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Author Topic: Stubborn swarm  (Read 1473 times)
Kimbrell
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« on: April 26, 2008, 09:34:26 PM »

One of my hives swarmed onto a small apple tree today.  The swarm was on the trunk which also had many new suckers growing on it.  I placed a sheet on the ground with a hive body on it next to the tree.  The hive body also had some lemongrass swarm lure on it.  I brushed the bees off the trunk after spritzing them with sugar water.  They fell onto the sheet and began marching into the hive.  Thinking all was well I left them alone to settle down.  I came back an hour later to find them back on the tree trunk.  I repeated the procedure; this time putting a couple of frames of honey in.  Once again they started marching into the hive.  Ten minutes later they were all back on the tree trunk.  Because of the suckers on the tree it is impossible to brush all the bees onto the sheet.  I can only guess that the queen is in one of the notches and never entered the hive.  It is now dark and rather chilly, about 50 degrees.  They are still clustered on the tree trunk despite the lovely accommodations I have provided right in front of them!  Please Help!  What do I do now? huh
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 09:39:29 PM »

You need to get the queen or set your box up adjacent to the swarm cluster. If you have brood comb frame add it and they should all go in.


...JP
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 09:46:32 PM »

The swarm cluster is only about one foot off the ground.  The hive is on the ground under the tree with the entrence being about 2 inches from the trunk.  As I said this is a small (dwarf) apple tree.  The suckers are numerous and impossible to get into with a brush.  The bee are also very ill tempered.  I got popped a few times through my suit and had to walk around the orchard for about 20 minutes before they would leave me alone.  I tried looking for the queen.  But this is a large swarm and I'm not that good at queen locating on a good day.
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 09:50:36 PM »

Sorry...   I had brood frames in the box already.  Unfortunately I didn't have any drawn frames to give them.  So on the second try I substituted a super frame of honey for one of the brood frames out of desperation.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2008, 08:49:33 AM »

Some swarms are like that.  I just keep putting them in until they stay.
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 01:51:43 PM »

Well I finally got them hived with much help from my mentor.  They spent the night on the tree trunk.  It was sprinkling rain and 50 degrees this morning.  We gently brushed what we could into the hive and put the inner cover on.  Then we placed the hive entrance right next to the tree.  The suckers on the tree had created notches that were 2-4 inches deep.  The bees had custered around them.  I'm sure the queen was at the bottom of the notch.  my mentor had the bright idea of using make-up brushes to gently brush the bees out of the notches.  Finally after about an hour's worth of brushing and coaxing they were all in the hive.  We installed an entrance reducer and stuffed the opening with grass.  Of course by this time the rain had increased and we were both soaked!  I was so worried about losing a swarm from one of my hives.  But I realizes that these bees were marked very differently from the bees in my hives.  So maybe they were free bees after all!
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2008, 04:25:25 PM »

It def sounds like this swarm was unique and stubborn. It almost seems they would have rather drowned than enter your set up. Glad you and your mentor got it worked out. Wink


...JP
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Scott Derrick
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 10:02:03 PM »

Kimbrell,

If you have the ability to pull a frame of brood from another box they will most likely not leave it once they march back into the box. I have had this issue a time of two this year and when I put some brood in the box they never come back out. Try it next time.
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 08:36:35 PM »

Thanks for the tip.  I'll try it next time. Smiley
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