahead of the swarming. I went for a siesta and woke to hear a very loud whirring noise outside the bedroom window. When I saw the bees taking over this hive still on the table, it was like a tsunami of bees and a wonder to behold, truly awesome. Next morning I took this hive to the out apiary. Whilst at the out apiary, I checked on the bees at the hexagonal hive. There were none in there so the bees I saw last week were just scouts. I removed this and all the other bait hives to my home apary. I really don't need any more bees right now.
Currently, I have 3 seperate casts sat in cardboard boxes waiting for me to combine them into a yet to be built warre hive. Again I will put on a queen includer at the entrance and let the bees decide which of the 3 virgins they want to keep. I assume the queens will fight to the death. I will remove the Queen Includer after 3 days in order for her to get mated. At least I may be able to sell the populated Layens hives!

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