Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Sacramento County, CA
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    Default Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    This swarm landed a few feet from our front door late this afternoon. Then, it wrapped itself around a small eucalyptus tree just like a pair of pants on a leg! It is about 4ft. tall, and wrapped the entire 360 degrees completely around the tree trunk.

    I left it there for overnight, but would like to collect it in the morning.

    So if you can, please give us some good ideas on how to collect it!

    Thanks,

    Soar

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    I would place a 10 frame, FD super ( on a bottom board, of course) against the trunk.
    Place a sheet of plastic under it.
    Brush as many bees into the box as possible, repeat...check on the plastic for the queen.

    I generally catch swarms late in the afternoon rather then morning - the succesrate seems higher.
    Good luck!
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    For a swarm like that, I'd cut the bottom off a plastic milk jug (to make a scoop) then, after misting the swarm lightly with plain water, I'd gently run the scoop up the tree trunk from the bottom upwards, and dump those bees into a waiting hive - one that has been previously occupied, if possible.
    Then I'd progressively work my way around the tree trunk with the scoop in the same way until the majority of those bees were in the hive. Then I'd leave the hive close to the bottom of the tree in order to allow the rest of the bees to join the colony. Then, at night, I'd seal the box and relocate it to wherever it's wanted.

    Or - I'd use a bee-vac, if there was one handy.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Skaneateles, NY
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by max2 View Post
    I would place a 10 frame, FD super ( on a bottom board, of course) against the trunk.
    Place a sheet of plastic under it.
    Brush as many bees into the box as possible, repeat...check on the plastic for the queen.

    I generally catch swarms late in the afternoon rather then morning - the succesrate seems higher.
    Good luck!
    if you dont have a bee vac this is EXACTLY what i would do.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Greenville, SC USA
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    463

    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    if you dont have a bee vac this is EXACTLY what i would do.
    Same here. Had a similar situation in my yard last week and misted and used my (gloved) hands to scoop them into a hive. Take your time with pauses every few minutes and you’ll hopefully notice they stop flying back to tree and start heading toward the hive - in which case the queen is in the hive. I also put a single frame of open brood in my hive before I started as that’s a great “anchor” for a swarm.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    havana fl
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    1,400

    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    aran said "I would place a 10 frame, FD super ( on a bottom board, of course) against the trunk.
    Place a sheet of plastic under it." Then I would add a couple frames of old comb, couple drops of lemon grass oil on the top bars and entrance, reduce the entrance or not, put the top on and watch them march right in it is amazing
    Iím really not that serious

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Gentlemen, thank you for all the great ideas!

    I did what you said...

    Pulled open brood frame and installed in an empty box with lots of frame with foundation.

    Placed tarp under tree.

    Placed box on tarp.

    Applied lemon grass oil.

    Lightly sprayed with water.

    Brushed bees onto top of box.

    I have to run to church now, so I will give an update when I return!

    BTW, just before leaving for church, I think I saw the bees climbing back up the tree!

    Perhaps my sins are too many....

    I'm gonna ask God for forgiveness and then race home and see what happens...

    4.jpg3.jpg5.jpg

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Well, placed the box earlier this morning and swept most onto the top of the box. Came home and the honeybees appear to be half in and half out this afternoon. I suppose I will wait until late afternoon then try another sweep into the box?



    6.jpg

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Take a few frames out to give the bees space to go into the box.
    Warning! Only a few drops of Lemon Grass Oil. Too much and they will avoid the space - in my experience. 2 to 3 small drops will do.
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    The test will be just on dark - if the queen is in the box the bees will follow. Great to watch!
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Thanks Max! Waiting for dark...will see if they all go in or not! If not, I suppose will shovel them in, close the lid, and move them to another site.

  13. #12
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    May 2015
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    I swept the remainder of the honeybees into the box and shut the lid. I chose to leave it there, placing it on top of a couple of 4x4's.

    I hope to move it in a week or two...

    Thanks everyone for your help!

  14. #13
    Join Date
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    Murfreesboro, TN (Rutherford Co)
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Last year I had a tough one. I took a pencil and a jar and searched through the swarm for the queen. Found her and inverted the jar into top hold of the hive inner cover. All bees started flying to hive.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by soarwitheagles View Post
    I swept the remainder of the honeybees into the box and shut the lid. I chose to leave it there, placing it on top of a couple of 4x4's.

    I hope to move it in a week or two...

    Thanks everyone for your help!
    Looks like it worked!!

    well done
    max
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  16. #15
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    Jun 2014
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    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by soarwitheagles View Post
    The only thing I'd have done differently is to orient the box with the entrance towards the swarm.

    But that looks like a good-sized swarm! Congrats!
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by max2 View Post
    Looks like it worked!!

    well done
    max
    Well done thanks to people like you that gave us excellent ideas!

    Thanks again Max, really appreciate you as well all the others here who have helped us.

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmTheWaterbug View Post
    The only thing I'd have done differently is to orient the box with the entrance towards the swarm.

    But that looks like a good-sized swarm! Congrats!

    AMTWB,

    Unfortunately, with the entrance toward the swarm, we could not butt the box against the tree [would have been 2-3 inches from the swarm].

    Came home today to discover the swarm appears to be living happily ever after. Threw on a jar of sugar syrup and let em' be for now.

    Thanks again everyone!

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    I got along fine for over 40 years without ever using lemongrass oil for swarm catching. Bees will usually happily even enter a cardboard box. One comb is a good addition. Or a used box.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
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    810

    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    For a swarm like that, I'd cut the bottom off a plastic milk jug (to make a scoop) then, after misting the swarm lightly with plain water, I'd gently run the scoop up the tree trunk from the bottom upwards, and dump those bees into a waiting hive - one that has been previously occupied, if possible.
    Then I'd progressively work my way around the tree trunk with the scoop in the same way until the majority of those bees were in the hive. Then I'd leave the hive close to the bottom of the tree in order to allow the rest of the bees to join the colony. Then, at night, I'd seal the box and relocate it to wherever it's wanted.

    Or - I'd use a bee-vac, if there was one handy.
    LJ
    Good idea with the milk jug. I keep a dustpan in my "swarm kit" and have often used a small cardboard box but likely there is always an old milk jug handy.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    I keep a stack of empty kitty litter pails in my car:



    They're stackable, so 3 of them takes as much space as 1.

    They have lids, so I can put smoker fuel (pine straw) in the top one and not get it all over my car (again).

    They're sturdy enough to sit on while I suit up.

    They have a flat edge, so I can put it flush against a wall whilst persuading a swarm into one.

    I have about 3 dozen of them in my garage!!!
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Default Re: Any ideas on how to capture this swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmTheWaterbug View Post
    I keep a stack of empty kitty litter pails in my car:



    They're stackable, so 3 of them takes as much space as 1.

    They have lids, so I can put smoker fuel (pine straw) in the top one and not get it all over my car (again).

    They're sturdy enough to sit on while I suit up.

    They have a flat edge, so I can put it flush against a wall whilst persuading a swarm into one.

    I have about 3 dozen of them in my garage!!!
    Water bug, nice idea, but we do not have cats. Just curious, how far are you from Sacramento and do you leave your garage door open at night?

    JRG and I may try a midnight raid!

    Just joking!

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