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Thread: buying swarms

  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    fentress, tn, usa
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    Default buying swarms

    I am going to be getting 2 nucs in a week or so. I'm in eastish tn. I noticed today on a local Internet sales network that there is a guy locally that is selling his swarms for $45. Nucs are running $125-150. He told me that I would need to bring a hive body and when/if his hives swarm, he would capture them for me. Just wondering what the normal procedure/price is for this. Also Is this a "common" method for purchasing bees? Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Not very "common" that I know of...but with package prices ranging from about $75-$130 I'd say it's a pretty good deal! Only caveat: be careful around the hive for the first month or so, until the bees get well established & you can find out if they're mean or not

  3. #3
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    fentress, tn, usa
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    That was something that I was worried about also. Should it be away from my other hives?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    I don't think it matters, as long as your other hives are:
    A) strong
    or
    B) have entrance reducers

    ..just keep everybody's entrances to a reasonable size & I wouldn't worry too much about the bees...just about whether or not shorts would be healthy for my legs

  5. #5
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    Jun 2011
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    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Tnmedic View Post
    That was something that I was worried about also. Should it be away from my other hives?
    Would you put a new package away from your other hives? I don't see a difference. I would be more worried about your established hives robbing the new swarm.

  6. #6
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Get a guarantee to be queenright for 30 days.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Does he sit around all day and watch his hives until they swarm? That sounds weird to me. Why doesn't he just do a split and sell you the queen-right half? Somethings not right here.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  8. #8
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    Nov 2004
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    Brown County, IN
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    I knew a guy that did that. He was on every swarm-catch list for several counties and kept of list of beekeepers wanting bees. He'd catch swarms, then turn around and sell them. Nice pocket money for someone with the time to run around catching swarms, and cheap bees for those looking to replace lost colonies or increase their numbers.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Wise county Va
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Pretty common in our area, usually around 35 bucks, alot of old beekeepers here sell swarms in spring then honey later, from a handful ive met none practice any swarm prevention, and think it natural and healthy for hives to swarm, most of em have been doing it along time and do pretty well, different strokes i guess.

    Gus Mitchell

  10. #10
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    Feb 2012
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    Slippery Rock PA
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Sounds okay to me, if they are from his hives, which is how it sounds, maybe check out how healthy his hives are. I don't pay for swarms, I just go out and collect them. You could get lucky and get some good feral bees. I wasn't quite ready last year, I only captured a few but I had about 25-30 more calls. My schedule is clear this year and I'm ready to collect. I'd even be willing to sell some if anybody in western pa wants them. I never thought about selling swarms, not a bad idea if somebody wants to buy em.

  11. #11
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    Apr 2011
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    Branson, MO
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    I am on the swarm list here and will list to sell the swarm for 50.00, I have one on my list wanting bees when I get a swarm. As far as I am concerned the chance of keeping a swarm v a nuc is not much different. A swarm is how I started my hive and if no one buys I will use them to start more hives.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2011
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    I thought about doing something like this. I found a fellow selling empty 4 frame nuks real reasonable and I'm buying some from him, use them for bait boxes while our swarming is still on here. Then sell at $35 plus the woodenware (will leave frames in) as long as they know how I got them and with the AFB warning? Sounds like a nice way to offset all my orders to Mann Lake, Brushy Mt, etc.

  13. #13
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    Oct 2012
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    South Jordan, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    I'm glad I found this thread. I am making up a bunch of DCoates nuc boxes, to go along with some of my repurposed "ugly" boxes that I have been getting for free from work. I will try to place 20-30 boxes this next spring as bait hives in an attempt to give a local a run for his money on capturing swarms here in Utah. Anyway, if successful, I was trying to think ahead to see if selling swarms would be a valid option...which it appears it is. My question is this, does anybody do a powdered sugar bath right after catching a swarm to try to minimize mites right off the bat? Are there pro's or con's to doing that?
    Thanks ~ George Denton

  14. #14
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    Farmington, NM
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Does he sit around all day and watch his hives until they swarm? That sounds weird to me.
    I think that is exactly what Dr C. C. Miller did in Fifty Years Among the Bees. I think he said that during swarm season he would sit in the shade of a tree near his hives with a good book, pulled out his watch and every five minutes he would scan the yard looking for swarms.... I think that's how I remember it.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  15. #15
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    Kaysville, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    There's a beek here that captures swarms and sells them for $45. I believe that it's mostly to cover the time/effort/expense she puts into getting them. As was pointed out, $45 is a lot cheaper than a package.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  16. #16
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    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by mtndewluvr View Post
    ..snip...My question is this, does anybody do a powdered sugar bath right after catching a swarm to try to minimize mites right off the bat? Are there pro's or con's to doing that?
    Thanks ~ George Denton
    My thoughts are similar. Seems like it would eliminate most of the negatives to treating in the hive.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  17. #17
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    Oct 2004
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    Edmonton AB Canada
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Does he sit around all day and watch his hives until they swarm? That sounds weird to me. Why doesn't he just do a split and sell you the queen-right half? Somethings not right here.
    A hive can have 2 or three afterswarms, I don't split, I check for swarms in the evening when the time is right,..like on a hot day in swarm season.
    Grow shrubs & trees,...it's good for bees!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: buying swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    A hive can have 2 or three afterswarms, I don't split, I check for swarms in the evening when the time is right,..like on a hot day in swarm season.
    So you sell smaller afterswarms with virgin queens as nucs?
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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