View Full Version : the swarm that got away.
Yesterday, I went to get a swarm at a school. Just as I got there and started looking at them, they peeled off and left. 30 min. too late. Is there anyway I could have stopped them? I've always heard the ole' timers talking about banging a steel pot to get the swarm. Not sure on that one.
05-18-2004, 08:45 AM
I've heard from my father-in-law that spraying water at them brings them down to the ground ........ ?????
05-18-2004, 09:56 AM
>Yesterday, I went to get a swarm at a school. Just as I got there and started looking at them, they peeled off and left. 30 min. too late. Is there anyway I could have stopped them? I've always heard the ole' timers talking about banging a steel pot to get the swarm. Not sure on that one.
The idea that pounding a drum or a pot will settle a swarm is fairly universal and yet many say it doesn't work also. My guess is it takes a particular vibration for it to work and random chance may not provide that. I have a theory, that I haven't tried, but is shared by others, that the bees think they hear thunder and that's why they settle. Maybe a big bass drum or rattling a sheet of tin might simulate this better than a old pot or pan.
>I've heard from my father-in-law that spraying water at them brings them down to the ground ........ ?????
I haven't tried it on a swarm but if you are quick enough I'd guess that spraying water in the air might work. First, it's a lot of work to fly when your wings are wet, and second, rain is a good reason to seek shelter under a branch until it stops. I have used it many times on wasps and they can't fly at all when they are wet.
05-18-2004, 12:22 PM
I can remember my grandmother (Beaman maiden name)in the 1950s saying to beat some pots together to get a swarm to settle. We beat the pots together, but I never remembered any swarms other than the ones that we once had in the soffit.
As to spraying with water: two year ago I attempted to knock down a swarm that was 30-40 feet up in a large oak tree. We sprayed water using a professional grade pressure washer. It knocked down some bees but not the main cluster. I may have slowed them down but they left the next morning.
05-18-2004, 08:12 PM
After I lost my swarm because I didn't have time to recatch them, my beekeeper neighbor told me that I should have set the sprinkler on them. By leaving them in the rain, they would've waited to relocate (until the rain stopped).
05-21-2004, 05:44 PM
I THINK THE BEST THING TO DO IS BUY A PACK OF SWARM LURE FROM DADANT AND SONS YOU CAN GET LIKE 4 FOR $5.00 AND WHAT YOU DO IS BEFORE SWARM SEASON OR WHEN EXSPECTING A SWARM YOU PLACE A NUC HIVE IN YOUR YARD THAT IS EMPTY PLACE COMB IN THE HIVE WITH 1 LURE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NUC. WHEN IT COMES TIME FOR YOUR BEES TO SWARM SCOUT BEES WILL LOCATE THE NUC THEY CAN SMELL THE LURE AND WHEN YOUR HIVE SWARMS 80% OF THE TIME THEY HIT THE BOX OR A LIMB NEXT TO IT. I THINK W.T KELLY CARRIES THESE ALSO.