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Author Topic: How would you capture swarms 40ft up?  (Read 2957 times)
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« on: April 09, 2004, 01:36:03 PM »

Beemaster

First, I love your wonderful website. I have followed it for many years and I cannot believe how much it has grown it the last three months. Please post this email in your brainstorming section, I would love to read the replies to it there.

Wendy, I hope you go the next step and either come in as a guest or join the forum - the magic of the forum is that YOU DON'T NEED ME to post this - the forum is really easy to use and you can post this and as many questions as you like there. I'll gladly post the question and have fun tracking it too. I hope to see you in the forum as would everyone else there, they are a great group of people who are always willing to help.[/b]

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We live near a orchard which has many hives brought in early each sring to polinate the apples, peaches and pear trees. During the two weeks they are there we get many swarms that fill our property, but they all seem to be way up in the tall pines where we cannot safely get to them.

We've shook the tress, even slammed the trees with a sledge hammer hoping to dislodge them, but the just fall on our heads and we run away like crazy - lol.

I'd like to know what your members would do to get these bees down. We even bought two starter kits to give them good homes. I see in all your photos of swarms on mailboxes and bumpers and picnic tables, do different bees swarm to different levels?

please help us, we will be getting those hives nextdoor in a week or two and we want to start beekeeping this year - so please help us any way you can. Thank you again for your help.

Wendy in PA.
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beemaster
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2004, 01:47:17 PM »

Wendy

When you don't have anything low for them to swarm on to, they tend to go high and as you say can be tough to get at. If they are on a branch it is usually easier to get them then if they are are the truck (which doesn't give too much) but getting them down isn't impossible, it's just creative.

I've set up a plastic tarp under the tree branch before strung between ajoining trees with a hole in the center of the tarp with a bucket below. The tarp slopes like a huge funnel to the bucket and I used a weight on a clothes line to toss up and grab the branch.

I and my wife grabbed tight to the rope, jerked it hard and 90% of the bees fell straight down into the tarp and slid into the bucket - I quickly covered it and waited for the airborn and remaining bees to reland on the branch BEFORE repeating the process.

Meanwhile, I dumped the bees into a readied hive and blocked the entrance so they could not escape - I had no idea WHERE the queen was, so I had to assume she was STILL on the branch.

After two more tries I had most all the bees and GOT the queen... After an hour sealed in the hive I opened the entrance and the stragglers made their way to their new hive.

I hope the members describe other methods, including chemical pheromones, swarm traps, etc.. so there are many methods and I'm sure you'll read more here soon.

Bee
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2004, 09:37:25 PM »

John, how ingenious smiley

My thoughts for Wendy -
 It seems like swarming is pretty predictable in your area, so I would try to lure them when they are scouting, and not wait to try and wrangle them up after they have swarmed way up in a tree.  You can buy swarm traps,
 
 but an old nuke box works just as well, if not better.  It seems that if bees where in it once before,  scouting bees seem to think "if it was good enough for them, its good enough for us".

Take the lure box and mount it up in a tree about 10ft off the ground. The more boxes you put out the better your chances.  Putting an old piece of comb in helps too.  Just be careful with the wax moths. An old piece of honey comb that never had any brood in it won't be bothered by wax moths.  You can also buy swarm lure for <$10 that seem to work reasonably well.  Some folks even make their own lure.  When they requeen their hives, they drop the old queens in a jar of alcohol, then blend the whole mixture up and put some in each lore box.   Yet other claim lemon grass oil has the same affects.  Just keep an eye on the lure boxes and periodically clean out the spiders/wasps and other bugs that have moved in.

Rob....
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2004, 08:51:22 PM »

I agree with you Rob, the best and most time saving method for catching a swarm is the swarm trap.....weither you buy or make them they are worth the investment. I have serveral in both my beeyards and although I slit my hives heavily throughout  the spring there are still a few of the 'lil darl'ns that swarm regardless..........
   That being said, there's nothing that can match the thrill of hiving that really high or difficult to get to swarm...hmmmmm oh ya !
                                                      Steve
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lobstafari
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2004, 11:11:19 PM »

I'd like to give "catching a swarm" a shot.  I have a nuc box with 3 out of 5 frames that have comb on them....they were about a year old and got some mouse holes in them this winter.  I should try swarm lure too, but for now, Im hoping this might be enough.
    I believe I read, to put the box about 1/4 mile away from your hives, assuming it would be my bees Im trying to catch, just in case.  Does that sound about right, or too extreme?
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steve
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2004, 06:20:24 AM »

Yo lobstofari,
           The nuc is a good idea, the year old frames may be a little to old.
   But it's not to late to order some lure, which be the way works very well. I manage over 50 hives in my beeyard with at least a half dozen swarm traps along the outside edges. Some of these traps are old nucs set approx. 10ft. off the ground, within 30 to 40 ft. of the beeyard. One frame of empty drawn comb and a lure stick is all you'll need, good luck..
                                                              Steve
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