My bees swarmed today and I caught them! Now what?
It just doesn't get any better than this! Exactly 2 weeks ago I posted here asking if there was a "late blooming" strain of bees because my 2nd hive only had a few frames of brood while my Italians were booming. Guess what? I guess they were in the process of backfilling the broodnest in preparation for swarming because today they swarmed. I came home around noon to see the air full of bees. I watched them settle on a honeysuckle vine on my fence about 10 feet from their hive. The weird thing is that 2 nights ago after reading the thread on swarm traps, I got up at midnight and put together a 2 story medium nuc with a few brood frames and a few frames of foundation, and sprayed the inside with HBH diluted. So today, I got that nuc, mixed up some syrup w. a couple drops of HBH in a spray bottle, and sprayed the swarm (about the size of a football) with it. I sat the nuc on a stool under them and gave a quick shake to the fence--voila! Put the lid on, put them in my wheelbarrow and hauled them into my basement--dark and cool. Then I got a 3rd nuc box, added comb and a frame of mixed brood, and added that on top along with a jar feeder. They were buzzing pretty loudly until then, but quieted right down with the brood and food.
So I guess tomorrow I just move them to their new location? I only have 1 frame in the 2nd box and I think 3 in the bottom box, with 5 in the top box. Should I add frames now to fill them up or just let them get settled in? I was thinking maybe I should lay a queen includer on the bottom board for the fiirst few days so they don't abscond? Do I need to feed them or give them some pollen/nectar frames--the flow is on and it will be in the high 70's for the next week. I am SO excited--they are my gentlest bees!
Re: My bees swarmed today and I caught them! Now what?
The frame of brood you gave them should keep them put. You can keep them in the original location or move them...Personally, I have not seen any difference at this time of the year.
If you have flow going on, they will go to work big time...plus they will draw some nice comb, so take advantage of that. I would add frames now, and then let them go to work. You can feed them, but they will let you know soon enough, if they prefer the flow. Got a few swarms that just won't touch the syrup right now...but they are frame drawing machines.
Yes...gentle bees rock!