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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Olean, NY, US
    Posts
    25

    Default Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    I found a hive of bees that are in a box sitting on the porch of an unoccupied house. I'm not sure what the box is made of and did not attempt to open it. I've captured a few swarms before, but I've never done a cut out or found a movable hive. I'm wondering what would be the best way to capture these bees.

    Do I try and cut the comb out and then put it into a new hive body with as many bees as possible? If so, how do I go about getting the comb to stay in place? Should I just close off the box they're in and bring the whole thing to their new location and then do the transfer there after they've learned where their new home is? The latter seems to make the most sense to me, but I've never had this option before, so I'd appreciate any advise on this. Thanks,
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Absolutely do the latter. Do the move at night to assure the relocation of as much of the workforce as possible. The bees will wake up in a new place and simply reorient. I have captured three hives in this manner this season and all have stayed. It certainly beats doing a cut out on site. Coaxing them from their chosen home into a standard hive is another story. There are multiple methods for it including cutting out the comb. All have potential pitfalls. I will notify the forum when i find a method that works. Some combination of feeding lemongrass oil and queen confinement is the likely answer i think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Olean, NY, US
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Thanks for the advise mudmallet. I was thinking of setting up the new hive body right next to their box and then putting syrup in it to attract them to the box before I attempted to move them over. I'll have to see if I can find some lemongrass oil.
    Steve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    495

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Quote Originally Posted by McSpin View Post
    how do I go about getting the comb to stay in place?
    Take empty frames with no foundation in them. Place large chunks of comb (the bigger the better) in the empty frame. Some people use butcher string, some use rubber bands, some use fishing line, to wrap loops around the frame (top to bottom) kinda strapping the comb in the middle of the frame.

    The bees will reattach the comb to the frames and then chew off the string/line/bands and deposit it outside the hive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlVVe3hgRqs

    in the vid you can see how they have tied the comb into the frames.

    as for how to move, id move the entire box at night as mentioned.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Olean, NY, US
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Great video. That pretty much clears up any questions I had on attaching the comb to a frame. Thanks,
    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    When I was in college years ago, I took a beekeeping course. As a project, i took a hive that was in a hollow log about two feet tall. I set up a Langstroth to fit on top of the log with no openings, smoked em good, closed their entrance, and beat on the sides of the log for about 15 twenty min. Used stout sticks, not hammers, and just kept pounding on the way round. All the bees, queen and all, went up into the Lang. Set it on a bottom, put a top on it, closed the entrance, and I had a free hive!. I did not keep the comb. Treated them like a package of bees.
    Rick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Motley County, Texas
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    I would recommend shutting up the box, moving it to a new location and then extracting the bees and comb the best way you can devise. Wholeheartedly, I would encourage you to put the old comb into new frames. It is super easy to do with rubber bands.

    I extracted a hive and put them in a box with frames and foundation only...they absconded and just left. Since then, I have put the bees old comb into the frames and haven't lost a hive since then. I've had 100% success when giving the extracted bees their old comb back.

    Good luck. Take pictures and post up on the forum how it turns out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Best "mobile" beehive I have come across was a bird house. Plug up the 1.25" hole, cut the 4x4 post and thats a wrap. Someday I'll learn to put pics on here. Anyone wanna pm this lazy/but busy guy? So on that, post pics if you can of the box.


    Craig

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Assume you have okayed this with the owners of the property?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Definitely move them after dark. Plug all entrances while you move, they will come out at night if disturbed. Place some leafy branches over their entrance at the new location to slow their departure and help them reorient.
    How big is the box? Can you fit it on top of a hive? Can you easily open/cut into the bottom of it? Easiest way would be to place it as super on top of a double deep with frames and let them move down. When they've moved the brood in the boxes below you can remove the box and collect the honey.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    I would definitely move the box at night (after closing it up) and do the removal at home. If you live close, be sure to put some vegetation over/in the opening to get to to reorient.
    -Reid

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Olean, NY, US
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    I moved it with no problem. The box is made out of some kind of fiber board and is about the size of a hive body. I just slipped a plastic bag over it and moved them into my truck. The bees didn't even seem to notice. I didn't even see any come out of the hive. They are flying around close to the box today. I'm guessing this is how they orient to their new surroundings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aram View Post
    How big is the box? Can you fit it on top of a hive? Can you easily open/cut into the bottom of it? Easiest way would be to place it as super on top of a double deep with frames and let them move down. When they've moved the brood in the boxes below you can remove the box and collect the honey.
    Great Idea. I'll be able to easily put a hole in the bottom.
    Steve

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Wild hive - how do I capture it?

    Wish Olean was closer, sounds like an exciting project.
    I'd think the hole has to be large enough an opening so they perceive the boxes below as the same cavity.
    Good luck!

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