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Author Topic: My first swarm capture (successful).  (Read 893 times)
Apis629
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« on: May 14, 2006, 09:39:06 PM »

On friday, the same person who's hive I removed, which you can see http://beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=4705">here, they called me in a panic, as they had found another hive in their water spout and, it was swarming.  I came over, and sure enough, there was a large swarm settling in an oak tree about 15 feet up.  I expressed my concern about taking them for the risk of taking africanized bees but, today I came to the conclution that it would be better that a beekeeper take an african colony than to let it swarm into some unsuspecting person's wall.  After all, I don't even know if they are african.  I had built a top bar hive earlier, and, now these bees are in there and should be drawing comb.  

At about 1:00pm today, I went over there with full gear (jacket, jeans, veil, gloves, smoker, dish soap solution; just incase, and a pump sprayer with sugar syrup; they were clearly labled so as not to be confused) and after a few moments of concideration and worry, I began working.  I manuvered a box under the swarm, while standing at the top of the ladder (as high as they lable as "safe") and I began brushing them off the branch.  My first brush was poorly placed given, I just flicked a large clump of them all over my veil and chest.  At this point, I nearly fell back, but, I had the for thought to tie myself to the ladder with a "bow-line" around myself and the ladder.  I never realized how easy it was to get distracted by the bees themselves.

After a few more brushes, most of the bees were in the box and I climbed down the ladder and placed the box in the shade.  It was really amazing how fast the bees all flew into the box.  In about 20 minutes, all the bees had flown into the box, as if sucked in by some non-existant vacume.  When I finished up, I brought it over to where I have my hives and began dumping them into the Top Bar hive.  Most went into the clump but, then they began flying.  The air was filled with bees, clinging to everything but, never stinging.  This swarm had to be at least three times larger than any package.  I noticed that, five minutes later, the bees were all flying back into the box.  I shook that into the hive once more and, I got a breif glimps of the queen before she was engulfed into the mass of bees.  She was slightly lighter colored than the queen from the last hive I captured.  Tommarow, I'm going to go oer and get a quick look at the hive, just to make sure they didn't swarm back out.  Hopefully then, I'll get a photo or two.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2006, 01:11:00 AM »

you were lucky twice.  
Lucky you didn't fall off the ladder--the rope idea was good but ladders have still been known to tumble after--ask Jack.  No, he went up a hill didn't he?  
Lucky the queen was still in the box when the swarm left the TBH.  
If you're ever in the bee yard when a swarm takes off you can drive it to "ground" by either spraying water (mist it) at the bees or banging on a make shift drum.  The threat of rain will ground a swarm quickly and thunder is a portender of rain.  I once settled a swarm banging on the dogs dish with my hive tool.  Make it rhythmatic--space the bangs.
For future info of course.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Apis629
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2006, 01:22:50 PM »

I think you misunderstood what I said.  The swarm was ferral, it hadn't left any of my hives.  I just said I saw the queen because after I shook the bees into the EMPTY TBH, then I saw her.
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Apis629
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 07:02:11 PM »

I checked on the Top Bar Hive today and the bees are on bars 1-7 and have drawn out all the foundation of the starter strip on those bars.  They've also built alot of their own comb on bars 1-4.  I checked on them so early because I was worried if they were building the comb in the right area and, they are...right on the mark.
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