View Full Version : barn swarm
09-24-2009, 01:56 PM
Some friends of mine told me about this swarm that moved into their barn this season, but I never had a chance to go check it out,a friend of thiers took these pics and put them on her blog which was sent to me . I thought I would share this, it is quite a beauty! http://www.southbyphotography.com/Site/Blog/Entries/2009/9/18_Wild_Honey_Bee_Hive.html
09-24-2009, 02:17 PM
Fascinating, thanks for posting it.
09-25-2009, 02:06 AM
That is a nice one, looks like they have built up a home pretty quick, that would be a good one to have.
Adrian Quiney WI
09-25-2009, 06:41 AM
Does that colony have any chance of surviving in that barn in MI? Adrian.
09-25-2009, 07:31 AM
They want me to come and remove it this fall in cooler weather but I'm thinking it may survive beter without disturbing it till spring when it could more easily move into some standard equipment. does anyone have any experience with this type of situation?
09-25-2009, 07:16 PM
I think they would have a better chance of making it thru the winter in a hive body. It will hold heat better than hanging in the open inside the barn. You could get some empty frames (no foundation) and rubber bands and cut their comb to fit in the empty frames and place 4 or 5 rubberbands around the frame and comb to hold it in place. I would suggest cutting only one piece of comb at a time so that you can orient it with the up side up as it sits in the frame, kinda hard to put in words but the cells tilt slightly upwards and you don't want to put them in the frames upside down as they won't hold nectar next spring, it will run out if the bees don't tear it down first and reconfigure it correctly. Good luck
09-26-2009, 07:46 AM
Thanks N. Ala. for the good idea of putting them into empty frames,I really want to get this beauty to my apiary. I think we may set up some scaffolding to get up there and catch it.......
10-22-2009, 08:18 PM
Finally got some scaffolding built to within 5 ft of this beauty but forgot the camera...now logistics planning on how to lower her down after capture etc.. will get more pictures when we attempt to save it from the coming winter..
10-22-2009, 09:15 PM
its amazing to see a wild hive.
10-22-2009, 10:13 PM
for what it's worth, I sometimes find it easier to rubber-band the combs into frames when I've got foundation in 'em. I've done it both ways, but the foundation surface makes it easier to work with, cuz you've got some "backing."
Also, I'd suggest using (making) a bee-vac. Start by vaccuming one of the combs, then cut that comb and vacuum all the bees off it. Put the comb in a bucket and cover it. Repeat, until you've worked through all the comb.
Then, band all the comb into frames, put all but two of the frames in a box, and dump the bees into the box. They will already have clumped around the queen in the vacuum box, (assuming you vacuumed assiduously and got her) so that clump will fall to the floor of the hive box.
then, put the other frames in, close 'em up, and you're done! Leave the vacuum box open in case you didn't get all the bees out, and set it near the front of the hive; they'll fine their way in.
10-23-2009, 01:57 AM
Wow -that's really amazing! I'd love to be there to photograph the hive!
10-23-2009, 08:19 AM
Thanks Walking Bird for the good idea of using the foundation..I was trying to picture how I was going to balance that comb in an empty frame.. also the subject of a bee-vac has come up,i was going to research how to make one but perhaps someone out there has a link to a site where there is a plan to build one ...looks like its something that would make this job much easier...finally have some time to try and catch this beauty, most of my bees are wrapped for the winter... we've had november weather in october this year here in N. Michigan...
10-23-2009, 08:29 AM
Howdy Griz --
You might build a partial box of light plywood to enclose the colony with just a
small opening and leave till spring to do the cutout and transfer.
10-23-2009, 08:40 AM
You are right hrogers, that is still definately on the table, this is really late in the season to break a cluster in this part of world (45th parallel), but with closer inspection i see alot of bees and not enough visible stores.. kind of a catch 22...
12-29-2009, 10:56 AM
Well my friend Robb and I found an open day on both our schedules, Dec. 11,temp. 11 degrees F,I was skeptical of moving and breaking this cluster at such a low temp. as far as survivability of the bees. But I do believe it was a success! We climbed to the top of the scaffolding ,4 sections high and situated a large cardboard box as close as possible underneath.Than while one of us cut the comb with a bread knife, the other gently as possible laid ,on end ,the combs of bees inside.We then wrapped them in a tarp and lowered it down with a rope. I then brought them into my semi-heated garage at 40 degrees F. When the box was opened ,I took several pieces of comb with bees and placed them in a double deep empty hive body. the remaining bees were gently scooped out with a dustpan and shook in with the rest of their friends. Remaining wild combs were wrapped onto wired frames and set above the cluster of bees below.,Additional combs with some honey and pollen were added to the top super. within hours the bees moved up onto the combs, all other broken combs of honey were placed on top to be cleaned up by the bees. Amazingly they built a small comb of new wax on top! Good Sign! Also within the next 2 weeks they have formed into a nice cluster! Also a good sign that the queen may be intact! I have some pictures here showing this adventure on the following site , I hope the link works! We'll see if we have a hive intact in the spring!.....Take care and enjoy hvhttp://s1009.photobucket.com/albums/af216/Grizbee/barn%20swarm/
12-29-2009, 11:11 AM
Try again, here is the link: http://s1009.photobucket.com/albums/af216/Grizbee/barn%20swarm/
12-29-2009, 11:26 AM
That is awesome, thanks for sharing.
12-30-2009, 07:44 AM
Thanks for following up. I love seeing this open hive.