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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Tallapoosa county
    Posts
    101

    Default Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    I captured a swarm from a tree in the rain yesterday. Brought it to a hive body and I am feeding it sugar water right now.

    Its to cool out to take a frame of brood from another hive to bring to this one. Should I keep feeding sugar water and let them build there own comb and then the queen coudl start laying eggs again?

    I fed them this morning and just got home to a empty feeder so I fed them again. They are all over the front side of the hive sunning and even on a board laying on the ground in front of the hive.

    Just need to hear your comments and see what you would do in this situation...

    Thanks, I,m in Alabama and it got 39 last night, 69 high for today but, windy...
    TonyGotaTruck
    Lake Martin Alabama

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    What is in the hive? They are going to start building comb as fast as they can, so you need at least empty frames in there, better foundation, best drawn comb.

    If they have frames or foundation, the queen will probably have already started laying, she will lay in cells about 1/4 drawn and it won't take them long to make a few for her.

    Keep feeding unless the weather is nice and they start hauling in pollen.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    Only thing I'll disagree with psfred on is feeding. Personally, I don't think you'll need to feed swarms much,a s they're naturally prepared to "set up shop" in a new place (FAR different than "package bees," although they look the same), so I don't really think they should need fed at all unless the weather gets bad for them, or unless you're sequestering them for a day or more.

    Aside from that, like Peter said, give 'em plenty of room to draw out comb, and enjoy your new bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Tallapoosa county
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    The deep hive body has frames with foundation. I have 6 strong hives already but, they are from splits I have done over the last few years. Everytime I catch a swarm they leave within about 3 weeks. This year I was sure if I caught one I would put brood from another hive in with the new swarm to give them plenty of work to do but, like I said its to cold to move brood from one hive to another. I feel they are still in swarm mode because they are covering the front (sunny side) of the hive like crazy. I think as long as they are taking the sugar water I will feed them for the next week and see how that goes. I didnt want the swarm but was helping someone by removing them from a tree in their yard.
    TonyGotaTruck
    Lake Martin Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,058

    Thumbs Up Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    I split a hive today with temps in the mid 60's and wind 10-20 mph.....A frame of comb (with open brood) will increase chances of your swarm staying quite a bit. Just my two cents.

    I feed swarms (sugar syrup and pollen patty) -let the bees decide whether they take supplemental feeding or not.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    I was just at a class taught by Randy Oliver and he was grafting and splitting then it was snowing outside and had 2' of snow on top of the hives. He did mention that he would never try it if it was windy though. But I would try it. I wouldn't hold it out long, but I don't think the 90 sec it takes from one hive to the next.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Tallapoosa county
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    My hives are 5 miles apart each. I dont beleive I could remove brood and safely get it to my swarm hive in time to save the brood. Its 51 degrees right now winds are to be 10-15 MPH today... I think I will continue to feed the well amd give the pollen patties and hope for the best.
    TonyGotaTruck
    Lake Martin Alabama

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,110

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    You say high 69'
    Go in and find the queen cage her.
    Or take them the five miles too your other hive.
    Then pull eggs open larva frame and let them
    care for the young.
    That usually keeps them
    But in the bug/bee world NO guarantees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,110

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyGotaTruck View Post
    I feel they are still in swarm mode because they are covering the front (sunny side) of the hive like crazy. I think as long as they are taking the sugar water I will feed them for the next week and see how that goes. I didnt want the swarm but was helping someone by removing them from a tree in their yard.
    Pull the food let them work they took food when they left the mother hive
    And maybe used a lot of it to get where you found them,
    Now if they want to move again ,I say don't give them the fuel,let them go get it
    They may then become more accustom to the new place a stick around

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,064

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    Tommyt - why would you go in and cage the queen? Seems to me the sooner/more eggs she lays the better. I would also feed as long as they take it or until they are well established. A frame of brood was a good idea, but if you can't do it then you can't do it. There is probably already a fair amt of comb in there already and - if it is a laying queen - eggs too. If it was a virgin, then you darn sure don't want to cage her.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Swarm Captured - Now what? Please comment

    The idea behind caging the queen is that the workers won't leave without the queen so if she can't leave, they will come right back. Another option is to find her and clip her wings. You might end up with a queen on the ground that can't get back to the hive though.

    Having the queen in the cage will give the workers time to build enough comb so that when you release her she can lay right away, and the bees have put their scent all over the hive, making it more likely for them to stay.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Tallapoosa county
    Posts
    101

    Default They must be full now...

    They did not take all the sugar water from yesterday as of this evening. I guess they are full finally and happy here at their new home. Lets see if they stay. I will report back.
    TonyGotaTruck
    Lake Martin Alabama

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Andover, MA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: They must be full now...

    if the donor hive is 5 miles away, can you take the whole box with you when you transport the brood frame ?
    they will keep it warm if you have the whole box.
    screen it in or cover it top and bottom and take it over to the swarm hive , move the frame and then take it back.

    we are hoping to get out of the 40's this week up north so we wish we had to worry about highs in the 60's

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: They must be full now...

    If you put a queen excluder on the bottom entrance the workers can come and go but the queen can't get out so they won't leave. After about a week the queen will certainly have begun laying and you can remove the excluder. In my experience, adding the brood will also keep them there but the excluder is easier and more certain.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,112

    Default Re: They must be full now...

    If it's an afterswarm it will have a virgin queen. If she can't mate and doesn't mate for more than 3 weeks she will be a drone layer...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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