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Author Topic: Remember That Boxed Swarm That Got Away?  (Read 2179 times)
Two Bees
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« on: April 09, 2009, 08:23:04 PM »

I'm perplexed! 

About noon when I came home, I saw the bees from one of my second year hives swarming to a small pine tree branch.  They were still swarming and gathering so I had plenty of time.  I collected a stand, screened BB, medium super (didn't have any deeps), inner cover, and top from the garage and set up the new hive in the bee yard.  After letting them collect and settle down a bit, I cut the branch they were hanging on and put the entire branch in the box and covered it with the inner cover.

I was smirking at how lucky I was to see the swarm and get them into a box!  Came back about 5:00 PM and they were all gone!

What happened?  What should I have done differently?

« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 03:11:48 PM by Two Bees » Logged

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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 08:28:53 PM »

First thing, Two....
Dont feel like the lone Ranger....I'm really good at catch and release too! Smiley
But, I learned from JP in here what a queen excluder can be used for.
 Next time, put an excluder on top of the bottom board...That way she cant get out, and you have a better chance of the bees staying with the queen and building a home.
good luck on the next one!
your friend,
john
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 09:02:30 PM »

1... Always have a hive ready from Feb. 28 to Sept, 30

2...The excluder works sometimes....Sometimes the queen has slimmed down enough to get through it.

3...Once caught, move the bees far enough away for the scouts to NOT be able to find them. That is the most successful way I have found

4...There are times that they just will NOT stay, whatever you do.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 09:18:48 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
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troutstalker2
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 10:07:31 PM »



  Iddee,
   How far is far enough so the scouts won't find them?
  Thanks in advance, David
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bailey
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 10:27:44 PM »

another trick is to check and see if the queen is a nice fat mated queen, if so then put her butt in a cage and leave her in that for a few days, feed them while she is caged.
this works for me.

if a queen is a virgin then the queen excluder might prevent mating flights.  also look to see if there are multiple queens! it can and does happen.
i hived one swarm 5 times last year, finally looked through the swarm and found 3 virgin queens.
i broke the swarm up into 3 with a seperate queen in each box. instant success.
 
you will loose some, but most can be convinced to stay.

bailey
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 11:17:17 PM »

David, I can't say for sure, but I would think the distance should be farther than the distance from the original hive to the swarm location. My thinking is the scouts will begin circling and if they find the old hive first, they will go back home. If they find the swarm first, they will lead it to the new home.

I may be way off base here, as it is just my thoughts. Nothing to back it up. All I know is most swarms I lose are from hives I didn't move from the catch area.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 01:26:02 AM »

I've observed that a swarm of bees that will leave a hive have already decided on a new home site.  Bees that remain in a hive have settled temporarily to finish selecting a site.  In the 1st instance the swarm is just gathering itself, checking for the presence of the queen, and catching its breath before taking off again.  Such a swarm will even leave a frame of honey and/or brood placed in the hive as an anchor and the only way of keeping such a swarm is by using an excluder as an includer, to keep the queen inside the hive.  Om tje 2nd instance they will usually accept the offered home unless they find it objectionable for some reason.  Those reasons can include, but are not limited to, plastic smelling frames, odor or paint thinner or other chemicals in or on the hive, too small of space (trying to catch a 5 lb swarm in a medium nuc box), or the scout bees return and convince everybody the site they've found is better.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 07:40:24 AM »

Thanks for the input!  I'm just really bummed!

This past Monday, I had the same thing happen and was able to get the swarm into a deep.  On this first swarm, I noticed that several bees were on the top bars fanning their butts off!  I have read that this is a signal to the other bees to gather on this point because the queen in here.  Yesterday, I didn't see this fanning going on.  I'm pretty sure that I got the queen boxed though since I trimmed the branch down and put the whole thing in the medium.  I'd say the swarm was three or a light four pounds.

Still bummed today!
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Two Bees
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2009, 03:15:40 PM »

Caught another swarm about 6:30 yesterday (Saturday).


Hived it in a deep with a screened bottom board covered with cardboard (since it was going to be cold last night) and a queen excluder on top of the bottom board.  They seem to be adjusting and are still in the box almost 24 hours later.

Question:  How long should I leave the excluder in place?

Since I think this is a virgin (or at least, new) queen and I would not want to prevent her from mating!

Thanks!

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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 09:50:32 PM »

I think you should take the excluder out after a few days....Just look inside the box and if theyre building comb and making home, its probably good to take the excluder out. Youre right about the queen maybe  being a virgin...She does have to get out to mate!
 And, What a GREAT question! I think this is the first one I kinda had an answer for! If I'm wrong, somebodies gonna fix it tho, so thats cool!

your friend,
john
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Two Bees
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2009, 03:36:18 PM »

Thanks, Johnny!  The new swarm looks pretty content in their new box so I will remove the excluder either today or tomorrow.
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TwT
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2009, 04:46:57 PM »

I do 2 things, I use a excluder plus I take a frame of brood from one of my hives and put in with the swarm, the frame of brood seems to keep them there.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 08:17:04 AM »

Thanks, TwT.  I removed the excluder late yesterday afternoon.  It had been on the hive for three days and everything looked good inside of this third swarm capture.

When I was putting a gallon of 1:1 syrup on top of this new hived swarmed, something caught my eye.  A dogwood tree that was about 30 feet in front of my hives had another swarm hanging about three feet from the ground!  So, I quickly put together a "make shift" box under the swarm and bumped it into the double medium hive.  I'm am slam out of equipment at this point!  With this latest catch, I had to make a bottom board out of cardboard!

In the past 9 days, I have had (and hopefully caught) four swarms from my own hives. And that was after I did a simulated swarm split about three weeks ago!
 
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slaphead
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2009, 04:16:37 PM »

Twobees you have been busy.  Is this a normal amount of swarming for your apiary?

SH
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2009, 11:43:24 PM »

Twobees!
When it rains, it pours, huh?
Isnt it great?...well, except for running out of places to put the bees Smiley
your friend,
john
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Two Bees
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2009, 12:59:29 PM »

Slap,

This is only my second year so I don't know what's normal.

I do know that all old hives (2 from last year) and new hives (4 from this year) are really busy.  We are getting into the Tulip Poplar flow about now.  Something tells me that I will need to do splits in about 5-6 weeks or run the risk of them swarming after the flow due to overcrowding.

I need to build some deeps and nucs!

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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2009, 02:44:30 PM »

I hived a swarm and five days later they left.  I was feeding them too, within the hive.   It was a nice big swarm so I was depressed.   I'll close up the SBB next time.
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Stephen Stewart
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Two Bees
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2009, 08:18:54 PM »

Arm,

Several people on this forum suggested that you use a queen "includer" to hold the queen in until they start building some comb (burr or otherwise).  I tried this after loosing a swarm and it appeared to work.
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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2009, 09:25:12 PM »

Right, I'll definitely be using one from now on.  I got a swarm two days latter and that one stayed in just fine, BUT I had a frame of brood to give it, the other I put into a new topbar, so no frame to hold them.  The power of a frame of brood is obvious after being on the forum.
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Stephen Stewart
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