I built 2 hives from scratch this summer, planning on getting bees this coming spring. I've been taking my time and trying to collect everything I need to do it right, being very patient! While at church on Sunday I learned of a bee problem in the parking lot. After church I went and surveyed the small swarm (softball size) clinging to the bottom of the palm frond. My wife and I talked and decided to bring them home. I cut the frond off and placed it over a bucket, placed the lid on the best I could with the frond hanging out. She rode the whole way home with her feet on the lid to keep it closed, only a few got out in the car. Here is what I had waiting for them at home, 2 hives both setup identically from components that I made, all out of Cedar (even the frames).

Screened bottom board
2 Medium Bodies
Inner Cover
Garden style cover

The 8-frame Bodies all actually have 9 frames each. I'm not sure how that worked out but it did. The empty frames all have a 3/4" sliver of wood in the groove running the length of the frame as a guide for straight comb, there is an empty frame against one wall, then a frame with foundation, two empty frames, a frame with foundation, two empty frames, frame with foundation, two empty frames, frame with foundation, and an empty frame.

(like this)

The hives a set up 2' off the ground against a fence facing south.

When we got home I emptied the top body of one of the hives, I took the frond with all the bees on it still and put it over the top body and put the inner cover and the cover on like this.


Within an hour or so bees were foraging in the yard, visiting some of the flowers and the vegetable garden.

I later regretted leaving the palm frond there, and not wanting them to build some wonky comb on it, I went back, shook all the bees onto the lower box and removed the upper body. The queen was obvious as she fell on the top of the group of bees. I brushed a few bees from the edge and replaced the inner cover and the top. I did this in shorts with no veil or gloves without any problems

I assume that honey would be better for them nutritionally than white sugar and so mixed up some 50/50 honey water to put in the feeder. Some bees were in flight above the hive for a few hours but then things calmed down quite a bit

As of last night they were hunkered between the foundation of frame 8 through frame 9 and against the hive body wall, nothing had been consumed from the feeder.

Are there any chances of survival of this tiny swarm? What can I do to help them out. I have no hives to borrow brood from.

The hive that this swarm swarmed from is living in one of the block walls at the back of the church. Can I somehow use this hive to bolster this tiny swarm? Place my other hive close to it and put a one way cone over it maybe, bring the queenless hive back home and combine them somehow? the last few days have been highs of 70's lows in the lower 50's; looks as though it may bee this way for a week or so then it's going to cool down another 10 degrees or so.

Thanks for all ya'lls help. I tried to answer as many potential questions as I could. I'm sure ya'll will still have some though!