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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    I need some advice!!!! I had my first swarm last Saturday...was actually there and witnessed it (very cool) but not sure why it happened. But that is for another post....this swarm landed 35 feet up and I couldn't get to them and they flew away the next morning. What I need quick advice on is there was another swarm this morning that was hanging about a foot and half off ground on a bush near my hives. I got a medium 8 frame super with plain bottom and 2 foundation frames and 2 foundationless frames and put them into the super with a shimmed up plain top for upper entrance. I put them over with the other hives ( I have two) on a stand. When I got home they had left the box and were back on the original bush. I have been without internet for a week from the storms and couldn't ask anyone what to do. So:
    I went back, put the swarm back into the box, filled the rest of the super with foundationless frames (I am afraid I am waiting on more foundation...)
    !. I have read will the swarm might leave the box if the sun hits it (it did)....if it is new (it is) if they have picked out another spot already (?)
    2. This swarm is only 1/3 the size of the first swarm....afterswarm?
    3. Anyway to keep them in this box? Is a medium 8 frame too small? Do they need brood frame in there?
    4. How do I have to choose where to put them as they landed only 20 feet from the hives?
    5. We are very hot and humid.....any special treatment for a swarm? Do I try to feed them....
    6. I am embarassed I am so unprepared...but what an experience. Any advice?
    Thanks. Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    Might've missed the queen. Yes feed them, but if you have another hive, drop a frame of brood in with them, bees don't like leaving brood. Location shouldn't matter but sometimes if they feel they didn't move they'll leave again. An afterswarm shouldn't do that so much though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,431

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    You would have more success if you left them under the original location until sundown. Drawn comb, especially with brood would be ideal when you have it. Size does not matter Jim. They will go in a box way too small and they will leave a box way too big. Even if it is a box scout bees chose, they may still leave.
    A swarm by design is loaded with honey. You do not need to feed them for a few days. They are a comb building machine.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    Thanks! I will go into the hive I think they left from and try and pull a brood frame. I have been keeping my bees in full sun for most of the day because I thought that was the best location to keep shb, etc. down. But after the heat wave we have been having (mid 90's to low 100's) I am wondering if that was a mistake. Any thoughts? I don't have screen bottom boards on yet as I am trying to move from deep tens to all medium eights and don't have ten frame screen bottoms. I have put upper entrances on along with half closed lower ones. So many factors to consider! It is sure overwhelming as a newbee! Thanks for all your help. Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    I just put a frame with brood and some honey in the swarm medium eight. I have it sitting right below the bush they were balled on.
    I guess I should move them after sundown...sun or shade? Jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nassau County, New York, USA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    If you can somehow find the queen (not an easy thing to do, but if you put many frames with foundation so that they spread out thinly you may spot the queen) and catch her and put her in a queen cage that would more less guarantee that the swarm will stay where they are.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    You can also spray your frames/comb with 1:1 sugar water with some Honey Bee Healthy to see if the stay longer. When they swarm they fill upon honey, but that only lasts 2-3 days. Some of the reading I have done indicates the swarm success/survival rate is pretty low, so finding a good home with some food they might stay. Try a feeder too.
    Last edited by mmmooretx; 07-05-2012 at 07:48 PM. Reason: typo
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  8. #8

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    Anytime you have problems with a swarm leaving a box like that you can put a frame of open brood in the box from one of your other hives and they will stay. They won't abandon the brood. A gallon of syrup on top of them helps as well as some drawn comb. Yep sounds like an afterswarm to me. If the swarm is an afterswarm the virgin queen will need some time to get mated and return to the hive so you may not see eggs for 7 to 10 days. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    I like to use an old black comb in a box with a new swarm, bees love that stuff and will move from a box with foundation into a box with old comb almost instantly.

    Brood will help, and in your case I'd stick in a frame with eggs as well, just in case the queen went AWOL.

    Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Swarm doesn't like my box! Whatz-up?

    To update my swarm saga.....Got up at 5am as usual, but went out and moved the swarm super over to the hive stand. I put a branch in front for re-orientation. They were buzzing pretty loud and I didn't know if they would be there at lunch. They were. It is over 100 today, so I hung a shade cloth I have on the west side of the swarm hive to cut down on the afternoon sun. I would think it would be very hard for a swarm, especially a smaller one like this to have bees to cool the hive and at the same time build comb. I think the frame of brood and honey I put in may have done the trick. Thanks. This afternoon I put a screen bottom board I just made on the bottom of the swarm super along with a 2 inch spacer on top of the super so I could put in a baggie feeder and topped with a migratory shimmed top for upper entrance. I didn't spend much time in the hive as hot as it was, but I did see fresh comb drawn in the frames. It will be interesting to see what foundation or foundationless they take to. They ususally prefer the foundationless, but I have had a problem with irregular,burr comb. Now that I have a good frame with drawn comb to start with, I hope things will be better. When I pulled the brood frame from the parent hive, I noticed the bees have gnawed the wax comb on the outside frame into big holes (I had put some 5.1 foundation in to regress to the smaller cells and to have something in there with the foundationless frames instead of duragilt.) What an adventure this has been so far, and I'm sure I have made it harder than it needed to be! Already looking back, I shake my head at my bobbleheadedness. But it's the journey, right? Thanks all, Jim

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