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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Douglasville, GA, USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Everything you know about swarming

    After this years swarm season is there anything you learned that you did not know (if so please share)?

    Also, I would be interested in hearing everything you know about swarming...

    Thank ahead of time,
    Matt C.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Try this link from our very own leading poster. Michael Bush.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I had a first just this past week. I cuaght a swarm and after placing them in a box, they immediately came pouring back out. But I was ready. The queen made her appearance but did not take flight as fast as the worker. So she hesitated for a few seconds and I grabbed her and placed her in a cage. After the swarm has collected back in the same place on a tree limb, I placed the queen back in the hive. Then collected the swarm and dumped them in. This time some bees started out of the hive but most stayed. Within the hour all bees left on the branch were back inside the hive. It was just starting to get dark. The next day I released her and they have been happy ever since.

    If you want an excellent book on swarming, control, prevention, etc., then get the swarming book by Root Publications at 1-800-289-7668 Its item #56 Well worth the 5 dollars.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    BjornBee

    Sometimes being in the right place at the right time makes all the difference. I had something similar, I caught a swarm high in a tree using a bucket on a pole. I shook most of the swarm into the bucket. But a lot went flying. I placed them into a box only to watch them pore back out before I could pack up. They landed back in about the same place. Then I noticed that a small bunch has collected on a short bush, about the size of an orange. I clipped the branch shook them back into the box a low and behold their was the queen.
    Captured the large cluster again shook them back into the box and all was happy camping.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Juan Is. WA state
    Posts
    68

    Default Read Walt Wright's publication

    Greetings,
    Read Walt Wrights insights into swarming and how to prevent it. If everyone would follow his simple instructions, there would be no swarms to catch unless they were feral. Plus you can double your honey yields.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    somerset county, nj
    Posts
    60

    Default

    i learned that it doesn't matter that i'm scared to death of heights, i'll still climb 30 feet up a tree to catch bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Payne, OK, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default Swarms

    This year - WOW ! Of 15 hives in one location over half swarmed, and some swarmed twice, and even the swarms swarmed. The craziest was finding 3 queens in two of the swarms. Had one that I had to cage the queen before they stayed in the box. One day, got a call on a swarm, went to hive it, while we were waiting for them to settle down, heard of another swarm, went to get it with a make shift box, and then on the way back home drove through another swarm. (They had already found a tree )
    Anyway, I guess I don't really try to manage for swarms. Just let them happen and then deal with them. Between swarms and cutouts, we have doubled the hives in our apiary.
    Finally decided to post, been an avid reader for over 3 years, have gained valuable knowledge. Thanks to all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Since swarming is a natural reproductive impulse at a colony level, nobody can completely eliminate it. And is probably necessary for the species. I have read a lot of Walt Wright’s material and have adopted some of his methods, a very smart beekeeper.
    When I hear the term feral honeybee I have to think aren’t they all feral? They fly where they want and forage on what is most attractive to them. Humans have never domesticated the honeybee we only manage them. If you trap a colony of honeybee from a tree in the woods and place them in a Langstroth hive they will function the same way they did in the tree. Likewise if a managed hive swarms and takes up residence in a tree in the wood they will function the same. Managed or unmanaged (feral) their form and function are the same.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Juan Is. WA state
    Posts
    68

    Default Feral

    Greetings,
    That is just Walt's point, respect the behavior of the bee as a wild creature. He studied the feral bees in bee trees and watched how they managed their nectar stores and came to some conclusions that are helpful to beekeepers. If you have read Walt's literature then you know that if the bees never build their brood numbers to reach their honey reserve in the spring then they will not start swarm preparations. It is so simple to make sure that this never happens it amazes me that anyone is still having swarms in hives that they can open and observe.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Beekeeping has always been a hobby or occupation that relies on keen observation. When Rev. Langstroth discovered the bee space and made the movable frame beehive a reality. Or the English beekeeper Snelgrove that observed that high consideration of nurse bees will stimulate swarming impulses.
    Walt Wright has made several useful observation that will change management methods for the better.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  11. #11

    Default

    Drone On-

    I am going to try and find the literature you mention. Thanks for posting info about it.

    *Here's a list of links to everything Walt's posted

    http://www.knology.net/~k4vb/all%20walt%20articles.htm
    Last edited by gingerbee; 07-13-2008 at 05:09 PM. Reason: add info
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Juan Is. WA state
    Posts
    68

    Default But Maybe Not

    Greetings,
    Rev. Snelgrove may have assumed that lots of young bees and congestion caused swarming but maybe he was wrong. Walt has done twenty years of observations and experiments to prove himself right. Every time he gets lazy and doesn't break up the honey reserve early in the spring or late winter he has had a swarm. Every time he does break up the honey reserve and lets his bees build up to tremendous numbers in the spring, no swarms. As Walt is a retired NASA engineer often called in when they needed someone with exceptional observational skills, I put my money on Walt!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

    Default

    well I am a newbie at this not even 1 year into it yet, But I think walt is correct as I had a very strong hive going into the winter. this spring I could not go check on it as offten as I wanted to and when I first checked it, it had queen cells on over half the frames on both the brood an the first super.. I did how ever get to the hive after two weeks had went by and low an behold there was ONE cell with a live uncaped QUEEN so I placed her and the frame she was on also the two on each side of her into another brood box. Went back the next weekend to see how everything was and the box was empty of bees.

    JB:}



    Quote Originally Posted by Drone On View Post
    Greetings,
    Rev. Snelgrove may have assumed that lots of young bees and congestion caused swarming but maybe he was wrong. Walt has done twenty years of observations and experiments to prove himself right. Every time he gets lazy and doesn't break up the honey reserve early in the spring or late winter he has had a swarm. Every time he does break up the honey reserve and lets his bees build up to tremendous numbers in the spring, no swarms. As Walt is a retired NASA engineer often called in when they needed someone with exceptional observational skills, I put my money on Walt!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Blanco, Texas
    Posts
    74

    Default

    To keep a swarm from leaving, just place a frame with some capped brood out of one of your other hives into the box with the swarm. I have not had a swarm abscond from this type of situation yet.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

    Default Baloo

    That is what I done: moved 5 frames into another box one frame had the queen on it along with other uncaped brood as did some of the other frames.

    I think that since it was kind of cold out that week is why they left but I am not sure of nothing I do:}


    Thanks JB:}
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

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