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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    187

    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
    1,083

    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
    187

    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
    187

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!! I went over my lunch break to look, and noticed that there were alot of bees at the hive (the one they were most interested in and the one I put the one frame of drawn comb in.) Bees either just on the bottom board or bees flying to and from. The more I watched, I noticed that they weren't checking out around the hive either - everything was going on at the front.

    So, I got up on the porch and lifted the lid. I didn't need to lift the inner cover, because there were a ton of bees I could see just on the frames below the inner cover. (The drawn frame was put on the first "floor" and these bees were on the 2nd "floor".) As soon as I saw that, I knew a swarm moved in. Must be a good sized swarm too - if the bees are already up in the 2nd hive body!

    I'll leave the hive there for several days until they get settled in and with the drawn frame, the queen can start laying right away (if she is able to yet since she slimmed down for the swarm flight).

    Don't know if the drawn comb frame finally coaxed them in, or if they would have come in anyway, but thanks Rick 1456 for the suggestion! I don't know if it "worked", but it certainly didn't hurt!!!!

    This is my first swarm trap capture - and it sure is exciting!!!! I'm like a kid on Christmas day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    I am tickled to death for you Swarms are like Christmas. Enjoy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    I didn't put all 10 frames in the top hive body, so I decided tonight I should put them in so the swarm didn't decide to hang from the inner cover where no frames were and start building comb. It's a good thing I did - I lifted up the inner cover and there was the swarm (well, part of it) hanging from the inner cover. There were probably about 2 or 3 pounds of bees hanging on the inner cover - plus the top hive body was filled with bees along with the frames in the top filled with bees. This must have been one HUGE swarm!!!!!

    I'll let them for a few days and then bring them home once they are settled in. WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    Sounds like fun. I hope I get the chance to gather a swarm someday.
    I guess one shoul have equipment on hand just in case. I reckon I should buy some more hive body parts!
    Greg Barnett
    7a

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Possible swarm capture / trap

    Quote Originally Posted by G Barnett View Post
    I hope I get the chance to gather a swarm someday.
    I guess one shoul have equipment on hand just in case. I reckon I should buy some more hive body parts!
    You have to let people know you are willing to get swarms. I started out with 2 hives this Spring and I split the one which made 3. After putting an ad in the local freebie magazine, I've had quite a few swarm calls. With this swarm, I'm now up to 10 hives - I've had at least 10 swarms I've captured, but at least two have absconded and one swarm call ended up being a very small swarm that by the time I was done, amounted to a queen and a fistful of bees. I've had to order equipment several times, and luckily on one swarm call, met a woodworker who has agreed to make my equipment - at a large cost savings to me.

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