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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Canton, OH
    Posts
    57

    Default Caught a swarm in one of my traps!

    Today around 3pm I checked one of my swarm traps and there was a large swarm just starting to converge on it. There was a big ball of bees on the ground and they were starting to cover the trap, which is in a tree. After about 45 minutes the ball of bees was gone from the ground, and the trap was completely covered, with a cluster the size of a football hung off the bottom, below the entrance hole. The trap has 5 frames in it but is 19 inches deep. It's been about 6 hours and they have made it through a thunderstorm. The football sized cluster of bees is still hanging on the bottom of the trap, below the hole. Are they just taking their time getting inside? There are definitely bees inside - lots of them. Could they be out of room?

    Another interesting behavior I noticed is that when the trap was covered in bees, some of them sat on top, Nasanov glands in the air, fanning for their sisters. Others were on the front of the trap, doing waggle dances. What are they giving directions to once they have found their new home but haven't gone inside yet?

    This is the first swarm I have ever observed. It really is fascinating.

    Here is a picture of them just starting to cluster on the bottom... entrance is in the lower right.

    Last edited by cinch123; 05-04-2012 at 08:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Caught a swarm in one of my traps!

    Oh man, I envy you! I hope my traps catch a swarm too. Congrats!! I'll keep an eye on this thread for an update.
    To find out more about me go to
    www.broomsbylittlejohn.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Caught a swarm in one of my traps!

    Don't build traps bigger than your frames or you will have to move them out promptly or end up doing some cut out work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Canton, OH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Caught a swarm in one of my traps!

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Don't build traps bigger than your frames or you will have to move them out promptly or end up doing some cut out work.
    Good advice, I'm sure. I plan to go pick them up tomorrow night and bring them back to my home for transfer to a hive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Caught a swarm in one of my traps!

    Nice looking swarm! Bet there is one of those rare feral marked queens in the middle of it all!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Canton, OH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Caught a swarm in one of my traps!

    Update:

    I went over on Saturday night to pick up this trap and bring it home. Much to my surprise, there was a large cluster on the outside of the box!



    I took the box off the tree and tried to shake the bees into a trashcan to bring home. Unfortunately, they had started to build comb on the outside of the box, so I pushed the trap, with cluster attached, down into the can as far as it would go, wrapped a sheet around the top, and bungee corded it closed. On Sunday a fellow beekeeper came over to help me get this into a hive, since I had never done this before. We sprayed the inside of the can with sugar water, gave it a good bump, and almost all the bees dropped into the bottom. We shook them into their new hive, and immediately all the bees started clearing out of the can and went into the hive. It was very exciting, and I was glad to have some help from a mentor.

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