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Friday, May 4, 2012

Another Extraction & Swarm

Wednesday I received a call from Tom Laue near Shumway about a probably swarm that came from a wild hive in one of his livestock feed stalls.  After church Dawn & I headed out to extract the hive.  Tom suited up and removed the boards and helped with the flashlight and vacuum.  Yes, it was dark as we started around 9pm!  Lots of bees!  Lots of Queen Cells!!!  Probably a dozen or so, but a couple were opened, so I'm not sure if the virgin queens are still alive.  They were scattered all over the hive.  Dawn wasn't suited up so she was the photographer and gopher for everything I forgot that I needed from the truck.  After I removed the comb in the exposed compartment, I could see that more come went into the compartment above, but by then it was after 11pm, and we were quite tired, so we called it quits until this Saturday.  We went home, and then I got up at 4am and took the hive to the farm and divided the bees into 4 nucs and placed two or more queen cells in each nuc.  We'll see what happens....keep your fingers crossed.

Below are photos from the night's extraction....notice the queen cells along the bottom of the comb.  We saved a couple chunks of brood comb in a special frame.

Yesterday, Thursday, I received a call from Mr Kelly in Effingham who reported a swarm in front of his apartment hanging on a tree branch.  Ofter lunch I quickly headed over with my bee vac and "schlurpt" them up and was back to work within 30 minutes.  After the band concert last night I headed up to the farm and installed them into a regular empty hive (I'm out of nucs!).  To ensure they didn't swarm on me I raided hive #4 for a frame of brood.  They say that the attack pheromone smells like bananas, well let me assure you that the stench of bananas was thick in the air last night and they were MAD!  Of course, silly me didn't fire up my smoker, again.

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