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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Clinton, Illinois
    Posts
    95

    Default Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    OK this is a crazy thought but could a drone (aircraft) be used to help retrieve swarms?

    I was scatching my head while looking at a swarm 35 feet up in a tree and I think to myself..... if I had a drone that could lift a fishing line up over that branch....it's too tight a spot to cast it up there.

    Surely someone has at least thought about it. I know the weight of the swarm itself would bring a drone crashing down but what about some type of lure? Or....???

    For the beekeeper that has everything!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    why not a $20 kids bow and arrow from walmart ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    a slingshot with a nice zebco 33 reel will get a fishing line darn near anywhere that is line of sight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,442

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    All you need is a way to get a frame of brood up to the swarm.

    http://www.beesource.com/resources/e...t-high-swarms/
    Regards, Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,996

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    I have a drone, dang thing's a lot harder to fly in tight spots than the promo videos make it look.

    In theory yes, it could be used to get a line to the swarm, a slingshot could be easier. Had some professionals in to cut down a couple of very large trees next to the house which had to be cut down in stages to ensure no property damage. They used a slingshot to get a light line over the branch they needed & used that to pull up heavier lines till they could winch themselves up the tree. Admittedly the guy with the slingshot was obviously well practised but it worked well & efficiently.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,838

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    Do you have access to a pressure washer. You can blast them out with the pressure washer, the bees will be wet and will fall to the ground. provide a bed sheet suspended off the ground by a few inches, under the swarm to cushion their fall.

    If you have the Zebco 33 referenced above, put a heavy plug on it and cast it over the limb. Tie the fishing line to a rope and pull over the limb and shake. Have your catch hive on the ground where you think the swarm will land. If they don't all fall, (some will fly) sometimes they will fly to a better location for you to catch them.

    Don't know a lot about drones, but, don't believe it is the way to go here.

    cchoganjr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Lexington, SC, USA
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    My brother in law has a slingshot mounted on a pole. It will shoot pretty much any kind of heavy cord a looooong way. We use it at Christmas to hang a huge star 40+ feet in the top of a tree.

    Kind of pricey, but it sure does work great.

    http://www.sherrilltree.com/BIGshot#!BIGshot

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    >over that branch....it's too tight a spot to cast it up there.

    I usually tie a rope on the handle of a hammer and throw it up and over the limb. You can do this almost straight up if you have to... it just takes practice... but I find it easier to lure them down with lemongrass oil, QMP and old comb in an well used hive...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    964

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    Hard hat time!!!

    Mind you, I once worked for a fellow who designed a nuclear test: shoot a missile straight up, let it arc over, and detonate it on the way down at 25 miles above the heads of the people who launched it. He watched from 400 miles away.

    I just retired from the UAV industry. We had a class of them with the fanciful name of "Organic Air Vehicle", which we dubbed "flying trash cans". They were ducted fans with thrust control vanes, and they were especially good at hovering in place. They flew on pure thrust. One of those could probably blow a swarm out of a tree.

    You could probably buy one for, oh, a quarter million bucks or so. Though honestly, a small electric version could probably be built for a few hundred bucks. It needs to be heavy and powerful enough to develop enough air blast to get the job done, so the lightweight quadrotors probably won't do it.

    Our control systems made them relatively simple to fly. The craft itself flew autonomously, taking care of all the stability issues, and the operator just needed to tell it where to go. Most of the sensors needed to do this are found in smart phones ... just need to add a few air pressure sensors.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Swarm retrieval assistance using a drone (aircraft, NOT the male bee)

    >Hard hat time!!!

    You are right. I should have pointed that out. I bounced one off of the limb once and almost got hit on the head...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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