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Thread: swarm errors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    johnstown N.Y.
    Posts
    131

    Post

    I got a call from one of the farners that have hives on their property. My bees had swarmed and landed on the rasberys. I went to the hive they had swarned out of and grabbed a frame of honey and one of brood and placed them in a large super. I placed ths super next to the swarm and shook as moast of the bees into the hive.
    I went back to the hive this am and all seemed good,trafic going in and out of the hive. I was planing to go back at dusk and move the hive. I got a call about lunch time and was told that a cloud of bees had just headed west. When i went to the hive a few straglers were there and the honey frame was empty. The hive they had swarmed out of has a frame with 8 queen cells on it. Now for the 64,000 Question Do I let them re Queen or should I re Queen it my self to get a queen that bee that isn't so swarmey? Also what should I have done differently to not hav lost that swarm?
    Thanks Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Question Do I let them re Queen or should I re Queen it my self to get a queen that bee that isn't so swarmey?

    reply:

    I'd let them raise a queen (actually they pretty much have). I'd cut all but two nice cells down so as to stop sub-swarming as some colonies do. What race of bee? You have to ask yourself (and be honest too) were you lacking in any mangement aspect? So it may not be that the bees are particularly "swarmy" but were following there natural course. Also some beekeepers think that a hive strong enough to swarm are healthy bees.

    Also what should I have done differently to not hav lost that swarm?

    reply:

    Seems odd that they would abandon brood. I personally like to put swarms on foundation. To prevent them from leaving I use a queen includer to lock the queen in and feed. This usually does the trick. I pull it out once I see brood.

    Clay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

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    If you're sure you have the queen, use the queen includer (excluder on the bottom). If you're not sure, it might be better if she can find the swarm again, but likely she will hang on a tree somewhere until the figure out she's not there.

    I never use brood or honey to try to hold a swarm. I figure they are looking for a vacant home not someone elses home. Old drawn comb is nice, an old box with lots of "bee smell" is nice. Some swarm lure doesn't hurt, but isn't usually necessary. I have put a swarm in a box, had them go back to the tree, put them in the box, etc. several times before they settled in. It takes them a hour or so to get back on the limb, so you have to keep an eye on them. They are following pheromones, and it takes them a while to figure out the queen isn't there and some to start finding here and them to give off pheromones to gather everyone back up there, meanwhile all the bees in the cluster in the box are still giving off pheromenes. It takes some time for them to sort things out and gather wherever they decide to gather.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Lightbulb

    I was told by some one more experienced than me that lemon furnature pledge smells like what scout bees start releasing to atract others to the hive, so on my one and only swarm capture experience I sprayed lemon pledge into the hive and that I was using to put the swarm in and what do you know as soon as I sprayed it and shook some of the swarm into the hive they started fanning and all went in and stayed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Post

    Lemon pledge smells like a swarm to me, I didn't know if it would to the bees. Lemongrass oil also smells like this and is available some places and Honey Bee Healthy has Lemongrass oil in it. I may try the Lemon Pledge sometime.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Post

    I bought some swarm lure & it smell's just like Lemon pledge,

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