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Thread: My first swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Limestone, TN
    Posts
    67

    Default My first swarm

    Hello All,
    Yesterday I captured my first swarm. It was from my own bees and they made a huge swarm in a nearby peach tree. To be brief, I boxed them up in a new deep super, waited until dark, then placed the hive in it's permanent location (about 10-12 feet from original hive (maybe too close?). My main question is: What is going on today (behavior-wise) in the new colony (the captured swarm)? What is the likelihood of them staying? I put them on 10 frames of foundation and also fed them and will feed them again today. Started out yesterday with a couple of baggies of syrup for overnight, they will need a better feeding arrangement today.

    I plan to inspect the "old" hive today.

    Also, the swarm hive is very busy outside the entrance this morning. It is supposed to be a very nice, warm day. Do caught swarms exhibit lots of activity at the entrance right away or might they be planning another trip?

    Thanks for any help!

    Yes, stung twice capturing the swarm...LOL
    IMG_2745.jpgIMG_2747.jpg
    Last edited by postie; 04-06-2013 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    winston-salem nc
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: My first swarm

    If you can spare it, a frame of brood will go a long way toward making them stay put. Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Limestone, TN
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: My first swarm

    I don't really have an extra frame of brood right now because the colony I would have borrowed the brood from is the one that swarmed I just went out to feed the new one (the swarm) and they are still so clustered and attached to the inner cover, I dare not even lift it off. So, I put a deep super on top of the inner cover and used the quart jar method to feed. Not sure why they are staying so thick and heavy and clustered on the inner cover...any ideas? They are also very busy at the entrance (reduced to the medium opening) but not bearding or anything. Their activity is identical to the other two colonies in the yard, except the other two are bringing in pollen and the new one hasn't had time for pollen yet, but activity and numbers all look the same. Anyone that can, please help...I'm still a newbie!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,457

    Default Re: My first swarm

    They will be ok if you leave them alone for a while. Too much interference and they will fly the coop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Limestone, TN
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: My first swarm

    Thanks Beeman, I was going to have to take that inner cover off to either put on a top feeder or use baggies. I didn't want to remove the inner cover with the cluster hanging on it and that's why I improvised putting the deep super on top of the inner cover with a quart jar of syrup. However, a quart is surely not enough for this very large swarm and I don't know how to get a larger quantity of syrup to them without messing with that inner cover (which I'm not going to do right now). IS A QUART A DAY ENOUGH for a large swarm? I can just lift off the top and replace the jar (although this is a method I have never used before) and this is the only way I can figure out to get syrup to them and still leave the inner cover in place! At least the swarm stayed overnight and all day today!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,457

    Default Re: My first swarm

    Yes it is. In fact, they will probably not take that much in two days. You'll bee fine. Most new keepers bug them too much. Let them settle in and observe from the outside.
    Post pics if you can.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Erath, Texas usa
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: My first swarm

    good discussion i had a similar issue today. i caught a swarm myself today...yes it was probably mine. they landed on a peach tree and i was able to get them into a deep hive box with some UN-drawn foundation. I am really surprised that the hive swarmed, I checked it the other day and noted 6 to 7 queen cells, i was unable to find the queen or eggs, i did find a small amount of capped brood. I assumed they were emergency cells and took this time to do a split to a small nuke box. i left a few cells in the old hive and moved a few bees and additional queen cells to the nuke box with some brood, I then added several frames of UN-drawn foundation with the checkerboard system and fed them a gallon of sugar water.....which they devoured in a day i don't get it was i to late? had they already decided to swarm, why no eggs if the queen was there? I also noted that the bees don't seem to be drawing out the foundation all the honey is in the bottom box and they don't seem to want to move down to the bottom where there is space. Is there something wrong with my foundation its peri-comb i think plastic stamped stuff with wax on it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Limestone, TN
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: My first swarm

    My caught swarm left again today...I was lucky enough to watch them leave and see them land. I caught them again...it has been an all-day ordeal and I will start a new thread on this in a little while...I must rest and recover my mind...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: My first swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Beehappytx View Post
    good discussion i had a similar issue today. i caught a swarm myself today...yes it was probably mine. they landed on a peach tree and i was able to get them into a deep hive box with some UN-drawn foundation. I am really surprised that the hive swarmed, I checked it the other day and noted 6 to 7 queen cells, i was unable to find the queen or eggs, i did find a small amount of capped brood. I assumed they were emergency cells and took this time to do a split to a small nuke box. i left a few cells in the old hive and moved a few bees and additional queen cells to the nuke box with some brood, I then added several frames of UN-drawn foundation with the checkerboard system and fed them a gallon of sugar water.....which they devoured in a day i don't get it was i to late? had they already decided to swarm, why no eggs if the queen was there? I also noted that the bees don't seem to be drawing out the foundation all the honey is in the bottom box and they don't seem to want to move down to the bottom where there is space. Is there something wrong with my foundation its peri-comb i think plastic stamped stuff with wax on it.
    Sounds like classic swarm. Queen bee up and left to propagate new hive. As I understand, before she leaves, she slims down for the flight and stops laying. If you caught the new queens before emerging, you'll get more colonies by putting in separate boxes. Otherwise, first out does in the others or dukes it out with runner up.

    I've had more success with creating splits with queen cells and walk away splits than preventing swarms. They do what they want, not what we want.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Erath, Texas usa
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: My first swarm

    Yes I assumed they would duke it out but in my twisted mind I thought only the strong survive so might gey a tougher queen. I do have another question perhaps best put in another topic but my honey from this hive all turns to solid mass I placed in hot water and it will return to liquid but again will turn solid. Last year I fed a lot of sugar water to build up the foundation maybe it was too much any ideas

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Erath, Texas usa
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: My first swarm

    Another thought my queen was clipped and marked so "up and left" would've had to been on foot

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