A BEE thread....for those interested in beekeeping.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Beekissed, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    Thanks for the tip! I will try it as soon as I get home and let you know if it works after the sting. The itching is driving me Maaaaaaad!
     
  2. rochrunner

    rochrunner Chick-Bees

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    Dec 27, 2010
    North of Rochester, MN
    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex :

    Yeah, my Dad doesn't seem to have any side effects from stings at all-lucky! But I react badly to mosquito bites and apparently bee stings. The one on my neck is not aweful- feels like a bad mosquito bite (swollen lump that itches) but my finger sting has swollen so badly I can barely bend my finger and the itching is so intense it woke me up twice last night. I slathered it in benadryl gel in hopes the swelling will go down to make work easier to bear, but what else can I do? This is the second day... and so far its worse than the first. I hope it doesn't take a week to pass! I need my fingers functional!!!

    Back when I use to swell up so bad, I got stung on the back of my hand and the next day it looked like someone blew up a latex glove--it was swollen palm with little fingers sticking out! That same year I got several stings on my ankle at the same time and my entire leg swelled and itched like crazy for several days. I finally went to my doc and he gave me a prescription for heavy duty HydroCortisone cream and it started to work immediately. Didn't help the swelling much, but the itching stopped.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  3. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Do any of you know anything about swarming bees?
    Do they normally have a queen or a juvi queen with them when they leave the hive?

    the reason I ask is twice this past week I have had small swarms in my yard.. it's extremely dry here and has been very hot.. none of my neighbors keep bees (i dont have "close" neighbors.. all are pretty far away).. So I am assuming these were "wild" honey bees.

    The first small swarm probably had about 50 bees in it.. they were inside and all around my feed shed.. but not in any of the feed.. the shed is metal and painted white.. it's the only thing that they were in/around... I started to go in for feed.. they didn't attack or anything.. they were just buzzing around like you would find them around a hive.. it was early morning maybe around 7 AM .. a few hours later they were gone.. no idea where they went. I didn't see anything that looked like a young queen.. so I just chalked it up as to being a strange occurrence.

    the next day was fine.. no honey bees

    the day after that.. there was another swarm.. but bigger.. probably close to 100 bees.. a few too many for me to deal with.. so I left the feed shed and decided to give everyone their breakfast a few hours late. the circumstances were the same..same hot dry weather (we are having a drought here)... still no sign of a young queen.. Do they move to a new location and then have one of the bees turn into a queen?.. Ive never had bees.. so not exactly sure how it all works

    I do know they were regular honey bees.. no africanized bees in the bunch.. I made plenty of noise and moved through them.. never had any get aggressive and none even landed on me..

    So in all it was an interesting experience.. and I was wondering if any of you beekeepers could give me some insight as to what exactly was going on
     
  4. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Oh.. one other thing.. I did notice that none of the bees were laden with pollen.. not sure if it makes a difference or not
     
  5. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Ah.. never mind.. I used google.. found the answer to my question! [​IMG]
     
  6. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Quote:You MUST share the answer here!!!
     
  7. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    My bees are acting kinda funny and I can't figure out why.
    This started at least a week ago. I was so focused on finishing my coop that I was not monitering the bees often enough. On Friday my roommate reported that they were acting strange, so I went out to find several large, swarm-like clumps of 15-35 bees (I didn't actually count, that's my guess) on the front of the hive. They were just hanging out there, some above the door, some under and on the front of the porch. The rest of the hive seemed normal, but the clumps were strange. I opened the lid to discover they had REALLY quickly filled their second super and had only 1 frame left with any space remaining- oops! Its really hot here and I know they need even more space in the heat, so my thought was they were preparing to swarm. So I quickly set up a 3rd story for my hive and then threw together a bait hive to put next door in hopes that the swarm wouldn't make me chase it.
    Well, it's Thursday now and the bees have not swarmed. I check on them daily and have found them beginning to draw out the wax in the middle of the 5 center frames (which seems odd to me... don't they usually finish a frame before going on to the next?) but they have not made a lot of progress. And they are STILL clumping, though only in the evening. In the morning they look normal. They're going through about 6 ounces of sugar water a day and seem happy to have the extra room.
    On Monday, just before I got stung and lost track of it, I found what might have been a partially developed queen in the 'graveyard' in front of the hive. The ants had devoured the head and part of the thorax, but what remained was the size of the worker bees, so I think that's what it was. It was a pale waxy color, obviously not fully grown. So my thought was that when I added the attic that the queen found and killed the possible usurper. I also saw some fights between workers (wings being bitten off) which makes me think the queen ordered all the traitors who were planning to swarm off executed to make an example of them. I know they don't think like that, but I am so baffled by their behavior, that is all I could come up with.

    Any ideas?
     
  8. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex :

    My bees are acting kinda funny and I can't figure out why.
    This started at least a week ago. I was so focused on finishing my coop that I was not monitering the bees often enough. On Friday my roommate reported that they were acting strange, so I went out to find several large, swarm-like clumps of 15-35 bees (I didn't actually count, that's my guess) on the front of the hive. They were just hanging out there, some above the door, some under and on the front of the porch. The rest of the hive seemed normal, but the clumps were strange. I opened the lid to discover they had REALLY quickly filled their second super and had only 1 frame left with any space remaining- oops! Its really hot here and I know they need even more space in the heat, so my thought was they were preparing to swarm. So I quickly set up a 3rd story for my hive and then threw together a bait hive to put next door in hopes that the swarm wouldn't make me chase it.
    Well, it's Thursday now and the bees have not swarmed. I check on them daily and have found them beginning to draw out the wax in the middle of the 5 center frames (which seems odd to me... don't they usually finish a frame before going on to the next?) but they have not made a lot of progress. And they are STILL clumping, though only in the evening. In the morning they look normal. They're going through about 6 ounces of sugar water a day and seem happy to have the extra room.
    On Monday, just before I got stung and lost track of it, I found what might have been a partially developed queen in the 'graveyard' in front of the hive. The ants had devoured the head and part of the thorax, but what remained was the size of the worker bees, so I think that's what it was. It was a pale waxy color, obviously not fully grown. So my thought was that when I added the attic that the queen found and killed the possible usurper. I also saw some fights between workers (wings being bitten off) which makes me think the queen ordered all the traitors who were planning to swarm off executed to make an example of them. I know they don't think like that, but I am so baffled by their behavior, that is all I could come up with.

    Any ideas?

    Bees who swarm aren't 'traitors', those were probably robbers being dealt with. It is the current queen who decides when to swarm if she feels the remaining colony will be strong enough to survive. If they were to swarm, you'd find queen cells, and as soon as they are capped, the queen and her swarm is outta there. Queen cups are easy to spot, but if you don't notice them before they are capped, your only hope is catching the swarm.

    I have a feeling that what you are seeing is bearding . When it is really hot out, they can gather on the outside of the hive since it is hot inside the hive too. If it gets too hot inside the hive, brood dies, so they are trying to prevent that.

    As for the dead queen, are you sure that wasn't a drone that died and they were disposing of? Drones are quite large compared to workers. Any evidence of varroa mites on the corpse? Drones are the first to be effected, and they often kill drones as they pupate into adults in the drone cells, killing the drone before or shortly after it emerges, since they've been mating and feeding off the drone. If I were you, I'd do an alcohol wash of a sample of workers and drones, or pull a few developing drones out of drone comb to check for the mites.​
     
  9. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
    13
    151
    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    Quote:Bees who swarm aren't 'traitors', those were probably robbers being dealt with. It is the current queen who decides when to swarm if she feels the remaining colony will be strong enough to survive. If they were to swarm, you'd find queen cells, and as soon as they are capped, the queen and her swarm is outta there. Queen cups are easy to spot, but if you don't notice them before they are capped, your only hope is catching the swarm.

    I have a feeling that what you are seeing is bearding . When it is really hot out, they can gather on the outside of the hive since it is hot inside the hive too. If it gets too hot inside the hive, brood dies, so they are trying to prevent that.

    As for the dead queen, are you sure that wasn't a drone that died and they were disposing of? Drones are quite large compared to workers. Any evidence of varroa mites on the corpse? Drones are the first to be effected, and they often kill drones as they pupate into adults in the drone cells, killing the drone before or shortly after it emerges, since they've been mating and feeding off the drone. If I were you, I'd do an alcohol wash of a sample of workers and drones, or pull a few developing drones out of drone comb to check for the mites.

    I am really new to this and have no Idea how to do that, but I will look it up and try to figure it out when I get home tonight. Thanks for the info! I am learning so much already and I have only had my hive for 2 months!
     
  10. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    The boys and I get to have a hands-on field trip at our friends' bee place. He's going to let us take the combs out of the frames and everythng!
     

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