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Thread: Hive swarming

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    16

    Default Hive swarming

    Hello everyone,
    I have been doing a lot of removals this spring/summer.
    First off i have 17 hives that i have had for the past 2 years. This year i and my partner decided to do swarm removals.
    When we remove them we take them back to our apiary and re hive out of the beevac and into a hive body. We put "wax" frames in the hive box along with any wax and brood?honey frames we get from the cut out. We also keep them "locked" up for 48 to 72 hours with an inside feeder of sugar water and an outside feeder of just water. We put a "pollen" patty on top of the frames along with a few drops of "lemon grass oil". After 2/4 days we turn them lose (open the hive entrance) with the small entrance opening and walk away. We check on them every so often and see activity at the entrance. Then for some unknown reason after about 7-10 days when we check on them they have swarmed away from our quarantined area. This has happened to 8 of the last cut outs we have done.
    Does anyone out there have any ideas why???

    Frank
    Texas Bee Wranglers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    "Does anyone out there have any ideas why???"
    Temperature regulation and the inability to remove dead larvae and pupae. Don't use screened bottoms. Place in the shade (move to a sunnier spot after the bees are established). Leave a one to two square inch entrance. Put the queen in a queen cage if you can or use a piece of queen excluder over the entrance for 3 or so days. Don't try to save too much brood, but have some open brood in the hive. Put a wet sponge in the bee vac while you are transporting the bees. Do not give up.
    Inscrutable little bugs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,996

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    Welcome Frank! I would leave too if you locked me up for three days without a pee break and gave me extra water.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    beaumont,tx
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    Be very careful with lgo it can be very overwhelming and to much could even be offputting to the bee, possibly even repellent. I say this because a friend went to check one of his traps late in the evening, saw no bees and decided to spritz his trap with lgo. Upon spraying a couple shots inside the trap opening the inside starting to roar, all the bees erupted from the trap and were never seen again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    I have 2 swarms this year, couple of things I did was integrate, used brood comb in the bottom, box, then put some frames I just extracted in the top, along with a couple of frames of honey. They seem to like their new surrounding and are my best producers this year!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Lakeland, Florida
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    Welcome to the forum. That chip on your shoulder heavy?
    A lot of captured swarms leave. Sometimes just nothing you can do about it.
    If your being PAID to do cut-outs or swarm captures than thats your swag and if your actually able to keep the bees from leaving again, thats icing on the cake.
    It's a 50/50 chance and a roll of the dice if they stay. If they do leave, which odds are they will, then crying in your beer doesnt help and calling people names as a newcomer gets you nowhere either.
    Theres some good advice on this forum in regards to swarms. May want to try a search.
    Last edited by Barry; 08-01-2014 at 09:36 AM. Reason: remove deleted quote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    "Does anyone out there have any ideas why???"
    Temperature regulation and the inability to remove dead larvae and pupae. Don't use screened bottoms. Place in the shade (move to a sunnier spot after the bees are established). Leave a one to two square inch entrance. Put the queen in a queen cage if you can or use a piece of queen excluder over the entrance for 3 or so days. Don't try to save too much brood, but have some open brood in the hive. Put a wet sponge in the bee vac while you are transporting the bees. Do not give up.
    Couple of questions and reasons why i did.

    1) Why no screen bottom board? I use one for air flow through the hive during this Texas summer heat.
    2) Why not too much brood? The reason i do this is because i am never sure whether or not i got the queen at times due to the tree, wall house etc etc that i remove them from. I have tried to locate her but with little success at times.

    Great advise about a queen excluder over the entrance i will do that from now on instead of "locking" them up.

    Thanks for the advice. It is nice to finally find a site that i can get some info to save the bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,323

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    "Open" screened bottom boards are associated with reports of absconding by package bees shortly after installation, and may very well be related to your reports of hived swarms leaving shortly after you unblock the hive entrance. It may be that the bees don't like the light, or the airflow, but the WHY isn't that important if they are motivated to abscond by open screens.

    If you want to use screened bottom boards, close them off at least until the bees have brood to anchor them.

    I built screens into my bottom boards, but do not leave them "open". They have oil trays beneath the screens, and the design effectively blocks bees from the tray and airflow from moving through the screen. An alternative to oil in those trays is lime or diatomaceous earth.

    If you want more ventilation add a top vent instead of an open screen bottom.


    Also, note that bees cool their hives via hauling in water and evaporating it - similar to a swamp cooler in a structure. If the outside air temperature exceeds 94 F, then having lots of [hot] air flowing through the hive works in opposition to the bees efforts at evaporative cooling.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 08-02-2014 at 11:35 AM. Reason: typo
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    I was and am concerned about saving the bees. If i stepped on any toes by being direct for an answer that had "nothing" to do with my issue then my sincere apologies to you. And "no" i have NO chip, only problems with bees and "that" was my question, not whether or not they needed a Pee break!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    "1) Why no screen bottom board? I use one for air flow through the hive during this Texas summer heat."
    What Rader said; it's like leaving the door open with the air conditioner running. The bees are actually refrigerating the air by evaporation.

    "2) Why not too much brood? The reason i do this is because i am never sure whether or not i got the queen at times due to the tree, wall house etc etc that i remove them from. I have tried to locate her but with little success at times."
    By "brood" I'm referring to the comb with eggs, larvae, and pupae. I want some eggs and very young larvae so that the bees can make a new queen if needed. I want uncapped brood generally to anchor the bees. I don't want too much because the bees may have trouble taking care of all of it until they have settled in to the new hive. I have to go, but will add another point a little later. Cheers,
    Inscrutable little bugs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    Frank,

    Trying to force bees doesn't work so well, works a lot better if they want to stay.

    Here is what works for me, in no particular order:
    Shade
    Wide open entrance, don't confine them after you have brought them home
    and best to transport them home at night and open them right up so they have time to settle and used to the new digs by the morning
    No screened bottom boards, it's a heat regulation or security thing.
    Shade
    Don't feed for the 1st week, you'll set off robbing. If your in a dearth you can set out a yard feeder at least 300' from the hives
    Shade
    Save only their brood and pollen comb with maybe a frame or two of capped honey
    on cut-outs keep them condensed for a week or two, you want them a little crowded for space
    on swarms give them one box more then you think they need
    isolate them from other hives at least by 20'
    leave them alone, I try not to even walk by them the 1st week. Secondary swarms I wait a month to check.
    If your vacuuming swarms, stop.

    I catch about 20 swarms and do about a dozen cutouts a year and have had none abscond for last two years (knocking on wood).

    Good luck.

    Don

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Hive swarming

    "I have to go, but will add another point a little later. "
    What I wanted to add is that the brood comb should not be turned sideways (or upside down) when it is put into frames. Also, any brood that is rehived should be kept covered with nurse bees as much as practical during and after the removal and should not exposed to undue heat or cold. A hive with a bunch of dead or dying brood may not be inviting to bees. Just my thoughts.
    Inscrutable little bugs.

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