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Author Topic: Swarm collection predicament - simple but thoughts appreciated  (Read 1659 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: September 20, 2010, 09:47:41 PM »

Hi Everybody,

I have a simple problem which is easy enough to sort out but i was wondering if anyone else might have any ingenious ideas...

I went to pick up a swarm on Sunday - it was on a branch when i left home and by the time i had gotten to the house they had moved in to the wall of an extension - gggrrrrr - so after ripping weatherboards off i was able to get to the swarm and scoop most of the bees in to the box. Anyway, there were a lot flying around so i opted to leave the box there. I went back last night to pick it up, i put the cardboard in the entrance (in the dark) and was just about to pick it up and lift it off the roof when i thought it looked a bit weird underneath the box (from what i could see in the limited available light). I shone the torch and low and behold a lot of the bees liked it under the box than in it! glad i didnt throw that on my shoulder without my protective gear on.

So what i have thought of doing is going back after dark and, in the dark, just using a dust pan to scoop them in to the nucleus box. Is there a better way? I want to try and get most of them in there but if i lift the box some will likely run... any advice appreciated. I know it's a fairly simple problem but i figure someone may have come across this before and figured out a good way of dealing with it

Thanks in advance
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 09:50:17 PM »

Put some lemongrass oil in the box to lure them in.   
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 09:51:44 PM »

put down an extra bottom.  pick up box and put it on new bottom.  pick up old bottom and bang the bees into the box.  close it.  take old bottom away in case queen has left scent on it.  wait until most of the bees are settled and you are sure you got the queen in there.  close.  take it home.

you might want to put hive on a tarp so that if some miss the box they won't be in the grass.

and put on your gear!!
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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
iddee
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 10:53:17 PM »

My advice?  Don't work bees in the dark.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 11:14:27 PM »

I forgot to mention that the base is attached to the box and i don't have any lids or bases spare at the moment. The hive is currently sitting on top of a fibreglass roof... oh and don't worry! my gear will be going on Smiley i don't want to get stunk on the nose again!

The dustpan idea might be the only feasible one - but during the day - why are there not enough hours in the day?
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tecumseh
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2010, 06:35:57 AM »

most likely the queen is under the box.  like iddee I don't recommend working bees at night.  by smoking you should be able to herd the bees into the box prior to moving... it just requires a bit of properly applied smoke (from the opposite direction you wish them to move) and time.  if the queen is under the box??? you can make bet that she will be the fastest or slowest bee in the group.
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I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.
TwoHoneys
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 06:52:29 AM »

Could you lower the whole setup (including the bees clinging to the bottom) into a larger cardboard box? Those bees on the bottom will probably move around as you gently lower them into the cardboard, but if they fly you could wait for them to settle back in. Then, close the cardboard flaps, tape the flaps, and transport them to their permanent site...once there, all you'd have to do is lift the hive box from the cardboard carrier and, viola!, they're home.

Liz
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D Coates
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 06:59:02 AM »

Drop a frame of open brood in there and come back the next day.  I had a similar thing happen and that's how I solved it.
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fish_stix
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 11:05:02 AM »

How about something simple? Have someone lift the hive and hold it over a bucket or box. Brush them off into the container, then dump  the container into the hive. 30 seconds max! You do have a bee brush, right?  grin
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D Coates
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 12:42:11 PM »

I'll invariably get a call back due to the airborn bees that don't settle down. 
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cow pollinater
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 08:25:36 PM »

 D Coates nailed it.  Give them open brood and they'll march right in.  If they get confused a little smoke as a herding device helps but the open brood really sucks them in.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 01:10:56 AM »

I wish conditions were good enough at the moment to open my booming hive and get a frame of open brood out and have it survive the trip to where the swarm is... i'll have to go with the idea of holding it over the cardboard box i think and sweeping them in to it. I guess i could put a towel over the box to reduce the flying bees and i can just rach underneath it to brush the bees in to the box and then let them settle and tip them in to the nuc
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TwoHoneys
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 05:49:38 AM »

D Coates nailed it.  Give them open brood and they'll march right in.  If they get confused a little smoke as a herding device helps but the open brood really sucks them in.

Very very good to know. When I dream of spring, I dream of this kind of stuff. Seriously. I think this makes me a dork. Good luck with it, OzBuzz.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 09:39:02 AM »

Went and picked them up this afternoon! Bees can be so agro if they haven't eaten for five or so days! Five stings to the inner groin! First time I wanted to kill a swarm (just joking). I hope they calm down or this queens days are numbered!
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philinacoma
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2010, 10:03:58 AM »

My advice?  Don't work bees in the dark.

I'm with you Iddee. Unfortunately with a full time job, sometimes you just don't have a choice.  embarassed
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2010, 10:32:47 AM »

Quote
First time I wanted to kill a swarm (just joking

one of the worst ones i picked up this year turned out to be one of the best.  not only are they gentle, but they produce!   grin  you never can tell......
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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
Meadlover
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2010, 09:07:26 AM »

My advice?  Don't work bees in the dark.

learnt that the hard way - working it on sunset - a dozen or more stings all over the body.

If you think you are going to work a hive at night get yourself a red torch - they don't even know they're being lit up  grin

ML
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2010, 09:39:47 PM »

I'm definitely not a fan of working them after dark! i prefer to do it during the day! I like the red torch idea though!
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