Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    480

    Default Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Hi all.

    I picked up a swarm on Monday evening and couldn't get all of them. I also couldn't leave the box for a while to get even more than I got in the hive. The guy says he still has a softball-sized cluster hanging out at his house. I'm wondering if you guys ever go back to get the stragglers that you don't get the first time?

    TIA
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Iíve only caught one swarm, but I went back for the stragglers. I hate the thought of them being homeless. Iíve read that they return to the hive they swarmed from, but what the heck, Iíve got a nice place for them to live. Why leave them out there...

    I know, I know... My wife says every stray in the country sees SUCKER tatooed on my forehead....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Those "stragglers" are scout bees...While the swarm was sitting and waiting, the scouts were out there, looking for new digs.
    Once you took the swarm away, the scouts are returning and the swarm, the "mother ship" so to speak, is gone......because you took it. I think up to 5% of the bees in a swarm are scouts...so a large swarm, would have quite a few scouts.
    Sometimes I get them...but sometimes, they fly away to where they came in the first place. If I am with my wife...I always have to get them...cuz now, they are her new "babies"...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Never, and here is why, those are the scouts... there the ones looking for new digs. I don't want my newly hived swarmed to be conned into moving by the scouts.....
    They will return to the original hive in a day or two...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Some folks on these boards deal with absconding bees, so my tactics are probably ill advised in those areas where swarms tend to do that.

    For me, I don't lose the stragglers because I hive the swarm and leave it where they sit, coming back to pick them up in the evening, when all of the bees are home. If the swarm is too far away, I won't have gone to get it in the first place (I can create a Nuc for less effort than driving more than 20 minutes from home).

    Again, some folks seem to be in areas where swarms require a lot to keep them in a box. I simply drop a box of foundation (no drawn wax) and hive them in it. Works fine and I get all of the bees (including an errant queen, if she was shaken into the air on the drop - I only saw this happen one time since I saw the little lady land on the landing board and go in - who knows if that was the exception or the rule.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Never, and here is why, those are the scouts... there the ones looking for new digs. I don't want my newly hived swarmed to be conned into moving by the scouts.....
    They will return to the original hive in a day or two...
    ...............or two weeks I went on a swarm call earlier this yr and when I got there, there were only a couple of hundred bees left on a post. I set up a swarm trap in case they aborted their intital attempt and came back, went back two weeks later and there were still 100 bees or so on that fence post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    I think gmcharlie is right.

    One of the biggest reasons, I think, that the swarm flies away from the digs we provide, is because of these scout bees.

    One way you can avoid that is to not get the returning scouts, especially if you keep the swarm close to the location you have found it.

    Another, and this is what I started doing this year, and have not lost one swarm, is to move the swarm more than 5 miles, some say 8 miles, away from where you found it. That way, you take the scouts out of the picture.
    In this case, you can go back, pick them up if you really feel bad about leaving them (although again, they are not homeless bees...but very astute, good at orientation, foragers-turned scouts, they will go back to where they came from). Like I said, I only do it if my lady tags along...
    Yes, you can add brood frames to the swarm to anchor it so to spaeak, and those are hard to leave behind...but it happens. Take the scouts out, and you have a keeper.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,534

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    I tend to leave the hived bees (if I can) overnight and pick them up the next evening. I grab and go if the customer (and the bees) allow me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    I never go back for the extra bees, not worth the time to me. If the swarm catch is over 15 minutes away, I shake wait aboutt 10-15 minutes to get what is flying around and roll. I tell the home owner that there will be bees left over but they will soon take off.

    If the swarm is a few blocks away, I will shake in the swarm towards the evening and leave the box till dark to get the return bees and then take the box out to the bee yard. After this year, I am done catching swarms unless they are in my neighborhood. Too many calls for swarms this year only to see that its just a bunch of bees flying around or the "swarm" is already established with drawn comb in an exposed nest. Infact, I am pulling my name from the swarm call list with the local emergency agencies.

    Like Jajtii said, I can make a split from my own hives in 5 minutes and I am already in the bee yard, so no extra drive time involved.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    IF they are on a stick or piece of wood and your're in your home yard; you can pick up the stick and move it to the entrance of another hive and they will go in to the other hive.
    Do this in late afternoon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    ...............or two weeks I went on a swarm call earlier this yr and when I got there, there were only a couple of hundred bees left on a post. I set up a swarm trap in case they aborted their intital attempt and came back, went back two weeks later and there were still 100 bees or so on that fence post.
    You sure they didn't have a queen? 2 weeks in one spot would be some kind of record.... they should have starved to death by then!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    480

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    good discussion. part of the reason i asked is that these guys had started building comb on the exterior of this guy's house. i got the comb and about 99% of the swarm into one of my hives, but the last little bit i couldn't get. since they had started building comb, i'm wondering if the leftovers are actually foragers and not scouts, which makes we want to go get them. thoughts?
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Your choice imthedude.............if it was me..........id leave them.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    673

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    Today I went and picked up the remainder of a swarm I caught a week before only because the woman who originally called me to pick up the swarm was panic-ing over 50 residual bees in her compost bucket. They took to the drawn comb in the nuc pretty well, spose it's where they are going to live out the rest of their days unless they wise up and integrate into another local hive. I should just shake them out by my house, that will probably motivate them

    I picked them up because I was actually in her area and most of the people I remove bees for refer me to others and give feedback to the local extension office which refers us out for the actual swarm captures in the first place. I love getting swarms!
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Facebook

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    If they had comb, your probably right, there no longer scouts but overnighters... quite a few bees stay out all night.. I move hives after dark and am always amazed at the number of foragers that return the next day.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    673

    Default Re: Swarm stragglers - do you ever go back for them?

    That's no kidding, it amazes me too how many foragers must get caught out, hunker down for the night, then return in the morning to find their hive gone. Sometimes I leave a dummy hive behind and pick it up a few days later and they are sometimes boiling over with bees.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Facebook

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads