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Thread: swarm in a tree

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Sad

    Last night at church a guy told me that a swarm of bee had landed in his Magnolia Tree yesterday evening. I went by this morning before work and they were located about 15' up in football sized cluster. After climbing the tree spraying the cluster, w/ sugar and lemon oil water I shook the branch all of the bees but a couple fell onto the tarp and box below. Only to return to a different branch I cut one branch, shook limbs tried brushing them but they would always return to the tree. I finally had a good number in the box, which I sprayed with sugar water good and set the top on with sticks holding it open. Clearly I never got the queen. I left the box with the cover ajar maybe they will gather there...... Any tips on what I could have done better?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Post

    A bucket on a pole is nice. http://www.beeequipment.com/search.asp search for product code 270. This is great for getting a swarm without climbing the tree.

    Sometimes you DO get the queen but they still smell the phermomones in the air and on the branch and go back anyway. Sometimes it just takes two or three times to get them to stay in the box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Sad

    Well they are still in the tree. Just a little higher. I don't think that I would have time to get the bucket for this swarm. I need to make me one - it looks nifty. There is some bees still in the box but most have rejoined the swarm. I have shook the limbs again. I threw a rope over the limb. I have tried spraying them with water - didn't even budge them. Now it looks like it is going to rain well see what happens... I climbed the tree and banged a bucket under them but without a lid they went right back up as I climbed down. I'm going to be busy this afternoon, and evening so they may get away. If I get these bees I may change may name to Bee Charmer. Only 2 stings so far. 1 up my pants leg (I was in a huring and didn't tape the bottom, which I promptly didn after the sting) I one my left wrist - my dog has found my left glove and chewed it so I'm using a thin leather glove. First stings of the year

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Post

    You can make the bucket. The one they sell is a lid with a hole cut and covered with #8 hardwar cloth. It also has four holes in it for a "harness" to pull the lid on. These have parachute cord going to a center cord that goes through the hole in the EMT (conduit) and out a hole in the side of the conduit. The conduit is attached to the bottom with a washer and a fitting with a nut (made for conduit) on it. I can add sections of conduit to it (that don't come with it) and make it as long as I like. After kocking the swarm in you can pull the lid on with the rope and then let it down. All without climbing the tree or getting a ladder.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    I prefer to just get them in a box and close it up, get any remaining bees in a pillowcase and drive away. When I get home I pour them into the new hive with a ball of crushed lemon grass (I happen to have a bunch growing here) and a ziplock bag of sugar syrup at the bottom back of the hive.

    I think you have a better chance of keeping the swarm if you get the swarm outa there.

    You have an even better chance of keeping them if you can supply them with a brood comb.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
    BeeWiki: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Thumbs down

    It started raining yesterday mid morning and rained all day. I had some other obligations yesterday evening. I think the swarm bucket would have been the only way to get them. I just could not get them into the box to put the lid on. I shook and cut branches, but that just made a cloud of bees in the air they never really "landed" / "Fell". They left early this morning. I'm going to make me a swarm bucket. climbing trees, shaking limbs and cutting branches just is not the easy way to catch those swarms. Well hopefully someone will find these nice golden bees......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    I've been taking a 33 gal hard plastic trash can up the ladder. Spray cluster w/ sugar water/Honey-B-Healthy and put a little puff of smoke around them. Let them resettle on the cluster, then cut the limb off with loppers or a pruning saw and gently guide it into the trash can. Set the trash can on the ground under the cluster area and put a screen wire over the top so the bees can scent fan. I then climb back up and spray and gather stragglers in a 5-gal bucket with a bee-brush and smoke the limbs good to drive the bees down toward the trash can and scent-fanning bees inside. If you give them 30-60 minutes, most of the bees will cluster on the trash can. I'm working on building a bee-vac to eliminate the 5-gal bucket concept. I don't think I'd try to gather an entire swarm with bee-vac. I'd rather keep them intact clustered on a branch. I haven't needed gloves or a bee-suit yet. I just wear a veil and t-shirt & blue jeans. I keep the inspector jacket in the truck just in case....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Hills, CA USA
    Posts
    453

    Post

    I think the the best I have seen lateley was a small C clamp bolted at the end of a light pole. In the clamp you place a frame of brood minus the attending bees. Place this frame aginst the cluster, remove when you think queen may be on it. Repete as required. Maybe a stiff wire hook added from a old five gal. bucket handle to hook on the branch to hold it while you are doing something else. I have tried just about every thing else over the years. I think this is the best for simplicity.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Galloway Oh
    Posts
    44

    Post

    The best way that I have found to keep the bees from the original swarm site is once the bees are shaken into something. Spray the area that the original cluster was on with a varnish. You must be quick not to coat the bees with it. The varnish will hide the queen pharmone.

    Best of luck,


    ------------------
    Tim Gifford

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