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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    80

    Default Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    Hi Folks,

    Someone asked me to remove a swarm in a location that is kind of far away from me. I agreed to give it a try. Because of distance and scheduling, I am wanting to go give them a shake into a box this afternoon and then pick them up tomorrow after dark.

    Is there a problem with that?

    It seems to me that they would just go back to their original spot, but I don't know how this works.

    I've been told that they have had a hive on the inside of a cabinet in the barn for about 2 months. But honestly, by the tone of her voice I'm not sure I believed her. They may have been there for a very long time, or not. It was an odd conversation.

    Your thoughts?

    I'm going to be driving past the location in a couple of hours, so if you happen to read this soon, please respond. If i don't hear from you, I may just give it a try and see how it goes.

    BTW, I use a TBH.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    That doesn't sound like a swarm or is it a swarm from the original hive? What I would do if it is such a distance and you can't get back there tonight to pick them up, then dump them in a box, screen the entrance and take them with you. Stragglers will go back to the original hive. Would you be able to hive them at their new location today?

    Otherwise, I don't know the answer to your question...if they would stay in the swarm box until the following night. Maybe if you have some drawn frames in it...

    Let us know what happens and good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    Two months ago what was there was a swarm. If it has been there that long, now it is an established colony, and a simple shake isn't going to get it for you.

    You'll need to go prepared do do a cutout. Take a TBH or nuc, and whatever you need to secure the comb to top bars after it is cut out.

    The Good news is that once you have he queen in the box and finish cutting out, if you leave it sit a while til most of the airborne bees settle into it, you don't have to go back.

    You'll lose some of the foragers, but the hive can handle that.
    The ones left behind will buzz around for a week or so and be gone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Pullman,Washington, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    Beregondo is absolutely correct! This is not a swarm but and established colony! That said, KatGold, provided a real swarm likes the box you place them in, picking them up the next night is not a problem. If you encouter this type of situation, I'd suggest placing a frame of drawn out brood comb in your swarm box, several if you have them and feed them.
    God made Honey Bees!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    Watch a few of these by JPthebeeman and you will get a lot of pointer. Notice the main goal is to catch the queen as soon as you can and try to place her in a queen cage and the bees will then come into the box you use to bring them home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeuD5...feature=relmfu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    Well hmm.... I wonder if this is more then I can handle.

    I didn't go last night. I decided to stop by this afternoon when I drive back through that town. I'll get all I can and sadly leave some foragers behind.

    I thought a cut-out was when you actually have to physically cut them out (of a wall or attic). These (I am told) are just attached to the inner part of a cabinet. I'm hoping I can just scoop them off and put them in a box.

    There is no way I'll be able to find the queen and put her in a cage! I mean, I can rarely find the queen in my own TBH (this is my first year).

    On one hand, maybe I ought not even try. On the other hand, I think these people are pretty desperate.

    Can't I just scoop them off the wall and put them in the box, give them some time to settle, tape them up and go?

    K

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    If it is a swarm as you describe, yes. It would not hurt to squirt a little sugar water on your frames and that will give them something to keep them busy. If the queen is in the box when you scoop them in there that will help to keep them there, that is the advantage of having the queen plus it save you from buying one or them making one. If you don't get the queen and a majority of the bees, they may just resettle after you leave. Just take your time when you start and work as fast as you can without causing them to get to unsettled. Seems to contradictory but that will help you capture many with little flying of the others. If you notice the bees heading into your box that will be an indication that the queen is in there. As you place them in the box watch for the queen, you may see her. You will enjoy the experience. If there is any small comb, have a few rubber bands with you and place the comb in a frame and put it in the box also. Have a little extra water and a pan to help keep your hands from getting to sticky.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    If you go intending to bring the bees home with you bring tools to do a cutout. If it turns out that you can retrieve the bees by sweeping them into a dustpan and dumping them into a box you've only taken some tools for an outing. If you didn't bring the tools you have to go get them. Much bigger waste of time.
    Bill

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    I did it!

    Okay, so now I realized what a cut-out can mean. It does not necessarily mean cutting out part of a tree or structure, but it could just mean cutting the wax off of a structure, right?

    Well, that's what I did. I have a great knife that I always travel with and it sliced right off. What I expected was to find bearding bees (sort of expecting), but what I found was about 8 combs attached to the top of the cabinet. So, I cut them off and put them in my box. I sprayed the bees with sugar water and they were very gentle.

    I brought them home and attached as much comb as possible to the bars (I use a TBH) with hair clips. I found the clips to be bulky and the comb is attached pretty messily, but it was the best I could do.

    I tried to dump as many bees as possible into the box, but there were bees everywhere by the end of it. It became dark and I figured they'd get settled by morning. If they don't abscond, I'll be pleased!

    I even think I found the queen. It might have been a drone, but I think it was the queen.

    So, did I do a cut-out? I think I did.

    Yeah!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    I just looked through the window of the TBH. It's a mess in there. I don't want to open it up if I don't have to, they clearly have some housework to do, but it is a mess. I don't much care for the hair clip method of reattaching the comb to the bars. The combs are not nice and straight, they are globs of wax. One may have even fallen off, I'm not sure. And I did put a glob in the back of the hive thinking they'd want to retrieve the honey. But it's such a mess, I'm not sure any of this was the right thing to do.

    Your thoughts?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    From what I've read leaving stuff lying on the floor is an invitation for small hive beetles and wax moth larva to become a problem so you should clean that up pretty soon. You could crush out the honey and feed it back in a feeder. You will probably want to try to convince them that the combs attached to the bars should not cross over to other bars, beyond that ugly is fine. Next year you can rotate those combs into the honey area, let them fill them, and harvest them. Have fun and good luck.
    Bill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Can I shake a swarm into a box one day and pick up the next day?

    Thanks Bill, actually, the mess is gone. Within 24 hours, the hive was infested with wax moth larvae. Is it possible that they come in that fast? I suspect the wax was infested, but I don't know.

    Most of the larvae appeared to be drowned in the pool of honey.

    The bees were appeared to be preparing to abscond. So, I collected them in a box and pulled off all the bars and let a big rainstorm clean out the pool of honey. I fed all the dead larvae and bees to my chickens and fish (yum!) and sprayed some wax with BT. I removed most of the wax and pulled out the honey which I'm feeding them.

    My population is down. I hope they bounce back.

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