Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    SW PA
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    40

    Default Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    Not so much how to catch swarms , but how to manage the swarm once they're in your apiary.
    Im putting 8 traps out this year, three locations. I had bees in 2014,2015,2016 (lost them in 2016)
    Getting back into it this year, I'm getting my equipment ready.
    What steps would you recommend to better my chances of keeping and growing the colony once I get it home?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,759

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    Giving them a frame open brood should anchor them in well, but it sounds like you don't have that option till after the first swarm is caught. I had a swarm on a fence post that I watched happen out of one of my colonies, so I held up a frame of brood to the swarm, and in 15 seconds it was filled with bees so I put it in a nuc box and everyone marched right in asap. You surely have drawn brood comb from your dead hive, and that would be helpful to keep them. Other than that, what I have read is to not use screened bottoms opened up, and don't disturb them for a while.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    10,025

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    1. entrance reducer
    2. feed, feed, feed
    3. leave them Bee for a week and two is better
    americasbeekeeper.com
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Caldwell TX USA
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    118

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    3 steps...

    1. Do the snoopy dance and praise God.
    2. Scheme for when is my wife's next trip so I can order more equipment without her seeing the boxes.
    3. Give them 2 feeders, one sugar water, one just water, put the hive in the shade, give them a big screened bottom, lock the entrance, do top ventilation, maybe put a frame of honey/pollen in their new home and another frame with drawn comb, wait 3 days before opening up the entrance.

    I have no idea which of these will take the longest, or be the most enjoyable.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
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    386

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    I like to do an OAV treatment before they get capped brood. Feed them both syrup and pollen to get them going good, put them on drawn comb if possible.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,138

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    I only caught one swarm so I am not exactly the Great Swarm Catcher, and I didn't do all of these things, but would in the future.
    1.Hive them in your regular equipment with frame of open brood and robber screen on,entrance reduced. Isolate swarm in out yard until it can be evaluated for disease and mites.
    2.Do a roll or wash to determine mite level and treat as needed after they are settled in and before brood is capped.
    3.Feed 2:1
    Unlike Sharpbees, I would only give the queen a couple frames of drawn comb and the rest foundation to have them make me some drawn comb. For me, the most valuable thing about catching a swarm is having them draw out comb super fast. I had heard this about swarms, but seeing it is really believing it. J

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ardnamurchan and Fife, Scotland
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    1. Treat for mites. Swarms carry a higher %age of mites phoretically than a colony.
    2. One drawn frame only. Nothing draws out foundationless frames or undrawn foundation better than a good big swarm.
    3. Feed well. A gallon of thin syrup after three or four days.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    1. Don't move them for a week, that gives them time to brood up, less likely to abscond when moving.

    2. If you use foundationless frames be very gentle the comb break very easy. Don't transport in the back of a truck.

    3. Give them room as they need it, they grow very quick during a flow and will swarm just as quick when they run out.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    Thanks for all the advice!
    Questions:
    I see other people using maybe 1.5"-2" foundation starter strips on their frames, is that just to save on foundation? Isn't a full sheet of foundation better?

    If I get lucky and have what appears to be a colony moved in one of my traps, my plan is not to move them until I see pollen coming in. Is that a good indicator or should I be looking for something else?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,729

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    Pollen coming in is usually THE indicator that the queen has started to lay. Generally, if there are frames in the trap, I give them a week to 10 days. No frames, 1 week tops. Makes for a smaller cut out.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    Once I put them in a hive I put her in jail, queen excluder on the bottom along with some drawn comb, most cases within 3 days I will see pollen going in. After a week or so, pull the queen excluder.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Tell me your TOP 3-recommendations after catching a swarm.

    I put her in jail,
    LOL
    Sounds funny, but I get your point.

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