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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sugar Valley, Georgia. USA
    Posts
    45

    Default So I caught a swarm.. now what?

    I got a bunch of bees.. And I am pretty sure I got the queen. I cut the branch on the tree they were in and layed it in a Hive Body. Problem one, this body had double 1/4 inch wire on the bottom board. They started coming out.. I put a bag over the hive body and sealed it off.. Lots of bees in the air and they bearded up on a branch a few feet away. I caught most of them too, and put them in a seperate box. Took them home and merged them cause I wasn't sure if the queen was in the first batch or the second. So I built a 4x4 cage with screen wire. Place all of the boxes and hives in the cage and turned them loose. They settled down but now the are just clustered around in different areas of the cage and don't seem to want to stay in the hive body. Will they eventually go in or do I need to get a queen coming and do something different? Any advise will be appreciated! Lesson 1, never use a screen bottom to catch a swarm!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default

    FYI, I use a screened top and bottom to catch swarms. It keeps them cool while traveling back to the yard. Once in the yard I'll set them up on a normal setup w/ a top and bottom(I like screened bottom boards too).

    What did they do @ night? Did they all go back inside the hive body? Hopefully they did? give them a day or 2 and see if they settle in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sugar Valley, Georgia. USA
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane View Post
    FYI, I use a screened top and bottom to catch swarms. It keeps them cool while traveling back to the yard. Once in the yard I'll set them up on a normal setup w/ a top and bottom(I like screened bottom boards too).

    What did they do @ night? Did they all go back inside the hive body? Hopefully they did? give them a day or 2 and see if they settle in.
    They were clustered in the corner of the cage and in behind the entrance feeder. If weather allows I'm gonna try and make a move to re hive them with an excluder on the bottom board and a hive body on top of that..... I'll see what they do today after it gets a little light goin on in there... Is there a chance that they will migrate into the hive?
    Last edited by Bitteroot; 05-06-2009 at 06:33 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South San Ysidro, NM
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bitteroot View Post
    Lesson 1, never use a screen bottom to catch a swarm!
    There's nothing wrong with screened bottoms as long as it is 1/8" screen. As you found out 1/4" won't work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,405

    Default

    That is a question I had. Can they squeeze through 1/4 in screen.? Can the queen?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sugar Valley, Georgia. USA
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ardilla View Post
    There's nothing wrong with screened bottoms as long as it is 1/8" screen. As you found out 1/4" won't work.
    yea we new that.. we doubled the 1/4" screen and off set it and tied it together trying to finish out bottoms before our package bee's arrived.. It was ok for that.. but it ain't worth a darn for a transport!

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    That is a question I had. Can they squeeze through 1/4 in screen.? Can the queen?
    Absolutely.. and it don't take long at all! You shouda seem me tryin to wrap the hive bodody up with a bag asap to keep em in tact!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Drop swarm in box with frames, add a frame feeder with syrup once home, and let them bee! I just caught a swarm in a five-frame nuc box the other day. I put in four foundationless frames and a frame feeder. I'll look in a week or so to see how they're doing.

    justgojumpit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sugar Valley, Georgia. USA
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Success! Took two tries to hive the girls but they are finally happy in their new home. Thanks Derek, you are the man!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bitteroot View Post
    Success! Took two tries to hive the girls but they are finally happy in their new home. Thanks Derek, you are the man!

    I turned my phone off early tonight to spend quite time with the wife. 5 yr anniversery(sp) today.(So what am I doing on here? )

    So what happened?
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,405

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek View Post
    (So what am I doing on here? )
    I ask myself that all the time. The stories and answers are so addicting.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sugar Valley, Georgia. USA
    Posts
    45

    Default

    So what happened?


    After we hived them the first time as you know they only stayed about 2-3 hours and all evacuated the hive again back into the "hillbilly swarm trap" .... I hived them a second time and same thing after we spoke the other night. Then they basically swarmed in the trap and clustered up high in one corner. Was able to get the brood box under them this time a drop em all in at one time. BUNCH OF BEES! Not much room for frames so we added a super after we hived them in the brood chamber. I think the extra room, spraying the frames since is was such a large swarm enticed them to think Hey, this is a pretty neat place! They are still in the trap and we will move them probably Sunday after we add a different bottom board. The are going back to the hive nightly and sending out only a few bees periodically during the day. Sooo, they should be drawing comb pretty well inside the box instead of on the post of my trap! I am going to move the trap outside today and let the natural light take its course a couple of days before I remove the brood box from the trap.. I know some of you are scrathing your head thinking whats this contraption looks like so I will post some pics tonight after I get back from work! It allowed me to work with the bees through arm holes with out the NEWBIE risk of a mistake and the bees just leaving me high and dry! It worked very well and I was able to control my fresh caught swarm for a while and experiment with different ways to get them hived! It would not have been needed if everything didn't go wrong from the start! But as it turned out, it was an invaluable tool and the kids got a front row seat in seeing how it all worked out! Hey, free bees, it doesn't matter if loose em now or not.. just the experience has been a thrill!!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Pueblo,co
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: So I caught a swarm.. now what?

    So today is my first day as a suburban beekeeper. 2 days ago I had a small swarm on my fence, so i quickly built a top bar hive and placed it near the swarm with a cottonball soaked with lemongrass oil inside... the bees kept to themselves and paid no attention to the home i built for them. My patience deteriorated and i opened the hive and scooped the mass of bees into the box and put the lid back on. I watched them flying around for hours in and out of the hive. by evening they had all collected in a cluster under the hive. I was a little frustrated now. Later that night I got a container and again scooped the mass and put them inside the hive. To my amazement this morning the bees were steadily flying in and out of the hive. I've been observing them off and on all day until just recently i peeked inside the hive. There is about 250 bees inside, clung to the walls, moving around doing bee things i guess. So my question is NOW WHAT? What do I do? Are they likely to stay? Please offer any advice and knowledge as I am very eager to keep this colony and maybe next year harvest some honey.

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