Alabama [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

View Full Version : Alabama

04-14-2008, 12:12 AM
March 24th '08 3 swarms
March 26th '08 1 swarm
March 28th '08 1 swarm

03-31-2009, 08:45 PM
First swarm this season on 3/25. Second one on 3/26. Looked like Russian bees. NW Alabama.

04-30-2009, 10:00 AM
Just captured 1 swarm 40 ft off the ground on an apt. building lastnight. Basketball size.
Russellville, Al 35653

05-06-2009, 06:59 AM
Caught a grapefruit size yesterday off the concrete divider of a 4 lane hwy.
Russellville, Al 35653

05-11-2009, 05:59 PM
Location: Birmingham, Al 35111
Date /Time: 05/05/09 10:00 AM
Weather: Partly Sunny 75 degrees

Small swarm from my only hive settled in a sweetgum tree about 50' above the hive. Left the next morning before 7:00 AM. They did not take up in the nuc that was set up nearby.:scratch:

05-17-2009, 10:42 PM
Pearmund Cellars (google it) off of Georgetown Road had 3 swarms on May 9, 10

Then off Logmill Road east of Bull Run Mountain, north of 20169, one hefty swarm.

May 16th, another swarm same place.

06-15-2009, 03:41 PM
Caught a very small swarm Friday June 12, 2009 at zip 36201 Anniston/Oxford, Alabama

06-22-2009, 01:49 AM
My hive swarmed today to a nearby tree at 4 pm. Sunny, temp 90 degrees F.
Birmingham, Alabama, zip 35223.

07-20-2009, 03:45 PM
Captured a small swarm today July 20, 36272

08-09-2009, 10:07 AM
Cullman,AL-Aug.09,2009-italians i think-hot and sunny. very small swarm. copper287

10-09-2009, 04:51 PM
I noted a sudden decrease in the number of bees in one of my hives between Sept 17 and Sept 20th. When I inspected the hive, numerous empty queen cells were found. I had been feeding this hive since it had swarmed in late June. Looks like it swarmed again - guess I overfed them. Zip 35223.

I never saw the swarm depart.

03-14-2010, 08:28 PM
First Swarm of 2010 in extreme southern Alabama for myself was on 3/13/2010.

03-28-2010, 08:10 AM
March 27, 2010, at 12:35 pm. Birmingham, Alabama, Zip 35223. Temp 62F, full sun. A three-pound swarm from a hive that itself had been a swarm the year before. It coalesced in a small tree 30 yards from the parent hive, about 12 feet up. I captured the swarm and set it up in a nearby hive box that I had prepared for a package due to be delivered next month.

Rohe Bee Ranch
04-08-2010, 08:06 AM
Sunday, 4 April 2010, Central Madison County, Alabama, 2-3 pound size swarm.

04-11-2010, 07:17 PM
I've lost two swarms last weekend and this weekend April 11, 2010. There is a large pine tree next to my hives and the swarms bunch up in the higher part of it and I can't get to them. I just have to watch them fly into the woods. I plan on cutting the tree down to stop them from swarming in it. I guess we need more bees to make it in the woods anyway. So not all is lost in my opinion. I'm located in Piedmont, Al 36272 :cry:

04-13-2010, 05:17 PM
Caught my 1st swarm using a plwood 5 frame nuc. It was a small swarm but they began building comb right away.
April 13, 2010 / 80 degrees / Vance, Alabama / along tree line next to an open pasture / Appears to be a feral swarm.

04-18-2010, 04:26 PM
First swarm of the year for me,4/18/10,but i did stop 2 from swarming last week. copper287

04-27-2010, 08:04 PM
Caught a swarm on 3/25/10, missed one on 4/10/10, caught another one on 4/23/10. Zip code 36445. The two I caught are two of my three hives :)

Rohe Bee Ranch
04-29-2010, 10:07 AM
Picked up my first swarm of this year last night. Rather small one, about 2 pounds of bees. Off of Nick Davis Road, Lori's Landing subdivision, Harvest, Alabama.

05-01-2010, 11:43 PM
Received a call Thursday (29 Apr 10) a swarm of bees were in front of a local doctor's office on the ground. Customers were afraid to come out and leave the office until the Bee man showed up and got those bees out of there.

Really made a big show and even got reported on the nightly news bees hold customers at bay. Ha.

Everybody in the office and customers came out to see the bees being picked up. I showed them how gentle the bees were and then brought them to their new home.

05-03-2010, 10:31 AM
May 2, I captured my first swarm this season although it is the fourth swarm I've seen. The wind was whipping heavily from the South and they landed in a hedge row. It took a while to get them all in a hive but they seem to settle down. I am in Piedmont, Al 36272 :thumbsup:

06-14-2010, 05:54 PM
Pell City, Al.
4 to 5lb. swarm off new Gardner package hived on 3-28-10," was" the best of 16 packages, 35' up in oak tree...

2 1/2 story on new unwaxed plasticell w/ no excluder.

Adios Amigos

08-25-2010, 09:43 PM
got called to get a swarm out of a tree about 25 feet off the ground and while i was there i found the main hive they came from so im going to get that one tomorrow. the swarm was about 7lbs of bees

You better wait until you know the new queen is mated and laying. Next spring would be better....

02-26-2011, 09:45 PM
Found approximately 10 queen swarm cells in one hive today. Lately, many of the bees have been gathering outside the box so we knew something was up. Even found one queen cell opened/hatched. The box had so many bees, it did not look like a swarm happened.

We took several queen cells and make 3 nucs from them and left plenty of bees in the hive.

The hive has two large supers which were full of bees.

Will see what happens but I can say "it has begun".:)

2-26-2011 - date

Lower most Alabama - location 36535

03-18-2011, 09:15 PM
Date: 3/18/11.

Location: Most Southern Alabama...Foley

First swarm. Assuming it's from one of my hives since it was in the bee yard...approximately 15 feet from 3 hives. A couple of boxes have looked quite strong lately and it's no surprise.


Ted Kretschmann
03-18-2011, 09:26 PM
Been seeing cells since March 5 Lower Tallapoosa river valley. Saw a swarm yesterday and today-march 17,18. Too high up in the trees to retreive. TK

03-19-2011, 03:39 PM
Date: 19 Mar 2011

Location: Foley, Al

Two more swarms from bee yard today...only have 4 full Hives and one very young split.

As we were getting the second swarm, they all flee back to the hive. Guess they thought it a mean world out there. Placed a hive box with scent next to the box trying to swarm. Someone told me the reason they went back was the queen had not yet left the hive. Funny, we thought she was the first to go!

03-21-2011, 02:06 PM
Location: Foley, Al

Date: 21 Mar 11

Had a 2nd swarm from the same box which swarmed on Saturday. They started swarming as I was working on another box. Good timing...

03-28-2011, 08:23 PM
Caught my first swarm of the season today - 3/28/11. About 5 lbs of bees, 2 ft above ground in a privet bush right next to the road :) Frisco City, AL 36445

03-30-2011, 09:22 PM
36535 - AL

Got a call from city police about a swarm yesterday. Very easy to get but got one caught in my short glove...I got stung and it died. The swarm was my largest since becoming a bee person. Nice!

04-01-2011, 09:47 PM
se oklahoma, one on march the 22. we removed it 2 days later. one march 24, about 45 miles west. it swarmed to a water meter. one today april the 1st. we actually got it off the fencepost before it hived. much easier.

04-05-2011, 07:46 PM
Found a 5th swarm, this afternoon, from my original 3 boxes. So far from 3 hives, I've got 2 splits and 5 swarms and 3 nucs from queen cells. Did a spit about a month ago by placing one of the two supers (from one hive) in the opposite direction (and ensuring it had a queen cell. Should have put the queen in that box...they say.) Anyways, I found the new queen in the split today.

Placed today's swarm on top of a hive that has become weak by placing paper, from foundation inserts, between the hive and new swarm. Now I will watch and see.

I think it's time for the bees to start making honey and not queens!

Rohe Bee Ranch
04-11-2011, 06:35 AM
8 April 2001 - Decatur, Alabama. I arrived just in time to see them leave.:lpf:

10 April 2001 - Harvest, Alabama. Caught my own swarm. Now I have another colony. :D

Rohe Bee Ranch
04-15-2011, 09:04 AM
14 April 2011 - Madison County, Alabama: One of my hives swarmed and I didn't get there in time to catch it. Oh well.

Collected 2 swarms yesterday evening in the North Huntsville area.

Rohe Bee Ranch
04-18-2011, 08:04 AM
17 April 2011 - Ardmore, Alabama Collected a large swarm in a small Dogwood tree. Captured one of my own swarms in the Harvest, AL area. Collected a small swarm in the south Madison, AL area.

Rohe Bee Ranch
04-26-2011, 06:47 AM
04/23/11 - Limestone County, Alabama - Big swarm in a small tree. Four feet above the ground. Filled a deep hive body. Had to add another deep hive body yestarday. :D

Rohe Bee Ranch
05-06-2011, 05:08 PM
4 May 2011-Madison, Alabama Very large swarm on the roof line of a house. I suspect it was a displaced colony from the nearby forest that had lots of downed trees that were hit by the tornadoes.

5 May 2011-HArvest, Alabama Another very large swarm on a small tree in a neighborhood. I suspect it was also a displaced colony from the nearby forest that had lots of downed trees that were hit by the tornadoes.

Rohe Bee Ranch
06-24-2011, 06:34 AM
4 june 2011-One of my colonies swarmed and went into my swarm trap which is the good news. :D Unfortunately the land owner was mowing with his bush hog and ran over the swarm trap which was on a 18 inch hive stand and obliterated the entire thing. The only thing that survived was the old plastic bottom board. Everything else was ground to pulp. :(

Rohe Bee Ranch
07-14-2011, 07:30 AM
35805 Huntsville, AL. Swarm call at Madison County Board of Education on a sign in back parking lot. However some idiot sprayed them all with wasp killer. I guess this bonehead thought he was saving his co-workers from the Apocolypse. This is the third swarm call I've received in the last month where someone kills them before I arrrive.

Rohe Bee Ranch
08-04-2011, 08:28 AM
July 31, 2011 - 35758 Collected a colony from a water meter in downtown Madison, Alabama. When I took this colony to one of my bee yards I found a very small swarm on the bushes behind my beeyard. I put them into a hive box also and may use them on a colony that turns out queenless later this summer.

03-15-2012, 02:19 PM
Zip 35811 Madison County Alabama. 80+ degrees partly sunny, 3/15/12 (swarmed around Noon) and first one of season. Lit in there usual spot just above the hive in a Tulip Popular. Got lucky with the first bucket bump. Placed in two mediums (couple of drawn comb and the rest no foundation) It's been an hour and they are still stuffing themselves in. Plan on moving them tonight then feed sugar water. (2/1)

BTW, I"m new at this, 2nd year, does this all sound correct?

Would you wait till they draw out the foundation before adding another super?


03-21-2012, 07:08 PM
36263 east central alabama 3 /19 landed in top of Tulip Popular stayed 24 hours and away they went, at least im helping restock our wild population that had died off.

Rohe Bee Ranch
03-26-2012, 07:19 AM
Large swarm (filled a deep) in downtown Madison, Alabama (35758) 17Mar2012.

Shipping cage size swarm, one of my own, in Harvest, Alabama (35757) 25Mar2012.

Rohe Bee Ranch
03-27-2012, 11:31 AM
Collected a medium size swarm last night at Decatur General Hospital in Decatur, Alabama. They were next to the Kitchen entrance from the south west parking lot.

Rohe Bee Ranch
03-28-2012, 02:18 PM
Picked up a very large swarm in Madison, AL (35757) just off of Douglas Road and Indian Creek yesterday.

03-29-2012, 05:27 AM
I caught my first swarm of the year March 28, 2012 in my back yard here at Piedmont, Alabama. It was a fairly large swarm and the little girls ate me up. I've captured a lot of swarm over the years and these were the most aggresive ever. I got stung approxamately 30 times. I don't know why they were so mean during a swarm. I will requeen the if they don't settle down.

Rohe Bee Ranch
04-03-2012, 11:39 AM
Collected a Package size swarm in Madison, Alabama.

04-09-2012, 06:12 PM
scottsboro al, 35768, Easter sunday, caught 'em in a trap.

05-20-2012, 06:18 AM
19671964caught a swarm in front yard, believe it was from feral hive in oak tree in my yard. swarm captured on 5/6/12 @ fosters,alabama,tuscaloosa county,35463. weather was clear skies mid 80's

04-23-2013, 01:39 PM
came home from work to find a small swarm in one of my traps, possibly a supercedure swarm from one of my hives. this is the first one i am aware of in my area.

inspected the caught swarm today (day 5 after capture), and found only a little over two frames of bees with a queen, eggs, and some just hatched larvae. took them out of the 10 frame box and put them into a five frame box. if it thrives, i'll harvest some brood out of it to build up numbers in any other hives that swarm. the queen may come in handy too if she is any good.

04-23-2013, 08:17 PM
another small one today.

scottsboro, al.


07-13-2013, 09:18 PM
Caught an 5-8 lb swarm this morning. It was a big one! They wouldn't fit in a Nuc box so I had to put them in a 10frame deep. The original colony must have been a monster.

July 13, 2013. Quite nice for July, around 88 degrees. It's been raining a lot here for last two weeks.

09-03-2013, 11:53 AM
September 2, 2013 in Northwest Alabama.

One of my hives swarmed Monday just after noon and I saw it. Large cluster (football, at least) landed in low branch of small tree 10' from hive. I grabbed nuc and caught the swarm. I now have 3 hives. Just posted a question in Swarm category because I'm a new beekeeper and want to make sure I'm handling all 3 hives correctly.

The hive that swarmed is still strong, in terms of sheer number of bees.

09-17-2013, 03:30 PM
September 13, 2013. Mountain Brook, Alabama 35223. A swarm on the ground about 15 yards in front of my back yard hives. The pile was about 12 inches in diameter.


I looked through the pile and found a marked queen from my strongest hive. I scooped her up and set up a nuc with the caged queen inside. The workers, who by then were congregating on the leg of a nearby sawhorse, marched into the hive.


I released the queen two days later. I'm feeding the colony syrup and waiting for some pollen to be brought in before another inspection.

04-19-2014, 01:20 PM

scottsboro, al 35768

swarm issued from longest running colony (five years), caught and soon to belong to flatrockboy.

04-20-2014, 03:41 PM
yesterday's first swarm of the year was followed by #2 and #3 today. i managed to coax one of them into a box, but the other one didn't stick around long enough to catch.

scottsboro, al
1400' asl

coincidantly, the first swarm of 2012 happened on Easter Sunday.

04-27-2014, 08:30 AM
I have two hives in my peach orchard that have swarmed 5 times since 3/29/14 including one yesterday. Luckily, they all stop temporarily on one of the peach trees which has allowed us to catch them all. My friend says I should split the hives, but for now letting them do their thing naturally and then putting the muntineers in new hives seems to be working pretty good. But, he's probably right. Next year, though, as some folks have also suggested, I think I'll reverse the brood boxes early on to hopefully minimize the swarming.


mark williams
04-27-2014, 09:19 AM
Got our 1st,4-21-14 Easter,

Brad Bee
04-27-2014, 06:23 PM
4/24. 4/25. 4/26 and 4/27 :(

01-29-2015, 03:38 PM
Pensacola FL. Downtown area. Buddy posted his beek friend over there was called to pick up a swarm. It was a large one, pic looked like it might have been about 2 basketballs in size!

02-08-2015, 09:16 PM
2/7 I picked up a swarm from Irvington Alabama(gulf coast). It was slightly larger than what a 3lb package would contain. First nice day in a while with temps around 70. It's definitely early in the year but not the first I have heard of.

03-16-2015, 07:51 PM
Auburn, AL, 84/57 degrees, 3/16/15. No idea where it came from but it was in a bush right across the road from the university.

03-27-2015, 07:32 PM
Swarm in Trap Sunday March 22 2015 (Phenix City, AL)
Swarm in Trap Wednesday March 25 2015 (Columbus, GA)
Swarm in Trap Friday March 27, 2015 (Pittsview, AL)

So far I am 3 for 4. :shhhh:

03-30-2015, 01:47 PM
3-30-15.. Central Alabama. Swarmed while I was in the bee yard. landed about 10ft away. Caged the queen and stuck em in a box. My other 7 hives did not have swarm cells and only one of those had 2 deeps full of bees, but the rest had multiple frames of capped brood. I have 2 or 3 days to decide if I want to make a bunch of splits or try ye 'ol anti-swarm techniques.

04-01-2015, 06:52 PM
caught my second today. Wish they would have been on the bottom of a hammock...

04-03-2015, 08:44 PM
Small swarm in swarm trap today. Hived this evening with strong storms due tonight. White wax starting. I am definitely on the beginning of the spring flow! ��

04-12-2015, 07:47 PM
Auburn AL, 36832
6:00 PM
70 degrees
I got the swarm call and thought what are they thinking? :scratch:
Anyway, I hope I got wetter than they did.

04-23-2015, 05:50 PM
scottsboro, al
first scouts seen checking out traps today.

04-26-2015, 04:41 PM
first swarm of the season caught in a trap today
scottsboro, al

05-06-2015, 08:02 AM
5-5-15 36269 East Central Alabama 1st swarm about the size of a grapefruit.

05-18-2015, 12:06 PM
35768 caught in trap

scottsboro, al

02-09-2016, 10:41 AM
What is needed:

zip code, city or county
date when the bees swarmed or when you found the swarm.
comments - example: if the swarm came from your hive, or if you were called to pick up a swarm, how long was it there. This is not for cutouts unless the bees just took up residence and are not established. It would also be great to include a small photo of the swarm.

This forum is not for general discussion.

03-10-2016, 10:29 PM
Fellow teaching our beeks class had one of his hives swarm on Feb. 29th,{Dothan, AL.} and was called to get 3 swarms between March 4th to March 7th {also Dothan/Houston County AL.}. I got a call today (Mar. 10th) about a swarm in Dale County {zip 36360}. Unable to get it and another fellow from club answered the call. These were all in SE corner of Alabama. Each call was same day that swarm was seen; i.e. been there less than 12 hours.

Terry L Barker
03-28-2016, 04:46 PM
Small swarm probably scouts in the corner of my house. Set out hive with some old frames and some comb.
Monday March 28th, 2016 North Mobile County, Alabama 36521

04-01-2016, 02:16 PM
35768, scottsboro, al

caught one in a trap that i'm reasonably sure came from a feral colony in a nearby cedar hollow. there have been scouts checking it out for the past two days. this one is down in the valley from me which tends to be a couple of weeks or so ahead of what we see up here on the ridgetop. no scouts seen yet at the traps i have set up here.

04-10-2016, 06:25 PM
35805 Huntsville
041016 - Just Swarmed today
The swarm came from an old tree across the street. They took up shop on a cherry blossom. It was almost 3 gals of bees.

I also got a call about a swarm in Ardmore today. Somebody got to them before I could though.

Brad Bee
04-12-2016, 03:49 PM
4/12/16 Boaz 35957

Not sure if it was a swarm or they absconded from their hive. We had high winds with the storms that came through last night. If it's the swarm it's the largest one I have personally seen. I would estimate 10 pounds of bees.

04-18-2016, 02:31 PM
4/10/16 36525 Creola

Caught 1 in a trap and got a call on another in a bush the same day.

04-19-2016, 02:01 PM
35805 Huntsville
041016 - Just Swarmed today
The swarm came from an old tree across the street. They took up shop on a cherry blossom. It was almost 3 gals of bees.

I also got a call about a swarm in Ardmore today. Somebody got to them before I could though.

I just collected a second swarm in the same spot as this one from the same feral hive.

Brad Bee
04-19-2016, 02:58 PM
35957 Boaz
Caught them about 40 feet from where I hived the swarm last week. 5 frames of bees.

04-20-2016, 09:58 AM
4/17, 18 & 19
36269 Muscadine
Caught a swarm in a trap each day

04-21-2016, 07:43 PM
I just collected a second swarm in the same spot as this one from the same feral hive.

35805 Huntsville
Third swarm in the same tree believed to be from the same hive across the street. The original hive looks like it's getting ready to swarm again. This is nuts!

04-22-2016, 12:48 PM
4 swarm of the year
36269 Muscadine
east central AL

04-22-2016, 01:58 PM
4/17/16 captured swarm
4/19/16 swarm sighted leaving bee yard
4/21/16 captured swarm
36866 East Central Al

04-29-2016, 03:14 AM
Caught swarm in a trap hung on a tree in my backyard.
35094 Leeds, AL.

Brad Bee
05-06-2016, 07:12 PM
Etowah County 35990
Football sized swarm

Brad Bee
05-06-2016, 07:13 PM
Etowah County 35990
Football sized swarm

05-07-2016, 03:01 PM
35771, section, al

spoke too soon in the other thread earlier today. it's small swarm that came from a hive in which i've been hearing multiple virgins piping for a few days. this is the second swarm that i know of from my hives so far this year. got a trap waiting..... but if they head for the woods i'm really ok with allowing a colony back from whence they came from time to time.

05-30-2016, 11:10 AM
35806 Huntsville
I got a call about a swarm. When I showed up it was making a home inside an 8x8 column about ~15' up. ~4lb swarm. It was in the heart of the Huntsville Industrial district off of research.

Brad Bee
07-07-2016, 08:14 PM
35950 Albertville
Got the swarm call about 7:30 PM
They were clustered on a mailbox.
Quart jar sized swarm of the smallest body sized bees I've laid eyes on.
Latest swarm call so far by more than six to eight weeks.
Complete dearth conditions here for at least the past month. Six weeks away from whatever fall flow we might have. We are in severe drought conditions.

07-08-2016, 07:09 AM
36830 Auburn
Small swarm close to ground on AU campus 7/7/16

36866 Notasulga 7/8/16
Basketball sized swarm 10' in tree. Put into a nuc and put feeder on top.

02-19-2017, 04:05 PM
saw this posted today:

"Just hived my first swarm for this, the 2017, season. Was about 3# of bees. I'm located 1/2 way between Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama (85 miles in each direction by highway)."


02-21-2017, 06:39 AM
Caught our first swarm of 2017. Lee County, Alabama.

Filled up a 5 frame nuc at site with them, took home and treated for mites. Put second 5 frames on top due to size of swarm.


03-06-2017, 04:03 AM
Geneva County-03/04/17.

03-08-2017, 06:19 AM
Swarm, Monday March 6, 2017, Northern Shelby County
Monday March 6, 2017, Eastern Jefferson County

03-22-2017, 12:21 PM
Just had my first swarm - Ozark, AL -36360, Dale County - March 22, 2017 Sunny, 80, and from one of my hives. Pitched in oak tree about 25 feet right above hive, size - about as large as two footballs. Poor beekeeping on my part. Have two baited swarm traps about 100 yards away, might get lucky.

Called my mentor to ask what else I could do and he said he has had 3 hives swarm since Monday. He is about 15 miles north of me in Henry County, AL.

03-25-2017, 09:38 AM
Swarm, March 23, 2017, Vestavia Hill, Jefferson County. Size unknown.
Never saw them as a swarm. They just took up residence in a swarm trap I had placed on my deck that I was planning to place in a tree this weekend.

03-28-2017, 08:16 AM
35805 Huntsville
First swarm call of the year. Unfortunately I had to pass it to a friend because I was out of town on travel.

04-05-2017, 08:59 PM
36420 Covington County
4/5/17 Found Swarm in Trap that was set out on 3/19/17. I am guessing they have been there a while. Comb built out on every frame.

04-10-2017, 05:54 PM
ft. payne, al
first swarm reported in the area this year.
no scouts seen visiting my traps yet.

Brad Bee
04-10-2017, 06:58 PM
first swarm reported in the area this year.

First I've heard of as well.

04-12-2017, 06:04 PM
Ranburne, AL

Had a coworker tell me about the swarm in his wife's rose bush... yesterday. I'm a day late and a dollar short.

04-12-2017, 06:22 PM
I got a swarm Monday in front of City Hall. I give a card to the water department, because swarms love those in ground meter boxes. The lady called and I asked if the bees were in a meter she said "no, they are in the bush next to our front door". Easiest swarm capture yet, 2 feet off the ground, put the box under, shook the branch ,and away I went.

Brad Bee
04-12-2017, 08:06 PM
Boaz AL
5-6 pound swarm
The swarm came from the same tree hive that I got 2 swarms from last year.
First swarm call of the year.

EDIT: I just looked back on my posts from last year on this thread and not only is it a swarm from the same hive in the same tree as last year, IT'S ON THE SAME DAY OF THE YEAR. That is just too cool.

04-13-2017, 07:04 PM
Fabius, AL
1st stop was the same Crepe Myrtle shrub they went to last year.

Brad Bee
04-13-2017, 07:46 PM
Boaz AL 35957
Apparently swarm from same tree as yesterday.
I was contacted at 9:00 am and the swarm was gone when I got there.

04-15-2017, 02:41 PM
scottsboro, al

a small swarm just issued from one of my hives but i was too late to see which hive. it was flying straight for the trap i've got set, but settled into some bramble about 50 yards away from the trap. the scouts are all over the trap so we'll see what happens. i've got several colonies superceding their queens at this time and i believe this swarm is one of those old queens with a small contingent of loyal subjects.

04-15-2017, 07:17 PM
Flat Rock, AL

Swarm from cutdown split we did 21 days ago.

Caught it and put it into a Warre hive.

04-16-2017, 10:31 AM


Brad Bee
04-16-2017, 12:55 PM
:thumbsup: What set up are you using in the trap?

04-16-2017, 03:59 PM
deep 5 over 5
bottom box empty
top box with one frame old brood comb in the middle, flanked by wired foundationless frames, flanked by plastic foundation frames.
q tip with lemongrass oil on one end and queen juice on the other end.

relocate on day 5 and add frames to bottom box or transfer to 10 frame box.

Brad Bee
04-16-2017, 07:55 PM
10-4. Thanks. Home made queen juice? You think they're from your hives or a feral?

04-16-2017, 08:04 PM
home made. not sure, this swarm looks bigger hanging off the hive than the little one i saw in the air yesterday, but looks can be deceiving. it's possible that it came from one of my neighbor's hives that are treatment free but he hasn't been into his since taking honey off last year.

Brad Bee
04-16-2017, 08:15 PM
but he hasn't been into his since taking honey off last year.

No need in rushing I guess. :)

04-21-2017, 03:50 PM
A little catch up:

Gadsden, Al

4/1/17: swarm from #3 hive, a medium strength hive on check 2 weeks before. I cut out queen cells as most of them were emerging. I caged 12 virgins. All cells were in the middle of frames, and none on the edge. I walking by the hives when they started pouring out. I caught the swarm by luring them to a steel pole with HBH.

4/10/17: swarm from my hive #10 ( 2 deeps and 2 medium supers of brood.). I cut out 12 queen cells. I was late I didn't check all of the boxes. They went 30 feet into the "swarm tree".

4/16/17: secondary swarm from hive #10. Apparently with a mated queen, I seen eggs 4 days later. I cut out 15 queen cells out of lower deep box. All but one emerged minutes after cutting them out. Second time this year, I watched virgins emerge while trying to cut out cells. They went 30 feet into the "swarm tree". This time I put up scaffolding, but by the time I was climbing up the scaffold they flew off. I caught them in another tree.

Weaver, Al
4/8/17: swarm call. A 5-6 lb swarm waist high. I knocked them in box, talked to home owner for 20 minutes, and went home. I wish they were all that easy.

04-27-2017, 04:24 PM
Flat Rock, AL

Other half of bungled split (forager part that made new queen) swarmed also.

Caught most of them bearding at the parent hive entrance, rest of them on a nearby fence post.

05-02-2017, 06:49 PM
Ohatchee, AL

Decent sized swarm collected in a bush later moved into a swarm trap that was hung up about 30 yards away.

Brad Bee
05-02-2017, 08:45 PM
Asbury, AL 35951
Swarm from a long lived feral colony in the wall of a church.
Went into 5 over 5 trap baited with one frame of drawn comb, 4 frames with Acorn starter stips and Swarm Commander.

05-03-2017, 07:24 AM
good catch brad! i like the idea of the frames with starter strips. with that approach i would likely go ahead and put all 10 frames in the trap.

the wait 5 days to add the frames to the lower box turned out to be a little bit too long with my latest catch and the intense flow we are having, as there was more than a little bit of comb drawn below the bottom bars in the top box before i added the frames to the bottom box.

05-10-2017, 09:01 PM
5/7/17 and 5/10/17
Flat Rock, AL

Caught both. Gave the 2nd one to neighbors who are thrilled to become new beekeepers.

Brad Bee
05-17-2017, 06:02 PM
Albertville, AL

Strange year. I know of 6 large swarms this week around our area. IMO this is much too late for typical large spring reproductive swarms. I just got a call about another one and I'm going to go try and get this one early tomorrow morning. The swarms I caught earlier in the year in traps were all small swarms. I think our severe drought last year which caused us to have no pollen or nectar produced during the fall may have a hand in this.

05-17-2017, 06:23 PM
and just when i was about to pull my traps down as i haven't seen a scout visiting them in going on 2 weeks.

typically we will have swarms up until about the end of may, but as you already know brad the bloom schedule was a few weeks ahead of 'normal' this year.

also, this past week is the first week since our main flow kicked in that i haven't seen decent progress being made in the honey supers, so i agree it may be challenging for a swarm to get established this late, especially if we have drought conditions again this year.

i'm now debating whether or not to proceed with nuc production since it has gotten this late and the flow may be screeching to a halt.

06-06-2017, 04:55 PM
June 4, Morris County (north central) New Jersey.

Small swarm, most likely from my own hive and likely from a first-year package of Italians. Formed a mound in the grass in front of the one of my three hives. I haven't been able to inspect the hives to ascertain from whence they came. They were more than willing to walk right into a deep filled with drawn-comb frames.

06-10-2017, 02:23 PM
Flat Rock

06-25-2017, 05:42 PM
Flat Rock

From neighbor's hive started with a nuc bought just under 2 months ago.

06-26-2017, 08:57 PM
If one wanted to try to catch a swarm from there own hive, where would you put a swarm box.

07-07-2017, 06:53 PM
Flat Rock

I believe that my Warre colony, the strongest hive, swarmed into a 5-frame hive that I had just set aside (about 3' away) to transfer a couple of frames to a neighbor. I had put a brood frame with queen cells and nurse bees and a partial frame of honey and pollen in there. Filled the rest with foundation. Left for about a couple of hours just waiting to hear from the neighbor. A thunderstorm blew up and after that I went up to check on the bees. Looked into the Warre hive windows and realized half the bees were missing. Didn't transfer the frames in the nuc until 2 days later. Found at least 4 frames of bees. I replaced the foundation with a frame of open brood and put in frames of empty and partially drawn combs. Didn't see a queen but they seem calm so I'm thinking the swarm with it's queen is in there.

07-07-2017, 06:56 PM
Swarm I posted on 6/10/17 was an absconding colony. Was a 10+ year feral colony in a water heater on a neighbor's property.

07-08-2017, 08:13 AM
Sorry this post is late, but I had my hive swarm (installed in April, 2015) on April 14, 2017. I captured the swarm on April 16 and installed in a new hive on April 18. This was all done on my property in Mentone, AL. Now I have two hives and I couldn't bee happier! I am a completely newbie, and jeez, I know I made every mistake in the book, but my girls have survived and prospered (out of control, in fact, so I have a question that I will post on another thread).

07-12-2017, 06:18 PM
Flat Rock

My Warre colony swarmed. I saw them as they started out at about 1:30 with some rain clouds in the sky. Called DH away from cutting a tree off the fence so it was a little while we were able to start the catch. Was hearing some thunder all the while. Rain started at about 3:30. We had all but a few of the bees in a hive. Took the hive to its final destination in a downpour. Whew! These gals cut that close!

This is the same hive I think swarmed on 7/1. Looked into the hive believed to hold that swarm yesterday and found no queen. So it appears that the queen was a virgin that didn't make it. I combined those bees with another hive after shaking them through a queen excluder.

07-14-2017, 09:05 PM
A coworker called me on July 13 and had a swarm in a tree at his church. I got it and moved them to the farm. About 2-3 pounds. Put them in a swarm box overnight but all I had was new frames. Moved them to a box this morning and they already had a good frosty covering of wax on the four frames. Added a frame of capped honey and brood so maybe they will stay. Shelby County.

07-14-2017, 09:25 PM
My original hive swarmed for the second time this year on 7/12/17. The remaining bees look robust and good enough in numbers to survive and thrive. I didn't catch this swarm (yet--I put out a box with some prepared attractant), so they may have gotten away.

07-14-2017, 09:51 PM
Seems like a lot of swarms for July doesn't it? Just in case I put out a swarm box for my 4 frame nuc lang thats now taking 3/4 of my top bar hive. I need to fill the rest of the hive with used comb hopefully they wont swarm.

Brad Bee
08-23-2017, 05:37 PM
Blountsville, AL

Due to the time of year, I suspect these absconded due to SHB or Wax Moth pressure. 4-5 frames of bees. They were already drawing comb on Acorn foundation an hour after hiving them when I opened the hive to put a frame of open brood in. Gonna try to get them on at least 10 frames of drawn comb before fall shutdown.

Brad Bee
08-23-2017, 05:38 PM

09-04-2017, 07:59 PM
Flat Rock

Returned from vacation and found a small (2 frames) swarm sheltered under a hive that didn't swarm. It doesn't appear that they came from any of my 5 hives. Found eggs in there today. Also gave them a frame of mature capped brood.

02-16-2018, 10:31 PM

Friend had swarm leave box and cluster underneath today. Boxed swarm.

02-18-2018, 07:58 PM
Houston County
Friend had swarm leave hive, pitch in low bush in the yard, and in less than 15 minutes were gone to parts unknown.

02-18-2018, 08:02 PM
Feb. 18, 2018
Henry County - Newville, AL
Mentor had swam from one of his hives move in to swarm trap about 400 yards away. Much to early for swarms in our area but all our hives are blooming and need more room. Doing splits and checking for queen cells next week as needed.

02-18-2018, 09:51 PM
Groundhwg: I split them all this weekend. Did not see any QCs, but had tons of brood and drones. Maybe I am too early. I never know. I have been seeing drones since end of January. I didn't see them until mid-February in 2017. It all looks about 2 weeks earlier this year. I had Queen cells on March 3 in 2017.

02-22-2018, 03:15 PM
Going to be doing some splits tomorrow on some of my friends hives near Echo, AL. He was in a few hives last week and saw a few drones and lots of capped drone cells.

Also just received this email from the head of our beekeeping club in Dothan, AL. he was asking if anyone want to tackle a cutout on a new swarm:

Larry just called. A swarm of bees has just landed on the side of his house and moved into the roof overhang (soffit).

03-04-2018, 10:20 PM
Covington County. Local beek had a swarm today. Came out of one of his hives and landed on a small tree in his yard. He caught them and hived them in a nuc.

03-15-2018, 08:21 PM
Jefferson Co. three swarms today per president of Jefferson County Beekeepers Association. they advised to get your traps out now!!

03-16-2018, 10:26 PM
Covington County
Swarm call tonight. Large swarm hanging in an azalea bush about a foot off the ground. Easy pickings, but got stung in the lip.

03-18-2018, 07:31 PM
Wow, have to work on your knees to get a swarm a foot off the ground.

03-20-2018, 09:14 PM
Covington County
Swarm landed under swarm trap I set out last week. Would not move in. JHived them in another box. Too much Swarm Commander?

03-23-2018, 04:59 PM
March 23, 2018
Dale County, SE Alabama
2 hives swarmed today. One pitched in grapes vines, chest high, about a kickball size swarm. Getting box to try and get them and in less than 10 minutes they left, circled the top of the house and departed for parts unknown southwest.

Second one is right above the hives about 35 feet up in an oak tree. Have been there since about 1PM, football size swarm, still waiting for the scouts to head out, I guess. Have three swarm traps out in area but none of the bees seem to want one as a new home.

03-25-2018, 07:39 PM
Caught a swarm in nuc swarm trap baited with lemon grass at 430PM 3/25/18.
Dale County, SE AL

03-27-2018, 05:37 PM
Swarm 3/27/2018 - Dale County AL.

Roped limb about 18-20 feet up, shook onto tarp and got them all in a hive box. Better lucky than good.

04-01-2018, 04:10 PM
Swarm 4/1/2018 - Jefferson Co. Watched them swarm right into my trap.

these videos were taken over a 20 minute period.

04-01-2018, 04:38 PM
nice catch r_v, and good job on the video as well!

04-01-2018, 04:50 PM
Thanks. I'm going to take them down tonight and move them to their permanent location about 15' away.


04-01-2018, 05:46 PM
yep, that's how i would go about it.

04-01-2018, 07:34 PM
Great job RV! What did you have in your trap? Were they from one of your hives?

04-01-2018, 08:10 PM
a ten frame deep with about 3 full frames of old comb and 7 foundation-less frames that had comb honey cut out of them..
and swarm commander

and they were not my bees

04-04-2018, 05:38 AM
4-3-2018 Jefferson County
Caught a swarm in the back of my pickup truck at work. 5 frame nuc. One frame with brood comb and couple of sprays of Swarm Commander.

04-09-2018, 05:24 PM
4-9-18 Limestone County
Smallish swarm on a small tree about a foot off the ground.

04-10-2018, 08:36 AM
4/9/18 Morgan County. Pretty big swarm about 30ft in a tree hanging over a street. Got them with an extension pole and 5-gal bucket.

04-10-2018, 03:32 PM
4/09/2018 - Dale County, Basketball size swarm, on a bush 4 feet off the ground. Got call at 11AM on the way to the doctor. Done with doc and called back at 12:45PM and swarm had left about 15 minutes before. Shucks!

04-11-2018, 10:02 AM
4/10/18 - Covington County. Got a call about 6:30 pm of a swarm about 9 feet up in a tree. Average size. Brushed them into deep hive body with new frames and foundation.

04-11-2018, 10:04 AM
4-3-2018 Jefferson County
Caught a swarm in the back of my pickup truck at work. 5 frame nuc. One frame with brood comb and couple of sprays of Swarm Commander.

Bluesman: Do you just ride around with a baited swarm trap in the back of your truck? How many have you caught that way? Do you try to park in the same spots at work and at home every day? That is a great idea and you always have a box ready if you get a call to go get a swarm.

04-12-2018, 04:07 PM
4/11/18 Dale County
Got a call at 5PM. Small swarm, about size of 1/2 a football, only 3 feet off the ground in a bush. Just placed in a nuc, fed and shut-up last night.

04-21-2018, 07:42 AM

stevenson, al

a friend told me he caught a swarm in a trap up the river from here yesterday. i've had traps up for a couple of weeks and saw the first scouts checking them out yesterday as well.

04-21-2018, 02:07 PM

macedonia, al

caught one in a trap out the outyard. i went through all of those yesterday and i'm pretty sure it's not one of mine.

05-16-2018, 01:08 PM

Vestavia Hills, Al
second swarm caught in this trap, in my backyard. I don't think they are my bees.

no bees checking it for a few weeks. saw a couple of bees checking it out yesterday. saw a few bees this morning through 12pm.
they must have shown up around 1:30pm

03-09-2019, 11:07 AM
3/8/19 Jefferson Co. Vestavia Hills.

last week when it was warm , a few days before the last cold snap, my next door neighbor said he had bees in his house.
I went to investigate. He did have a few scouts in his attic and a couple followed the light and came out in his kids bathroom.

We looked for an entrance. We went out side and could see several bees checking for openings at the brick/eves level.
I told him to leave the light on in the attic so the scout bees would get confused and stay in the attic and not report back to the hive.
I put my trap out that afternoon.
As soon as I did the bees lost interest in his house and were all over my trap and yesterday moved in.

03-09-2019, 11:10 AM
nice. you're getting pretty good at that r_v!

03-09-2019, 11:11 AM
it's my lucky trap

03-09-2019, 11:14 AM

it's a tad bit earlier than average, have you been hearing about any other swarms down there?

03-09-2019, 11:19 AM
no I haven't, I was surprised.
I wasn't even planning to put out the traps until this weekend.

03-09-2019, 12:11 PM
and I don't think these are my bees either. I just put some fondant on all 4 hives and they are full.

03-11-2019, 08:02 AM
Andalusia, Alabama

Hived a large swarm I found in my neighborhood. They had collected on a branch of an azalea bush and their weight had the branch bent to the ground. Easy pickin'. I don't keep bees within 10 miles of my house anymore, so I don't know where they came from. Local beekeeping friend of mine has already hived two swarms, one from his own hives and one from a swarm call in a tree.

03-15-2019, 05:28 PM
I should have transferred them to a box yesterday, but now I'm wondering, what's the minimum temp for a swarm transfer?
Sat = 58 and Sunday = 61, Highs here are the low 60s until Thursday. The high should be ~67 and 70 on Friday. Should I wait until late next week?

They have fondant and syrup so I don't want them to go too crazy on the medium frames in the deep box...

03-15-2019, 06:14 PM
the cool breeze is supposed to die down by sunday afternoon. 60 degrees with a sunny sky and light wind should suffice for the transfer.

03-17-2019, 02:34 PM
moved last week's swarm. they were p#$sed...

03-17-2019, 02:39 PM
Jefferson Co.
Vestavia Hills, Al

Watched my own hive swarm. I guess it's time to do some swarm management ;)

they settled on some Jasmin vine. cut it loose and knocked them in a box. They were split in to two groups about 5 feet apart.
put a queen excluder on the top and bottom. then came back and an hour or so later and added some frames.

03-17-2019, 04:27 PM
way to go r_v, free bees!

i set out 4 traps this weekend. we usually start seeing them here a couple of weeks after you start seeing them down there.

03-18-2019, 12:46 PM
is there a sticky thread somewhere on swarm management? I know I've seen it in your thread somewhere. If not, I think a good title would be "Swarm Managment, your bees survived the winter, now what?" :)

03-21-2019, 12:36 PM
Andalusia, Alabama

Got a call from the local police department to take care of some bees. Nice swarm about 10 feet up on a limb. Easy pickins. Third swarm in 11 days.


03-21-2019, 12:44 PM
Auburn, Alabama 36830

Small swarm less than 2' off ground in bush. My favorite swarm height!

03-21-2019, 01:41 PM
Yesterday, 3/20/2019, Birmingham, AL.

03-23-2019, 12:24 PM
Swarm boxed
Vestavia Hills
Jefferson CO. 35216

Saw one of my hive swarming, or so I though. They landed 30 feet up in a magnolia tree.
When I went down the path between my hive and the magnolia tree I heard a small roar behind me. I turned to look and there was a calm swarm 2-3 feet off the ground in a gardenia bush.

Lifting the branch, I slide a deep and medium (with old comb in it) under them, then lowered the branch so the swarm was in contact with the old comb. They moved right in.

The one in the tree may have been part of this swarm because they dispersed and a lot of bees were flying around the box I had just placed under the swarm.

The gardenia bush is right next to my hives. They had been there long enough to build a little comb. The ones in the magnolia tree may have been these bees about to move on.

Considering the location in my gardenia bush I'm sure they were my bees.

So I've had 2 or 3 of my hives swarm in the past 2 weeks and I've caught two of them.

There may have been a 4th one because the guy next door said he saw a swarm of bees over the creek near the road between our houses during last week. But he also thought he had a swarm in his attic which turned out to be 3 to 5 scout bees and a couple that come in his bathroom through the vent.

03-24-2019, 12:25 PM
looks like the swarm that I saw yesterday, actually swarming around and pouring out of my hive (P1), and then dissipated while I was collection the swarm in the gardenia bush, was a practice swarm.

Today they swarmed around like yesterday but have now settled back on the front of the hive.

Which begs the question, at what point is it too late to do swarm prevention? could I have checker boarded them yesterday for example and they would have been happy?

and in the time it's taken to type this up they've all gone back in

03-24-2019, 12:53 PM
Once the bees have decided to swarm, there is almost nothing you can do to stop them. What you can do is make an artificial swarm right then. Grab the queen and shake a bunch of bees into a hive with a drawn frame or two and move them across the yard. Go back into the original hive and get rid of all but two of the swarm cells, or make a few nucs wirh the other cells and leave the original hive with only three or four frames of bees. Most of the foragers will return anyhow so bee aggressive.

04-14-2019, 11:20 AM
Jefferson Co.
Vestavia Hills, Al

Small swarm in a new trap in new location in may yard.
I thought for sure I had them ,then no, then yes, then maybe, then looked pretty definitive on the 12th when I saw a drone and a hive beetle fly in.

checked inside today and yep, small swarm.

foot note... this trap started off in mid March with a plastic top and inner cover which was all I had at the time. I bought them just to check it out.
Anyway, there was a scout or two but it wasn't until I replaced the plastic top and inner cover with wood did they really get interested. I think it was too bright inside.

04-15-2019, 09:43 PM
Neighbor posted on Nextdoor about a swarm yesterday. I went and gathered them up today. Oddly they were on the ground in the street -- yard folks had been pulling out a bunch of bamboo from behind the house and they were on the ground next to the pile. He put a mail carrier box over them yesterday evening (it was pretty cold last night, and storms the night before) and thought they'd left, but when he checked today they were still there. So -- I baited a cardboard box with lgo, scooped up the queen and put her in there, and then ran off to a previously made appointment. Came back 1.5 hours later and they'd all moved to my box! Taped them up with the help of my almost 3 year old (she sat in the car and cut tape mostly) around sunset, and installed them in a deep with an interior jar feeder. This is a pretty tiny swarm and may not make it -- but I did see the queen, so that's good. Does being on the ground mean that she can't fly / is old?


04-16-2019, 09:48 PM
Update. Left the hive, are on the ground in front of it, 10 feet down. (Hive on the porch, ball of bees off the porch.) Thought maybe I overdid it with the lgo in the cardboard box, so I put the box down next to the ball of bees on the ground and hopefully they'll crawl in. I'm feeling more and more that something's off with this swarm. . . .


03-17-2020, 08:43 PM
First "known" swarm in our area was in Dothan from member of our bee club hives which he caught on Wednesday March 4, 2020. Second was yesterday by a friend in Newville area also caught and from one of his hives. First from my hives in Ozark was today March 17th. Pitched 40 to 45 feet up in large oak near my hives. Unless they settle in one of my swarm traps all I can do is wave bye to them.

03-18-2020, 10:19 AM
Covington County, Alabama

Caught a swarm issuing on video on February 29, 2020. I was already doing splits, so I broke into the hive to harvest swarm cells. I found the new queen emerging from her cell. Caught a little of that on video too.

03-18-2020, 12:01 PM
I cough my own swarm a couple of days ago
Jefferson Co.

and FYI, in my area, the flow is on and I plan to add suppers this afternoon.

03-18-2020, 06:50 PM
Cough another of my own.
Jefferson Co.

03-19-2020, 03:52 PM
Limestone County

Caught a swarm in one of my swarm traps this afternoon that was sitting here at the house waiting to be put out.

03-19-2020, 07:22 PM
Say to go there!!! Decatur, and Cullman hives.

05-05-2020, 09:12 AM
I have a hive that I thought had failed to re-queen this spring and was dwindling.
I was planning to break it down this week.
2 days ago I saw what looked like orientation flights and though maybe it managed to re-queen/survive.
Those must have been scouts because yesterday a huge swarm moved in.

Vestavia Hills
Jefferson County

05-24-2020, 01:44 PM
Vestavia Hills
Jefferson County

05-24-2020, 02:24 PM
I cough my own swarm a couple of days ago
Jefferson Co.

and FYI, in my area, the flow is on and I plan to add suppers this afternoon.

so a side note about this swarm.. they were on the ground when I caught them.
I placed a deep hive on top of them (full of drawn comb) propped up on one end by a 4x4x4 block of wood.
They made their way in the hive and the next morning I went down to move them on top of a BB and saw they were still hanging down off the frames. So I should have just moved them on top of the BB and made them adjust but instead I placed an empty medium super on the BB and them the deep. I planned to come back in a day or so and remove the medium but got side tracked for a week. Well the next week when I went to remedy the situation I looked between the deep and medium and they had been very busy and built 5 or more inches of comb off them bottom of the frames.
Rather that fix it now I decided I'd fix in the fall.

Last week we had lots of rain and one of the stand's legs sunk into the ground and the toppled over. I had added a QE and a deep honey super that was getting fairly full. Luckily it went down at noon and I heard it.
I placed 1x10" boards under the stand feet.
The original deep and medium were still together and I was able to place them back on the BB with minimal damage to the extended comb on the bottom of the frames. Some broke off when I lifted it but most stayed in the medium.
I know there was broken cells by the amount of honey on the BB. The night was warm and they spent the first night on the outside of the hive. It got cool the next few nights so they stayed mostly inside on those nights.
The bees were pi$$ed and stayed that way for days. There's still one or two bees that are antagonistic.

During this event and the next few days I had tons of activity on the 2 swarm traps that are near my hives.
At first I thought I was catching two swarms at the same time.
After about 3 days I chalked it up to the fallen bees having PTSD and were looking to move.
I added a medium of drawn brood comb on top of the deep (to replace what was messed up under the deep) then put the QE and the deep super back on top.

At this point I think the fallen bees have cleaned up they mess inside their hive and were happy with the new space so they decided they were going to stay.

5 or so days later, I did catch a swarm today (above post earlier today).

05-29-2020, 04:39 PM
Vestavia Hills
Jefferson County

I always catch a late May swarm in this same location.
I went to add frames and found this is what they've done in 4 days.