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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    343

    Default The girls just wouldn't stay.

    Had two swarms land in two trees about 20' apart, one 10' up the other 12'. Both were within 50 feet of our apiary, and I'm certain one of them was feral, and very large, 8 or 9 lbs. We captured the large one, got it boxed, left the inner cover slightly askew as they were fanning to the remainder of the group to come on in. We had a prior engagement, and had to leave. When we returned 3 hours later, the bees had left the box and were back up on the same branch. It rained for 4 days straight and they stayed there. The other swarm, smaller about 5-6 lbs landed in a different tree. We captured them the same way with our bucket trap, boxed them, and waited. They also left the box, went back to the same branch in their tree. It rained again and got cooler, 40's to 50's for another day. On the 6th day the larger swarm left. I had planned on cutting the branch off and carrying it down although this would have been quite a feat. The smaller swarm waited until the afternoon of the same day, and then they too left.
    Both deep boxes had frames with drawn comb, partially drawn, one frame old brood comb, and frames of foundation only. Also within 30 feet of both of them was a swarm trap which they did check out a lot, but decided it was not to their liking. The larger swarm would not have fit in a 5 frame Nuc. Hated to see them go but I guess you can't get them all.
    I've read about using an excluder parked on top of the bottom board (once you know you've got the queen in the box) to keep them there. But getting a swarm to "settle in" can be dicey enough as it is, I don't want to stress them too much. We have successfully captured and housed 3 swarms this spring already, just thought it was unusual to have two swarms so close and they just wouldn't stay. I also have caught a swarm in a trap this spring, mounted 15' up on an Oak tree in a nearby town. The peoples' house has a large colony living in their soffet. I'm going to do a cutout when they get a 30' man lift.

    bigswarm.jpg
    twoswarms.jpg
    littleswarm.jpg
    Last edited by BeePappy; 05-14-2016 at 06:09 AM. Reason: add photos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    A frame of open brood helps anchor them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    beepappy
    Take it with a grain of salt but I read somewhere that if you don't have brood to put a couple drops of lemon grass oil in the box. I transferred an swarm from a trap just after they arrived and did this and they stayed. They may have stayed anyway but at least I know the lemongrass oil didn't drive them away.
    Cheers
    gww

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    Thanks Eikel, if a similar situation arises I'll give that a try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    Thanks gww. I did use LGO in the aforementioned swarm traps, but not in my transfer boxes. So are you saying when you bring the trap to your apiary, you will put LGO into the box you are transferring them into? I am supposed to go pick up the trap with bees this evening. I was thinking of leaving them in the 5 frame trap for a few days, let them acclimate to the new surroundings, then move them into a 10 frame Lang in the same location.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    beepappy
    I put two drops in the medium hive that I was transfering them to. Thier final home. I hope this helps.
    I just got bees this month but tried what I did from earlier reading. I don't know anything but my bees did stay in the box.

    I wish you luck
    gww

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    You mention that the large swarm would not have fit in a 5 frame nuc. Is that what your are trying to keep them in? I captured a swarm the other day that required two 10 frame boxes to keep them around. They where pouring over a single 10 frame. Otherwise I am interested in hearing why others think two swarms would be dissatisfied with the accommodations. I have never had a lot of trouble with this. mainly problems getting transferred bees to stay in queen castles. But the way bees are eventually everything comes around to share itself with you. 6 swarms so far this year. all have remained. one was queenless.
    Significant Minority vs Insignificant Majority, 20% of causes produce 80% of the effects.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    You mention that the large swarm would not have fit in a 5 frame nuc. Is that what your are trying to keep them in? .
    No, not necessarily. I was simply using a 5 frame as a "measurement" citing that this swarm was so large it would not fit into a 5 frame Nuc. All swarms we've captured have been housed in 10 frame Langs, except two. One of those did go into a 5 frame Nuc, they barely covered 3 frames. The other nearly filled 14 or 15 frames in 2 deeps. It was a double swarm, with two queens. One was subsequently balled. This year is the first time we've experienced swarms leaving the boxes we put them in. They were very antsy. We're used to having them settled in within an hour or two, and hitting the feed jar. The swarm trap I mentioned I'll be going to pick up tonight is a 5 frame, and according to the homeowner, they have settled in nicely. It's been 8 days now for them. This is my first successful swarm trapping out of maybe 4 or 5 times trying.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: The girls just wouldn't stay.

    Sounds to me like you get the set up right. it sounds like mine at least and I also don't typically have a problem with them staying. Interesting that both would behave in an unusual way on that particular day.
    Significant Minority vs Insignificant Majority, 20% of causes produce 80% of the effects.

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