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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Moving a swarm to a deep

    Background: I created a swarm trap from an old honey super and a bunch of old waxy frames. I caught a small swarm; maybe a big handful of bees. I gave them a feeder of sugar water, a protein patty and, as luck would have it, two frames of brood*.

    The question: So now I have this fairly busy little hive that I want to transfer to a deep. I was thinking about transferring all of the current frames to a deep box, adding some deep frames and putting the deep on top of the now empty honey super. After a while I'll remove the small frames, replace them with deeps and get rid of the swarm trap/honey super.

    How's that sound?

    If the swarm queen is not a prodigious layer I will replace her in September with a commercial queen.

    * I ran out of queen excluders on one of my hives and ended up with a honey super full of brood. That'll teach me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,896

    Default Re: Moving a swarm to a deep

    Here would be my advice.

    I would only transfer the number of shallow frames to the deep super, that have a significant amount of work on them. The bees will draw the shallow frames down, onto the bottom bars, to within bee space on your bottom board. You can transfer these frames out next Spring. I would place deep foundation or deep foundationless frames in place of any shallow frames that they have not started working.

    I would not put them on top of an empty honey super. Without close management, the bees will start building comb in that super and you will have a mess to clean out. Don't give them more space than they need/can defend, and, the shallow super would serve no useful purpose.

    If you have small hive beetles in your area, be judicious about the feeding of protein patty this time of year. SHB love them. I would suspect there is plenty of pollen available in your area.

    I also like to see what egg laying pattern a swarm queen makes before replacing her. If it is a good pattern, I would let her go through the Winter, and reevaluate her in the Spring. If it is a really small swarm, as you indicated, it may well be an after swarm and she is a new queen, and may have two or three good laying years ahead of her. Might not need to be replaced for some time.

    Hope this is helpful.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Moving a swarm to a deep

    This is why I made a bunch of 5-frame boxes and will be making more this winter. I have an empty medium one, and I would personally put the frames with bees in a medium 5-frame box and put a 5-frame deep box on top when they build up a bit. That way you end up with a two-story nuc for winter.

    Otherwise I'd put a medium box on top and let them go to work on that and see what happens.

    I have two tiny swarms from the same location I'm doing this with, although I started them in 5-frame deeps. Some extra bees this week along with a frame of stores or emerging brood and they should be large enough to feed up for wintering as two story nucs with a medium box on top. Easy to move to a full sized hive in the spring. Both seem to have a nice queen at work, although I've not looked at the very tiny one for a couple weeks, it's at my brother's place.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Moving a swarm to a deep

    Cleo - Excellent suggestions. I have yet to have one of my own hives create a maze of comb BUT I have seen other people's hives that were a complete mess. I will give her a chance to lay and see what she comes up with.

    RG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Moving a swarm to a deep

    Peter - I may just do that next year. I have built a couple "deep" swarm traps but have yet to capture a swarm in one. It seems a little wasteful having full sized deeps out and about and heaven knows what kind of mess they'll contain if I don't catch it before they fill it out.

    RG

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