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Author Topic: Bees on outside and inside of swarm trap?  (Read 415 times)
xipetotec
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Location: Portland, Or


« on: May 07, 2013, 06:11:13 PM »

So this spring I put a swarm trap up on the side of my house to hopefully catch some bees since I bought a hive last fall and neglected to order a package. Luckily over the weekend there was a lot of activity at the trap and yesterday afternoon the swarm moved in (I know it was yesterday afternoon because I was standing there when it happened, that was a cool experience).  When I checked on them again in the evening most of the bees had moved into the trap but there was a clump of bees on the roof of the trap that refused to budge.  I figured by today they would have moved in as well and I could move the bees to the hive.  But as of now they're still hanging up there in a big clump and I'm at a loss as to what course of action I should take.  The main body of bees in the trap is buzzing away and I've seen foragers coming back with pollen.  Could this be a secondary swarm that followed them but can't get in now? Is the swarm to big to fit in the trap (it should be about 30-40 liters in volume by my admittedly bad math)?  Did I just get strange bees?

I have pictures but can't upload them as this is my first post.

Any help would be appreciated!
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don2
Doak
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Location: Hillsboro Georgia USA


« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 06:55:28 PM »

The swarm could be too big for the trap. I hived a swarm 3 or 4 years ago that took 2 deeps and 2 mediums. Added the 3rd super when I got them in their place. had 5 medium supers of hone that swarm that year. didn't even feed them. :)d2
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xipetotec
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 07:01:54 PM »

Thats what was suggested on another forum.  Should I just move them as soon as I can this evening?  I'd hate for them to decide to move on elsewhere because their temporary home is too small.

Also, the hive is located in my front yard, the swarm trap on the back side of my house, its maybe 65 feet away with my house in between the two locations, is there going to be a problem moving them to that location in the night?





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sterling
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 07:13:33 PM »

There could be a queen in the cluster.
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don2
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 07:31:12 PM »

Take  the hive to the bees. Get it as close to the trap as possible. take the top off the hive and remove 2 or 3 frames. dump the bees from the trap into the hole that was made by removing the frames., if the Queen is in the trap, good, the hanging on cluster will go to the box. If the queen is in the cluster that could be another story. After dumping the trap take the trap and your bee brush,"you do have one, don't you" and brush the outside cluster into the trap then to the box. You can take a spray bottle with plain water, luke warm, spray the bees a little. Helps to prevent excess flying. Carefully replace the frames. leave it be till dark, (if you have to use a light, "DON'T" shine directly on the hive.  After dark take a piece of screen wire or anything that you can close the opening with. Put a strap around the whole hive, bottom top and tighten it to keep every thing from slipping. Now take the hive to where it will b kept. Remove the strap and unplug the hole.  They will orient the next morning. Hope this helps. Good luck. :)d2
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greenbtree
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Location: Stone City, Iowa


« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 02:08:13 PM »

I have also seen this happen with a swarm, in my case there was a cluster of drones that couldn't seem to get their act together, and some workers seemed unwilling to abandon them.  Some of the workers seemed to be trying to "herd" the drones towards the entrance, pushing at them with their heads, I saw one worker grab a drone by a leg and try to drag it towards the front of the hive.  I swear if they could have talked I would have been hearing tiny little voices saying "THIS way, dummy!"  Don's plan sounds like good advice to me, you would hate to lose them at this point.  Oh, and a manilla folder works great for scooping up errant bees.

JC
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 02:29:44 PM by greenbtree » Logged

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xipetotec
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 02:46:32 PM »

Ah a manilla envelope! That sounds like a great tool for scooping bees. The things you learn.

I tried the transfer yesterday evening and it went . . . poorly embarassed

I got most of that clump and the bees that were on the bars, as well as what comb they had built, into the hive (its a top bar) but the design of the swarm trap (or lack of design) did not lend itself to shaking.  I got at least half if not more of the bees into the hive before it got too dark to proceed, and I left the hive where it was and the opened trap underneath it but with enough shelter to give the bees somewhere to hide.  So far it looks like they've started mostly moving into the hive , my plan is to see how things go during the day today.  Hopefully the majority of bees moves to the hive and I can then just shake the remnants into a box and then shake those into the hive. 

I think that the biggest reason for that clump is that this is a BIG swarm.  From the pictures I've seen this looks much much bigger.
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xipetotec
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 11:52:35 AM »

Turns out I didn't need to do any more moving.  All yesterday the bees were in a grumpy cloud around the hive and the swarm trap but as of last night they had all moved into the hive. Now to contemplate where to move the hive and watch to make sure the queen survived the transfers.
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