What happens to bees left behind?
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  1. #1
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    Question What happens to bees left behind?

    Say you catch a swarm. You get 80% of them, take them to their new home far away. The 20% that are left behind, will they join other hives?

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  3. #2

    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeznutz View Post
    Say you catch a swarm. You get 80% of them, take them to their new home far away. The 20% that are left behind, will they join other hives?
    Not neccesarily.
    Some cluster at the old location, get hungry, get aggressive and then die.
    This is not anecdotal, a swarm catcher told me about this.
    An empathic swarm catcher waits for the bees to join the queen.
    The foragers which come back have more chance to be accepted to surrounding foreign colonies bringing nectar or pollen. But not the nurse bees.

  4. #3
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    I always come back at dusk to transport the hived swarm. Removing swarm right after shooken is not a best practice and is amateur.

    You'll never catch every bee, the bees out in the field at nightfall return in the morning. But you'll get a lot more bees versus transporting the swarm midday when scouts are not in the cluster.
    Last edited by burns375; 05-16-2018 at 12:14 AM.

  5. #4
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    Some swarms calm quickly, some do not. I do not wait until nightfall in most cases. Burning extra fuel or sitting around for 5 hours for a few bees is foolish. I have better things to do.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    I know everyone has their own methods on catching swarms. I have a 5 gallon bucket with a screen mounted over a 4" square cut out on the lid. I normally catch the swarm, then place a queen excluder over the bucket (without lid). When possible, I will leave the bucket with the excluder on top and come back that evening. I normally find most bees in the bucket, with a fair amount of bees clustered on the excluder. I knock the bees off the excluder into the bucket, place the lid with screen on the bucket and take it home.

    I try to leave the bucket in place not because I am concerned for the scouts that will get left behind, but because I will frequently get calls from the homeowners wondering why there are still so many bees in the area after I have left with the swarm.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    I always come back at dusk to transport the hived swarm. Removing swarm right after shooken is not a best practice and is amateur.

    You'll never catch every bee, the bees out in the field at nightfall return in the morning. But you'll get a lot more bees versus transporting the swarm midday when scouts are not in the cluster.
    I agree with what was said here: "Some swarms calm quickly, some do not. I do not wait until nightfall in most cases. Burning extra fuel or sitting around for 5 hours for a few bees is foolish. I have better things to do."

    Nothing about being an "amateur" or a poor beekeeper. Many swarms I have caught were no where near where I was going to place them or my home. Of course I try to get all the bees I can I am not making several trips or worry about a few bees that I do not catch.

  8. #7

    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    This is not anecdotal, a swarm catcher told me about this.
    This qualifies as science?! Ha!
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  9. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    This is not anecdotal, a swarm catcher told me about this.
    This qualifies as science?! Ha!
    Yeah... Actually that IS the definition of anecdotal!

  10. #9

    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    This qualifies as science?! Ha!
    Dan, what is your valuable advise on this since you never seem to post anything anecdotal in your opinion?
    I rather have you contribute to the op question on this than any trolling of me.

    I find it rather funny you give me so much power by constantly correcting my posts.
    Many views you provide me with, haha.
    Last edited by 1102009; 05-17-2018 at 04:56 AM.

  11. #10

    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    I rather have you contribute to the op question on this than any trolling of me.
    If I had personal experience (personal anecdote) or knew of some legitimate research on the topic of the thread I would post it.
    if it were my opinion...I would try to state it as that.
    If someone whose opinion I trusted told me that they had personal experience (anecdote) I might repeat it but would try to be clear that it wasn't my experience and I would never try to indicate that it was a fact.
    There is way too much opinion, misleading, incorrect and mythical information spread as though it were fact.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  12. #11
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    "What happens to bees that get left behind?" Many probably die.....a bit earlier than they would if they are part of the hive. It happens. One must think of hives as the super organisms they are and not be too terribly concerned about a few stragglers. Its a subject near and dear to me at the moment as I am in the final stages of a migratory move of huge single hives in the southern heat. My main concern isnt losing the stragglers as much as it is not having them cause problems in the ensuing days from a landowner that might wander through the area.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #12
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Last year I caught a swarm and waited till late at night to move the trap. I hung another swarm trap and then the next day there were more bees on the trap. The bees the next day had no queen and it was a very small amount so I’m thinking all the foragers might not of been back the night before.

  14. #13

    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Last year I caught a swarm and waited till late at night to move the trap. I hung another swarm trap and then the next day there were more bees on the trap. The bees the next day had no queen and it was a very small amount so I’m thinking all the foragers might not of been back the night before.
    Thatīs interesting. My friend has the same but more numbers of bees. He put an egg comb into the trap for them to make a new queen then take it also.
    If they can go back to nursing. Which is a nice experiment.
    What did you do with the bees?

  15. #14
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Last year I caught a swarm and waited till late at night to move the trap. I hung another swarm trap and then the next day there were more bees on the trap. The bees the next day had no queen and it was a very small amount so I’m thinking all the foragers might not of been back the night before.
    Oh yes, this most definitely happens in warm climates. I have moved whole yards (many miles away) in the dark of night with no bees sitting on the grass only to return the next day to find many bees aimlessly flying around where the hives had been sitting.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #15
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    There is way too much opinion, misleading, incorrect and mythical information spread as though it were fact.
    that's beesource for ya

  17. #16
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    I always feel bad. I do wonder if when moving colonies if they search out for a place to go.

    When I move them from a bee yard to lets say apples the straglers go find a new home since there are other near that look like thier old place. When moving them back from apples I wait until dusk and get most. But there are a few that just wont stay in and fly out and I just tell them that they are stupid and will die. I feel bad but, time is money.

    I wish they would listen to me. But, if they did I would be in a whole other line of work. Dr Doolittle or something.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by MimbresBees View Post
    that's beesource for ya
    Could be worse, have you seen the facebook groups?

  19. #18
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    Stroudsburg, PA, USA
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeznutz View Post
    Say you catch a swarm. You get 80% of them, take them to their new home far away. The 20% that are left behind, will they join other hives?
    Think about it: a hive, domestic or feral, swarms. It goes with the queen that left the hive. Once she is removed from the site, along with the 80% of which you write, where will the remaining 20% go? Most likely, they will do the one thing they have been doing their entire lives, i.e. return to the original hive. Yes, there are other options and scenarios, but this is the most likely one.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    Why should I care about some bees that I leave behind. I have been called out to swarm sites to only find the swarm has left. I have never been to one of these that there wasn't any scout bees hanging around wondering where their "family" went and left them behind. It's my opinion that some of the bees may go back to their original home.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  21. #20
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    Default Re: What happens to bees left behind?

    I think that most bees know where they came from and will go back to the main hive. That said, I DO CARE about some bees homeless, left behind and lost, and I always will. While you can't save them all, that's no excuse not to do all that you can under the circumstances. It's called good animal husbandry. Most of the time I'm on my own property so I can make additional trips, wait till dark, etc. I do what I can, I'm not cavalier with the lives of my animals or insects. There are people that deliberately run over turtles crossing the road, others who could care less and still others that will get out and move them. That would be me. It's VERY satisfying to go back to a site where you've moved a hive and put a nuc there and watch them pile into it, and re-unite them with their hive. It doesn't always work, you can't save them all, but I do the best I can under the circumstances I'm dealing with. I'm not a commercial beek, I don't run 400 hives, and I understand the difference. I don't under stand not caring. That's completely alien to me.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

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