Ok, I'm resurrecting an older thread here. David, thanks for that last post. I like the idea of an ICU yard, I am considering something of the sort, or even maybe a "wild" yard where I carry swarms and cut-outs to and allow them to build up (hopefully) without a lot of beek pressure on them...within reason, of course. My little piece of swamp has a lot of south Alabama bottom land to it so would be interesting to see how the bees do. The area that could possibly get decent sunshine is probably only 1/8 mile from the dirt road frontage and it would need a few pines dropped to insure a fair amount of sunshine. The problem is that that area lays on the side of a hill and would/could be seen from the road fairly easily. I might have to set up some type of security fence on the road-side of them.
Back to the original topic... I know I seemed to be stuck on the idea that AFB could be transported with the bees when they swarmed and still believe that even though I've become comfortable with the idea that the possibility of that happening is small. I was reading yesterday in the May 2012 issue of ABJ and came upon this statement by Dr. Larry Connor on page 453. So my newbee mind wasn't so terribly "out there in left field". ;)
Risks of Swarms
There is a small but statistically significant chance that swarms will carry spores of American foulbrood (AFB) in the honey in their stomachs. Some beekeepers put antibiotics into the sugar syrup as a preventative. Rather than do that, I watch the brood combs very carefully for the appearance of any diseases, eliminating the swarm if I see AFB.
Connors doesn't say anything about quarantining the swarms, though.
Anyhow, just thought I'd pass this on.