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Author Topic: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!  (Read 1797 times)

Offline hive101

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Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« on: April 19, 2009, 11:11:56 PM »
Today I spent 6+ exhausting hours out in the rain trying to catch a swarm a neighbor found in his backyard. I'll be posting all the details on my blog, but here is my current predicament.

The cardboard box I used was soaked when I finished, and I couldn't tape it shut, so I wrapped a 50-gallon garden bag around it and took it home.

I set up an 8-frame medium hive body (I only use 8-frame mediums, btw--no shallows or deeps) with a spare bottom board, and added some candy inside the hive for feeding.  I also sprayed all 8 foundations with sugar syrup.  I used a box knife to cut a 6" gaping hole in the bag/box, and quickly laid the box, exposed hole facing downward, over the frames. I weighed down the box with bricks, and being that the box is much bigger than the hive body, the box is currently acting like a top cover.

Here's my question: how do I know the queen will make her way into the medium hive box? With her colony heading down to feed inside the box, will she follow them down?  What if I inadvertently killed her--how will I tell?  This is my first swarm catch, and as exciting as it was, I now realize I have no idea what to do next.

Thanks in advance for your help! :)
Martin @ Hive101.com

Offline JP

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 12:13:48 AM »
Once the weather clears open the box and shake them in if they haven't already moved in on their own.

Check on them once or twice a week. After a week or so if they have adequate feed, they will have drawn out some comb and the queen should be laying by then.


...JP
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Offline hive101

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 10:14:22 PM »
JP, thanks for the advice!  There were a LOT of bees buzzing around the outside of the hive today.  Some of them were sorta buzzing into the cardboard box, maybe trying to get inside?  It looked like orientation flights, mostly.  The hive was relatively quiet, so I'm assuming the queen is alive and present.  I very, very carefully lifted the corner of the cardboard box (I was veil-less) and saw quite a lot of bees on the frames so it looks like they have moved down.

Being that this is a swarm, and not a package, do I need to feed them at all?  Or will they be self-sufficient given they are mature bees?

Tonight I'm meeting a local woodenware maker who is a friend of mine.  He's got an inner cover and a top cover for me.  So hopefully tomorrow morning I can open up the hive and shake out any straggling bees still in the box, and properly cover this hive.

It occurred to me that while my neighbors can't see my hive because we have a privacy fence, they'll probably notice me in my veil. :)  I'm hoping no one has issues with the bees being there. Part of me doesn't want to say anything. Part of me wants to tell them I have bees and hope they're not disturbed by that.
Martin @ Hive101.com

Offline kathyp

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 11:02:07 PM »
feed them. they have a lot of building up to do.  if you feed and find they don't take it, that's fine, but give them the help so that they get a good start.
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline JP

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 11:15:51 PM »
I like a deep and a medium for my broodnests. I feed them until the deep is full of bees and the medium is about 1/2 full, then cut them loose.

If there is a good flow on, they may not take feed but you want them to build up so feed them as Kathy mentioned.


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

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 11:17:14 PM »
I did tell my neighbors (because I would have loved to put them right in the garden, but I didn't want a nasty pesticide incident.)
one neighbor was a little better than fine with them (a gardener)
the others looked a lot like they were suddenly overcome by a terrible smell (horse owners).
the bees are away from the horses. (several beekeepers advised me not to say anything.) eh - well the neighbors will get a little honey. but I mentioned them in case next year they swarm, so they'll call me instead of grabbing the raid.
on both of my hives I was admonished to feed them (I bought nucs)
(More experienced beekeepers on this site have said that feeding them also provides incentive for them to stay around)
be happy and make others happy.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 11:41:14 PM »
the bees won't be a problem for the horses.  my hives are in the pasture next to my horses and the horses stand in front of them and watch the bees fly.  if they have ever been stung, i have never seen them react.  you'd think they'd move if it happened  :-)
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline hive101

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 03:02:30 PM »
Thanks again for all the tips.

I went out today to remove the cardboard box that was serving as a temporary hive cover, and put my new inner cover on, added shims to support a jar, and then put the jar of sugar syrup on over the inner cover hole, resting on the shims to give it bee space. 

Then I added another empty super to serve as a "shield" for the jar, and finally added the top cover.  The jar is slightly too tall--is it possible to forego the shims and just put the jar directly on top of the hive body frames and THEN add the extra super, inner cover and outer cover?  (My other 2 colonies are using boardman feeders so this method is new to me.)

There's a lot of activity at the entrance, and a good number of bees started flying around the hive while I was working it.  I didn't see any bees coming in with pollen, but I also didn't see any fighting at the entrance or in the air so I don't think it's being robbed or anything, especially since they really have nothing to take.

These bees are sort of an orangish dark color, with a few thin bands that get thicker and go totally black as it tapers at the stinger.  Caucasians?  I'll need to get one of the dead ones from the cardboard box and post a photo.
Martin @ Hive101.com

Offline kathyp

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 03:26:58 PM »
does your inner cover have a hole in it?  if so, put the inner cover on, put the jar over the hole, then the extra super, then your top cover.  i put something under the inner cover, shims, sticks, etc. to make sure the inner cover does not warp with the weight of the feeder.  you can do that, or not.

your bees are probably mutts :-).  mutts are good.
 
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline hive101

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2009, 06:55:26 PM »
Yes, inner cover has a hole in it. I just wasn't sure if I needed the shims to create bee space between that hole and the jar, or to allow air in, etc. etc.  But I like your idea.

You're probably right about the mutts. =)
Martin @ Hive101.com

Offline hive101

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2009, 06:01:47 PM »
Here are some pics I took of a dead bee I found inside the cardboard box the swarm was caught in.  Any ideas on race?






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Offline Keith13

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2009, 11:24:51 AM »
Here are some pics I took of a dead bee I found inside the cardboard box the swarm was caught in.  Any ideas on race?








I dont know looks like a honey bee to me ;)

Keith

Offline hive101

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 12:03:31 PM »
Ooooohhh... I could make a snarky comment about Flyers fans, but I'll refrain.  :-D

On a serious note, I was only curious about what race because I know different ones (caucasians, italians, etc.) have different characteristics that make them more or less desirable. Plus I'm trying to educate myself. :)
Martin @ Hive101.com

Offline Keith13

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2009, 12:11:09 PM »
Yeah I know was just giving you a hard time. If I had to make a bet from the photo like some of the others have said I think it to be a mutt or cross. It is rare to catch a pure breed in a swarm, not that it could not happen, but rare.

In my opinion I believe the mutts will be the superior race they are survivors and have beat some of the the other ailments that have plagued the pure breeds. But again that is pure opinion not in any way fact.

And on the Flyer's comment seems I might be able to take the jersey off in a day or two, they are playing like garbage and losing to the dang Pens. :'(


Offline JP

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2009, 12:31:52 PM »
Bees swarm from beekeepers all the time, so the chances of catching a swarm of a certain breed is pretty high.

The bee looks like an Italian to me.


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

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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Offline Keith13

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009, 12:36:11 PM »
Bees swarm from beekeepers all the time, so the chances of catching a swarm of a certain breed is pretty high.

The bee looks like an Italian to me.


...JP

Ok disregard my post :-D

Keith

Offline Highlandsfreedom

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2009, 04:30:11 PM »
like someone told me......aint it great to get a free colony reguardless of the breed...  how long did it take till you started to see the queen laying eggs? its been 6 days on my swarm and I want to bee able to catch a bad queen early.....
To bee or not to bee that is the question I wake up to answer that every morning...

Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Question about hiving after my first ever swarm catch!
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2009, 11:06:59 PM »
the bees won't be a problem for the horses.  my hives are in the pasture next to my horses and the horses stand in front of them and watch the bees fly.  if they have ever been stung, i have never seen them react.  you'd think they'd move if it happened  :-)
the people I bought 2 of my nucs from have horses of their own. the scores of hives didn't seem to phase the horses in the least.
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