How to handle a swarm capture...
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Guilford County, NC, USA
    Posts
    10

    Question How to handle a swarm capture...

    I recently captured a swarm about 100 feet away from my first hive. I thought the hive had swarmed, but upon inspection I noticed that the first hive had plenty of bees in it. I had some old boxes that were given to me from an old retired beekeeper, they had been sitting out in the weather for many years. So I tried to piece together a temporary home for them. I cut the swarm out of a laurel bush and shook into the old box. (Some frames had foundation, some did not. Most were in very poor condition. So for a couple days after the capture I kept an eye on them while I waited for my new boxes to arrive. The day the box was set to be delivered I get a call from my wife saying the bees were swarming. So I ran home, grabbed a cardboard box and fashioned a swarm trap out of it with lemongrass oil and went back to work. When I got home the swarm was in the trap and I transferred them back to the old boxes, but not before putting some lemongrass oil and sugar water feeders in the hive. I had planned to put them straight into the new box, but it did not arrive when it was supposed to and I left out of town for the weekend, and prayed they didn't swarm again. I got back in town a couple days later and the bees were still there and both my boxes had been delivered. My question is what is the best way to transfer the bees from the old boxes to the new boxes? They have been in the old boxes since Thursday of last week, so going on 6 days. I would rather not mix and match old and new boxes, but will if it is necessary (reason being that the old boxes have broken corners that allow additional entrance ways and/or rain water to get in). Please let me know what you all think the best course of action would be. If you need additional information, please let me know! Thanks guys!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    what are you doing about frames ?
    Did your new boxes come with frames ?
    Will the old frames from the old boxes fit into your new boxes?
    Are they all deeps ?

    I would set up the new box next to the old, remove old frames that have any eggs, brood, larva and stores, and move them into the new box.
    Then slide the new box to where the old box was and you are done.

    That would be my approach.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Guilford County, NC, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBarn View Post
    what are you doing about frames ?
    Did your new boxes come with frames ?
    Will the old frames from the old boxes fit into your new boxes?
    Are they all deeps ?

    I would set up the new box next to the old, remove old frames that have any eggs, brood, larva and stores, and move them into the new box.
    Then slide the new box to where the old box was and you are done.

    That would be my approach.
    Sorry, yes the new boxes are full hives, 10 deep frames x 2. I have not tried the old frames in new boxes yet. I just wanted to do it in the most stress free way possible because they are already prone to swarming as a group. But you think that if I put a few of the old frames in the new boxes it will help them have an easier time adjusting? Should I use lemongrass oil as well as feeders? Here is a photo of the newest hive.

    30714194_10216686228093804_2398530606098754011_n.jpg

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    I would not want to take any work away from them that they have already started. Are the old boxes deeps also ? the lang equip has been pretty much the same since I was a kid 40 years ago... I have some of my dads old equip from when I was a kid and they all fit old to new just fine.

    Move over the old frames that the bees are using, and fill in with your new frames to fill up your new box.

    Chances are, you only need to have one deep right now, depending on the amount of bees and stores / frames they are using currently.

    Not sure what your bees have to work as far as nector and pollen, so I can't really say anything about the feeding....

    Maybe someone more local to you can add in on that part, and if they would do something different than what I would do.....

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Guilford County, NC, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    Thanks a lot for the input!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Guilford County, NC, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    Redbarn,

    I took your advice. The old shallow langstrom box that I had the swarm stationed temporarily in is the same dimension as the new boxes. I just used the old box in conjuction with the new box. I did that last night. This morning on my way to work I was contemplating my placement of the old box with the majority of the bees in it. I placed it on top of the new box, but now thinking it would be better to put that box on the bottom, would it not? Because the bees work up? And if so, if I switch the order of the boxes this evening when I get home, is that too much movement in a short period of time? Thanks in advance!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,753

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    If all you did was look at the hive you have to see if there were a lot of bees in it, you probably don't know if it was your hive that swarmed or not. They can swarm and have 'plenty' of bees left for additional after swarms. If you haven't, you should look for queen cells in the hive. You can simply tip up the brood boxes and see queen cells off the bottom of frames. If the swarm did come from your hive, it can swarm again when a new queen emerges in a week.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Guilford County, NC, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielD View Post
    If all you did was look at the hive you have to see if there were a lot of bees in it, you probably don't know if it was your hive that swarmed or not. They can swarm and have 'plenty' of bees left for additional after swarms. If you haven't, you should look for queen cells in the hive. You can simply tip up the brood boxes and see queen cells off the bottom of frames. If the swarm did come from your hive, it can swarm again when a new queen emerges in a week.
    Good idea! I didn't think about check for queen cells. The reason I figured it was from my hive is that I am the only one around here with a hive that I know of. And it seemed very coincidental that they ended up in the same yard as my hive. I'll check to see if there is an empty queen cell in my first hive. Can a beehive attract swarms that are not a part of their hive?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,753

    Default Re: How to handle a swarm capture...

    I don't know about an apiary attracting swarms, but it seems like it could based on other comments I have read along the way. I have caught a swarm in a swarm trap in my apiary that wasn't from my hives. Swarms are easy to miss in a hive if it isn't dug into deep enough.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •