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Thread: swarm hive

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    829

    Default swarm hive

    I'd like to be ready to collect a swarm when the time comes , I'm building a deep brood box 10 frame , I'm a little worried about the weight and wondered if I could use just a piece of 1/4;; plywood for a top and a lighter weight bottom board until I get it back to my beeyard . Will it be a problem switching the bottom out or will most of the bees be up in the frames .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: swarm hive

    If you are worried about weight, why not use a cardboard box? I use Nuc boxes when I go for a swarm. I screen the entrance and there are already screened vents in the Nuc. After I capture the swarm I tape the Nuc tight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: swarm hive

    I'm with Ben.

    I've caught most swarms in card board boxes from my own hives just out back. After knocking them in the box, I leave an edge open and look for fanning. They stick their booties up and buzz their wings. This spreads the queen's pheromones so the rest of her harem joins. That's also a good way to know you have the most important bee. My swarms tend to slowly collect in the box or on the edge. I usually get them hived before evening and they typically hunker down like all others at sunset.

    I'm sure they'd be fine for a day closed up in the box with a piece of hardware cloth or similar vent and in shade.

    I bolted a paint roller handle to the side of a five gallon bucket and rigged the lid with heavy string through the bottom. The plan is same as the cardboard, but on the other end of an extendable paint pole with a pull string to close instead of me on a ladder. As it sits in the garage, I thinking about cutting a hole and covering with hardware cloth. Then I could let the swarm collect, snap on the lid and be on my way complete with carry handle.

    Midday last Friday my wife called with news of a swarm in action while 90 miles away at a job site. Just before 5 PM I arrived to find them clustered less than two feet above the ground in our Japanese Snow Bell. I rolled an empty single deep hive under and knocked them in. The biggest problem was not getting to use the above bucket.

    Like ben I also have a nuc box. Mine has a screwed on bottom with a hole for an entrance and a small 1/4" hole above for added vent. I found a plastic plug that fits the hole. A few screws in the lid after the swarm collects I suspect will do the same as a box with the added benefit they could be left as is for a week or more and easily transported by plugging the hole.

    I'm sure others will offer more opinions than you care to read. Good luck and happy hunting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: swarm hive

    I keep a cardboard nuc box in the truck but also keep a deep or 2 because I have gotten swarms that would not fit in one deep.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: swarm hive

    I thought a nuc could be to small at times , I've seen some huge swarms , also I thought having them already in a deep 10 frame brood box , your basically done and don't have to remove them again later . Just looking for ways to make it lighter , if it was placed on a two foot hi stand it would be easier to lift .Any other ideas .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: swarm hive

    To be honest, I never housed a swarm in a nuc. My first swarm was housed in a spare medium and then transferred to a deep when gear arrived three days later. I was surprised at how much comb they built. Since then they've all gone directly into a deep.

    My first hive was a complete BeeMax polystyrene beginner's kit. The only things remaining from that kit is my smoker, first hive tool and gloves. I hated the polystyrene because I feared busting it every time I pried on the boxes. I eventually gave it away with the bees. Even though it's advertised as being lighter, a full deep is heavy no matter what it's made from.

    Michael Bush has success running hives with three mediums instead of two deeps. From what I read, they're easier to manipulate and provide more options for management. I'd consider that if starting, but now mediums would create a miss match for me and by the hive, they cost more.

    I'm thinking a deep with entrance hole and 1/4" plywood or Masonite solid bottom with similar or migratory top may be worth considering for transport. Pry off the thin plywood and place on standard bottom board at final destination.

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