Re: Any and all advice wanted on collecting a nested swarm
I assume you have at least 2 boxes (more is better).
I have ....... an empty Langstroth hive.
I would simply cut all the mess the best I could and drop it ALL into the bottom box.
With embedded branches and all.
Cut the entire mess as a single unit (the best) OR 2-3 smaller units if must.
But I would not fidget with the micro-surgery - not worth the time and frustration and associated risks.
Don't bother fixing it - you will only create more mess and risk damaging the queen.
All you want - fit the mess into a box somehow - mostly intact so to preserve the current nest mostly undisturbed.
Fill up the box with branches/combs/bees - done.
Now - install a normal box with frames above the mess.
Be best to have some frames with ready combs, especially old and used, even crappy, combs (at least some foundation) so the bees could immediately could latch onto.
The idea is to gradually pull the bees from the mess into the manageable frames.
Now - force ALL the bee traffic through the top box - create an upper entrance to do this.
Ensure the bottom box to NOT have any entrances or ventilation - ALL traffic/ventilation should go through the top box.
Eventually, your bees should pull up and the queen should settle in the upper box (closer to the entrance).
Eventually (by adding more boxes in between) you can largely separate the active nest above from the mess below.
When no more brood left in the mess (inspect best you can) - just clean the wood out - gradually cut/crush the combs as needed (preserve what can for reuse).
The bees will cleanup and move all the spilled honey upwards.
I'd give this project 1-2 months to complete.
So be patient - no need to rush since you already got the bees in the hive - they could just stay as is already, with the branches (your frames are not necessary, but only a convenience for you).
PS: you could modify this idea for the TBH too - drop the mess into the most remote end of the trove - force the traffic/ventilation through the opposing end - entice the bees into some bars by attaching existing combs onto them - the same gradual pull, just horizontally - your choice
Last edited by GregV; 07-23-2019 at 08:51 AM.
Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.