Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
April 23, 2014, 03:20:13 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat(2)  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Wow, my first swarm capture!  (Read 1930 times)
IndianaBrown
Guest
« on: May 20, 2006, 10:50:16 PM »

...Edited in some photos...  Note that it is hard to see all the bees flying around, but they were there!

I apologize for the long post, but I am pretty excited about my first swarm capture today!  Successful and stingless!

I got a call from some friends from out of town today.  They described masses of bees flying around an old maple tree in their yard.  The tree was known to have a feral colony in a hollow branch about 20 feet up.  They said that the bees had calmed down a bit, but were clustering on the house, on the tree, and still flying around a bit.
Original feral hive entrance:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150144804/

I called another friend from work who used to keep bees to see if he had any empty hives available, and to see if he wanted the swarm even, but he was not at home.

I started my first hive 3 weeks ago today from a nuc, and I really only have enough equipment for 1 hive, but I have not put my second deep on yet.  I did not want to pull any frames of honey or brood from my new hive because I don't think it is strong enough for that yet.  I tried to think of how I could manage with just a deep and no honey.  I recently bought some totes that are just about the same size as a medium super.  (I am playing around with some ideas on how to use them for extracting, but that is still a work in progress...)  I realized that the covers from the totes would work as emergency top and bottom boards.  So I grabbed my veil, gloves, smoker, brush, deep, totes, and a pollen cake I had left that my nuc did not seem to need, called back the friends with the swarm and asked them to get some 1:1 sugar water ready for me.  (I managed to forget a spray bottle for the sugar water, but it turned out all right anyway.)

When we got there, there was no definite swarm mass, but there were plenty of bees flying around and clustering here and there on the tree.  There was a big hole about 6-7 feet up, and I was afraid that they had already moved into it.  It was pretty open though, and while there were plenty of bees flying in and out, it did not look like they were settling in.  I noticed a clump of 30 or so bees just above it, but did not think much of it at the time.
The scene:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150145333/
The big hole:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150144894/

I poured some of the sugar water in and on my deep (with a tote cover as a bottom) and set it up on top of a table and large tote just under the large hole, hoping to entice them in.  (Note that not long after I got there, I took off my gloves and veil because, while the bees were flying all around, they were not aggressive at all.)  A few minutes after doing that I noticed that the small clump of bees had moved around and down the trunk a bit.  I took a quick look and saw a queen in the middle of them!!! Cheesy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150145092/

I carefully brushed the small cluster into a tote and tried to get them into my deep.  I got her majesty in, but the attendants got scattered in the process.  I figured that the bees would find her, but after a few minutes she tried to fly away.  I caught her with the tote and brush as she left and put her back, then put the tote upside down on top of the deep, kind of as a see through bubble, with enough room for bees to come in one end.  After about 20 minutes a couple bees had come in, but did not seem too interested in her. (She was still hanging around near the top of a frame.)  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150145011/

By this point there were still many bees just flying around.  I noticed the drone congregation area near the foot of the tree, and that made me realize that I did not need to leave the box up on the table anymore since I had the queen already.  So I moved it to the ground near the drones, took off the tote and placed a tote cover on instead, leaving about an inch of frame showing at one end, and smeared some of the pollen cake on top of the frames.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150144718/
 
At this point, or anytime afterwards, the queen may have left, but I am pretty sure that she did not, because the bees slowly but surely began to calm down and make their way into the hive.  The really loved the pollen cake, and I am pretty sure that is why the whole thing was so successful and painless.  I left them alone for a couple hours and when I checked back later there were bees filling up the beespace around the first 4 or 5 or so frames, with many others scattered on the rest.  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150144601/

There were a few still flying around, and several drones and some workers still at the foot of the tree, but I did not see the queen there.  I also checked for her in and around the hole in the tree.  I put my veil and gloves back on, smoked them a bit, stapled screen to the top and bottom of my deep, (wish I had just stapled it to the bottom ahead of time,) and brought home my new bees 3 weeks to the day after I got my nuc.   Cheesy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150144148/

I nabbed the top feeder from my nuc hive (I was just using it to water them anyhow to keep them out of the neighbor's swimming pool) and put it on the new hive at the other end of my property on top of a porch roof.  This is only temporary until I get some new equipment, but I wanted to give them a chance to settle in before I place them near the other hive.  I will feed them heavily to start off with, and will look into what if any meds I should give them before I move them again.

Any suggestions on what else I should be doing would be welcome.

I have to go do some shopping.  Off to betterbee.com!   Smiley

Rob Brown
Logged
Apis629
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 823


Location: Florida


WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2006, 10:55:40 PM »

I did my first swarm capture just last Sunday.  The only thing that I think would have made it easier would have been to brush the bees into a cardboard box, and once most are in there just place it in the shade and return in 20 minutes.  I did that and all the bees were drawn to it; after only 20 minutes or so, there were only about 30 bees still outside the box.
Logged

IndianaBrown
Guest
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2006, 11:08:15 PM »

The problem was that there were only about 30 bees to brush.  Most were flying around or scattered all over the tree, coming in and out of the large hole, etc.  I am not sure why they did not form a consolidated mass.  I was wondering if this may have been a mating flight and not an actual swarm.  If so, I hope she was done.  Smiley
Logged
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2006, 11:36:00 PM »

I'd be interested in why they didn't take up residence in the hollow tree as it is obvious that they wanted to.  Or maybe I should say the workers wanted to and the queen didn't.  
Your friends may be in the possession of a swarm magnet so you might want to get a little more equipment ahead in case another swarm happens by.
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
IndianaBrown
Guest
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 06:50:33 PM »

I warned my friends that they may have more swarms.  I just hope they don't have any before my new equipment arrives.  

Speaking of new equipment, after reading Michael Bush etc. I will be giving both the ferals and my nuc hive some empty wooden frames so they can draw some natural comb when I give them their second deeps.

The feral hive seems to be doing well so far.  They are doing a bunch of orientation flights, but just a little in the way of foraging flights.  I plan on feeding them for a few more days, at least until I move them when my new equipment gets here.  If they have a decent amount of comb drawn I will probably let them fend for themselves at that point.

This afternoon my wife called and told me they were swarming again.  I came home within 30 minutes to find a larger than normal amount of orientation flights in progress, but nothing really wrong.  She said that they were almost forming a cloud when she called.  I think maybe she just panicked because the porch roof they are currently living on is visible from our deck and she had friends over.

Their temporary home:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150880395/
Logged
TwT
Senior Forum
Global Moderator
Galactic Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3384


Location: Walker, La.

Ted


« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2006, 08:17:09 PM »

I was told one trick on how to do a easy removal or swarm catch by a long time beekeeper and in this case it would have worked great also, when you order from betterbee, order you a queen catcher  http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=640 and tie some nylon string to it, catch the queen if you find her like in your picture http://www.flickr.com/photos/29258782@N00/150145092/  and hang her somewhere close, the bee's will cluster on the the queen catcher with the queen inside in a little while and you can just grab the string and lower them in the hive body or box and close it up, getting the queen is the hardest  and most important part of catching a swarm and you got her first off.... congrads and well described story with pic's... good Job!!!!
Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 05:24:39 PM »

Great idean Twt.  I assume you are referring to the mesh swarm catcher and not the bucket on a stick--another good way for getting swarms from high up for achraphobiacs,
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Scott Derrick
Expert Bee Handler
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 28

Location: Blythewood, South Carolina

Go Gamecocks!!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 06:49:13 PM »

Indiana,

Good job on the hive capture. Great narration. Thanks for the effort. I love seeing swarm capture pics.

Hey Ted,

My problem has always been to know whether or not I got the queen when I do a capture or removal kinda like the one we did in Columbia. The last one I did was on the outside of an apartment complex about 12 feet up a brick wall. They were trying to get into a dryer vent. It must have been about 6 to 8 pounds of bees total. I had a hard time getting the frames in the super. Anyway I couldn't find the queen to save my life even 5 days later in the hive. I saw evidence that I got her but I still haven't seen her yet. Course I'm still a rookie...but I wanna be like Micheal Bush when I grow up..... Smiley

Scott
Logged

My Bee Removal Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/109455718186385256142
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/rsderrick

"You're born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there's a loophole."
                                              Billy Graham
IndianaBrown
Guest
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2006, 10:52:14 PM »

Thanks for the encouragement.  It means a lot to a newbie.  Smiley

I will add a queen catcher to my list of stuff to buy for the next time I make an order.  (I am already into next year's budget with this second hive.)  It would have made an easy capture even easier.

I had already placed my order before I saw the suggestion, but it looks like it may not get here by Friday.  (That is what I get for ordering from 3 states away and paying the minimum shipping fee.)  With the Holiday, it would be Tuesday or Wednesday before I could get them moved to their permament home with a proper bottom board and cover.  In the meantime I don't know if I can resist checking on them while I wait.
Logged
TwT
Senior Forum
Global Moderator
Galactic Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3384


Location: Walker, La.

Ted


« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2006, 11:32:49 PM »

Quote from: IndianaBrown
I will add a queen catcher to my list of stuff to buy for the next time I make an order.  (I am already into next year's budget with this second hive.)  It would have made an easy capture even easier.



remember to add to the budget because you dont have to buy a package out of next years budget because you got that swarm for free Wink , so you can buy a few more things  Cheesy
Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
IndianaBrown
Guest
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2006, 07:43:01 AM »

Got my equipment on Friday, got the hive moved with only a little bit of trouble.  

I wanted to move them Saturday but after I closed the slit I had left open, which was formed by sliding the top feeder back enough to open up a beespace, some bees managed to work their way out of the bottom where I had not stapled the screen tightly enough.  I opened the slit back up and got the loose spot stapled down Saturday.  
I went to the Indy 500 Sunday, and was in no shape to do anything with them afterwards. (I claim dehydration since I am a relative lighweight as far as beer consumption  cheesy )  
I got up around 6:30 am Monday, closed the slot, and got them moved ok.  However the girls got up earlier than I did because when I came back to clean up I found about 200+ bees flying around looking confused.  By early afternoon it was more like 600+, but I got most of them transferred in a nuc box baited with some honey.  It took 2 trips with the nuc box to get most of them.  The bees from the first trip got shaken directly into the hive when I inspected it late in the afternoon.  I shook the second ones out in front near the entrance early last night (and got my first sting picking up the nuc box, in the dark, without gloves.  Serves me right.)

This feral hive is doing great!  They have drawn as much comb in a week (working on 7 through 9) as my other hive from a nuc has in 5 weeks.  (Actually they may have drawn a bit more because the nuc hive stated with 4 frames already drawn.)  There is some capped and uncapped brood but they are a little bit nectar bound.  1 week of feeding was more than enough for them.  They are shut off.  Smiley  No sign of disease, and there are still plenty of bees in the box.

Some of our local homeschooling coop croud was still hanging around after the picnic we hosted, and they all got a kick of watching me work the hives.  I pulled the capped drone frame out of the first hive and replaced it, brused all the bees off, and once everything was closed back up I uncapped the honey at the top of the frame with my hive tool so everyone could get a taste of the freshest honey around.  Smiley
Logged
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2006, 11:30:19 PM »

My mentor taught me to move Bees at night, capture during the day, the insert a screen at night and move the hive to its  new location.  Sure you get stung a little but isn't that part of what it's all about.  Swarming bees left at the capture site will usually return to the parent hive.
Congrats.
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13475


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2006, 07:30:41 AM »

Anytime the hive is small enough to move in one piece, I'd wait until night and close them all up.  You can close everything but the main entrance during the day if you like, but you want the foragers back if you can.  Anytime I can't move them all at once, then I move them a box at a time during the day.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
IndianaBrown
Guest
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2006, 09:25:05 AM »

Thanks for the comments guys.

I was not very clear about the set up for the move... I did TRY to close them up Friday night.  They just found a space where the screen was not tight enough.  

This swarm was captured and moved to my home over a week before this second move.  I did not want them in my little apiary at first because I did not actually have any equipment for them, or anything to set the hive on, and I did not want to tempt them to start robbing my first hive while they were getting settled.  I was really not expecting to have a second hive this year.  I originally hived the swarm with just a deep and a pair of plastic tote lids for a top and a bottom.  Once my new equipment came in and everything was ready, I moved them the 200 feet from a side roof of the house to my small apiary in the backyard.  Due to my bumbling I almost lost a good bit of the field force, hence the need to attract them into a nuc.  

It seems to have worked out ok, and lessons were learned.  Smiley
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 4.757 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page March 12, 2014, 11:57:44 AM