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So, who reported this? “Incidentally, my understanding is that when the virgin queen emerged in the split, they after-swarmed.” That is not a “afterswarm” A secondary or tertiary swarm from the MOTHER hive is a “after swarm” If bees left after a split (in the side WITHOUT the original queen) that is absconding and you would not have any bees in that split.
The bee math is still not working out, as I see it. If the original June 1 split was done and eggs were in the split, and the bees made a queen cell (this guy you mention does not say if the split had a capped queen cell, which would shorten the time till there were viable eggs??? Sorry, but that is a doofus move!) it would still be too soon for there to be a queen laying.
Inspection #1—in all those words, but no mention of seeing eggs in the split. What did you SEE? (yes, keeping a smoker lit and going took me longer than any other skill—it IS hard)
Inspection #2—I don’t understand this–” The split is weak, and small, and there’s evidence of an emerged queen, but the brood comb is all empty, ” WHAT is the evidence of a Queen? If the brood comb is empty, the preeminent evidence of a Queen, eggs, is not there.
If this were me, I would be much more directive about anyone messing with my hives and smashing queen cells. Maybe I don’t get the set-up arrangement, but that is a fundamental mistake. Michael Bush writes of it here—Along with some other fallacies—http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm
Finally, what is this about? “as the other half is also gone and the original queen even stopped laying, I’m told. ” Why would a queen “stop laying” and how was this asserted? Based on what evidence?
Chip and I just did 2 cutouts today. He is very personable and has a good set of knowledge now. I would reach out to him. I told him you might.
I think you should hold off on splitting for the time being, so you can focus on the basic management tasks of the hive you have. I would just place the “split” on top of the other one without the paper. Do all the other frame adding etc. BEFORE you place it on the swarm hive, so there is less stirring around upstairs.
HI, Mel—a couple things—when doing a inspection for a split becoming queen-right, you are not looking for the queen, but the evidence of her work. That means you must see EGGS. There can be a queen but she is still a virgin, or a queen, but poorly mated. The ONLY sure sign of being queen right is the evidence of her performance. Please learn the chart of “Bee Math” on Michael Bush’s site as one of the first things committed to memory. This enables you to make calculations for splits, and all sorts of remedies.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm It is hard to tell from your narrative how many days have elapsed since the split was done, but in general, at LEAST a month is required for you to have a new laying queen.
Also, you may contact Chip Clements in Hollywood about mentoring 323-791-6581 or Tyson Kaiser at Sweet Bee Removal
Miri— hornets are not found in So Calif—I checked with a entomologist a long time ago. Second, honey bees sometimes occupy holes in the ground, such as exist under rock piles, firewood piles, old tree stumps, under the root systems of pepper and olive trees, sycamores, etc. I have removed them from some of these homes. They do not necessarily need aggressive approaches, like removal. Depends on if they are in a human traffic pattern or house area. First you need to ID what you have. Then, if you want them humanely located, please read the guide sheet on this site to help you know what that process looks like—at the drop down menu “About” then select “rescue bees” and look for “live bee removal best practices” You must pay for this service—people do not work for free
OK—I saw David Boch offered to take the bees. Susan
Donald—you’re welcome. I can come out to help you if you get in touch and we arrange a date and agree on our principles. My phone is 310-374-4779
Manhattan Beach Susan
HI, Don—I teach beekeeping in the urban environment, have 43 colonies and this report is troubling based on what I have experienced. First, the colony “0verc0me by wax moth” is a misunderstanding of the decline. Bees which are queenless and therefore unable to maintain a strong population become targets for ALL decomposers—wax moth is not the cause, but a symptom of decline and queenlessness. The other colony also likely declined from queen problems. It is one of the most common mis-diagnosed problems of managed colonies. If these were not feral bees, but package stock, then their decline would likely be due to overwhelming infestation of varroa mites. The feral stock are resistant and handle mites effectively. I also caution you about this— “I have let the bees be bees” because we live in the urban core and without managing their space needs, they can become very crowded and grouchy. In Winter, they may need boxes taken off. It is OK if you don’t want to harvest the honey, but you still need to do inspections on a regular basis and provide the proper amount of living space for your bees. All beekeepers get a bad rap if one of us is not managing our bees well in the close confines of the City. In Spring and Summer, they need space added and brooding up of brood frames to reduce swarming and crowding. I am wondering if …”noticed that the hive is boiling with activity.” is a symptom of this lack of management of space and therefore, the aggression when you attempted to inspect. Also, proper smoking technique on a crowded “boiling” colony must be such that you smoke under the lid, in the entrance, and wait 10 minutes. Then, the same again—and wait 10 more minutes. Then, you gently break the seal of the topboard, keeping the smoker near and pushing the bees down. You do not say how many deeps or mediums these bees are inhabiting, but it does not take long for a strong queen to fill 3 mediums, especially if they are taking over a home with ALREADY DRAWN combs. Smoking properly is a skill that needs practice, and many of my students take a long time to learn it.
Finally, I will say that a feisty hive such as this is a difficult adoptive candidate since most of the folks on this site are pretty new to beekeeping. You could open up the broodnest (you may need to get some help from a more experienced beekeeper for this) and see if they become more tractable with the change. I never insist a colony is inherently “aggressive” until all possible causes have been examined and remedied.
This is a trapout and is a job for only a experienced beekeeper who can provide brood comb for a bait hive and a number of visits post-placement in order to monitor the situation and effectiveness of the work. See if Kirk Anderson at 323-646-9651 can refer you to someone with the right skill set.
HI, Jennifer—you are not too late. This is a concern mostly in areas that get winter cold, so books describing “too late” don’t apply here in CA. Swarms and cutouts of colonies are year-round. First, I strongly urge you to get educated —read a basic book—the “Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping” by Herboldsheimer and Stiglitz and the “Save the Bees…” by Chelsea and Rob McFarland, highlighted on this website. It is imperative that you understand the biology and management of honey bees, especially in the urban environment. Then, get your protective bee wear and the basic tools. Last, hook up with a more experienced mentor, there are several in Venice. However, it is important that you determine if beekeeping is allowed in the place you want to keep bees. Not all cities in the LA basin allow it. Unlikely a community space will allow it, as my experience is too many others occupying the same site (for veg gardens, etc) do not find it compatible. Better option is finding a willing homeowner to allow a tenancy. Keep us up to date on your progress and if you need help locating information
HI Eric—I would guess the delay is because Ceebs pretty much carries the entire HL club burden alone and it is a bit much for a volunteer. The club desperately needs more members doing the outreach speaking events, managing the club meetings and other jobs. Ceebs has a regular job, too, like all of us, to pay the bills.
You write this “kept a few hives in my backyard.” But the note then says this “require me to move my hive. Does anyone know of a place where I can relocate them?” It is not clear what the incident was, or how many hives you need to move. It sounds like you have A hive that has become aggressive—I am just reading between the lines…. Are you unable to manage it now? The number of outlets for such a colony are limited due to the general nature of inexperience in the HL club membership and tight lot sizes in LA. I would try to find a experienced beek—Dael Wilcox, the Natural Honey Company, 951-534-4727 might take them.
Hi, Eric—just be sure to follow the HL post guidelines if you are getting rid of a hive. There needs to be some disclosure and the colony should be listed on “Bulletin Board” Here is the text from the website—
For all posts regarding the sale/donation/trade of honey bees or beekeeping equipment, please use our new bulletin board forum and give full descriptions of your situation:
-How many boxes, deeps and mediums?
-Brood nest and honey storage areas?
-How old is the colony?
-Is it from a swarm, cutout, other?
-How often have in-hive inspections been done?
-What would be your assessment of the colony’s attitude to inspection in the brood nest? With proper smoking and preparation, of course.
It is not your fault, Mel. I have processed a number of similar pleas from the “entertainment” industry since I have been a beek the last 8 years. It is a matter of putting the request in the larger cultural context, which is quite confrontational, divisive and aggressive—from what I see in media themes. Those of us keeping bees long enough in the city eventually get the clear impression the average citizen thinks “stinging” and “danger” when the word “bee” is uttered. That is where this producer went on the mind trip that brought forward this “story idea” —especially after perhaps learning that the effort to legalize beekeeping in LA was a contentious, drawn out affair. Responsible beeks are acutely aware of this balancing act and do NOT want a TV show emphasizing the potential controversies that erupt between neighbors. Let them feature arguments over room additions or parking, not beekeeping. We don’t need it.
Geez—here is a desperate “producer” looking to make a buck trying to bring attention to something that does not need publicizing. There is already WAY too much confrontational media coverage of such polarizing issues that serve to only divide us even more. No thanks!! Not interested in the “tight deadline” either. Bottom line—money
Well, what you have “heard” is incorrect and can be found with municipal citations showing otherwise. As to “manuka honey”, simply a nectar gathered from Leptospermum scoparium, or “Australian Tea Tree”—the plant is widely used in residential gardens for decades in the Los Angeles basin. We are unable to direct honey bees to gather nectar from any one source, so very likely there is “manuka” nectar in our wildflower honey, such as my bees produce.
The key to being self sufficient is to make some contacts with folks encountering swarms in the wider environment. That might be tree trimmers, remodeling contractors, house builders, gardeners, municipal agencies (police, fire, public works) garden centers and pest control businesses. Call up some of these and let them know you want to be notified when swarms show up, as swarm season has been going on for at least a month. Get your nuc box with frames of drawn comb ready so you are prepared at a moments notice. You should know how to get your own swarms, so also check into the methods of setting swarm traps in your vicinity. The Treatment Free beekeepers FaceBook group talks about it all the time.
By the way, if you get a cutout or a swarm, it is important to look in on the comb spacing every week to make sure they have not shifted out of position, messing up “bee space” This often happens especially with cutouts, so to keep your brood box inspectable, you must catch little wonkie issues before they go on long. With a swarm, you want to catch any curving combs and gently push them back in under the top bar profile