a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    859

    Question a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    Folks tell me I should feed a newly-baited swarm. But, I hear I shouldn't hassle a baited swarm at all for several weeks so they can get their bearings, etc.

    OK -- so what do I do? To feed my 2 "new" hives (from swarms), I would have to add an empty deep to 1 (with a Boardman feeder) and to the other, I would have to relocate the frames of the bait box into a nuc (5-frame) and add an empty nuc box on that one for a feeder.

    This would be pretty disruptive, wouldn't it? Not-to-mention, having to check at intervals to see what the food need would be, etc. I don't trust having a feeder outside a hive -- too tempting for robbers.

    Any tips, anecdotes, data on this? Thx a heap ....

    Mitch

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,686

    Default Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    Are they now in their permanent location?
    Do the swarms have mated Queens?
    How long have they been in the trap?
    Are they drawing wax? If so, on foundation or drawn frames.

    I have never caught a swarm in a bait box, so I don't really know, but If you have a laying Queen in there I would get them settled in to their home sooner rather than later. If you don't look you won't know if they are building wonky comb or not.
    I am learning to get things done before something else comes along to divert my attention. Last year I put two medium frames in a brood box because I ran out of deeps. I'll get them made tomorrow and replace them in the evening, I foolishly told myself. They drew some very nice Drone comb on both of them, I discovered this Spring.

    Alex

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    I catch 30-40 swarms per year. I do not use bait hives. I find them in trees, bushes, etc. I use frame feeders in my hives and I set them down and feed them immediately. I have found that this kinda locks them down. Over the last five years I have been doing this I have only had two that have absconded. I honestly think on those two that I did not have the queen. I know everybody does things a little differently but I have found for me that feeding immediately has seemed to help. Good luck to you and everyone with your bees this year. Ours came back out of California looking really good this year and I hope it continues.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Are they now in their permanent location?
    Do the swarms have mated Queens?
    How long have they been in the trap?
    Are they drawing wax? If so, on foundation or drawn frames.

    I have never caught a swarm in a bait box, so I don't really know, but If you have a laying Queen in there I would get them settled in to their home sooner rather than later. If you don't look you won't know if they are building wonky comb or not.
    I am learning to get things done before something else comes along to divert my attention. Last year I put two medium frames in a brood box because I ran out of deeps. I'll get them made tomorrow and replace them in the evening, I foolishly told myself. They drew some very nice Drone comb on both of them, I discovered this Spring.

    Alex

    Alex
    OK: yes, they're in their permanent locale.
    : no idea yet if they have mated queens. One may have an old queen and the other, a virgin queen (or at least, a virgin queen 5 days ago). I haven't opened either box yet.
    : they've been in their respective boxes for 5 days now, and in their permanent location for 2 and 1 day.
    : as stated above, I haven't opened either box yet. Weather's been cold, rainy and lousy for a couple of days now. To get sunny and warmer beginning tomorrow. Some frames had a little old comb, some had undrawn plastic foundation, and others, no foundation.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    if you have plastic foundation and do not have a flow on then you need to feed them pretty heavy to get them to build comb. If there is a flow in your area then you may not have to feed as often. I would give it another 4-5 days and then I would look to see if there are eggs or brood in them. if they have stayed for 5-6 days already there's a good chance they aren't going anywhere.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,956

    Default Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    Mitch, the little swarm I caught Sunday was brushed into a five frame nuc with drawn comb. Bees were still arriving so I was unable to put the inner cover on which holds the mason jar feeders I use. I just set a jar directly on the frames and covered it with a medium box. I left the top slightly open so bees could continue to enter the hive. (Robber screen is permanatly attached.) The next day I put the inner cover on the bottom deep and refilled the EMPTY jar of syrup, placing it on the screened opening in the inner cover.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    859

    Question Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Mitch, the little swarm I caught Sunday was brushed into a five frame nuc with drawn comb. Bees were still arriving so I was unable to put the inner cover on which holds the mason jar feeders I use. I just set a jar directly on the frames and covered it with a medium box. I left the top slightly open so bees could continue to enter the hive. (Robber screen is permanatly attached.) The next day I put the inner cover on the bottom deep and refilled the EMPTY jar of syrup, placing it on the screened opening in the inner cover.
    Thx, JW; I think that's the way I'll go -- nuc for placing the little swarm into (from their present bait box), add some old comb, and place an empty nuc above (to hold a feeder); I'll keep the other little swarm in their present deep, add old comb, and place an empty deep atop that for the feeder. And place robber screens on each new colony. Sound workable?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,686

    Default Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    Quote Originally Posted by mlanden View Post
    OK: yes, they're in their permanent locale.
    : no idea yet if they have mated queens. One may have an old queen and the other, a virgin queen (or at least, a virgin queen 5 days ago). I haven't opened either box yet.
    : they've been in their respective boxes for 5 days now, and in their permanent location for 2 and 1 day.
    : as stated above, I haven't opened either box yet. Weather's been cold, rainy and lousy for a couple of days now. To get sunny and warmer beginning tomorrow. Some frames had a little old comb, some had undrawn plastic foundation, and others, no foundation.
    After five days I believe they have made their decision to stay.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Saint Louis MO
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: a conundrum, maybe? feed a baited swarm but not disturb it?!

    I caught a very small swarm the size of a softball in a bait box last hear around May 25. I didn't feed them at all and took 15 lbs of honey off them in Aug. They came through the winter great and are ready to explode. I would recommend not feeding IMO. Good job on your swarm catches.
    The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist.
    For man, it is to know that and wonder at it.-Jacques Cousteau

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •