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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    I am an absolute newbee, without any bees (nuc on order for next month). Got a frantic call from a lady with a swarm on her patio, .. put out a request to the local club with no response. Thought I would give it a try, since I have not had an adventure recently. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated, quickly!

    I have a new 5 box medium hive ready, with new frames. I have my new bee suit (boy, is it bright white!) and veil, and a new smoker (I plan to practice). I will go to the wine shop and get a wine box to capture them.

    Questions:
    1. Should I have my smoker ready, or are they not used in swarm removal?
    2. Should I be prepared to feed a 1:1 sugar solution once they are hived? (I have been wondering how swarms survive normally, since they do not seem to be carrying satchels of honey with them!)? Will they need any protein feed?
    3. Any other guidance I am too inexperienced to ask about?

    Thanks

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Mike,

    You need local advice because you are in African HB territory about whether you should collect them as your first bees.

    About your other questions:
    1. No to the smoker
    2. If there is no flow then go ahead and feed, but more than likely you have a flow going on or they would not have swarmed and you do not need to feed.
    3. If you are going to catch them hurry or they will be gone. Youtube - JPthebeeman video's will show you how.

    Good luck. ....Don

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Generally you don't need to smoke a swarm. Mist them with some light syrup or water to keep them busy feeding. I don't know if you have nectar now or not, but feeding is probably prudent this time of year, especially to get them going. If they don't have pollen coming in, a protein (pollen) substitute will help.

    Just shake them in the box, and let the stragglers march on in. I usually leave the box there until dusk when they stop flying and then close them up and move them. Make sure they have some ventilation if they are closed up for very long. They can suffocate.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    558

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    just the basics because you're in a rush.

    are they still there from last night?

    you can do this. a little smoke might help especially since they have been there a while, might even have begun to build some comb. something that works like a dust pan would be helpful to scoop them into the box or directly into the hive body with. gotta get the queen, you don't have to see her but the other bees will stay around her and if she is not in the box the bees will return to her place on the patio. if she is in the box the bees left on the patio will go into the box with her.
    if you use the hive body make sure you have some kind of bottom on it that can be closed off for transport.
    feeding is not a bad idea when you get them home.

    the longer you wait the better the chance they leave.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Bees form a tight cluster when sprayed with cold water, the colder the better. I use a small hand held spayer with a pump. Get them dripping wet and they will become a very tight cluster and wont fly so easily. Much easier to catch. Iy you already have the hive put them straight in there, then the frames and close it up.
    Stephen 26 hives. 3rd year. Treat. Germany.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    I dump them straight into the ten frame (medium) hive filled with drawn comb. No smoke, no spritz of sugar syrup, nothing.

    jonesbees.jpeg

    At dusk, screen them in, strap the hive and haul them off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    558

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Marant: how did it go?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Rogers, AR, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Marant: how did it go?
    I am curious, too. I am a new beek and wondered how this would go on a first timer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Centerville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    I want to hear too. I hope it went well! I really want to find a swarm sometime.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Thanks for all the help and interest. I am really disappointed, but she had someone remove them before I could get there. Oh well, will keep an eye out for another. I will let my HOA know, but it would have to be pretty simple for a first time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Centerville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Quote Originally Posted by marant View Post
    Thanks for all the help and interest. I am really disappointed, but she had someone remove them before I could get there. Oh well, will keep an eye out for another. I will let my HOA know, but it would have to be pretty simple for a first time.
    Aww too bad . But there will be other times!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    That is exactly how I got started finally. Bumped into a swarm, threw together a box and put them in it. If you get some, leave then alone for a week. I kept checking on mine twice a day for about 3 days until they left.

    Then did a cut out.

    Man if bees are swarming in Bastrop, I need to put out swarm traps, I am in Beaumont area and EEK, I thought I had another few weeks.

    Good Luck, PS there is a good bee club in your area.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 5 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Quote Originally Posted by marant View Post
    I am really disappointed, but she had someone remove them before I could get there.
    You can learn something from this. There is the first lesson of swarm collecting, be prepared. Get you stuff together, everything you think you will need for the next time, so all you have to do is load up and go.

    Quote Originally Posted by marant View Post
    I will let my HOA know, but it would have to be pretty simple for a first time.
    There is only one way to get experience by yourself, just go for it, even if you think its a tough one. Just make sure everyone else keeps well away

    Good luck
    Stephen 26 hives. 3rd year. Treat. Germany.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Swarms are pretty easy. I captured a swarm last year at work that had settled in a bush. nice and low to the ground. A co worker took a photo of me getting it. I had no bee suit on or anything. not I did have one on only a short time earlier while shacking the swarm into the box. by the time the photo was taken I was just letting the bees find their way into the box and staying their to warn pedestrians of the bees. I have had swarms settle so low to the ground I had to cut branches off the bush to get them high enough to shake into a box. I have also had them so high up I had to stand on the roof of a house to get to them.

    I want to rig up an extension pole with a net bag and hook so I can just hook a branch and shake the bees into the bag from the ground. I have seen poles 50 foot tall that you can hold with one hand. They are expensive though

    This is the one that I have personally used.
    http://ungercleaning.com/p-1574-hifl...-55ft-kit.aspx

    There are other options along the same line. Believe it or not you can extend this pole to it's full 55 foot height while holding it with one hand. I spent years using a pole this tall that was made of brass. ti took three people to operate it. this one I can use by myself.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    While it sounds awesome to be operating a pole that long, and that light - the thing is $4200!

    That's a LOT of $ worth of bee packages.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Yeah, I don't really suggest that particular pole just for swarm capturing. but it does show just how far they can go. Plus keep in mind that is the cost of the entire system with water filters and all. I am not sure what just the pole would cost but I could try to find out.

    In my case I am just going to wait until someone breaks the thing and then it is mine.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lizard Creek, Louisiana
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    While it sounds awesome to be operating a pole that long, and that light - the thing is $4200!

    That's a LOT of $ worth of bee packages.
    Pooh Yaah...$4,200 I hear dat:}

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    I use a 20' extension pole and a modified 5 gal. water cooler jug for swarm catching. it's easy to make, Cut the bottom out of the jug then add a way to screw it onto the pole, I use an old paint roller handle that has been epoxied in the neck of the jug so that I can screw it onto the pole. With a 10' step adder I can pretty much reach anything up to 35' from the ground. I also have another pole with an old paint roller fashioned into a hook to shake the bees into the swarm catcher.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Jordan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Newbee requested to remove swarm. What now?

    I've got the swarm pole made with the 5 gal bucket and a metal flag pole bracket (plastic brackets breaks too easily). I like the idea of a pole with a hook to shake the bees...especially after I've already got the queen and I'm trying to "hurry" the rest of the bees off the original branch(es).

    My last thought is for those swarms that wrap themselves around several branches in a tree you can't climb, or is too tall for my ladder. Been thinking about making a light swarm trap (cardboard nuc box with 7/16" plywood inside the bottom and another flag pole bracket for a quick disconnect?) that I could attach to the swarm pole to and simply rest it right next to that swarm in the tree and see if they'd just pile right in.

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