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  1. #1
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

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    Can any of you tell me of your experiences with swarms landing in the same or nearly the same place year after year or in consecutive years?
    Jason G

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

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    If you don't cut the branch they are on, they often land the same place. I think there are residual pheromones, but it may also be that it's just the right height, distance etc. that they like to cluster there. I like to NOT cut the branch when I like where they swarmed. I like to cut it when it's up high to try to discourage both that swarm from going back and future swarms from landing where I have trouble getting them.

    I wouldn't count on them going back to the same spot. Sometimes they pick a whole new spot too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    Just curious, but for those of you with old empty bee boxes sitting around your yard, have you ever had a swarm take up residence in one, without the use of a swarm attractant?

    Kai

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rochester, Washington, USA
    Posts
    973

    Big Grin

    That is what got me started. An old hive left out in the open. A swarm took it over and bingo here I am.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    514

    Post

    Yep, I have too. A few years ago, had some boxes sitting on my back patio and a swarm moved in. I live in town, no feral hives around (that I know of), and several miles away from any beeyards, so where they came from was a mystery to me!

    ------------------
    Gregg Stewart

  6. #6
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    Yeah I have 2 spots that I like to keep old boxes...and just about every year or every other year we pick up a swarm there. The first time the box was sitting on the ground and the bees moved in. After that we keep one out there during swarm season.

    BB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

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    I have had numerous swarms over the years set up in the same tree / bush, fence post, etc.
    Swarms will often seek out used or even in use equipment. I have also had many swarms settle on the back side of an occupied hive.
    I am looking forward to this years swarm season as there should be a number of swarms to box. There is a yard about 2/3 mile from one of my yards, and the owner has not done anything for the last three years. Does not want to sell the hives, but has not touched them. I looked at them the other day, (3) hives made it through winter and should swarm this May. I have over the years, boxed a number of swarms from this yard.

    [This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited March 16, 2004).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Post

    I have a Siberian Elm bonsai tree, amongst 50 others, a few feet from my apiary. Several swarms a year land in it. It's bark resembles a bee swarm. It is the first place I look every afternoon all spring and summer. It is too heavy to lift so I have to vaccuum out the swarms. Have pics if interested.

  9. #9
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    Yes, please post the pics!
    Jason

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,781

    Wink

    Yes, swarms tend to hang in the same spot swarm after swarm, year after year. Everytime I go to my yards I look at my swarm tree. 90% of the time the swarm is hanging there, my hives dont swarm much though...

    Ian

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Post

    There is no way to post pics on this board. Email me and i will send you the pic.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    So I guess you could bring a limb down where you could work it better if they seemed to routinely land there?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Bees tend to swarm on a limb of a pine tree about 25' directly above my hives. I can't get to it, so this year I hung a swarm trap directly below the "swarm spot" about 8' off the ground. Do you think the pheromone attractant will lure these swarms to the trap rather than the limb so that I can recover them?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

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    A 50/50 chance. But worth doing. But these are two different things the bees look for. One is a place to get organized for the trip and the other is a home. Of course swarm lure has the same pheromones as they give off when getting organized for the trip so maybe they will gather in the hive, look around and go "Hey! We're here!". Or maybe they will plan to move there in the first place.

    I did the same thing, but didn't have any swarms here in my yard last year because I was doing a lot of splits.



    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited March 18, 2004).]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    "Bees tend to swarm on a limb of a pine tree about 25' directly above my hives."
    Tia, I removed a swarm from a spruce last year that was about that hieght. A step ladder, extension pole, and a 5 gal bucket, and the swarm was mine. Come up under the swarm with the bucket and bump them into the bucket. Pour the bees into your empety hive box with frames. You may have to repeat the process a few times till you get the queen. When you get her, you will see the focus of the swarm changes to the hive box, vs the branch. They will usually take to the hive box, they want a new home. You can help with a little baiting of the frames with a spraying of sugar water.

    [This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited March 18, 2004).]

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

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    Thanks, Michael--I guess it's like chicken soup--can't hurt.

    Thanks Mountaincamp. I'll keep your instructions in mind, but will also keep praying that the swarm lure will convince them to inhabit the trap!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Tia,
    I just got in my first ever supply of swarm lure. I thought it too is like chicken soup and worth the try (I just hope I don't have to eat it for it to work).

    the info that came with it mentioned 2 things regarding your question and your plan of attack.

    1) it said that it can be used to lure a swarm to settle on a more convinient spot

    2) It also said that you have better luck catching swarms which your own hives cast by putting the trap 250 feet from the hives as, it claims, swarms like to disperse from their parent colony. I am sure there are exceptions, but I just wanted you to know those points.
    WayaCoyote

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Wayacoyote, thanks for that bit of information. I'll keep it in mind. Funny thing is, last year I had two swarms, both from my own hives which I had gotten a little over a month prior. They just swarmed from their hives straight up to that pine tree limb which, like I said, is just 25' over their heads! I'm thinking of putting some boxes out, too, but that didn't work last year, so I'm not really expecting any success with that plan of action. Too, I think I have no choice but to split one of the hives--it's just way too full and even though I've given them another box, they're looking like they want to swarm--going in this weekend to see if they've built any queen cells--none two weeks ago.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Post

    >I'm thinking of putting some boxes out, too, but that didn't work last year, so I'm not really expecting any success with that plan of action.

    I figure it's only about a one in ten that they will use the boxes, but how much work is it to put them out?

    I put out about ten or so last year and got one to move into a box on their own. But that wasn't in my yard, it was somewhere else.

    >Too, I think I have no choice but to split one of the hives--it's just way too full and even though I've given them another box, they're looking like they want to swarm--

    Wow, and mine haven't even got any capped brood yet.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

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    Yeah, Michael, and me a know-nothing-newbie. I just think I'm in a really good place for bees--as long as I keep the mosquito spraying trucks away!

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