North florida swarm 9/22
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Jacksonville Fl
    Posts
    16

    Default North florida swarm 9/22

    Good morning all, I am new to the forum but have been beekeeping for a little over a year. Need some help if anyone has any advice. I have Russin bees and experienced a large swarm yesterday. I have been trying with no success to retrieve the swarm but it’s about 30 feet up in a tree. My question is, would my hive possibly swarm when no drones are present? If so I am concerned my new queen won’t be able to mate. Any help on difficult swarm retrieval or advise on how to to ensure the future of the virgin queen would be more than appreciated.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,109

    Default Re: North florida swarm 9/22

    Welcome to Bee Source.

    The swarm probably has the mated queen but may have a virgin. Have you checked your hive(s) to see if there are queen cells in one and it has swarmed? You should have drones in your area but there may be few if any.

    If you can get a small rope over the limb the swarm is on, close to the swarm, you could attach a frame with open brood to the rope. Then pull the frame up to the swarm so they start to cluster on the frame. Once a large number of bees are on the frame lower it and put bees and frame in a hive. If the queen gets on the frame the rest of the bees will follow the scent to the hive.

    I've used the long extending poles that painters use. I have one that goes to 23' but I'm sure there are longer ones, they are just expensive. I've got a paint roller handle that I took the roller holder part off, attached the holder to a 5 gallon bucket with bolts, that I use to retrieve swarms. The paint roller handle is threaded and goes on the end of the extension pole. I've stood on an 8' step ladder and used the 23' pole to get swarms that are way up on limbs, probably 25' or so. Depending on what you have you might be able to reach them, you just have to be careful. I don't bounce like I used to so I don't take too many chances.

    Maybe someone else will have other ideas too. Good luck.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Jacksonville Fl
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Gary- thanks so much for the useful information. I certainly plan on making some type of “extendable swarm grabber” in the future.

    BUT.. I am incredibly excited to say, that I managed to capture the swarm!!!! My Jeep had a little bit more pull power to shake them free. So happy I didn’t lose these bees. I believe the hive swarmed because I over fed the colony. Regardless I know have a new colony to house.

    I am planning on leaving the new hive (two supers was all I had). At the base of the tree until tonight when I will move it back to my bee yard and place a queen excluder over the entrance.

    Thanks again for all the help, and if I am missing anything significant for my next steps please let me know.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,124

    Default Re: North florida swarm 9/22

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhop View Post
    My question is, would my hive possibly swarm when no drones are present?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhop View Post
    I believe the hive swarmed because I over fed the colony.
    the most likely reason. congrats on the catch, and welcome to beesource.

    also, there are likely still drones present but you'll need to verify a mated queen in the parent hive a few weeks from now.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #5

    Default Re: North florida swarm 9/22

    If you are leaving them overnight and plan to move them a short distance tomorrow….you may lose a lot of bees.
    As we speak the foragers in that swarm are orienting themselves to that location. If you move them nearby tomorrow that location will stick, they will return to the place where the box is right now and they will be homeless.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Jacksonville Fl
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hmm good point. What would you recommend? Moving the hive 3’ per day? Or moving them tonight? The bee yard is about 30’ from where the hive sits now. And also worth noting, I have the hive entrance blocked (but ventilated) and was planning on switching to a queen excluder to block the entrance tonight.

    I am completely open to guidance and am greatful for all the help. My goal of course is to give them a nice new home that will be cared for along with my 2 other hives.

  8. #7

    Default Re: North florida swarm 9/22

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhop View Post
    And also worth noting, I have the hive entrance blocked (but ventilated) and was planning on switching to a queen excluder to block the entrance tonight.
    If the hive entrance is blocked and there aren't any bees orienting....you might as well move it right now.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Jacksonville Fl
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Sounds like a good plan to me, I’ll head out there now

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