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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    191

    Default Possible swarm capture / trap

    This afternoon my sister calls me. I just got home and there are all kinds of bees flying all around our house. Thinking it was a swarm coming to land on her house, I told her I would be over.

    They have an older house that they have remodeled and added on. The inside is finished, but the outside hasn't been. Lots of cracks and crevices. I get there. amd there are probably 200 honey bees flying all around the house - mostly concentrated on the one side where they had put in a new basement wall - and the block wall connected to the house sill. Looked to me like scouts earnestly searching for a new home.

    So I ran home, grabbed a hive, bottom board, inner cover, and lid and head back over. I set the hive up, put lemon grass oil in it and set it up on their covered porch right beside the side of the house they were checking out. Got a water hose out and sprayed water along the wall to discourage the bees from doing any more checking along the exposed block wall / house sill.

    The majority of bees quickly started investigating the hive - going in and out. Sometimes there would be up to 75, sometimes it slowed down. I'm assuming once the scout finds a suitable new home, they go back to the swarm, and do their dance so other bees can check it out.

    I saw a little bit of fighting where several bees would jump on another bee coming to the hive. Almost like guard behavior which led me to believe perhaps there are two swarms somewhere out there.

    By tonight when I went over, all was quiet. No bees in the hive. I set up a 2nd hive just in case there is another swarm checking things out. Is this typical swouting behavior?

    I'll guess we will see what tomorrow brings.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    I've had similar experiences. The behavior sounds promising for you. Had one last week that I thought for sure a swarm would move in. By late afternoon, it stopped and nothing the next day. Go figure. My "guess" is the LGO is too interesting for them to pass up. I have seen where my bees "run into my house." My thoughts on that are that bees navigate distance and straight lines. They do not incorporate "obstacles" in that formula. So if the house is in the line of the source, there appears to be a traffic pile up till they find their way over the obstacle. JMHO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    Sounds like you got the trap there just in time.

    There seem to be more then one hive/swarm look for a new home.

    Good luck keep us posted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    Just got back from checking and both hives are being investigated. I thought at first the one hive wasn't even being looked at, but as I stood there, several bees came out from being inside it with more of them in there. There isn't anywhere the number of bees there was yesterday when I first got there and they were all checking out along the house wall. But seemed to be almost constant comings and goings.

    I'm still seeing some "fighting" going on where a bee will land and some of the other bees come to check her out. For whatever reason, they then jump her and pull her around. I've also noticed several bees "dancing". They land, meet another another bee and do a dance wiggling. I'm hoping they are saying "Get ready, Mom and sisters are on their way." I'm hoping it's not "We've decided this isn't a suitable house, come look at what I found that is better."

    I guess as long as bees are chcking it out and going in and out, that is a good sign. There is no old comb, just frames with new foundation on it - and some lemon grass oil.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    some old or drawn comb would go along way to sway the decision making process. They love to have a place ready for them to deposit the honey they brought with them My fingers are crossed for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    I don't know what is going on. Still have bees checking out both hives, although the one hive usually has more visitors.

    I'm taking Rick 1456's advice and tonight I put an drawn comb frame in the hive with the most visitors. As I did this at dark, there were still a few bees in the hive - maybe 10 or 15 bees.

    If these bees are from a swarm - I can't believe they still haven't found a suitable home. I thought most swarms found a new home within a few days.

    I'm still holding out hope, that now with the one frame of drawn comb, that will be enough to entice them to move in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    The activity I had at my box went on for three days. There is debate as to whether bees will scout before they actually swarm and cluster. I have no evidence other than stories of bees clustering and leaving within minuets. My "belief" is they do/ can scout before leaving the hive. It is as you said at this point, it is a wait and see.

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