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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    I wonder how people deal with the issue of retaining the swarms they catch, as I have trouble getting them to accept and stay in the hive. It seems they haven't had enough "flying around time". I captured 3 this week, and every one has continued their travels! Has any one had any luck with long term screening them in, for a few days, or some other techniches? I am putting them into good mostly new boxes. They are going into fully fitted hives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Summerville Ga. USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Put a queen excluder on top of the bottom board then the hive body then another excluder on top then the top. If the queen can't leave the swarm won't.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Give them a frame of brood....have done it a few times....haven't loss one yet!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Elizabethton, Tn
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Huntingstoneboy has it, I have never had one leave brood.
    It takes a family to raise a family, it takes a village to really screw that up... Djei5

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    As RUBE63 says, place an excluder under the hive body, on top of the bottom board and the queen can't get out. If the queen can't leave the others won't either. Also you can move the bees a half mile or so from where you caught them and the scout bees won't be able to find them, and without the scouts to lead them to a new home they usually stay in the hive you have placed them in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Brood is always a good thing but we have had moderate success by confining the swarm for several days with some drawn out frames and we feed sugar syrup for two or three weeks. We have also had luck using a pheromone vial (like you use to bait a swarm trap.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    I did my first swarm retrieval last week where someone called me that they had a swarm in a bush in their yard. I have had to re-collect cut outs that absconded and swarmed to a nearby tree which is very similar.

    I really thought this swarm would not stay. I put a piece of queen excluder over the entrance, and a few days later I put in a frame of open nectar and capped honey. I got them last Thursday and they are still in the cardboard nuk and bringing in pollen. No brood added yet. I'm going to do that when I move them to their wooden hive.

    I think that a QE works to a degree for a swarm, but as the queen is slimmed down for swarming I don't see it as a guarantee. I think it works well for cut outs. I have a piece cut that covers all the entrance and tape/push pin it to the hive.

    I also stayed out of the box except to add the feed frame a few days later.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  8. #8

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    I have.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,930

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    We caught one a week and a half ago. it attempted to leave but landed in a tree just a few feet away. shook it back into the box and it stayed the second time. Had I had the time the second time around I would have caged the queen for a day or two. As it turns out I didn't need to.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    I've found that moving them to another location also is helpful. If a hive swarms from one of my yards and I can catch it I'll move them to another yard that day / that night. I haven't had one leave me yet either although I often give them a frame of brood if I have it to give them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,788

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    I've heard the excluder trick not working if they really want to leave, they will leave the queen behind or if there's multiple virgins in the swarm... I've always used a frame of brood with stores and haven't had one leave yet. I don't see the big deal though, if they leave, they leave just wasn't meant to be.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Palmyra, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    I read somewhere here on the net, that they don't like the new wood.
    to weather your boxes first or they may leave.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,536

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    The older well used boxes work the best to keep swarms, That and drawn comb. If the queen can lay right away the more they stay. Haven't lost one yet this year after hiving them just the one time.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kalamazoo,MI
    Posts
    325

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    We always have better results using a frame of open brood to keep them around.
    You need to give the nurse bees something to do.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    I've found that moving them to another location also is helpful. If a hive swarms from one of my yards and I can catch it I'll move them to another yard that day / that night. I haven't had one leave me yet either although I often give them a frame of brood if I have it to give them.
    I think this is the ticket...moving them to another location, away from where you found them.

    Old comb, frames of open brood, feeding...all tilt the balance towards the swarm staying. Placing a queen excluder, sometimes works, but not always. Just like JRG13 said, if they are set to leave, they will...the queen is already trimmed down and will go through the excluder...or die trying.

    The scouts play the major role in moving, directing and "choosing" of the new home for the swarm. When you move the swarm away, you take the scouts out of the picture. Often, when you come back a few hours later, or even the next day at the spot you found the swarm, there will still be a small cluster of bees there. Those are the scouts, that got back to the mother ship too late...so they cannot do any more debating.

    FWIW, speaking from my direct experience...I caught over 70 swarms in the last two years. These would be swarms that I found clustered. Trees, fences, on the ground...all kinds of places. Some of these, were from my hives that issued primary swarms and I was there observing and ultimately retrieving the swarms if they were in the reach...Some were calls from folks that had the swarms clustered on their properties, in different places.

    EVERY swarm that I moved away, has stayed put...regardless if I fed them or offered frames of brood. Regardless if it was a primary swarm or an after swarm headed by one or multiple virgins.

    However, from those that I tried to keep at the location I found them, more than half have left, despite the fact that I gave them frame(s) of open brood. Interesting was the fact that some of these swarms I retrieved from high up branches by offering a frame of open brood on which all have crawled to cover and protect...yet once boxed in, some of these swarms still left.
    I had a couple that the queens got stuck in the excluder and found them dead.
    Last edited by apis maximus; 09-19-2013 at 08:12 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Dickens County, TX, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    I caught a swarm back in July at a friends ranch more than 5 miles away. They had started building comb on the bottom of the lowest branch. I put them in a medium super at my place. I didn't give them any brood. They stayed for a week, then they left. I didn't use an excluder.
    This was my first swarm to catch. I was pretty bummed.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Thanks for all the good ideas! The one thing I haven't been doing, is putting some brood in the boxes with the swarms. Well ,also, some are moved, some are left where caught. I appreciate all the info! Rob.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Apis - Ok, spill your guts, what are you doing to get 70 swarms. Are these captured in swarm boxes or like you said, just located swarms. That is amazing. You the man.

    You must be in a cluster of good bee habitat.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    Are these captured in swarm boxes or like you said, just located swarms.
    Both...This year I had about 10-15 traps up at any given time. On those, this year I caught 1-3 swarms per trap in the height of the swarming season, for this area. Those that moved into the trap/box by themselves, have stayed put and are very nice hives by now.
    Some I kept a few days, some I relocated right away, and then re deployed the trap.

    But now, 70 swarms in 2 years is not that many.

    This year, most were calls in different places and also, a few of mine that swarmed and were in the reach to capture. A few of those out of the reach ( way up in the top of very tall pine trees) have moved into the traps after a few days of waiting and "debating".

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Catch them today, and they leave the next day.

    Quote Originally Posted by apis maximus View Post
    But now, 70 swarms in 2 years is not that many.
    Well to you that may not be that many, but I have put swarm traps out for 3 years now and haven't caught one yet in the traps. I have caught some by hand, but not in the traps. I think 70 is a TON!!

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