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Thread: swarm questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Burlington ,Vermont
    Posts
    20

    Default swarm questions

    I caught a swarm about a week ago - first one for me. I got about 80% of the bees. The folks whose yard it was in contacted me today saying that the remaining bees are still there and have started building comb.

    Three questions:

    Does this mean I didn't get the queen?

    I'm going back tomorrow to get the remaining bees, will they merge with the bees I got earlier okay?

    Is there any hope whatsoever for the swarm to survive the winter, even I feed them? (I'm in Vermont).

    Thanks!

    Zac

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: swarm questions

    When you catch a swarm, if you put it in a hive or a nuc on site and leave them there until after dark, you should get nearly all the bees. I would suggest that you go to youtube and watch all the videos posted by "jpthebeeman". -james

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,614

    Default Re: swarm questions

    Watching all of JP's videos could take hours!!! But some very interesting, educational, and entertaining videos!!!

    Ed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Harris, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: swarm questions

    If it's not a lot of bees and the rest of your bees stayed put, most likely you got the queen. Check for eggs in a week. Put some syrup on for the first week. I even throw pollen patties on mine for a week.

    It's pretty late for a swarm to make it through winter.

    A late swarm to me gives me three options.

    1. Use it as a frame builder and let them die off this winter. I label all my frames by year when I put them in a hive. When they are 5 years old or older I burn them and replace. So I use a late swarm to build out new frames and I will use those frames next year to replace old ones.

    2. I am experimenting this year by taking some of my smaller hives and replacing the queens with queens I made this year. Then splitting a hive body in two and making two 5 frame nucs. I will feed them heavy and try to get 30lbs in the hive before winter. I will place them on top of a strong hive with a double screen in between and see if I can get them to over winter. There is a guy in Vermont that does this with 400+ hives a year.

    3. Kill the queen. Let them sit queenless for a couple days. Pick a hive that's a little week and put this hive on top of your other hive using the newspaper method to combine them. Cut a couple of slits in the newspaper. They will combine over a week.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: swarm questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Watching all of JP's videos could take hours!!! But some very interesting, educational, and entertaining videos!!!

    Ed
    Oh, believe me, it does. But it was worth it. -james

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