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Large swarm capture in Florida

 
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Patrick Thomas
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 269
Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Large swarm capture in Florida Reply with quote

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osz7bhamSgE&t=1s


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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1853
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! That is a whopper! So weird to watch your videos when we are still so far off swarming season. It really is amazing how many swarms you get in Florida and the length of the season..... do you in fact have a swarm season, where you can say "This is my first swarm of the season" or can it happen anytime.... I know you do a lot of cut outs and trap outs as well throughout the rest of the year but just curious if there is an obvious swarm season.
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Patrick Thomas
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 269
Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Barbara,

Thanks for the great question.

I would say mid-Feb through about April is our prime spring swarm season, then about mid-September through mid-November for the fall swarm season.

If swarms occur in mid-summer or mid-winter, that's usually an absconding colony due to extensive small hive beetle infestation. I don't care to have any of those swarms, lol.

But since Florida doesn't have brutal or long winters, our swarms are usually smaller than up north or where you are in Europe. These bees are more laid-back and don't have to prepare as much for a long winter ahead.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1853
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is so interesting. Two swarm seasons!

Do you find that once they swarm the parent colony seems to take a break and rest on it's laurels? Here, my hives will throw up to 4 swarms in May and June, sometimes into July and then just sit back and chill for several weeks before the new queen starts laying and they have to start working hard again.... it is like they are on their summer holidays. They have plenty of comb and stores and because they are not working hard, they live longer so there is no urgency to start rearing brood straight away. It can be over 4 weeks from the last swarm emerging to the commencement of brood raising. This long brood break in the summer and the winter brood break means that the varroa population gets knocked down twice a year, which is a huge advantage in keeping them in check. Just wondering if you see similar behaviour and if not, how do bees in Florida cope with varroa?
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Patrick Thomas
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 269
Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I think the only reason they slow down during the summer months here is due to the dearth. I haven't attributed it to being post-swarm or anything like that. But every 5-miles in beekeeping seems to be a totally different set-of-circumstances....lol.

If I had to live in another part of the United States or in Europe, I'd be totally lost with how to manage bees. Really the only hurdles I have here are the long summer dearth mixed with hive beetles proliferating during that period. I always brag when a colony here has over-summered. I don't care about over-wintering because we really don't have one, lol.
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