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Thread: New Swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Harrisonville, MO
    Posts
    35

    Default New Swarm

    How long can I keep a newly caught swarm in the hive with out syrup or water I really dont want to open them up yet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: New Swarm

    I left mine from 10 days to 2 weeks--caught 4 this spring and all 4 are doing great. I used nuks with 1 frame drawn comb and 4 frames foundationless. I lost swarms last year by messing with them too soon.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: New Swarm

    You will need to feed them if you want them to survive, but you can do that with a screened inner cover hole an a jar with tiny holes in the lid.

    If they are in a hive, it's not necessary to keep them in more than overnight. If they are going to leave, they will leave two days later just as quickly as if they were let out immediately so far as I know.

    The best way to keep them in a hive is to provide them with what they want -- old brood comb, a nice, tight, dark hive, and a full set of frames.

    The key thing to watch is whether or not they do orientation flights as soon as you open them up. In fact, when they like whatever you caught them in they will do orientation flights as soon as they decide to stay in it (which is why I'm using nucleus hives, not just an empty box, to catch swarms). They will, I think, leave rather than orient, so if you have hundreds of bees going in and out and flying in circles, they are staying put.

    If you have some you can spare, a frame of open brood will anchor them as well. Takes about a week for them to generate their own (a few days for the queen to start laying and three days for the brood to hatch out).

    You can also feed them at night with a boardman feeder, since they will stay in the hive while it's dark. Close up the entrance except where the feeder is.

    I moved my monster swarm on Monday after catching it Friday evening, but I opened the nucleus hive when I got home Friday. They were flying on Saturday morning early, and have drawn four combs and filled them with nectar except for brood space on three. One comb was an old black brood comb from a deadout. They loved that one! My other swarm was in the nuc for about four days too, had to wait until I would get over to pick it up from a friend's. Neither showed the slightest interest in moving once they were in the box.

    Peter

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