Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?
I caught a smallish swarm last Sunday and ran into the same problem with the cold the next day. for nearly two days they just set in the TB hive and clustered.
Here are the suggestions I received in another thread.
1. just leave them to work it out. with further information that the swarm only has three days of food.
2. feed them sugar water and pollen patty which I have done.
3. Actually take comb from my langstroth hive that contains food and attach it to a bar and place it in the TB.
4. do the same as above with a frame of brood from the lang.
In my case I do not want to weaken my lang hive due to it only being 3 weeks old having been installed as from a 5 frame nuc and doing well. I don't want to rob a strong hive to hopefully save a weak one.
Likewise if I where to capture yet another swarm I woudl manage it as a separate hive. leaving each to fend for itself lending what aid I can in the way of feeding etc.
On the issue of cold and clustering. I did notice that once my swarm clustered they where more reluctant to break up and forage. the temperature needed to get a bit higher for them to move than I had observed when they where not clustered. but still there where a few hours each day that they did fly. how much this helped them I have no idea. My swarm seems to be ignoring the sugar water that is inches from them and going to a flower bed about 60 feet away. they are not going far I suspect due to the cold, but they also need food as they have no stores of any kind.
Unlike your situation It is supposed to warm into the 70's today. the ordeal only lasted 3 days total for my swarm. I am not sure what else I would do if I was looking at weeks. Otherwise I consider the bees swarmed when and in what numbers they chose. I am not going to do much to alter that situation.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)