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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    396

    Default Mid-summer swarms

    Yeah or nay? I'm going to get a swarm right now (july 21), I'm going to feed them like crazy for a few weeks and see how much comb they can build. I may just combine at that point depending how they do.

    Why are they swarming this late? No nectar flow here for the last few weeks. Are they swarming to get out of a bad mite load situation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Well the old saying goes. If they swarm in july, let em fly...........but that was coined before overwintered nucs became popular. I say put them in a nuc, let them build you comb if they make it great, if they don't get big enough, combine with a weaker hive and pinch the less desirable of the queens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,080

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    I got a swarm on Thursday only to see it fly away this morning. It was pretty big. This is a weird weather year for us. I think you should definitely get them and let them build comb for you at a minimum. The old saying about letting them fly was coined hundreds of years ago when people worked bees in skeps. That was probably before sugar was widely available.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,287

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Just caught a swarm several days ago in another ML cardboard box. They swarm as late as August here if they get crowded. I'm going to hive these bad girls and see how they do.

    July 2013 swarm.jpg
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Dacula, GA, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    I had a swarm call last night that I couldn't get to, but they flew away this morning...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,098

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    I take all the swarms that come in no matter what month. Granted, I will quarantine them for a couple of weeks from the rest of my hives first.
    So many possibilties.... nuc's, population boost, comb building, queen backup......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    I plan on getting swarms any time, I have a stack of foundation that doesn't do me any good and swarms can fix that pretty quick.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Got a swarm about a week ago, kept them on syrup to try to keep them, gone in 2 days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,287

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    A frame of open brood will keep them from absconding.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,098

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Good point Charlie. Also hiving them in 4 -5 frames of drawn comb will increase the odds of staying put as well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Leaving the swarm where you hive it for 24-36 hours also helps

    I am with Mr Beeman, and Charlie on this one, plus, leave on site until at least dark of the first day.

    Frame of unsealed brood, 2-4 frames of brood comb, (plus one frame of foundation to keep them from dropping comb) , leave on site for 24-36 hours, No feed until they have been moved. normally works for me. Haven't had one abscound in years.

    cchoganjr

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    steeds, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    I caught a nice swarm on friday, it's now in my new top bar hive and appears to be doing fine.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,080

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    I caught a nice swarm on Friday only to have it abscond on Sunday! Note to self, give a swarm a bar of brood!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    , (plus one frame of foundation to keep them from dropping comb) , .... normally works for me. Haven't had one abscound in years.

    cchoganjr

    what does dropping comb mean?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Ever since I started wintering nucs, my whole outlook on late season swarms has changed.
    Now I see them as being wintering nucs on steroids, as they come with that extra "fire" to build and store...

    Adam

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    I caught one last Thursday in a swarm trap. I have been hiving late summer swarms for several years. There is a high mortality (25%), but the ones that do make it give a honey crop the second year. I don't feed mine. They routinely overwinter in a single deep but they overwinter. Don't be afraid. Get em.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Mid-summer swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    what does dropping comb mean?
    It means, the bees starting a comb from the inner cover or migratory top when you have fewer than all the frames in the deep super. (Box not full of frames.) Can make a mess if they do. I leave the space in the box to shake the bees into. I don't normally give swarms more comb than they can cover. So, to keep them from starting a comb of their own, I add a frame of foundation.

    cchoganjr

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