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Author Topic: Moving a swarm?  (Read 1832 times)
Queen Bee
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« on: April 19, 2005, 05:38:53 PM »

Sunday, while working in the beeyard, we noticed a swarm in the pine tree, approx 25ft. from the hives. It was a small swarm but perfect height for hiving. It was my first captured swarm and we weren't too graceful about it--but it went in with out a 'hitch' and we placed the hivebody with the swarm just under the pine. In they went ... Now--when and how do I move the new hive back into the beeyard??? Thank you debbie
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SherryL
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2005, 06:05:20 PM »

Debbie, don't you think the swarm probably came from one of your hives?  I had the exact same thing happen last summer - one of the boxes swarmed and landed in a pine about 10ft or so from the hive.

Do you have a new hive set up for them to go into?

sherry
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2005, 06:40:00 PM »

I would say move it right after dark. That way any bees out roaming will be back. Did you place a queen excluder under the hive body so the queen doesn't leave? I've heard that was a good thing to do. They might decide to find another place.
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beesharp
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2005, 06:56:44 PM »

I wait until after dark and then move them. This works really well in residential neighborhoods, so no bees get left behind. If they're from your own hives, those are the ones that can be trouble. Sometimes they just don't wanna go back so close to the hive they left. This year I hived a swarm a couple times and they would abscond and go back to a different tree (2nd try hived them right before dark and they promptly left the next morning). Third time I put them in a screened box in a dark room for a couple days, in hopes they would forget their 1st home, and then gave them a frame of brood - they stayed put then...This was a small after-swarm and I suspect travelling with a virgin, so they didn't seem as organized as usual. All's well now, checked and there was a plump mated queen and she's laying a nice pattern.

Jim Cool
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Queen Bee
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2005, 09:30:47 PM »

Yes, I am sure it is from my beeyard! (No other beekeepers within 5-6 miles) It came from a nuc--that was running over. There was no problem getting them to stay/go into the hive body.  They are doing well, bringing in pollen and honey.I put them in a hive body with drawn foundation. Just wasn't sure of the best way to move them. Have been keeping bees for 5 yrs and never caught a swarm before. I do not live at the farm, so I am not there all the time to "watch" for them. I knew the nuc was too full , with queen cells but just had not taken care to prevent it! Thanks for the help debbie
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beesharp
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2005, 04:59:45 AM »

Bee careful if the hive has been sitting for a couple days. The bees will orient themselves to that location. If you move the box the foragers will return to the old location. That will seriously weaken the hive and have a bunch of disoriented, homeless bees at the old location. You'll need to either move the hive a little at a time (less than 3') or move them three miles or more for a couple weeks and then move them back to their final location.

Jim
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2005, 11:47:21 AM »

You have to trigger reorientation or they will go back to the old place.  Put a branch in front of the hive so the bees leaving notice something wrong and will reorient.
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Queen Bee
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2005, 05:47:14 PM »

Do you think this would work or will they still go the the spot they are at now?    I had hoped, that since thay are calling for cold an/ or rain for a  few days,at the end of the week-- I would wait until they are in for the night and move it. They will have to stay in for a day or two.. Workale or not?Huh Thanks debbie
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2005, 07:40:26 PM »

I'm never very lucky at finding waist high swarms these days - on my swarm page http://www.beemaster.com/honeybee/swarms.html where you see all these swarms from 2 to 10 pounds, all no swarms back then were 40ft up as has been the case in resent years.

The most elaborate swarm device involved a huge sheet of plastic 10ft square, a bucket, a grapling hook and a swarm catch super.

I made a cone shaped sheet from the plastic with a 4 inch hole in the center, all the bees I dislodged from 40ft up using my lasso and grapling hook (ugh) would fall into the plastic, slide to the hole, into the bucket below and then moved to the swarm super.

the plastic sheet was tied off on several trees and I arranged it as best I could below the swarm.

I tossed the rope and hook onto the branch afet avout 5 tries, fairly near the hive. Then I would give a sharp long PULL on the rope and a few pounds at a time fell into the plastic, rolled to te center and into the bucket.

WITH SOME HINDSITE - I might have just placed the super below the hole in the plastic, eliminating the bucket completely.

Read the swarm page linked above if you haven't before - see how LUCKY some people get - I'll take a 3 pound swarm on my mailbox any day over them 40 footers - they are JUST so darn hard to get.
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beesharp
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2005, 08:45:29 PM »

I've tried both methods, the branch thing and closing up the hive for a couple days with very poor results. The foragers are very good at finding their homes. One swarm was only in a spot for a couple days, but it was too close to the neighbors. I had to put an empty box in the old spot to catch the foragers and dispatch them.

Jim
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