May 2019

May 2019NWA Beekeepers Meeting Minutes for 2019, May 13


Attendance:  65


2019 dues can be paid to David Bercaw club treasurer.  They are $15 for single or $20 for a single.


Brad Keck open the meeting.


The club can order Nuc boxes from Mann Lake for about $8 plus shipping.  These are the plastic type.  You can use them for catching swarm since they are light.  If you want a box let Brad Keck or Shannon Ivy know and the club will put an order together.


Topic:  Swarms


An opportunity to increase the number of hives that you have.  The club has a list members can put their name on if they would like to be called if a swarm is located.

Rule # 1 Must be 18 years old.

Rule # 2 Must be a club member.


Don’t get hurt capturing a swarm.  A Nuc only costs ~  $150.  It is better to buy a Nuc than paying for a trip to the doctor or staying in a hospital a couple of days.


What is a swarm?  It is how the species propagates.  They turn one hive into two.  The other type of swarm is when the queen is not doing well the the colony raises up a supercee-dure swarm.

When a hive prepares to swarm it begins to lay queen cells and feeds the larva royal jelly.  Just before the queen cell hatches out.  The existing queen is put on a diet and exercise program just prior to the queen cells hatching.

Scouts will go out looking a new place for the swarm.


Book:  Honeybee Democracy.  You should read this book if you are raising bees.


Bees are looking for a hollow in a tree roughly 35 feet in the air with a southern exposure.    The want a defensible opening.  If a scout bee locates a possible place for the colony then returns to the colony and communicates with a waggle dance where there is a new possible hive is located.

An ideal Swarm Trap is small maybe 5 frames or less.  The size of a Nuc box.  A worker bee needs 21 days to hatch.  The honey flow will stop in 6 - 8 weeks from the point a colony swarms so they have little chance to make comb and bring in pollen and nectar.

The first swarm is always going to be with the old queen.

The swarm always happens before the maiden flight of the new virgin queen.

The swarming portion of the colony will carry with them about three days of food.  If the swarm has been out in the open for three days then they will not be so friendly.  Swarms have a 30% chance of survival.  Because the swarm has to build everything inside the hive from drawing the comb out.  


You only want to be on the swarm list if you are able to do so.  If you cannot take off of work then you cannot be on the list.


Bees will follow the queen.  If you shake the bees into a box, most of them will follow the queen.


You should put some lemon grass oil in the bottom of the box.  It mimics the queen’s  Nasanov gland which produces the pheromone.  


Steinkraus Morse swarm catcher.  Google this on line:  

https://www.google.com/search?q=steinkraus+morse+swarm+catcher&oq=steinkraus+morse+swarm+catcher&aqs=chrome..69i57.15744j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


Use a five gallon bucket and strap it around a painter pole.


Swarms:  They are fun, but not safe.


Once you have captured a swarm you will want to wait until dark and all the bees have returned to the hive you have put the swarm in.  If leave any bees in the area the owner may call you back the next day to come and get them!

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