Moving a swarm
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Thread: Moving a swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Greenwood, WI, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Moving a swarm

    I caught a swarm a few weeks ago. For various reasons( time, lack of equipment, ect I didn`t get it moved right away. Now I would like to move it to my yard which is about 75 yards away. What are my best options? Can I close it up for a day and put something in front of the entrance so they re orientate?
    Zone 4a

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Moving a swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by alf1960 View Post
    I caught a swarm a few weeks ago. For various reasons( time, lack of equipment, ect I didn`t get it moved right away. Now I would like to move it to my yard which is about 75 yards away. What are my best options? Can I close it up for a day and put something in front of the entrance so they re orientate?
    Alf:

    There are certainly others on here who have more experience than I regarding this particular question, but I have moved several hives over the past 18 months or so and have learned a few lessons:

    1. Regardless of how long you decide to confine them, make certain you provide ample ventilation. In fact, and given that it is still consistently warm (I assume even in Wisconsin) I would err to the side of too much ventilation (i.e. screen the entrance(s) and put screen under the outer cover and prop it up, etc.).

    2. I have found that confinement for 72 hours is the only sure-fire way to get them to proof-positive reorient- so should you elect to employ the 'nuclear option' make sure they have enough feed to support a three day house arrest.

    3. I have had good success using something very bushy (i.e. a pine tree sprig) to almost completely occlude the opening and thus force the foragers to reorient. Without knowing more about your situation and your objectives, this might be your best approach.

    Best of success to you with the move- please do let us know how it turns out.

    Russ

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,361

    Default Re: Moving a swarm

    Is the swarm ready to move? In frames and the comb well attached. Brood to anchor them.

    If you do not want to get stressed out about bees hanging around at their old home move them slowly. If that does not bother you and they are solid move them in one trip.

    If you need to feed them etc. closer will pay off in the long run.

    Nothing keeps 100% at a new home, most come back or move in somewhere. But yeah, the pine needles worked best for me as well.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Greenwood, WI, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Moving a swarm

    Thanks for the advice. They are ready to move. I already put them in two deeps. I think I will just move them and put a spruce bough over the front of the hive.
    Zone 4a

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