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Author Topic: New to site, need swarm advice  (Read 937 times)
russkimball
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« on: May 01, 2009, 11:51:14 AM »

Hi,   My name is Russ Kimball.  I'm a carpenter here in Springfield Oregon and I need some advice about capturing a swarm.  There is a feral colony in the wall of my garage that I have left for almost two years now in hopes of collecting a well adapted swarm.  I hived a swarm last year from it, but I think drove them off by feeding them syrup that I had stored in a "really clean" pickle jar.  This I collected and hived the first swarm and elected not to feed them at all.  They stayed a week but then moved on.  Currently there are two swarms in the backyard.  One in the apple tree right where the first one was, and one on a chain link fence in a passion flower vine.  After reading a bit in the top bar hive section of this site I decided that maybe they don't like my ten frame box with plastic foundation.  When the new swarm came out yesterday I quickly build a primitive top bar hive from old fence boards.  I coated the inside with bees wax and hung three strips of fabric from the top.  I also put a few drops of lavender oil in on the quilt fabric.  The entrance holes are natural knot holes and I put them at the top of the box.  This is how the bees get in and out of the garage wall: two small holes near the top.  The bees seemed very interested in this new box and were checking it out before I had even mounted it.  I screwed it to the wall of my chicken coop about ten feet from the swarm in the tree.  The weather today is cloudy and cool and is supposed to deteriorate further.  Should I cut them out of the tree and dump them on a piece of fabric set up as a ramp on the new box?  Should I get real wax foundation and put them in the standard box? Should I just wait and see if they move in? At this point I would be happy just to keep the colony going for my garden and in hopes of future swarms.  They can't stay in the wall forever, I have to reside someday.  All advice appreciated.  Sorry for the long post in the greeting area.  Great site guys.
Russ
 
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1reb
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 06:23:57 PM »

Hello and Welcome Russ
There is alot of great information on the forum !!
The members here are willing help and answer your questions, all you need to do is to ask

JP is the Swarm King

Johnny
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 06:36:38 PM »

I hived a swarm last year from it, but I think drove them off by feeding them syrup that I had stored in a "really clean" pickle jar.  This I collected and hived the first swarm and elected not to feed them at all.  They stayed a week but then moved on. 
Sounds like the pickle jar may not have been what chased the first swarm off


Quote

Should I cut them out of the tree and dump them on a piece of fabric set up as a ramp on the new box?  Should I get real wax foundation and put them in the standard box? Should I just wait and see if they move in?


Wax foundation or starter strips may help in the Langstroth, but putting a queen excluder on top of the bottom board and containing the queen in the hive for a few days until she starts laying works well too.

rob...
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russkimball
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 06:49:51 PM »

Hello,    Thank you for the comments.  I called a beekeeper interested in swarms this morning and got some hands on help.  When he got there he noticed a third swarm on the grape vine!  We put all three swarms in separate boxes.  He didn't seem to think that all three could have come from the colony in my wall.  He also said that many swarms will not stay in a new hive so close to the parent hive and that moving them a considerable distance away was advisable. He is going to trade me for another swarm or help me get the parent colony into my box.  He is also a fairly new beekeeper (although with much more experience than me). Is it true that collecting and hiving swarms from the feral colony will be difficult if I leave them so close by?  The bees still seem interested in the primitive top bar hive/trap hive that I built yesterday.  I am going to leave it up and see if I can attract yet another swarm.  I had a great bee day.   
 
Thanks,
    Russ
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 08:22:06 PM »

He also said that many swarms will not stay in a new hive so close to the parent hive and that moving them a considerable distance away was advisable.


I use to think the same, but I now believe that to be a wife's tale.   I have seen where a colony in a building has swarmed and occupied a dead tree within 25 ft of the parent colony.

I have also seen hives swarm to empty hive right next to them.

I have also had a swarm move right between to other hives
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Irwin
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howdy all


« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 11:30:00 AM »

Great to see another person from Oregon here and welcome to the Beemasters form Smiley
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iddee
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2009, 07:06:43 PM »

>>>>He also said that many swarms will not stay in a new hive so close to the parent hive and that moving them a considerable distance away was advisable.<<<<

He is half right. It is best to move the swarm because the scout bees will choose the new home. It may be your box, or it may not. If you move the swarm far enough away that the scout bees cannot find it, they will most likely stay.
It's not the vicinity, but the scouts, that you want to get it away from.
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 10:47:14 PM »

Russ, welcome to our forum, great that you have found us.  And look, we have already become useful to you, you are getting responses to your questions, awesome.  Stick around, we love new members and love to hear the stories, tales and experiences that we all share with each other.  You will make some new friends here.  Have that wonderful and most awesome day, health and life.  Cindi
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