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I'm open to comments/advice or even sabotage efforts. Lathe move tomorrow

Susquatch

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There is actually alot to learn about bees and most of it is fascinating.

We have two wild honey bee hives here on my farm. One is in a giant walnut tree, and the other is in a wild black cherry.

They are fascinating to watch. In the heat of high summer, they actually cool the hive by lining up in formation 4 or 5 ranks deep around the inside perimeter of a 3 inch knot hole and then beat their wings to draw in cool air. It sounds a bit like a lawn whip revving up there. Amazing!

We have also had a few bee swarms migrate through here. These are amazing too. At first all you hear is a low buzzing sound. They are much louder than a may fly hatch or a midge swarm. As it gets closer, they start to get visible and the noise level grows. Bees are fat compared to a typical may fly or caddis fly with shorter noisier wings. When a swarm goes by its a bit like being passed by a herd of lawn whips. The cloud might be 20 or 30 feet wide and tall and much denser in the middle where the queen is. They all just kind of float by and disappear. I wanted to try following one of them but it didn't work out.

If I could have, I might have tried to capture them, but they didn't land anyplace so that didn't happen. Nor did I have time to find and call a beekeeper. I hope they found a new home.

I have successfully moved big paper wasp nests before, but it's not the same.
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
We have two wild honey bee hives here on my farm. One is in a giant walnut tree, and the other is in a wild black cherry.

They are fascinating to watch. In the heat of high summer, they actually cool the hive by lining up in formation 4 or 5 ranks deep around the inside perimeter of a 3 inch knot hole and then beat their wings to draw in cool air. It sounds a bit like a lawn whip revving up there. Amazing!

We have also had a few bee swarms migrate through here. These are amazing too. At first all you hear is a low buzzing sound. They are much louder than a may fly hatch or a midge swarm. As it gets closer, they start to get visible and the noise level grows. Bees are fat compared to a typical may fly or caddis fly with shorter noisier wings. When a swarm goes by its a bit like being passed by a herd of lawn whips. The cloud might be 20 or 30 feet wide and tall and much denser in the middle where the queen is. They all just kind of float by and disappear. I wanted to try following one of them but it didn't work out.

If I could have, I might have tried to capture them, but they didn't land anyplace so that didn't happen. Nor did I have time to find and call a beekeeper. I hope they found a new home.

I have successfully moved big paper wasp nests before, but it's not the same.
Here's a picture of a colony of bees I came across while out in the field oneday. I was told this happens when a swarm of bees loose its queen. A bee keeper can then somehow get relocate these bees with a queen again? (I forget the full explanation and may be missing critical points). Anyhow I thought it was cool and a perfect fit for an off topic contribution :D
1848323143_IMG_20170522_1836199_9272410_resized.jpg
 

PaulL

Technologist at Large
Premium Member
I was told this happens when a swarm of bees loose its queen.
My (admittedly imperfect) understanding is that this happens when a new queen is formed in a hive - the bees split into two groups, some with the old queen, and a bunch with the new queen as they run out looking for a new home.
So that's enough bees of different functions to bootstrap a new hive when they find an appropriate cavity to inhabit. This group will have a hard time, I expect.
 

combustable herbage

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The scariest part of the day, no lie, without a doubt was...

.

.
.
driving across the Burlington skyway in high winds with the lightly loaded trailer on the way to pick up the lathe.
I had a friend that was driving across it one day and some body cut him off and he spun around 360 only to have a dump truck tbone him luckily on the passenger side, amazing he was uninjured, after when the cops arrived they were asking questions, they couldn't believe he was walking around after looking at his car. It was over a year after and he had not crossed it again wasn't sure he ever would. I was on it a few times, you can't let your guard down, and always a sigh of relief when its over.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
My (admittedly imperfect) understanding is that this happens when a new queen is formed in a hive - the bees split into two groups, some with the old queen, and a bunch with the new queen as they run out looking for a new home.
So that's enough bees of different functions to bootstrap a new hive when they find an appropriate cavity to inhabit. This group will have a hard time, I expect.
yep, when a hive is over crowded the hive workers decide to make new queens by feeding selected larvae exclusively royal jelly, which in turn creates queen bees. The hive makes several new queen larvae simultaneously. They are in special cells that look like peanuts and have more room to develop.

The queen pupae start to make a sound in the cells to alert the hive they are nearing maturity. The old queen will then bugger off and look for a new home with many if not most of the worker bees. The new queens fight to the death so that (hopefully) only one queen is left. But all the new queens can end up dead.

If there are enough brood cells developing the old hive can continue to thrive with a new queen, but sometimes they may not have enough resources. Same for the new hive, they may perish and not find a new home and food. Usually the swarms occur in early summer when resources are plentiful but not always.

Beekeepers need to watch their hives closely, and if too crowded they need to either add another brood box to the hive, or split the hive to prevent a swarm. To split a hive they need to add a queen, or a queen cell that will hatch out within a few days. The bees who are moved to the new hive with enough brood, honey and pollen frames, and the new queen cell will go on as if nothing happened, ditto for the old hive and the old queen.

Of course I've simplified the heck out of this short explanation
 
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Susquatch

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So my understanding is that swarming happens for just two reasons. Overcrowding and everyone leaves, or a new queen leaves with some mutinous workers who don't want to serve the old Bi*** anymore. I've never heard the internal war story before. But since they block off the breeding chamber in domestic hives, maybe that happens when they are forced to stay cuz the holes are too small for a queen to get out and leave.

Look at us with all our opinions when Mrs @DPittman is quite capable of telling the story with significantly more expertise than we possess even collectively!

@DPittman - why don't you ask her why they swarm and if the young Queen's are murderers. And ask her about escape too.

Btw, cool swarm photo. I didn't have a way to take a photo. And besides, they were flying at the time.
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
yep, when a hive is over crowded the hive workers decide to make new queens by feeding selected larvae exclusively royal jelly, which in turn creates queen bees. The hive makes several new queen larvae simultaneously. They are in special cells that look like peanuts and have more room to develop.

The queen pupae start to make a sound in the cells to alert the hive they are nearing maturity. The old queen will then bugger off and look for a new home with many if not most of the worker bees. The new queens fight to the death so that (hopefully) only one queen is left. But all the new queens can end up dead.

If there are enough brood cells developing the old hive can continue to thrive with a new queen, but sometimes they may not have enough resources. Same for the new hive, they may perish and not find a new home and food. Usually the swarms occur in early summer when resources are plentiful but not always.

Beekeepers need to watch their hives closely, and if too crowded they need to either add another brood box to the hive, or split the hive to prevent a swarm. To split a hive they need to add a queen, or a queen cell that will hatch out within a few days. The bees who are moved to the new hive with enough brood, honey and pollen frames, and the new queen cell will go on as if nothing happened, ditto for the old hive and the old queen.

Of course I've simplified the heck out of this short explanation
I think in the end, bees and viruses will rule the world.
 

Susquatch

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@Aburg Rapid Prototype - your bee suit reminds me of a story.

55 years ago, I was out walking in the woods with my mother who is hyper allergic to bees and wasps.

We were standing in the middle of a blueberry patch admiring an ironwood tree when I heard the wasps growling. I looked down, and there was a hive of paper wasps right between my legs. And they were pissed.....

I told my mom to back away slowly and that I would follow her as soon as she was clear. I didn't want to piss them off anymore than they already were.

As soon as she was clear, I lit out of there like a poseiden missile. We were both standing there celebrating our bloodless escape when I felt it.

Something in my pants..... right up close to the boys. She looks at me and says "drop em" - and so I did. I'm glad this was before the days of cell phone cameras. No sooner did I drop my pants when that Fn devil let me have it! Yyyyyeeeeoooowwww! And I killed him. No mercy from either of us. Prolly pumped some extra toxin into me from squishing him.

My mom looks at me and calmly says: where are all the young ladies when you want them most...... And we both laughed. But the boys were pissed for days.
 
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