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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Swarm Leaving? What to do?

    I caught a swarm on Tuesday evening and put it into a swarm trap. Now it appears that they are leaving. Here is a picture:

    www.wilcoxent.com/images/ChagaCluster.jpg

    I saw a few bees doing waggle dances on the cluster, so they are searching and finding places to live. I opened the hive and there were a few bees still in there festooning on the bars, but no comb drawn yet. They have put up some stores in an empty comb that I provided. I made a mistake when I set up this hive, I think, by putting the comb at the wrong end of the hive, away from the entrance. I don't know what I was thinking!

    Is there any good way to salvage this? I figure the options are:

    1. Set up a baited swarm trap near by.
    2. Bang them into another hive.
    3. Put them back into this one.
    4. Forget about it and wave goodbye.

    So far I have chosen #1 above. I set up a swarm trap a little ways away, put some comb into it and baited it with LGO. I figure it is useless to try to put this swarm back into the same hive since they are already leaving it.

    Ted

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    unionville,mi, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Swarm Leaving? What to do?

    if you have a frame of brood put it in there with them.
    Your inferiority complex is better than mine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Swarm Leaving? What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk View Post
    if you have a frame of brood put it in there with them.
    Do you mean put them back into the hive and add a comb of brood? Or could I just add a comb of brood and let them go back inside on their own? Do I need nurse bees from the hive I take the brood from?

    Ted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    unionville,mi, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Swarm Leaving? What to do?

    Put them back in the hive with a frame of brood from the parent hive or another. Do not add any nurse bees just a frame of open brood. More than likely they will not leave with open brood in the new hive.
    Your inferiority complex is better than mine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Swarm Leaving? What to do?

    is that top bars in the picture if so how do bees move between frames,or get to frames, also what are they surviving on is there feed in the hive.bees love sugar syrup. lots of bees just dont like there new homes,so they find another

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Swarm Leaving? What to do?

    I'm sure they have probably left by now, but what I do when this happens is shake them into a completely different set up. I've never gotten them to stay in the same box once they have abandoned it once.

    Ditto, the frame of open brood.

    Also, you could search for the queen and cage her in the hive for a few days.

    I don't think your frame of wax on the wrong end of the hive had anything to do with them leaving.

    Good luck, if they are still there don't dilly dally.

    Don

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Swarm Leaving? What to do?

    A couple updates. I set up another swarm trap on my patio table. Today, I was going out to the back to take the trap they were in apart and use the bars for something else when I noticed that there were bees flying around the trap on the table! I looked at the trap where the swarm was and they are still there! It looks like they are seriously thinking about moving into the patio table hive! That would be great. There is lots of scout activity at the cluster, and they are mostly indicating a hive very close with their dances, so I think I might be in luck. It is also very amazing to watch the cluster deciding where to live. It is right out of Honeybee Democracy!

    I think the reason they decided to leave is my fault. I probably disturbed them with yard work I did on Wednesday, including burning weeds all around the hive they were in.

    "how do bees move between frames"?
    They are on the outside of the hive. They are top bars and there is only one comb on the bars visible in the picture. All the rest have no comb. When the combs are built out, the bees leave space to move around or even through the comb. I don't normally feed swarms as they come with their own honey. I gave this swarm an empty comb, which was all I had available, and we are in the middle of a major honey flow, so I didn't feed them at all and there is now lots of nectar and pollen in the comb.

    Ted

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