Failed to hive a swarm :-(
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    I was able to get this swarm into my catch box, which I left in place for 3 hours until after sundown, and every bee went into the box:



    The next morning I dumped them into a nuc with a frame of old drawn comb and 4 frames of foundation. I left the catch box out, and on its side, just to let every last bee exit gracefully.

    The following morning, all the bees had left the nuc and gone back into the catch box:



    I shook them back into the nuc and put the catch box safely away in the shed, with the doors closed.

    The next morning, the bees were all gone.

    In hindsight I clearly should have put a frame of open brood in there, but what are the reasons why swarms won't stay hived? You'd think a bunch of homeless bees would love being dropped into a Holiday Inn.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    Had that problem once last year so now I feed them as soon as I house them.... Works well, but I use 10 frame deeps.
    Cheers Bill
    zone 9b

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    Does that swarm look too big for a nuc?

    It didn't to me; it seemed like about 3 frames' worth, or about 10,000 bees.

    Does that sound right?
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    3,404

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    Put
    A
    Frame
    Of
    Open
    Brood
    In
    With
    Each
    Swarm

    They'd still be there if you had done that.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    ^^
    Yeah, I know that now.

    But then why did they go so readily into the catch box at the original swarm site? There was no brood frame in the box then; it was just a frame of drawn comb.

    That's what's puzzling; why did they like the catch box, but not the nuc?

    During swarm season I carry the catch box in the back of my car at all times, along with a step ladder, veil, gloves, etc., just in case I get The Call. I can't very well carry a brood frame with me ;-)
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    Put
    A
    Frame
    Of
    Open
    Brood
    In
    With
    Each
    Swarm

    They'd still be there if you had done that.
    I tried hiving a swarm today, and I put a frame of brood in the nuc with them. It was probably 1/2 capped brood, 1/4 open brood, and 1/4 empty cells.

    They didn't stay :-(

    I shook them in and put the cover on top, but they just poured out of the entrance and flew away in a big cloud.

    I feel like I'm losing my mojo. That's 2 in a row I've lost.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    ^^
    I just realized I used the same nuc box that the previous swarm absconded from. It's a new box from the vendor; it's never been occupied by bees for any length of time. I wonder if it smells wrong.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmTheWaterbug View Post
    ^^
    I just realized I used the same nuc box that the previous swarm absconded from. It's a new box from the vendor; it's never been occupied by bees for any length of time. I wonder if it smells wrong.
    Did you put a bunch of lemongrass oil in there or something?
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Failed to hive a swarm :-(

    Try putting a queen excluder on.
    Good Luck,
    Brandon

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