Questions with newly captured swarm
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  1. #1

    Default Questions with newly captured swarm

    I found a bee swarm yesterday evening and attempted to catch them. I knocked down about 3/4 with my hand into a cardboard box before being stung 5 times and set the box on the ground. I'm not sure if I captured the queen. There wasn't alot of bees entering the box. I waited for a hr and closed the box and walked 2 blocks back to my house. I assumed I got the queen because the other 1/4 that I didn't get seemed to start flying looking for something. If I didn't end up getting the queen wouldn't they ball up around the queen again instead of flying around?And I dont think all the ones flying came from the box ethier because I would of noticed that amount leaving. I left them in the box over night because it got late but I plan on moving them into a nuc today. I'm just paranoid I didn't get queen because this money as I drove passed the tree that I got the swarm from, there's about 2-3 handfuls of bees still there. Does this mean I didn't get the queen? Are they just lost bees? I read that they would just fly back to the original hive if the are without the queen. If I missed the queen, I plan on going at night cause I heard they don't fly and getting what left. Here all the ones I got
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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Questions with newly captured swarm

    It's pretty unusual that you got stung at all which makes me wonder where you are located. Africanized bees are more aggressive. You may have missed the queen as you fear. You will know for sure when you go back tonight IF the box you provided makes a good home. If just in a cardboard box with no frames they may take off again. J

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    It's pretty unusual that you got stung at all which makes me wonder where you are located. Africanized bees are more aggressive. You may have missed the queen as you fear. You will know for sure when you go back tonight IF the box you provided makes a good home. If just in a cardboard box with no frames they may take off again. J
    I'm located in Southern California so I think there a chance they are Africanized. This is my first time dealing with bees and the swarm happened at a bad time so I didn't have any sugar water to spray them to get them to calm down. I will try to put a swarm trap with sugar water and see if the rest will go in

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Questions with newly captured swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by JackieBees View Post
    I'm located in Southern California so I think there a chance they are Africanized. This is my first time dealing with bees and the swarm happened at a bad time so I didn't have any sugar water to spray them to get them to calm down. I will try to put a swarm trap with sugar water and see if the rest will go in
    Before messing with the bees, you should get at the very minimum a face protection and a smoker.
    Don't waste the time calming them down with sugar water and such.
    Especially in the AHB region.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JackieBees View Post
    I'm located in Southern California so I think there a chance they are Africanized. This is my first time dealing with bees and the swarm happened at a bad time so I didn't have any sugar water to spray them to get them to calm down. I will try to put a swarm trap with sugar water and see if the rest will go in
    Before messing with the bees, you should get at the very minimum a face protection and a smoker.
    Don't waste the time calming them down with sugar water and such.
    Especially in the AHB region.
    I plan on getting them tonight. Will they fly at night. I read that they just crawl. The ones I missed are currently clumped on a single branch so it should be easier to get one good knock and hopefully I get them all. Should I spray sugar water on them at night or u think they will be calm enough that I can just shake them and have them all fall in a box.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Questions with newly captured swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by JackieBees View Post
    I plan on getting them tonight. Will they fly at night. I read that they just crawl. The ones I missed are currently clumped on a single branch so it should be easier to get one good knock and hopefully I get them all. Should I spray sugar water on them at night or u think they will be calm enough that I can just shake them and have them all fall in a box.
    Right - they will mostly crawl in the dark (still can still fly thou).

    No need to spray sugar water onto them (just making them sticky and everything around sticky).
    They don't need your sugar water - they have enough food for now with them.

    OK - if you do want them down and NOT flying, do spray them with just some water.

    IF can - snip that single branch carefully with some tool and just place it entirely into your box - bees and all.
    Indeed, good idea to spray them before doing this method - so ALL the bees are just clinging to the branch and don't try to take off.
    I would try to do this way if possible - should get you the ~100% of the bees - cleanly (no shaking at all).

    If not possible to snip the branch - just knock them down best you can and don't worry of collecting every single bee (some collateral damage is OK).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Questions with newly captured swarm

    ok so i decided to get them at 7pm, the clump was about the size of a softball. I couldn't cut the branch as it ended up being pretty thick and i probably would knock some down in the process. i sprayed a little sugar water and already one bee start attacking me. i put a box underneath the clump and used the momentum of my body to shake the tree. i had a hard time as i was on a ladder and the bees were about 12-15ft in the tree. I ended up getting half the bees so about a baseball size clump. Same results as last time and i still dont know if i got the queen. Theres a little more than a baseball size clump still left in the tree this mourning. do you guys think this was a queenless swarm. i probably got about 80% of the swarm so if i got the queen wouldn't the rest have gone back where they came from. Its been 3 days and whatever bees left are still at the tree. I dont think i will be going back to get them as they are in a somewhat traffic area. I put the box with all the captured bees in my front yard which is about 100 ft from the tree where the rest are hoping they'll somehow come to my box. I guess for now i should wait to see if they start making comb and hope theres eggs in them. So here are my questions
    1. Do u think I got the queen and those bees that are left are just lost?
    2. Could it be a queenless swarm?
    3. How long does it take for them to return or atlease move on if they still got the queen with them?
    4. Do i lock the bees up in the box and feed them or when can i release them?
    5. Will they leave if i relase them and if they are queenless?

  9. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Questions with newly captured swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by JackieBees View Post
    1. Do u think I got the queen and those bees that are left are just lost?
    2. Could it be a queenless swarm?
    3. How long does it take for them to return or atlease move on if they still got the queen with them?
    4. Do i lock the bees up in the box and feed them or when can i release them?
    5. Will they leave if i relase them and if they are queenless?
    1. If you got most of the bees AND they stay together in the new box - you likely have queen in the box and that what keeps them there (else - they will leave your box).
    I would not worry of that softball size leftover - you did what you could.
    They simply cling to the spot because some queen smell/swarm smell is still there too.

    2. I would not worry about it - swarms normally are queen-right and that should be the default assumption.
    Queen-less swarms are not a common thing (NOT finding a queen in a swarm - a common thing).

    3. Like I said - the queen is likely in the box (proof - the bees are content) - else ALL bees would return to the branch that already has queen/swarm smell to it.

    4. You do not lock bees in the box.
    You put those bees into some hive with frames and all - so that they can start building their new home.
    The sooner you do this, the better off everyone will be.
    Bees will feed themselves - it is summer as you know.
    Put that sugar water away.

    5. You just put the bees into some hive, and leave them alone, and they will be fine.

    OR, make a hole in that cardboard box so that they can fly out and forage for themselves.
    Just 1 inch round hole is fine.
    Keep the box tightly closed then (so it is dark inside).
    Set the box somewhere as if it were a real bee hive.
    They will likely start building the combs directly inside the cardboard box.

    OR, puncture lots of small holes in the box for ventilation, close the box tight and set it into a very cool place (a cool basement).
    Spray water into the ventilation holes for the bees to drink and cool themselves.

    Meanwhile you figure out your next steps, but must move quickly (like today).

    This is not an ideal situation, but sounds as if you don't have any proper equipment and even unsure what to do with your bees.
    Ideally, you get a proper hive with some frames, dump the bees into it, close the hive, figure out what is it you want next.
    Last edited by GregV; 05-31-2019 at 08:52 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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