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Author Topic: My first Swarm.....Tips  (Read 909 times)

Offline PLAN-B

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My first Swarm.....Tips
« on: March 08, 2013, 11:14:30 PM »
Let me start by saying that i'm a newbie / To the point where i haven't even received my nucs yet... (coming in April  :-D )

So here is my question to all you pros out there: Got a call from a guy at work who knows i'm getting in to beekeeping. Well it seems he has a swarm on a bush about two feet off the ground. Told me that they have been there less than one day. So if they're still there first thing in the morning i am going to attempt my first retrieval of a swarm.... Any tips or things i might need, that i might be over looking? He said they seem to be about the size of a football... Do i, as a rookie need to blow a touch of smoke on them or is that not needed? I do have a queen catcher, but have never laid eyes on one...lol Other than watching JP work his magic  :-D.... Any advice is appreciated..
Marshall

Offline jpmeir

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 11:27:05 PM »
IMO no smoke as they are not defending at this point. I think keep it simple, if you see the queen great but I've seen beemasters miss them after several attempts for find her.  Wish you luck as I too am starting out new. 

Offline SuperLoki

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 11:57:05 PM »
Watching this.  Be careful and have fun. Pics or it didn't happen!

Offline PLAN-B

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 12:34:51 AM »
Oh its my first. There will be video. :-D LOL Thanks for the advice jpmeir.
 Unless its a total failure, Then i will keep it a secret...  :'( 
Marshall

Online kathyp

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 12:35:08 AM »
your first rookie mistake was to wait until tomorrow  :-D

from the sound of it, you don't get much easier than this.  put your capture receptacle....i like to put them right into a hive body...under the swarm.  if you can cut the entire branch and set them right on the top of the frames, they'll march in and you will be pretty much done.  if you can't and you have to shake them, give on hard shake to get the main clump on top of your box.  wait to see if they settle in the box or back on the branch...some will go back to the branch but if you got the queen into the box, most will go in there.  repeat until they are mostly in the box.  wait for them to settle, or come back after dark.  close them up.  take them home.  

it's really nice to find the queen, but i wouldn't bother since you  are new and probably not used to seeing her.  if they go into the hive, you have gotten her in there too.  no smoke.  don't do anything to stir them up.  ideally, you'll pop them all in there at once and be done!

my swarm kit:  clippers, tarp, box with frames, bottom and top.  entrance reducer to block entrance.  duct tape. roll of window screen.  lemongrass oil. cotton balls.  ladder.  poll pruner.

i use screened bottom boards on these swarm hives so that ventilation on the way home is not an issue.  if you don't have something to close up the entrance/holes, window screening is cheap and can be taped where needed.  

.....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

Offline 10framer

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 02:34:21 AM »
shake them into a hive with put the top on and wait about 30 minutes and you'll have them.  remember to fasten your bottom board to the hive and then the top after the bees are in.  duct tape will do but i use staples. 
when you shake the limb don't be timid give it a good hard shake.  some of the bees will go back and cluster again.  shake again and by then you should have bees on the landing board scent fanning and the rest will figure it out.
no need for smoke.  block the entrance when you haul them to the new location. 
next time don't wait until the next day they aren't always still there.  good luck, sounds like a nice easy one.

Offline jpmeir

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 08:02:11 AM »
I think Kathyp and 10framer got it right, good advise.  I got my first call yesterday, very exicted, in the end he wanted me to sell him bees   :-\ aaaa sir my add states bee swarms and cutouts.........anyway it is what it is.  This site is packed full of people with a wealth of knowledge. 

Offline bailey

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 09:50:18 AM »
Go get them tiger! 
Your mentor expects video!
Save room for your nucs.  Ready in. 2 weeks.
Bailey
most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.

Offline mikecva

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 01:55:57 PM »
try:   http://www.youtube.com/  and enter 'catching a honey bee swarm'

-Mike
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Listen to others but make your own decisions. That way you own the results.
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Offline PLAN-B

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 02:51:59 PM »
Thanks for all the responses... Got them a couple hours ago. Everything went well other than my nerves...lol
 I tried using my rookie eye to locate the queen but did not see her, but am almost 100% she is in there because they are really liking the box. Left the Nuc there and am going to pick it up this evening.
 On a different note: Apparently my camera on had enough room for 20 seconds of video. :( the guy who called me got me on his phone shaking them in to the box but a little blurry.. Will post video when I get a minute....once again thanks to Bailey / Pops / mentor for the encouragement and to everyone else who gave advice...
Marshall

Offline PLAN-B

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Re: My first Swarm.....Tips
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 02:55:16 PM »
Wait I almost forgot to thank one person... Moots I appreciate you letting me swing by on the way to pick up some LGO....  :-D
Marshall