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Author Topic: First Swarm/Trouble  (Read 532 times)
brushwoodnursery
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« on: April 06, 2013, 08:55:14 PM »

Just before leaving for a family dinner out, I saw a swarm hanging low and hived it. I placed a queen excluder across the entrance but had to run. (Father-In-Law's birthday) Came back and took a flashlight out to the yard and saw a giant black rectangle where the front of the hive used to be! Yeah, they're all out there as far as i can tell. maybe the excluder wasn't secure enough and she wandered out. Anyway, I'm looking for advice. I was thinking of dropping them into another box just before dawn and securing the excluder better. Anything else I should consider?
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hardwood
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 09:30:07 PM »

The queen might still be in the box and that's why they didn't leave. I'd check that out before I tried anything else.

Scott
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 09:30:42 AM »

Went out at dawn. The vast majority were outside with some on the inside clustered near the entrance. The corner with the piece of excluder looked like it might be a bit wide. I cut a new piece and screwed it to the front of a new box and set it all down next to the other. Shook them in. It was mid 40s F outside but they were seriously angry. Came right up at me; not like dumping a fresh swarm into the box at all. Gave them a little while to settle in and carried the whole thing back to the rail stand. Looks good so far. Going to figure out who she is later today by inspecting the others.
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 01:55:01 PM »

Can't figure out which one swarmed because another one just left this morning! It was on the ground about 25ft from the stand. Kinda small swarm. I dropped an empty nuc in front of them and some started to check it out pretty quickly. Pulled a frame of brood/pollen/honey from each of my 2 bigger colonies and dropped one in each of the new boxes. Behavior changed! It looks like this might be going well for both captures!
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johng
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 03:44:02 PM »

Putting a frame of brood in the hive will almost always anchor the swarm. Good job! Catching swarms is a blast.

Maybe the one swarm you caught had a virgin queen, they can squeeze through an excluder.
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 05:21:51 PM »

You're right! Just came in from the third swarm! Grateful I live and work on the same property and can see them. I think I'm sold on the frame of brood "anchoring" the swarm. I did it for both of the others and just now with this one. They settled right down!
 Early April and I'm up to my goal of 6 colonies this spring already! Think my wife will mind if I buy a bunch more woodenware?
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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 08:43:55 PM »

Congratulations!!! Lucky you. Have been looking for swarms and none yet. Maybe someday.

David
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 06:43:35 AM »

Yesterday I had the biggest yet! It was almost definitely from my big, mean colony. I saw the swarm forming and, sadly, watched it coalesce on a Pine 20ft in the air. It gave me a chance to try out the bucket on a pole contraption I made. Awkward as heck but it worked! This queen makes mean girls but it was my most productive last year so I really didn't want to lose it. The cluster in the tree was too big laterally to fit under the bucket so I went under the big part and gave it a hard bump. A couple thousand bees fell on me. I didn't have my jacket or gloves. They were in the truck somewhere on the road with my wife. Painful mistake! Once she got home, I went back and kept at it until I had most of them in a 8 frame deep. There were so many that I put all 8 frames in it to accommodate them. 1 with brood and all the rest fresh foundation. In all, I bumped the branch 4 times to get as many as possible. Have to say, the frame of brood in the box is excellent! They calmed right down (well, as much as her girls will do that). Also, the subsequent dumps of the bucket often had piles of bees around the box. They all immediately started crawling to the front entrance and inside no matter where they fell. Really amazing how well that works!
 Took down my craigslist swarm removal post. My yard is full! Still have a swarm trap out there about 1/4 mile away.
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