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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Spokane, Washington
    Posts
    18

    Post

    My #2 out of 6 hives swarmed just a few minutes ago, and they are so high in a tree that there is no chance of capturing them. What's the best way to proceed now?

    Should I leave them alone to raise a new queen, and do it their way or should I try to obtain a new queen (probably not for a week), and requeen them?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mosquero, NM
    Posts
    47

    Post

    There's undoubtably a virgin queen in the old hive or some about-to-emerge queen cells. If you allow the natural supercedure process to continue, the virgin queen will need to mate {three to eight-day process} and it will be 21 days after she starts laying eggs before the new workers begin to emerge. The total gap in new bee production will be about 30 days {assuming the virgin queen isn't eaten by a bee-eating bird during her nuptial flight}. Such a gap in worker bee production is not desireable at this time of year. The best thing, if you can get a good nuc with laying queen within the next week, would be to thoroughly inspect the brood nest, find the virgin queen(s) or queen cells, destroy them and wait 24 hours before installing a good nuc with an already laying queen and brood. {Read your ABC-XYZ or your Hive and the Honeybee for cautions and details.} If your options are to wait one week for a new queen from another source or allow the queen supercedure process to continue naturally, you're probably better off to allow the virgin queen to emerge, mate and begin laying. That way you don't have to deal with queen acceptance issues. Either way (new queen or superceding queen) that colony will have a set-back in population build-up. Too bad the trees grow so tall there.....keep an eye on the swarm....it may re-locate to a place where you can re-capture it. If you do, immediately check the brood nest to determine if the brood pattern is spotty {sign of a failing queen} or full. If full, destroy all virgin queen(s) and queen cells and re-introduce the swarm with the old queen and give them more space. If spotty, kill the old queen and proceed with one of the other options above. It matters how old the old queen is. Do you know? If she is older than a 2004 queen, replace her, regardless of the brood pattern.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    How high is too high--can it be reached with a pole or are there electric lines near by. If it is safe and you can reach it with a pvc pipe, attatch a frame of comb onto the end of the pole and put the comb up to the swarm, some will climb aboard (you may have to nudge the swarm a bit)and you can lower it with a load of bees and put into your super, repeat until you got them all. Once you have the queen you will get all them to go to the super. Just my thought.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    I have a pole with a bucket on the end I use to get the ones that are up to 16 feet or so. Brushy Mt. sells them. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Spokane, Washington
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Sorry guys, but it was up 25 - 30 feet, and unclimable as far as I'm concerned. They have left the tree anyway, and I think they have taken up residence in a hive body with some honey frames in it that I had set aside just the other day. If they're still there in the morning I'll figure out what to do with them then.

    I don't want another hive. What's the best way to combine or integrate these swarm bees with my other hives as soon as possible?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Let the hive that these bees come from sort out who the new queen will be and let her start laying. Then find the queen in the swarm hive and kill her and do a news paper combine. You may even get this done in time to get a good honey flow. With both queens laying for the same time period you gain a bit on the work force.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    Swarms are defnitely not worth falling 30 feet for. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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