Michigan [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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05-29-2007, 07:11 PM
-May 15 first call, gone before I got out of work.
-May 24-th got one.
No calls this weekend. SW Michigan.

05-29-2007, 07:13 PM
O, yes, 49428 and 49419.

06-08-2007, 09:28 AM
zip code 48439

May 30th, about the size of a football, in a pine tree about 5 ft. up

June 6th, basketball size, pine tree 15 ft. in the air

I got another call this morning, but will have to wait and see if they stick around until I get out of work.

06-14-2007, 04:48 AM
I got another swarm in Flint yesterday. About the size of a football. That makes 3 for the year.


05-28-2008, 03:53 AM
This has been a great season for swarm catching in Northwestern Michigan. Over the last week and a half I have caught 9 swarms (and just missed two more). A friend has caught 14. Running out of equipment is a good thing.


05-29-2008, 08:42 PM
Three more swarms hived today. 5/29/08 49616.
Great year for getting swarms.

06-02-2008, 08:12 PM
Two swarms hived today. 6/2/08 49684
Is it just me or is this a heavy swarm year?

05-18-2009, 04:21 AM
I have caught four swarms in Northern Michigan. The first on 5/14, the second on 5/15, and the last two yesterday on 5/17. I have a buddy who has also caught 4 so far. Last year I caught around 14 swarms, and it looks like it may be another year like last.

I have a job that puts me in orchards all season, so I keep an empty super with frames, top, and bottom board at the ready. Farmers that I work with (I am an agricultural consultant) keep an eye out for me.


05-19-2009, 04:37 AM
One more swarm caught on 5/18.

05-23-2009, 04:21 AM
Up to nine swarms so far. Caught three yesterday, and two were real whoppers. One barely fit in a deep super. We are having one heck of an apple bloom this year. The bees are really working them well.

05-24-2009, 05:00 AM
Hope this is not off subject, but what do you folks use to catch the swarms? Sounds like everyone has different ways. I keep a deep super with 7 to 8 frames with foundation and 1 or 2 drawn frames with a little honey in them. I use hive staples to attach a bottom board to the box and keep a lid with me.

When I find a swarm I position the box under it as well as I can and remove all but four of the frames. Then after shaking or brushing the bees into the box I add the rest of the frames (carefully!) back in. The top is put on and the box is left there to be picked up that evening.

This method has usually worked very well and almost every time when I return all of the bees are in there. I will say this, most of the swarms that I find are within the reach of my pickup bed where I place the box. I did find two this year that required ladders or standing on the pickup roof so I modified my approach a little. Since most of the swarms are in orchards there are plenty of lower branches for them to hang on.

I would love to hear what other do.

05-29-2009, 04:42 AM
Caught another swarm yesterday. Up to 11 now. One problem though. The cherry grower that found the swarm for me accidentally sprayed the swarm with Asana (a pyrethroid) before I got there. His beekeeper had already pulled the hives out of the orchard the day before, so he was not expecting to see any bees. It was a 6-8# swarm and underneath it was around 1-1.5# of dead and dying bees. He felt bad about it, but what can you do?

I hope that they make it. Looks to me like it was the outside layer that was killed, so hopefully the queen and enough bees to get started make it. Asana is a contact insecticide so I believe that what damage was done id done (I HOPE). Anyone have any experiences like this?


05-31-2009, 06:19 AM
Caught three more swarms on 5/30. One small one, one medium, and one large. Also found a fourth, and it was HUGE!, but it was high up in a maple tree. The limb it was on hangs right out over a busy road. Can't win them all!


07-04-2009, 11:34 AM
I just captured a swarm from a wild hive by my mother's house on Wednesday. One of my hives just swarmed today (quite the independence day). First time I've ever witnessed a swarm in action! Super cool. Lewiston, Michigan (Northern Lower Peninsula)

05-07-2010, 09:46 PM
05/06/10 Grand Rapids MI 49504 My hive. They lit in a branch to big to cut and too small for the ladder to lean on. Tied the vac to my belt and stuck the container into the ladder rungs, got 90% of them, about a two pounder.

05-15-2010, 11:13 AM
Caught my first swarm this morning.

May 15, 2010 9:00 am
Clarksville, MI

05-17-2010, 10:08 AM
Had a swarm Friday May 14th in Milford Michigan, Can from my other hive. Weather has been cool, mid to upper 60's. Lots of rain but had 2 dry days prior to swarm.

05-18-2010, 10:12 AM
Had a swarm land in a tree at the back of my yard this past Sunday, 5/16. Swarmed from a feral colony in a tree on other side of neighbors house. She saw it swarm, I tracked it to the tree it landed in. After spending the night, it moved on.

Durand, Mi 48429

05-23-2010, 08:01 PM
may 23, 2010. 1 swarm. zip 49267. location: ottawa lake, mi

05-24-2010, 09:29 PM
First swarm call of the season. Was in a spruce about 5 ft up, which was super sweet. Near Hillman, MI 49753

05-26-2010, 09:45 AM
Hey LSBees. Nice looking swarm. Just out of curiosity, is that a feral hive in the base of that tree in your first pic? My eyes could be playing tricks on me.

06-20-2010, 07:12 AM
Picked up a 3-4 lb swarm last night in Hubbard Lake, MI 49747

06-28-2010, 09:18 PM
2nd swarm of the year, looks like maybe my daughters new hive swarmed. Can not figure it out. They had room and were drawing out the new box.

Caught it I think. Will have to check and see if they stayed tomorrow.

07-03-2010, 10:28 AM
First ever post!
Swarm from new package purchased 4/20/2010. Italians from Georgia.
Swarmed July 1, 12:30 pm. Beautiful crystal clear day about 75 deg, low humidity, cool night. Howell, Michigan. The large swarm is 50 feet up in nearby tree on July 3rd at 12:30 pm. No way to retrieve them. We've set out two nucs with swarm lure. One near the apiary, one about 250 yards away. I hope they'll select one of our nucs. Otherwise, a $75.00 investment gone. :pinch:

A2 Bee Man
07-16-2010, 05:44 PM
July 16, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan . . . Russians . . . with plenty of room no less.

07-19-2010, 06:54 AM
Yesterday I was doing someyardwork in Southeast Michigan when I noticed one of my hives was getting a lot of action. I watched for a while and thought it was an orientation flight, a lot of the bees looked like they were coming out 8 to 10 feet from the entrance, circling a little bit and then going back inside. Cool I thought that is kind of fun to see. Then after a couple more passes across the yard I saw the bees boiling out of the hive, and the air was filled with the buzzing of the bees.

I stood in the middle of the swarm, my wife said it looked like I was completely surrounded but none really came within 2 to 3 feet of me. The cloud slowly rose about 30 feet in the air and then hovered over our back fence and finally after about 20 minutes it had settled in a tree in the empty lot behind our house, about 30 feet up in a branch.

We got an empty nuc from the garage and set it up directly beneath them, and I saw a few bees checking it out, after a couple of hours I checked again and saw 5 - 10 bees going in and out and all around it, so I was feeling pretty good that they might commit. The only other thing nearby is an old wood pile and I would not want to have to try to cut them out of there. Or my garage attic... again, not eager to do a cut out.

So I kept an eye on the swarm up in the tree, and at 9:00 last night as it was getting dark, there they are still up there. So I watched a movie and went to bed. When I awoke this morning I thought I would see if I had had any luck and they were still up in the tree. So now I have to wait until I get home from work to see what they have decided.

So, a couple of questions, is it unusual for a swarm to overnight on a tree branch?

Is it too late in the season for a swarm to survive, I heard somewhere "a swarm in july isn't worth a fly"?

What about the colony that the swarm came from? They seem very healthy, I had just checked them the day before, the top medium is almost half full of honey.

Also another note, this hive was the second of three swarms that came from my first hive this May. So I have gone from 1 hive to 5 in just one year.

Great Day!

07-27-2010, 10:59 AM
2 in the last 12 hours, 49835

08-08-2010, 01:05 PM
My tbh swarmed today. Quite late in the season so I hope they make it. I wasn't able to catch them as they were 50' up an oak tree.

Lewiston, MI

09-04-2010, 06:45 AM
Hived a swarm 9/03 filled a 10 frame deep in Fennville Michigan. Came from one of my hives, two of my hive just don't want slow down and prepare for winter. Good thing I had capped honey from last winter dead outs to give them the stores they are going to need for winter. Goldenrod flow is half done or better here. Dan

05-21-2011, 11:48 AM
Yipppeeeeeeeeeee!! First swarm today in Barry County, Michigan! All tucked in in their new hive~

08-17-2011, 10:50 PM
Hived a huge swarm in Barry County Michigan today August 18. Kinda late, but we've usually got a good fall flow. And I overwintered late swarms last year. Hope they can build up before winter.....

08-20-2011, 07:45 PM
Another big swarm today in Michigan. It amazed me that they would swarm right before a downpour. Running short on woodenware and foundation, I got them hived but doubt if they'll stay. All my other hives were to hot to open just before the storm, so they're on foundation with very few frames drawn. Even if it doesn't work, at least they didn't get drenched.

Jim Given
04-20-2012, 12:24 PM
Swarm call for Fort Lee in Bergen County NJ yesterday. Small one.


04-27-2012, 08:27 AM
First swarm for me! 4/26/12 Mid-Michigan Had to be around 6 lbs.1753

05-07-2012, 05:12 PM
Caught a swarm on sunday after church from one of my hives. 05/06/12 It was 8 ft off the ground in a apple tree, easy catch. Funny thing is that it swarmed from a hive that I was looking for the queen to remove her the day earlier. I didn't find her, but I did get to see the virgin queen emerge that was replacing her as I was going frame by frame removing queen cells.

08-21-2012, 07:53 PM
8-19-12 huge swarm right out of one of my best honey producers:pinch: I just happen to be driving by this yard as they came out. Aw crap I said, as they swirled around and slowly moved to a large maple tree about 50 yards away, 30 feet up. Too many branches and too far up. They were two basketballs plus when they settled:eek: I put out a trap hive with some lemon grass oil and old comb but no luck.

09-03-2012, 07:30 PM
First year beek and my spring package just swarmed today. They are 25 feet up in a sassafras. I'm going to try and cut the limb down tomorrow and catch them. The good news is my hive still has a ton of bees. It's hard to imagine the swarm came out of my hive with as many that are still left.

05-20-2013, 12:34 PM
First one for the season 5-19-13
All the details on our fb page.

05-28-2013, 03:55 PM
Had a nice size swarm move into one of my empty hives I'd baited with lemon grass oil. Storming and rainy but they moved right in. Wooo Hooo . 49073 Nashville Michigan

06-10-2013, 08:53 PM
Cought my first swarm from my bees...boxed them in...will release in morning.
6/10/13 rainy all day and only 70 deg

06-12-2013, 01:12 PM
Swarm call 6/11/13
South Lyon, MI

06-30-2013, 02:06 PM
Caught a swarm from one of my hives on June 22.

05-15-2014, 03:41 AM
One of the local bee guys just got a swarm 2 days ago,funny thing was they were arguing about it being too early that morning.

05-25-2014, 06:10 PM
Two swarm calls today. Finally swarm season is upon us here in Mi.

05-28-2014, 07:07 AM
Niles, MI 49210
Watched it fly away and never found where they landed..hopefully they will come back to a bait hive I have set up...

08-27-2014, 05:01 AM
Picked one up yesterday about the size of a basketball. Swarmed out of another beekeepers TBH. He was gracious enough to allow me to capture it in one of my lang hives. I will wait a week or so, check for eggs and bring it back to the apiary.

05-08-2015, 03:33 AM
Grand Rapids Michigan,

Friends hive swarmed but caught it and queen cells popping up in other hives.

05-17-2015, 05:58 PM
Paw Paw Michigan . 5-16-15

Caught my first two swarms yesterday ,,, boy is that fun. 35 feet up in a pine tree

05-18-2015, 12:46 PM
May 15th

Kalamazoo Michigan

Captured May 16th after 3 failed attempts on May 15th then left overnight.

Pretty evasive queen

05-19-2015, 03:50 PM
Swarm in trap also, 5/18

Caledonia Michigan

05-24-2015, 04:34 AM
First swarm of 2015, 6-23, 4lb

05-25-2015, 04:16 AM
Second swarm call 5-24-15. I guesstimate it to be 5lbs+.

05-25-2015, 07:15 AM
My how time flies when you're having fun. Thanks for the heads up!

06-04-2015, 08:54 PM
Recieved a call today to do my first cutout in a old barn (easy no ladder required). Read everything I could on it now need to build bee vac. Right after that phone call got a swarm call (first one ever). Very easy one on bush knee high about a volley ball size. Wow this fun. Doing cutout sometimetime Sat.

06-21-2015, 08:31 PM
Swarm today 6ft in tree not easy right at base should have brought bee vac. About 6 lbs of bees my biggest one. Must have gotton queen in box because set on ground and they all flew down and marched in.

06-30-2015, 04:51 PM
June 30th
85~ degrees
Hopkins, MI
Swarm of unknown origin.

06-30-2015, 06:38 PM
anyone with unwanted swarms near midland mi, ill take them! 989 708 4152

07-06-2015, 07:56 PM
7/6/2015 at 48640, in between midland and mt pleasant, incoming, and all MINE!! don't know where it came from, but a nice extra to my 2 hives i already had.

07-27-2015, 09:59 AM
Hive in Leslie, MI swarmed twice on 7/23 both captured and hived. On 7/24 removed 20 QC's between this hive and another next to it. It then swarmed again on 7/26 not captured.

Hive in Ovid, MI swarmed 7/25 captured and hived on 7/26. Removed 19 QC / emerged Virgins from this hive alone.

Doubled hive count in one long weekend :banana:

08-11-2015, 08:59 PM
Got a call this afternoon from a man in Shelbyville. Said there was a swarm on the overhang from his two story house. Since it is kind of late for swarms in michigan I asked if he could send pics. Wow went over there about 4 to 5 pound of bees. Swept them in box and let sit with hole towards bottom of box and the rest marched in. This is good because I have a queenless hive now I will just combine the two. All ot of equipment this year. Started with 4 of my own hives now have 23 hives from all the swarms, trapouts, cutouts and splits. Now to get them through winter so I can split some hives next spring and sell the nucs.

08-26-2015, 04:36 AM
I got a call on a 5 lb. swarm in an apple tree yesterday. These will be a good addition to a weaker (possibly queenless) hive just in time for goldenrod.

02-09-2016, 10:51 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.

05-03-2016, 01:26 PM
Caught swarm today, May 3, 2016. Milford Michigan

I am not sure but I think this swarm came from my Carnie hive.

05-03-2016, 04:41 PM
Shook a large swarm out of a spruce tree today and dumped them in a hive :).

05-10-2016, 05:02 AM
Got two swarm calls yesterday.
First swarm left just after a few minutes after I got the call and three minutes before I got there. Grrrrr
Second swarm call never called back with an addresss.
It's started though. Yaaay

05-10-2016, 04:01 PM
Caught a swarm Saturday in one of my dead out hive I just cleaned. That is the best swarm to catch easy no fuss. 5/09 got a swarm call to grand ledge about a 4 pounder, one more to make up for winter losses. Nice when they call and say they watched them fly in 10 minutes before call.

05-11-2016, 03:01 PM
May 11, 2016
Caught first swarm off 4 ways, 49009 Kalamazoo County

05-19-2016, 11:11 PM
May 19 2016
Flint MI.
About four or five pounds of bees, three foot off the ground in a lilac tree.

05-26-2016, 04:48 AM
4 swarm calls just yesterday.
1) 2 lb 4 feet into a small tree
1) 3 lb on the ground
2) 4 lb 15' into a tree
Queen captured in all of them.

05-27-2016, 01:52 PM
3 more today and 2 cutouts.

05-28-2016, 08:44 AM
May 27
Flint MI
About 3 lbs of bees in another Lilac tree, seven feet off the ground.

05-31-2016, 04:36 AM
Three more calls yesterday.
1. 4 lb in a small tree
1. 6 lb in an oak tree 15' up
1. swarm that just moved into a soffit space. Cutout to come.
All within 10 miles of 49341

06-04-2016, 04:16 AM
Two more yesterday 15 miles from 49341
1. Basketball sized, took off 5 minutes before I got there.GRrrrr
2. Two basketball sized, supposed to be 14 feet off the ground. Got there, it was 35 feet off the ground. Taped together two painters extension poles and installed my catch bucket. Up a 6 foot ladder and had just enough to reach, thankfully.

07-11-2016, 07:43 PM
78 deg
Very humid cloudy
My first swarm

05-02-2017, 09:32 AM
I was in hives yesterday pulling queens and brood for OTS splits......Mother Nature beat me to it! Two of 4 in one location had already swarmed. Didn't expect that!! These were in St. Joseph, MI. Appears hives closer to Lake Michigan are about a week ahead of ones further inland.

the doc
05-07-2017, 06:44 PM
Barry county Michigan today 5/6/17
Nice size swarm in my bee yard easily accessible in the redbud tree probably 4-5 lbs
Easily hived into a 3 x 5 nuc

05-10-2017, 06:23 AM
Swartz Creek (Genesee County)
They decided that a garbage can was the spot for a break.
Perfect swarm, low to the ground and easy to capture.

05-10-2017, 04:23 PM
May 10, vacuumed a swarm out of a spruce tree.
Milford, Mi, 48381

Also, lots of scouts checking out my traps.

05-14-2017, 05:39 PM
48114 My hive...first successful overwinter 3:45 p.m. swarmed to an apple tree 30 yards away 8 feet off the ground. Captured them, two goals met. Saw my first swarm, and caught a swarm!

05-15-2017, 02:16 PM
Milford, 48381 caught football plus size swarm. May 15.

05-17-2017, 04:17 AM
Sparta, 49345. 5-16-17. Called by an official of Sparta Village about 7:00pm for a swarm of bees on the sidewalk. About 20k bees. One dark virgin queen.

05-27-2017, 08:20 PM
Flint MI 48509 5/27
Looked like about 2 pounds of bees.

05-30-2017, 12:01 PM
Burton, MI 48519 5-27

I visited one of my bee yards and one had moved into a dead out. There was also one hanging on a tree for me too.
I guess splitting the strong ones a couple of weeks ago didn't work as well as I thought.

06-03-2017, 04:51 AM
One swarm 15,000 in a tree in sparta, Mi. 49345
One in Grand Rapids about 25,000 again in a tree. 49506
One in Stanwood, Mi 15,000 or so in a low bush.

07-02-2017, 02:47 PM
48114 - June 21 second swarm, July 2 third swarm. Collect both. Three this year, all went to an apple tree 100 ft from hives.

08-14-2017, 09:35 PM
August 14, 2017

Basketball size. Limb 29 ft away.

07-04-2018, 03:46 PM

Flint MI 48507 7/3
Looked like about 2 or 3 pounds of bees.

05-07-2019, 08:24 AM
Reports of 5 different swarms across Michigan's Lower Peninsula over the last two days (May 5-7) From Albion, Fennville, Lansing, Adrian, and Hopkins.

05-07-2019, 08:40 AM
Reports of 5 different swarms across Michigan's Lower Peninsula over the last two days (May 5-7) From Albion, Fennville, Lansing, Adrian, and Hopkins.

Yep, unfortunately, the one in Hopkins was outgoing :pinch:

05-09-2019, 03:05 PM
One of 3 overwintered double deeps swarmed this afternoon. First time from the hive straight to a swarm trap 30 feet away.

Gray Goose
05-15-2019, 07:31 AM
While not an official Swarm.....Was in a hive yesterday 5-15 found 15 or so Queen cells , Capped, split 5 ways to stop the swarm.
We have had lots of bad weather keeping the bees cooped up, and it is slated to be warm now. this one would have swarmed by the 20th for sure. So if you have any traps to get out, get Er done. Grand Rapids area.

Gray Goose
06-11-2019, 08:45 PM
6-11 while checking traps today i have a swarm, will collect it this weekend and bring it home. 15 miles north of Grand Rapids.

06-13-2019, 01:00 PM
6-11 Small swarm into a 5 frame nuc box set up as a trap. Baited with 5 frames of drawn comb and 2 squirts of Swarm Commander.
Grand Blanc

Gray Goose
06-13-2019, 02:11 PM
6-11 Small swarm into a 5 frame nuc box set up as a trap. Baited with 5 frames of drawn comb and 2 squirts of Swarm Commander.
Grand Blanc

good one Spencer. + 1 NUC nice

06-17-2019, 09:54 AM
6-14 swarm call in Douglas, Michigan. (South of Holland)
Maybe a 3-4 pound swarm hanging on a tree branch off of someone's deck. Easy capture, scooped 'em into a bucket and brought them home.

07-16-2019, 11:14 AM
Swarm catch #2 on 7-12. Big one that went into 2 nuc boxes.
Swarm Commander has paid for itself!

07-18-2019, 06:17 AM
swarm noticed 7-15 occupying one of my swarm traps (wasn't there when I checked two weeks prior)

Brood comb, Lemon Grass Oil in a baggie with paper towel, hung about chest height.

Fennville, Michigan