Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Would This Be Home

When I captured the Playa Vista swarm I made a couple of decisions, both turned out to be correct but I was just guessing. I had no clue. Most of the time swarms are collected at places where you cannot leave nucs or equipment overnight. This time the swam was collected on Cammie & Rory's patio, locked away from people and problems so it was a no brainer to leave the nucs there over night, uncovered so straggler bees could get into the nuc. And all the bees in the second nuc were able to more over to the primary nuc with the beloved Queen. . It worked like a charm. When I picked up the nuc boxes the next day, I doubt there were over 20 bees from the original swarm that were left behind. That was a good feeling..

A few days prior I had collected the YMCA bees, they stayed one night and absconded the next day. Bummer. Once again, quite by accident I made the right decision. I brought the nuc home and set it up but did not open it for several hours. There was no logic involved, that just felt like the right thing to do, maybe the scents in the area would imprint them and this swarm would stay

I left them with the plug in and went in to watch some British Football (soccer). About those frames on the ground, you ask? When I left the day before to go to Playa Vista I remembered I had some swarm lure in the spare hive I have out back I went to get it. I had put a few old frames with comb in that hive. I had followed advice and put all those frames into the freezer to deal with wax moth larvae. As soon as I opened the hive it was obvious I needed a colder freezer, there was larvae detritus everywhere. I pulled the waxed frames out so the sun could deal with them. Later I scraped the litter on the bottom of the hive out. There was a small cluster of 10 or so bees inside the hive. These must have been left over from the Y swarm. I put the other clean frames next them before closing the hive and leaving for Playa Vista. Maybe they would join the hive arriving shortly.

A couple hours later I checked again and found some of the bees had found a way out so I removed the nuc plug. The bees came out and met the Dale. My lucky move.. I ran across this on the Organic Beekeepers Yahoo group today:

Posted by: "Fred" fredster4

Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:10 am (PDT)

Which is why installing a package at the end of the day has always been good advice. It works in harmony with the bees inate desire to be sheltered at the end of any day and then they start keeping house and it is that much more rare that they will abscond the next morning because they have kept house for the whole night.
That is what I had done quite by accident. Today they were flying in and out when I checked and did not seem ready to move away. I had one small problem, the nuc had a screened lid and rain was predicted overnight. I went out after dark and swapped the lid for a solid one.

The Playa bees should be secure for the night.

The Twitchy Bees are still happy. I lifted the top for a quick glance today. I need to go back after the spat of bad weather. They seemed all together too active, the third super may be filling up quickly. I need to get another one ready. It is put together in the garage but I still have to make the wax strips and insert them.

With the spot of bad weather tonight it is possible the Playa Bees will decide to stay in The Dale.

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