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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Seguin, Texas
    Posts
    28

    Default When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    After a swarm is caught, should you leave them in the trap long enough to build some comb? Develop brood? I would think if you tried to move them too quickly they may abscond if they have nothing to stay for. So how long is the average time after swarm is caught is it safe to move them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    814

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    My first swarm catch last year which I got into a cardboard box hanging from a tree, all I used was lgo and a small piece of comb. I dumped them into a box 2 days later. Next day they were gone. This year I'm only using boxes with frames, extra deeps, meds, nuks. Anything I can put frames in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,379

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    If you have other hives, I would transfer the swarm to what ever permanant box they are going to and then put a frame of brood in with them from your other hives, they wont leave if they have brood. Meanwhile, they will take care of the brood and drawn the empty frames out and call the new box home!!

    If you dont have a frame of brood to give them.............then I would give them atleast a week or two to get established before moving them to a permanant home. In that time if they intend on staying, they will draw comb quick and the queen will begin laying as soon as cells are available, locking the swarm down! Then feel free to move them into a new box. If you have a frame of drawn wax to offer them, that might give the queen a jump start on laying and you could probably move them within a week.

    Sometimes swarms stay, other times they dont, its up to the bees for the most part. I had a swarm abscond a hive a day after hiving it last summer, mostly due to my neglect and not reducing the entrance and not leaving them alone. I got them back, hived them again, reduced the entrance and put a frame of brood in and they stayed. The queen died and I ended up paper combining them with another hive I had.

    Live and Learn!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    One of my mentors collects swarms all the time. He just puts a screen on the front for a few days so they can't get out. If they were a swarm they have nothing except themselves, they feed and got all their supplies just before they left and so they can live on that for a few days, he says. If it's a cutout, then you have comb and they can feed on that.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    Good thread! I just found yet another hive in an oak about 50 ft from my targeted oak hive. Both are so close to the trail...I may have to move a caught swarm a.s.a.p so no one discovers them. I have a empty hive next to my established hive...would I steal brood comb from that hive to put into the new hive? Should I screen up a caught swarm for a few days and then let them loose?

    73 out today and there were bees flying all over the place!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    I just put them in a nucs and have a frame of honey for them and seal it for 2 days and open the door and I haven't had a problem of loseing any yet knock on wood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    I wonder why people are having so much trouble with absconding swarms? Never been an issue with me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    628

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I wonder why people are having so much trouble with absconding swarms? Never been an issue with me.
    Me neither. I prefer to shake swarms right into a hive with a couple of drops of lemon grass oil and go back to get them after dark. I don't bother with comb, brood, feeding, or locking them in. Primary swarms I'll check after 3 or 4 days to make sure they are drawing straight comb in their foundationless frames. Secondary swarms I start on foundation and don't check for 2 weeks so as to not disturb the virgin queen's mating.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    I transfer mine only after I have seen pollen going in. You know they have brood and won't leave it. I have had swams in a couple of boxes that left shortly after occupation. If they are taking in pollen you know you at least have a queen in there. If you start with at least 1 frame of old brood comb it normally takes 4 to 5 days before I see pollen entering the trap. If you don't use old comb, I don't know how long.....
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    So I am new at this and that is why I am asking so many questions...

    A friend gave me 4 frames of old brood comb which I have in my freezer.....should I put one of these in the swarm trap? Does it matter it was frozen and there are still some capped honey cells in there? thanks!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    I can't say i know the "right" answer to this. I had some last year that had only a few capped cells with honey in them and just loaded them. They worked fine and I caught swarms. If you have a lot of honey in there I don't know. I have some old comb with more honey that I have been open feeding this winter about 1/2 mile from some hives on days that I think bees will be flying just to get them cleaned up by swarm time. There is always so much controversy over feeding I never know what to do. I am just experimenting, and will deal with the consequences if it was the wrong thing to do.

    As far as them being frozen.... They'll thaw.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    Thanks. yes I know they will thaw. I just froze them to knock out any mites or moths or disease (I hope).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,092

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    Any honey will get robbed out soon after you put the swarm trap out.

    Old brood comb is a very good lure. along with lemon grass oil

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: When is the best time to transfer a caught swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    Any honey will get robbed out soon after you put the swarm trap out.
    No always true, especially granulated honey. It will also attract a lot of ants which discourages swarms.

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