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Author Topic: Swarm impossibility - Advice needed  (Read 1678 times)
tillie
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« on: May 29, 2008, 09:11:00 PM »

OK, today my 2 year old grandson and I were shoveling chips from a tree that had been removed and as I looked up from the wheelbarrow, I noticed a swarm on a tree branch between mine and my neighbor's yard.  Dylan and I went inside and put on our veils.  He stood far away at the wheelbarrow while I walked over to the swarm with a cardboard box.

Just as I was one step away from the tree, the branch broke and fell to the ground.  Frustrated, I picked up the branch and put it in the box but several hours later, all the bees had left the box and were on the ground or on cardboard leading to the box.  I assume the queen was still on the ground. 

I put both pieces of cardboard that I had set up to be a ramp into the cardboard box inside the box (with most of the bees, but a huge clump remained tangled in the monkey grass beside the box.

Clearly the queen is on the ground.

There's no way tonight to get these bees.  If they are all on the ground in the morning, what should I do?

Thoughts:

Spray them with sugar syrup and slide a piece of cardboard under them (easier said than done in the tangle of monkey grass and a tiny evergreen tree.)

Throw my hands up and hope they find a good home without my help (I don't have anything but a nuc to put them in or several shallow supers covered with plywood as a top.)

What are your thoughts?

Linda T swarm challenged in Atlanta
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 10:54:40 PM by tillie » Logged

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Moonshae
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 09:34:25 PM »

Do you have a bee vac?

Put some lemongrass oil in your box, and hope it confuses them enough to march inside.

Spray them with sugar water and dig through to find the queen.
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 09:40:18 PM »

I don't have a bee vac -

I did put my lemongrass lure in the cardboard box and I sprayed them with sugar water on the grass in hopes that sweeping them onto the cardboard would then work better, but instead it made them furious and I got attacked and then stung several times.  I gave up until tomorrow.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 10:58:04 PM »

I'm certainly no expert, but wouldn't you think the cluster will reform by tomorrow morning?  Maybe the swarm (if it's still in your yard) will be in an easier place to catch by then.
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 11:07:28 PM »

An earlier swarm that I collected was still on the ground when I went back to get them - the queen had never left the ground.  If that's the case here, I don't see how I can gather them up in the deep grass where they are.

LT in Atlanta
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2008, 12:38:00 AM »

Linda, if there is a way to give them either a brood frame or a honey frame in your set up, this would more than likely entice them to enter. Good luck!


...JP
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2008, 01:36:05 PM »

This morning I went out to check the box and found that the ramp which I had put inside the box the night before in frustration, had a huge cluster of bees on it.  I have no extra equipment so I rigged up two medium boxes (I also am waiting on an order of medium frames).  I put the last 5 medium frames I had in the medium box and added three shallow frames - two of drawn comb and  one of honey.

I didn't have a bottom board or any board, so I took the bottom board from a 5 frame nuc and put a two by four on the bricks supporting this rig to balance everything.  So the hive is bottomless under 3 frames (the shallow frames), has a nuc bottom board, and a varroa plastic insert for a top weighted down with a flower pot. 

I put the empty medium on, poured the swarm into the box just by lifting the ramp and dumping the bees in.  I left the cardboard box in front of the "hive" and since there were so many bees left at least until nightfall, the empty super on top that I used as a funnel through which to pour the bees.

What an adventure!  (and what in the world I am going to do with eight hives?HuhHuh)

Linda T in Atlanta
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Moonshae
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2008, 02:29:42 PM »


What an adventure!


Glad it all worked out!


(and what in the world I am going to do with eight hives?HuhHuh)


Break the extras into nucs and sell them!
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annette
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2008, 03:43:36 PM »

Wow Linda,

You really have your hands full. I wish I had 8 beehives, but my husband would murder me. As it is, I seem to spend more time with the bees than in the house with only 3 beehives.  Good luck and I am sure you can handle them all.

Take Care
Annette
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HAB
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2008, 03:58:50 PM »

Was going through Atlanta last night about 10:00pm and was wondering what you had done lately with your hives.  If only I had known.

Had to go to Augusta VAMC to pick up a new Power Wheelchair.  Went by Rossman and picked up some supplies and a Queen to save on shipping on the way over and came back by I20 & I85 through Atlanta. Got home to find another swarm in my trap.  Makes four since 1st of May.  Hope my luck keeps holding out.  Gonna put this swarm in TBH I'm building for my 77 year old Father for Fathers Day.  He so excited he can hardly wait.  Comes over every day to check on its progress! Smiley
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sean
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 02:45:14 PM »

you all should know the story ofthe Pied Piper. For bees on the ground a night a flashlight is like a magnet. just put it in the box with the opening towards the bees with thelight on of course, anf go drink your alchoholic beverage/hot/cold beverage, watch tv whatever.
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