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Author Topic: I captured a swarm, now what?  (Read 1201 times)
jeremy_c
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« on: June 11, 2009, 09:40:40 AM »

I got a swarm this morning, it's now 9:39am. Do I put them out in the apiary, put on an entrance reducer and let them get down to business? Or what? Sorry for the silly questions, just a bit excited and nervous, I don't want them to abscond on me.

Also, part of the rose bush they were on is in the bottom of the hive, is that OK for a bit or should I remove it? More to come later on the capture.

Jeremy
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 10:12:28 AM »

Quote
Do I put them out in the apiary, put on an entrance reducer and let them get down to business? Or what?

yes smiley

you can remove the rose bush in a few days.  in the future, try to get that stuff out right away, but this time don't worry about it.  just don't leave it more than a few days or it will become part of the hive!

you have them in a what? 

i usually feed the first few days.  some don't.  i think it helps get them started and anchors them to their new home.  if you feed and have some lemongrass oil, put a drop of that in the syrup.
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.....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.....

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jeremy_c
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 10:17:59 AM »

I captured them directly into a langstroth hive w/10 frames w/wax foundation.

Jeremy
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 10:19:22 AM »

you are good to go.  try  not to mess with them for the first few days to a week.  retrieve the rose bush on your first inspection....unless you can lift the whole box and get it out.  enjoy and congratulations!!
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.....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
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 12:39:09 PM »

I always stick in an entrance reducer on swarms and cut outs until they get built up a little, just my thinking but to me they are busy building comb and cleaning and foraging and don't have that much time for guard duty on a wide open entrance. It is easier to guard a small opening than a large one.

glad you got a swarm and it sounds like you are pumped.

G3
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riverrat
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 12:52:30 PM »

I always reduce the entrance and feed feed feed while they are drawing comb
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never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house
jeremy_c
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2009, 09:58:53 AM »

I didn't have a full hive. The night before I built a bottom board and I made a makeshift inner cover and top cover, then went to bed. I got the swarm the next morning, put them in the apiary and was then off to my local beek store (about 40min from me) and purchased a proper inner cover and top cover (the others were fine, just wouldn't have lasted). Anyway, when telling my story there they said I shouldn't do anything with the hive (except for feeding) for 2 weeks. He said don't even look at it as they may not like your eyes and decide to leave... exaggerating of course, but he was very adamate about not doing anything with it for 2 weeks. His reasoning was that although they are there now, it doesn't mean they have adopted that hive as their new home. They may just hang out for a little bit until newly dispatched scouts come back w/a report of a better place to live. He said give them no reason to not love their new hive.

Now, I captured the swarm around 8am and the swarm was about 8 miles away from my apiary, so already dispatched scouts are never going to come back but will they send out other scouts? How hard is it to actually keep a feral swarm? Also, I am fine w/leaving them alone for 2 weeks if that is what should be done but I'm a bit anxious about it because one of my hives really, really surprised me. I had recent put on a second deep for brood on it (was a 2# package installed on Apr 20th) and the next week they drew out 3 frames. 4 days later, I was out doing work on another hive and decide to just lift the cover on that hive and see how they were progressing, and they had 8 frames drawn!

So, I have heard that swarms are comb producing machines. I gave them 1 deep to live in, that's it. I'm concerned about what the hive may look like in 2 weeks, i.e. filled? When I put on the new inner cover, I counted the frames and they are filling 4 1/2 deep frames pretty densely packed, i.e. many on top of each other.

What would you do?

Jeremy
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2009, 10:24:39 AM »

i find that a week is usually adequate.  once they are building comb and the queen is laying, they are probably going to stay.  with few exceptions, i do not open the hive for a week.  i feed and that's about it.
longer will not hurt.  sometimes the queen doesn't get at it for a couple of weeks.

when you catch a swarm far from home, you do not need to worry about old scout bees leading them away.  if you got the queen, they will probably be content in your yard.  if you caught them close to home, it's good to put a queen excluder between the bottom box and the bottom board.  this will (hopefully) keep the queen in the hive long enough for them to settle.

last rule is that no matter what you do or don't do, the bees will do whatever the heck they want to!
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.....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
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2009, 02:35:54 PM »

If there is a good flow going don't be suprized if they dont take any of your feed or very little of it. Other than whats already been said.. let em do what bees do  grin
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009, 01:10:13 AM »

Now, I captured the swarm around 8am and the swarm was about 8 miles away from my apiary, so already dispatched scouts are never going to come back but will they send out other scouts? How hard is it to actually keep a feral swarm? Also, I am fine w/leaving them alone for 2 weeks if that is what should be done but I'm a bit anxious about it because one of my hives really, really surprised me. I had recent put on a second deep for brood on it (was a 2# package installed on Apr 20th) and the next week they drew out 3 frames. 4 days later, I was out doing work on another hive and decide to just lift the cover on that hive and see how they were progressing, and they had 8 frames drawn!

So, I have heard that swarms are comb producing machines. I gave them 1 deep to live in, that's it. I'm concerned about what the hive may look like in 2 weeks, i.e. filled? When I put on the new inner cover, I counted the frames and they are filling 4 1/2 deep frames pretty densely packed, i.e. many on top of each other.

What would you do?

Jeremy

Once placed in your apiary they would have to send out more scouts to attemp finding their previously chosen home, if they had one, but the distance from swarm location and apiary suggests that the bees will opt to stay put.  4 1/2 frames of bees sounds like an average sized swarm. 

I would feed them a gallon or 2 or syrup and let them be bees while checking on their progress every 10-14 days and supering using the 80/20 rule.
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 11:46:46 AM »

BTW... They are still here, so that's a good sign smiley I checked on the feed, they have drank 1/2 a gallon thus far. I'm seeing them come back w/larger and larger pollen loads as well.

Jeremy
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2009, 03:14:20 PM »

Well, it was a week ago today that I captured the swarm and I did an inspection just now. They have 4 1/2-5 frames drawn, I saw plenty of eggs w/a nice pattern, saw plenty of larva even and an added treat of seeing the queen moving around on the frames. There was honey and pollen as well, of course.

So, I guess they decided to stay grin

Jeremy
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2009, 03:32:40 PM »

Congradulations.
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