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Author Topic: Swarms - Two for One  (Read 1281 times)
BEEMAN
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Location: Franklin, Louisiana


« on: April 15, 2009, 05:33:13 PM »

Swarms are flying in southern Louisiana. I was called by the Franklin, LA police department for a swarm a block from my office. When I got there, there was a good size football shaped swarm about ten feet on a small oak tree limb. I got up on my truck roof, cut the branch and lowered it into my nuc box. I was waiting for the final few bees to enter the entrance when the police officers asked if I was going to catch the the other swarm in a small bush at the edge of the ditch. It was larger than the first and only about two foot off the ground on a very thin limb. I proceeded to cut that limb and put it in another nuc box. This was fun. Two swarms within thirty minutes and within thirty feet of each other. One on each side of an old house. By the way, there is still a hive in the chimney of the house that I will probably have to deal with later, if the owners want it removed. I love catching easy swarms. BEEMAN:lol
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JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2009, 04:42:32 AM »

You ain't kidding about them swarming now. I removed an established hive yesterday that had about 6 swarm cells in it and towards the end of the removal I got two swarm calls myself. Caught one last night, if the other one is still there, gonna get that one also in a few hours or so.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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SgtMaj
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Location: Corryton, TN


« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 06:16:22 AM »

You ain't kidding about them swarming now. I removed an established hive yesterday that had about 6 swarm cells in it and towards the end of the removal I got two swarm calls myself. Caught one last night, if the other one is still there, gonna get that one also in a few hours or so.


...JP

JP, you are lord of the swarms.
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Cindi
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2009, 09:48:18 PM »

BEEMAN, yay!!!  What a catch eh?  Sure do wish we had swarms like you guys do way down south where bananas grow, where that elephant stepped on the monkey's toe.  Oops, do I say silly things now and then or what, smiling.  Keep on that keepin' on.  Have a great, most awesome day, life and of course -- health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
BEEMAN
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Location: Franklin, Louisiana


« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2009, 10:58:14 PM »

Your right, Cindi and JP, the swarms are really flying. I was called with another swarm the afternoon after I caught the first two, for another swarm in a small tree about ten feet off the ground. I put my
step ladder in the truck bed and caught it easily. I was called again this afternoon for a swarm that was
on the driveway of a house in Franklin, LA. It was about three foot wide and about two to three bees deep. While catching that portion of the swarm I spotted a smaller portion about eight feet farther up the drive way and also caught them. While putting them in the hive box, I spotted a smaller swarm on
the trunk of the tree about two feet away from those bees. I caught it also. I believe that all three sections of bees were originally one swarm, and for some reason it split. I hope the calls keep coming in this week as I am on vacation and will have time to catch some more swarms. I wish Cindi, that you could be able to experience the abundance of bees in southern Louisiana. BEEMAN
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Cindi
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 10:56:13 AM »

BEEMAN, I have had the honour of catching four swarms in my 4 years of beekeeping.  One at my place the first year, one at my Sister-in-Laws at a neighbouring city and one at my Cousin's house, not too far from my place and the third was one that was cast from a colony at my place, around the beginning of September, that was not very good at all.  We just don't have that type of long time warm weather to have swarming issues except during May, June and perhaps July.  Maybe that is a good thing, smiling....have that wonderful, most awesomely great day, great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
hive101
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 09:04:07 PM »

I'm envious! This is my first year of beekeeping and I captured my first swarm on Sunday. It took me almost 7 hours, due to a variety of circumstances (rain, cold, half the swarm fell to the ground while I was getting my gear on).

Out of curiosity, how do you encourage them to go into (and stay in) the nuc?

I used a cardboard box because that was all I had on-hand. But despite the challenges I had, I think it's fun and I'd be interested in learning how to capture them like a pro.
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Martin @ Hive101.com
BEEMAN
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Location: Franklin, Louisiana


« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2009, 11:24:49 PM »

Hello hive101
I am not a pro like jp but what I do to get them to go into the nuc is to cut the limb if possible and set it on top of the frames of the nuc or remove some frames  and put the whole limb in the nuc box. Before trying to cut the limb, I spray the bees with sugar water with a little lemon grass oil mixed in it. This calms the bees and helps in the attracting of the bees when put in the box. If I notice that the bees are on the entrance of the hive fanning their wings, I am assured that the queen is in the nuc. At that time I put the nuc entrance as close to any bees that may have fallen on the ground and the simply walk into the nuc like marching soldiers. It is amazing to watch them march into the box in straight lines. I hope that this is a help to you. BEEMAN
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hive101
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 02:23:26 AM »

@BEEMAN:
Thanks for the tips!  I actually tried something similar with my swarm catch on Sunday.  The bees were nicely clustered beneath a patio table.  I went to fetch my sugar syrup spray bottle, and when I came back to the table, half the swarm had fallen to the ground.  (Not sure why.  Maybe the cluster got waterlogged from all the rain?)  So I placed the box under the cluster still clinging to the table and gave the top of the table a good thump.  About 95% of them fell in.  I then sprayed them with sugar syrup (also containing lemongrass oil) and placed the box next to the bees on the ground. 

However, when I returned to them a few hours later (I left to go attend my association meeting) I found that instead of marching INTO the box, they went UNDER it.  Were they trying to escape the rain?  Or should I have "smushed" the box down harder into the grass, as it was overgrown?
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Martin @ Hive101.com
JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2009, 04:58:37 AM »

Martin, it sounds to me that when most of the cluster fell, the queen fell along with them in the high grass. What you shook was devoid of the queen and when you placed the catch box on the ground they didn't go in because your queen was in the grass.

Keep a bed sheet with you or something similar. When this happens spread the sheet out and place the box atop the sheet. Place the sheet adjacent to the bees but not over them so they can crawl out of the grass into the box.

Always try and bring an old piece of comb with you as an attractant to place in the catch box. A little dab of lemon grass in the box also helps to imitate nasonov (orientating pheromone).


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
1reb
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Location: Warren,Arkansas


« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 05:28:35 AM »

BEEMAN, that great catching two swarn in 30 minutes!!!

Johnny
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