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Thread: Hi from Phoenix

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    phoenix, az

    Default Hi from Phoenix

    I am the fng from the Valley of the Sun.
    I have a swarm of bees in my backyard for weeks now. I would like to learn to care for them, but don't know where to start.
    My budget is next to nill this time of year. It has not been below 40 degrees yet, but the next storm could get us to freezing.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thank You...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix

    Welcome Roger !

    Be careful with swarms in your part. They could be African Honey Bees. Most swarms are not aggressive, however, you could find out really soon if they're not properly identified.

    Most of us start with Italians, I choose the Russians for their gentleness.

    Look into your local newspapers for "Free" hive bodies and sometimes bees. Craig's List is another one. You're welcome to chat with us in the "Beekeeping 101" section any time. See you there .........
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Malabar, FL

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix

    welcome, I suggest getting with an experienced beek in your area for help/advice.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix

    Go to Walmart and for a few bucks you can buy a face net in the camping section. Then buy one of those really cheap Styrofoam coolers, some glue and some pop sickle sticks in the hobby section of Walmart. total cost should be around ten bucks.

    Go home and take the cooler and flip the lid. On the inside of the lid push a pop stick into the lid to make an impression. Do this about every inch and a half front to back. Take your glue and place some in the impressions and then place a stick in each line of glue. Let dry. On the bottom side of one of the short sides drill a one 3/4 inch hole close to the bottom. Mist the inside of the hive with sugar water..and lemongrass oil if you have it.

    Don your head net, put on a couple of layers of cloths, gloves and take the cooler and a brush (wisk broom will work or any kind of soft bristle brush) and go to your swarm. Now if the swarm is on a branch you can cut then carefully cut the branch off, place it so the majority of the bees are hanging in the cooler and give it a quick shake. The bees should fall into the cooler. Do this again till the majority are in the hive. Place the cover on the cooler and place the branch in front of the hive. You have just hived your first swarm.

    If they are just hanging, you can gently brush them from the tree or whatever into the cooler with your hand (fingers like a rake).

    Good luck.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Tucson, Arizona, USA

    Default Re: Hi from Phoenix

    If they are a true "swarm", and not an established colony, which some lay persons mistakenly refer to as a "swarm". They may be easily handled, especially if they have recently clustered from their parent colony; however, if they are AHB (Africanized Honey Bees), they may be very defensive, defying the normal behavior of swarming European Honey Bees. I have dealt with many swarms that behave as if they were AHB. AHB swarms are also very difficult to hive (which means that once you get them into a beehive, they often just leave, even despite common beekeeping tricks like giving them open brood). They don't seem to care much about those tricks. In my current area, over the past fifteen years I've attempted to hive at least one hundred swarms of unknown origins, only one of them stayed, but not in the hive I originally gave it - in their first three days they built comb and the queen began laying eggs, then they absconded from that hive and took over a weak hive that was three hives over from their original location.

    I do like to keep some idle equipment stacked near my apiary, because swarms, from outside my apiary (not my own bees), often set up house in my idle equipment. When they've moved in of their own accord, I let them get firmly established, then switch their queen for one of my own, then move them into equipment and location of my choosing - easiest way to hive an AHB swarm, and most successful.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 12-16-2009 at 05:03 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni


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