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Author Topic: What to do after you capture a swarm  (Read 2841 times)
farmerjohn
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« on: April 15, 2011, 11:47:03 PM »

Last weekend I managed to capture a swarm(not from my hive).  I captured the swarm towards the end of the day.  I posted here and wanted to know if I should keep the hive sealed.  Well the recommendation was to unseal the hive and let them come and go.  The next day about half of the bees were gone.  The remaining bees were busy building comb and consuming sugar.  I found a sealed queen cell in one of my hives and put that in that swarm hive.  I am hoping the queen will hatch and the swarm hive will accept her, won't know until this weekend sometime when I can peek into that swarm hive.  Okay, so today I captured another swarm(not from my hive)  I went ahead and put a small piece of the plastic queen excluder on the entrance in hopes that it would encourage the queen to stick around today.  Should I leave that on or what.  Seems swarm queens just take off when I open up the entrance area.  Any ideas?
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 12:14:43 AM »

Some stay, some go. That's the fun of beekeeping. I never restrict a queen more than 24 hours. If she wants to go, I let her.

PS. I have found that more of them stay if I move the swarm a few miles away from where they are caught. I guess it keeps the scouts from leading them to their new digs, but that's only a guess.
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dean0
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011, 12:20:26 AM »

I would remove the queen excluder but would find would queen first and put her in a queen catcher. Position the queen catcher inside the hive between 2 frames with a rubber band.  Leave her in the queen catcher between 24-48 hours.  The bees will not abscond without the queen and with her secured in the queen catcher, it will give the bees more time to get used to their new home. Don't leave her in the catcher too long in case she is a virgin queen. The queen excluder will also restrict the movement of the drones.  The drones will need to exit the hive in order to make a cleansing flight and to also mate with the queen if in fact she is a virgin.

Good Luck!
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Tommyt
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2011, 01:35:47 AM »

Quote
find  queen first and put her in a queen catcher
24 -48  I agree

Feed and have fun
 cheer

good luck
Tommyt
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2011, 03:29:22 AM »

In response to dean0's post I just have an idea to share.  If swarm has been put in a hive with drawn comb, you could fashion a screen cage with her and some bees inside on say half of the face of one side of a frame.  In say three days or so you should be able to find eggs and know she is mated.  Once they are raising brood you should also be good to go.

Just a two cent thought.  Maybe a nickel!

Now that i think of it this may have been suggested last season.  I got day-ja-vo.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2011, 06:23:46 AM »

Could be many reasons the swarms do not like your hives. If you dump bees in a box, they will go through the same process of deciding to stay or not. A frame of honey and brood help, as well as moving them as iddee has stated. So if by chance you boxed them right before they were going to leave anyways, they now lost their new selected location.


10 things to consider for swarm trap success

Honey Bees…..

* prefer a swarm trap (colony location) about 8 to 15 feet off the ground.

* will disregard a trap with light coming in from above.

* prefer a trap equivalent to a cavity size slightly larger than a deep brood
   box.

* will select sites in the afternoon shade. They may abandon a site within a
   few days if in full sun and heat is an issue.


* prefer bait hives with entrances facing south.

* prefer a entrance towards the bottom of the cavity.

* prefer a unobstructed flight path from the entrance.

* will not take up residence in a bait hive that has other insects in them.
   Keep them free of wasps, yellow jackets, etc.

* prefer a bait hive that is dry.

* prefer a previously used site that has a honey bee smell of old comb, or
   one that has baited with bee scent.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 12:14:22 PM »

The queen excluder will also restrict the movement of the drones.  The drones will need to exit the hive in order to make a cleansing flight and to also mate with the queen if in fact she is a virgin.

I agree that an excluder (or in this case an includer) is not a good idea.  But generally the drones are not mating with their sister, the virgin queen from the same hive.  Such inbreeding is bad for the colony and the queen avoids this by flying further from the hive on her mating flights while the drones mate closer to home.
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jaseemtp
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 03:46:48 PM »

I also recently caught a swarm with their queen.  I tried the queen excluder and she was able to shimmy past it, because the queens often slim down so they can fly when swarming.  I was lucky enough to find them all on the side of the hive and with some cool 1:1 syrup spray I was able to get them into a new hive.  I sprayed all the foundation with the same syrup and I locked them in for 24 hours.  I have screen bottom board on the hive so they were able to get plenty of ventilation.  After 24 hours I removed the screen and didnt bother with the excluder.  A few hours later I noticed foragers coming in with loads of pollen so I figured it was a go.  Checked them few days later and all is looking GREAT.  They are drawing out foundation like mad.  Now when I locked them in I did get them some feed, 1:1 syrup and small amount of a pollen sub, Im not sure if that helped them decide to stay but what the heck.  Good luck
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2011, 09:26:21 AM »

I prefer to cage them for no more than two days and offer feed. A hive that has housed bees before is a bonus to getting them to stay. Drawn frames is a bonus, brood is an even bigger bonus.

I have a friend who swears that they pick a spot where they get morning shade but I have nothing to back that up with. He has been removing/keeping bees for over twenty five years.
       
As for the size of the box you put them in, I'd say it has a lot to do with the size of the swarm. This year most are running smaller than normal in the one & a half two to two lb range. That size goes right into a deep or medium nuc and stays no problem.


...JP                                         
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skatesailor
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 07:31:47 PM »

I have had the best of luck keeping a swarm by giving them a frame of brood.
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don2
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 07:52:56 PM »

If a good size swarm takes a box then half leave, it could be there were two "2" Queens.
If that is the case you are flapping in the wind to try to give them a Queen cell or another Queen.
Most times all I do is feed them, the swarm that came in today will get nothing Till next Sat.
I'll give them time to settle in then see whats going on and see how viscous they are. My tulip poplar are in full bloom so they are not hurting.

When they swarm in the wild who feeds them? who puts a Queen cell in???
I think that plays a big role in the trouble we are having with bees today. We try to live too much for them.
I am not saying put them in a box and walk away.  :)don2
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AllenF
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 08:45:59 PM »

I am still wondering about the half that left out?   Do they come back at the end of the day from foraging?  Just a thought.
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hardwood
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2011, 09:26:04 PM »

To have hived a swarm and lost is better than to never have hived at all.

Scott
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AllenF
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2011, 10:28:39 PM »

 grin
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2011, 07:18:43 AM »

Some excellent advise here.  I completely enjoy catching swarms (as long as I don't have to climb) but am successful w/ keeping them less than half the time.  I 'think' that when they abscound its because the scouts already decided on another place and we beeks just interpupted the process, and unless 'something better' is presented by beeks they just move on.

After catching a swarm I always seal them up and feed for one night, but like I said, it works less than half the time.

thomas
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sterling
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2011, 11:58:06 AM »

Does it help to move a fresh caught swarm a few miles away from where it is caught so the scouts can't find the place they had picked to move into. huh
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T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2011, 12:36:24 PM »

Some say so, but if you don't know where they came from, maybe they already have travled some distance.  I've always positioned caught swarms right with my other hives but maybe that's why they only stick around less than half the time Undecided

thomas
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