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Author Topic: Found a swarm  (Read 1940 times)
ChuckWTX
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« on: August 14, 2005, 05:27:28 PM »

I've been watching the beekeeping programs on RFDTV and was thinking about setting up with some bees next spring.  But then yesterday morning I found a whole swarm of bees stuck to a fence post, and they were still there at noon today.  It's been raining, so maybe they are waiting for the weather to clear before flying off.  Anyway, I came home and cobbled together a top bar hive like the one on Michael Bush's website.  It looks pretty good.  So now how is the easiest way to get that ball of bees into my box.  If I spray some Pledge with Lemon in the box, will they fall in love with it and crawl into the box?  Or will I have to use a shovel or something and just scoop them into it.  I don't have any proper beekeeping attair, only some coveralls and welding gloves.  Also, is it too late in the year for these bees to get started in their new hive?  I'm near Snyder, TX if that matters.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2005, 05:48:20 PM »

Can't speak for the timeliness of this hive, but what can it hurt.  Considering your location, you should be in decent shape.  Even in PA I'm expecting at least another 1 1/2 to 2 months until I have to get ready for winter.  I would feed these bees for the remainder of the season.  

Best thing to do is suit up the best you can and try to brush the bees into your hive.  Use the softest bristle brush you can find (even bristle brush seems harsh, but just get something soft and flexible).  Hopefully you can get the queen in the box.  If you do that, just keep the boxed bees in that area for a little while and try to get the stragglers.  If you can't, then don't worry about getting every single bee.  

Good luck.
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amymcg
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2005, 06:49:43 PM »

My dad has used a shovel before, but not for scooping them. He put a box underneath them, then whacked the back of the fencepost with the shovel and they fell right in.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2005, 08:13:37 PM »

I suppose you don't have a queen excluder. If you did you would need to place it so the queen can't get out of the hive. Most swarms don't stay unless you have a way to keep the queen in or you have brood for them to adopt.

A good whack on the post will knock them off into the box. If the queen falls in then they will all go in eventually. But they might not stay. One of the scouts might have found another home for them and they will take off for it. Unless you can keep the queen in the hive.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2005, 10:13:57 PM »

Knock them loose or brush them off.  If you can't conveniently brush them directly into the box you want you can brush them into a scoop or cardboard box or even a dustpan and then dump them in the box.  Spraying them with a mist of water will keep them from flying quite so much.  Whatever you do, do it with entusiasm.  You don't brush bees gently or knock bees off gently.  You do it with quick, hard, sudden movements.  Flick them off with a brush or knock them off or shake them off.

Gentle is for working hives.
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Michael Bush
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stilllearning
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2005, 10:21:22 PM »

Chuck

     Call the county agent there in Snyder and find out the name of a beekeeper in your area, most anyone would hive a swarm for you, most without any charge just to show you how to do it.
;You can do it your self, but you need some type of veil to keep them
out of your face.  Some people includeing my self have worked them
without veils, but I have since learned that is not too smart,  How far are you from Lubbock there are several members near there.
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Wayne Cole
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2005, 11:43:05 PM »

Quote from: ChuckWTX
... yesterday morning I found a whole swarm of bees stuck to a fence post, ... So now how is the easiest way to get that ball of bees into my box.  ... I don't have any proper beekeeping attair, only some coveralls and welding gloves.  ...


if you haven't handled bees before, you might also work up some sort of veil to protect your mouth /eyes.  If you still plan to go this without a suit, please have your wife video this from inside her car, and post the video, it will be hilarious...
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2005, 11:45:38 PM »

Snyder is about 60 miles from Lubbock. If the county extension office there is like the one here they don't know nothin' about bees.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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ChuckWTX
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2005, 08:47:02 PM »

Well, I did my best, but I don't know if I got the queen or not.  Most of the bees are in the box and I just left it there.  They got really angry and mainly went after my left glove, but luckily none penetrated.
Here are some photos I took...

http://homepage.mac.com/c_hines/PhotoAlbum25.html
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bassman1977
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2005, 09:18:30 PM »

That's awesome (not the stinging part, but whatever)!  Good job on the makeshift hive.  I wish I could get lucky and find a swarm.  I can only find hives in trees I don't want to cut down.  Good luck.  Now you should feed them sugar syrup once you get them to a more permanent location.
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