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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default Let's talk about swarm removal...

    Not the easy, hang off a limb type. Let's talk about those wrapped up in a twiggy tree. I've had two this year. Both in live oaks, both were a bit hot, flying and stinging when I tried to brush them onto a piece of plywood and into the hive. The one last night just at sunset was very hot. Ever time I touched them, thousands of bees hit the air and covered me up. The only thing I know to do with a wrapped up swarm is brush or scoop bees and dump them into the hive. I've tried spraying with syrup and lemon grass. It doesn't do much. Both times I was lucky enough to dump the queen into the hive and the rest eventually followed. I left half of them in the tree last night, but this morning the homeowner reports that they are all in the box. So, what other methods do you have up your sleeve that I'm not thinking of? These are mostly 10-12 foot subdivision trees. I would basically have to top them out to cut the bees out and I hate to ruin a tree like that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Default

    The only logical thing that I can think of at the moment would be to buy yourself or make a bee vac for sucking up the bees.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default

    I have one, but it's such a pain to haul around. And swarms aren't supposed to be that way, or so we say....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,560

    Default

    We had two just yesterday in our home holding yard (it's gonna be a long year, ).
    The first was a monster, about 7 feet up, but wrapped around a fairly sturdy limb. In this case we wedged a box (with a brood comb with honey and pollen as bait) under them between branches and shook/brushed them down into the box. Once they had the idea all we had to do was wait awhile. They overfilled that big box.
    The other was smaller but tougher, about 10 feet up the trunk of a young maple, a typical suburban tree. In this case we used the Swinger (might be difficult in a suburban neighborhood ) to raise a pallet with a box to directly against/under the swarm and again shook, brushed them in.
    In the past we have put boxes on the top of ladders or nuc boxes on the paint trays of ladders. The swarms are usually easily enticed inside, especially if you give them an initial shove in that direction. Once the box is right in front of them they usually run inside, you don't need to do much more than wait til that night or the next morning and go pick them up.

    As for being "hot", those bees sometimes don't read the books, so I always go prepared with a veil and gloves, just in case. On the bright side, the "hot: ones have usually been sitting there for awhile and are cold, hungry and desperate so they run inside faster. That frame with honey is greatly appreciated.
    Sheri
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 05-25-2008 at 11:05 AM. Reason: accuracy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    I dont spray anything on the swarms including smoke. Have you tried puting a frame of drawn comb up next to the hive let the bees crawl onto it. put it in a hive body get the hive body has close as possible to the swarm and watch the rest march right in. after all they are looking for a home.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default

    The swarm last night had been there about 3 hours. The home owner watched them come in and called me within 30 minutes. I picked them up today. They were all in the box so I guess I got lucky and scooped the queen before they ran me off. I've used old comb, brood, lemon grass, you name it. Many swarms are cake, but every year I get one or two that are out to kick my ###. I don't start on any swarm without suiting up. Last night could have been a complete disaster if I had started on them without a full suit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    546

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    The swarm last night had been there about 3 hours. The home owner watched them come in and called me within 30 minutes. I picked them up today. They were all in the box so I guess I got lucky and scooped the queen before they ran me off. I've used old comb, brood, lemon grass, you name it. Many swarms are cake, but every year I get one or two that are out to kick my ###. I don't start on any swarm without suiting up. Last night could have been a complete disaster if I had started on them without a full suit.
    I had one of those last week. I hate them.. Brush, wait, brush, wait, brush, wait, etc...

    I brush them onto something (flat board, etc) and dump into the hive with hive as close to the swarm as possible. Hoping somebody replies to your thread with a better idea. Now, on the otherhand if the tree isn't so large, I brush a big "glob" into the box, and if neccessary, I'll shake the living snot out of the tree to get the bees flying. Most times, they'll go to your swarm box if the others are fanning... But, if they have been on the tree a long time, it's like they "smell" thats where they really belong and seem to get confused...
    Find A Beekeeper - Swarm List
    "There's nothing wrong with me, it's the rest of the world that has a problem"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Santa Clara CA
    Posts
    63

    Default

    > I have one [beevac], but it's such a pain to haul around.

    The Ryobi Canister Vac is light, portable (18V), easily modified to adjust the suction, and the foam filter prevents the bees being sucked into the exhaust.

    Capacity is small but it is easy to dump bees into the box and go back for more. You can tell when the queen is in the vac because bees congregate behind the exhaust.

    Makes removing swarms from a twiggy tree easy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default swarm removel

    The best tool I!ve come up with is a scoop that I made from a gal. bleach jug.I!ve used it on 5 of the 8 swarms that I caught this spring,It!s light and has a handle.I!ve scooped them from the sides of buildings,board fence,and tied it to the end of a long stick to scoop them from a high up limb.Try It ,you!ll like it and it!s cheap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default

    I do the bush onto plywood too, but this batch instead of clinging together went airborne everytime I started. I like the gallon jug scoop idea. I make them for dog food from laundry detergent bottles.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,759

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post

    I left half of them in the tree last night, but this morning the homeowner reports that they are all in the box. So, what other methods do you have up your sleeve that I'm not thinking of? These are mostly 10-12 foot subdivision trees. I would basically have to top them out to cut the bees out and I hate to ruin a tree like that.
    I had one like that a week ago. There's really no easy way out. You did it exactly the way I would have. I have a bee vac but I feel that if the queen gets into the capture box then it's just a matter of time until you've got the entire swarm. If time is a factor, for example if it's in an area where there are lots of people meandering around and it just has to be removed immediately, then go with the vac.

    BTW, I'm not at all comfortable with the phrase "up your sleeve" when discussing swarms....

  12. #12

    swarms

    had one last night. set my nuc went to look at the tree they came from and while looking they took flight! Yep you guessed it 4:00 on the dot!
    bob

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    Hoisting up a frame of brood works very well, as does trimming
    the branches "in the way", and then getting a box under them
    for a shake-n-dump.

    Another approach is to place a plastic tarp under the swarm, and then
    attempt to dislodge the swarm with a spray of water from a hose. Wet
    bees can't fly, wet bees fall in clumps. When you have the queen, it
    is game over. Getting a rope over the branch and pulling on the rope
    can dislodge the bees also.,

    I also tend to leave a small box behind with a queen pheromone lure
    to attract any stragglers, and pick it up at the end of the day or
    the next day. Stragglers are the bane of the swarm and hive
    removal project. It is bad customer service to leave stragglers.

    For the very tough and high jobs, a saw cable like this one http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/...V=3&item=12073

    can be used to cut a branch well above ladder height if one is any good
    at tossing a rock attached to a string, or shooting a childs bow and arrow
    with a string attached to the arrow.

    First get a string over the branch, then pull a rope over the branch, then
    attach the saw to the rope, and another length of rope to the other
    handle, then simply pull back-and-forth on the two ropes.

    Down comes the branch onto the tarp. One gets a very small amount
    of collateral damage, and in the half a dozen times I've had to resort
    to this trick, the queen has survived every time.

    In more rural areas, one might consider shooting the branch.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    I don't like hauling around a lot of equipment during swarm season, and going to a hive to get a frame of brood just takes more time than I care to spend. I carry a five gallon bucket and a mesh straining bag that fits over the top. A roll of masking tape, my veil, gloves, bee brush and a sweatshirt all go in the bucket and it stays in the car during swarm season.

    Suit up, brush as many bees into the bucket as you can, hoping to get the queen in there. Put the mesh bag over the top and secure with masking tape. If the queen is in there, the rest of the bees will settle on top of the mesh. Tie, tape or strap the bucket near the swarm and come back at dusk. All the bees will be on the bucket and all you have to do is put them in your trunk or the back of your truck and drive to your bee yard and dump them in a hive.

    Here's a pic:



    Disclaimer: I'm not saying this is the best way to get swarms, but this works for me.

    CAUTION: Using a bee brush will rile them up pretty good. Wear protective gear.

    ANOTHER CAUTION: When you go to dump the bees, getting them off the mesh bag can be a little trying. For you and the bees. I'm working on another design that doesn't use the mesh bag. I'll try to download pics tonight.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    172

    Smile

    Hi folks,

    I just got a call for an interesting one. Typical suburban tree in a typical backyard, but the bees are now established down inside the trunk; and I can't top the tree to get inside. Homeowner wants them gone, though they're not agressive.

    Whats the best way to lure them out / remove them?

    Thanks!
    \"It is an Ill Wind that Blows no Minds...\"

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