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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Maui, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Hi there, this is my first post here and my first swarm. The trap is hung about 12 feet up in a 35' ash tree in my yard. I had been noticing scout bees for about 10 days prior. I suspect this means the colony did their homework before commencing to swarm. Yesterday morning was warm and sunny, and it happens I chose to lie down under the tree to see if I could gain any information about where the scout bees were coming from. Within 5 minutes there were no scout bees left, and then a minute later I thought I heard a faint buzzing but still saw no bees. I imagined the sound was getting ever so slightly louder. Then it happened, the cloud of bees emerging through the neighbors stand of trees. The cloud was as tall as the tree. As they began to land on the box and go inside, the number of flying bees slowly diminished and within 15 minutes they were all inside, except for the continuing of flurry around the hive of about 20 bees at a time. It was very orderly actually. I wished I could have taken video, but I didn't want to run and grab a camera and miss any part of the show. It was truly inspiring to watch.

    24 hours later and they are bringing in some pollen.

    The trap is a plywood box similar in size to a 5 frame nuc, but only 17" long and topped with top bars from a TBH I had made earlier. I will be moving the hive only about 30 feet to its new home. I'd like get them into the new hive before they build up too much comb, as the walls of the TBH are tapered and the Trap is not. But I don't want them to abscond, so how long do I wait, - moving to location? then transferring?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Hi! First, I'm jealous! Second, what a lovely description of what happened, possibly better than pics or video! Congrats! I have not trapped any swarms yet, but I did already set out traps. Still too cold here, we are having up and down crazy
    Kentucky spring weather. I have read to wait a few days before trying to move them, but I would definitely see what some more experienced beeks say, this is my second year and last year I did not try swarm trapping.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,714

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Welcome to Beesource!

    > I'd like get them into the new hive before they build up too much comb, as the walls of the TBH are tapered and the Trap is not.

    I would move the trap to your permanent location immediately, then wait a few days to move the bars to your TBH. But by one week they may have built enough comb close to the walls so that the combs need trimming, so don't wait too long.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Seriously.... grab the dang camera next time! lol
    You did paint a pretty good picture though.
    Wait at least two weeks possibly three. To make this really successful and increase your chances of keeping this swarm, wait until the queen begins to lay and maybe even cap the worker cells. It will take a while to build comb. DO NOT disturb them at all for three days at least. Just peek after that to see how the comb building is going.
    Other than that you'll be fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,041

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Those are topbars. Move immediately before they build fragile comb which will collapse when you move them. They will not abscond, they chose the home. Foundationless does not make good bait hives that have to be moved due to the collapse problem. Set your topbar baithives in their permanent location.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Maui, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Really what a fine eclectic array of advise. Thanks. I guess I'll sleep on it at least another night to process the points of view, and when I do move it, very gently. Fortunately, the permanent location is just a few steps away, (once I get it down from the tree).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    If the bees decide which way to run the combs on their own (as they must with bare top bars) they could very well go 90 degrees to what you expect....That would be a mess and you would sacrifice their combs when straightening things out. Make the move ASAP and improve your chances of success. JMO
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    odfrank, how would you handle the reorientation after moving a day old swarm a few steps to beedazzled's permanent location?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,041

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    odfrank, how would you handle the reorientation after moving a day old swarm a few steps to beedazzled's permanent location?
    If it is just a few steps away as indicated they might find it in one move. Or lower and move it about two feet a day. I say it over and over again, put your baits right on the stand where you want them. And not up in some darn tree. High up is good but too much work for me. Caught my first one this week.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Last year at this time I caught 3 swarms by early April--2 of those by mid March, one early April and one at the end of April. This year, 5 bait hives out and nothing yet. All have 1 frame black comb and balance foundationless frames. One is a 10 frame deep (with dead queen), one medium 10 frame, one 5 frame deep and 2 4 frame deeps. All have lgo. Different heights, different locations. Nothing. I'm bummed. We have had several cold fronts where our nights are in the 40's. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,550

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Well, it could be worse bevy, I've spent the last few days in West Virginia and there is still snow on the ground. Last year was an early year for swarms up here, this year may end up being a late year.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aguadilla - puerto rico
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    First of all a big congrats on your capture of your first swarm, leave them there for a few days , so far you did everything right ,when you move them do it at night and put some branches in front of the entrys that way they will notice things change from over night after that just leave them alone for at lease 3 weeks before you go inside and inspect them , but you could check them out everyday from a distance

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Maui, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by RAFAEL/PR View Post
    ,when you move them do it at night and put some branches in front of the entrys that way they will notice things change
    This is essentially what I ended up doing a couple of days ago, and it worked pretty well, though I did loose a few bees and it did disrupt them pretty bad for a day. Rain storm that evening didn't help things, but next day they were back to business as usual.

    Why wait now 3 weeks before re-hiving them, is it to prevent them from being demoralized after the move? That thought had occurred to me, but I am also anxious to get them in a permanent home without having to do too much of a cutout. If I am lucky they may have built on the top bars I gave them in the trap and if I get to it soon enough might not have to cut out anything at all. One of the bars did have a few inches of old comb affixed. I was thinking about taking a peak inside the next sunny still day, which may be a few more days out.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Maui, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Just an update I moved the bees into a top bar hive 3 days ago, 13 days after they first arrived. It was an easy switch, its a small swarm and they only had 3 combs, the biggest of which was about 6x6 inches. In the middle of this was a nice pattern of capped brood. They seem to have settled into their new home.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Maui, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Well sometimes if something works you have to stick with it. After hiving the swarm I went ahead and stuck the trap back up in its tree. I also made 2 other traps, one out of a 10 frame deep and 1 out of a 5 frame deep, and placed those on a stump that would make a good permanent location. I figured, like odfrank suggested, if a new swarm went into one of those I wouldn't have to move anything.

    Today, another swarm came. I wasn't home but my next door neighbor called to give me the news. when I got home the bees had taken residence in the old trap up in the tree. Its true, scout bees had been checking out all three traps for the last three days, so maybe I would have gotten lucky with one of those if I didn't put the old trap up. Maybe.

    Next I have to decide whether to make another top bar hive, (top bars on the trap make for an easy transfer), or to cut it into a 5 frame nuc box.

    Its funny, I had been trying to get me some free bees for about a year now, including 3 failed cutouts and hanging this swarm trap, and finally broke down and bought a nuc from a local beekeeper along with a couple of extra boxes with frames. That was a little over a week before the first swarm arrived.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Super jeolous...nice work, and great success stories!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greene, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    beedazzelled;
    That was an awesome event. I would give anything to witness the scout's discovery and the move of a swarm. The fact that you were in the right place at the right time is fantastic. I have never tried to trap a swarm, but you have inspired me greatly. So, off to the shop to create a trap.

    A week ago or so, someone posted a name of a guy who designed a successful trap. If anyone knows the guy's name, please let me know. Great job! I think I've been beedazzled.
    No one famous.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,550

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Maui, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: swarm moved into trap yesterday

    Hi I am back with another update. That 2nd swarm turned out to be a big one and has filled that little swarm trap with comb. I don't know what they were thinking choosing this trap over the 10 frame deep I had set out nearby. The box was full of bees and they haven't even had time for their first brood cycle yet. My 3rd swarm did choose the 10 frame deep. That one came in a couple days later, much smaller and possibly a cast from the same colony.

    So Its been 2 weeks. Today I transferred this 2nd swarm into a 10 frame deep. They had drawn out 7 of the 8 top bars, most of them to full depth. Fortunately I had supplied one bar with a 1 inch starter strip of drawn comb so all the comb was lined up nicely on the bars. The top bars are 17" long, so in order to fit it into the langstroth I had make extensions. I used deck screws screwed into one end of each top bar. That leaves a 2 inch gap along most of the back of the box. There was room for one regular frame each on either side.

    Now I am interested in what will happen if I try to put a super on top of this setup?

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