Got a swarm today
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Covington Twp Pa
    Posts
    20

    Default Got a swarm today

    A fellow beekeeper called today asking if I wanted a swarm. One of his hives swarmed and he has no room to start another. It was an easy catch in a tree 3 feet off the ground. I have them in a carboard nuc till morning.(no) frames. It is a very large swarm and I am wondering if one deep box is enough or do I need 2? If I dump all those bees in one deep I don't know if I can get the frames in without crushing lots of bees. I only have one at the moment but I can make a run to Mann Lake tomorrow. How long can I leave the swarm in the carboard box? Also what are the chances of this swarm surviving the winter when starting over at this time of the year? We are right in the height of the goldenrod bloom and it is everywhere.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    IL
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    20

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    It's very late for a swarm, but you might be okay if you give them a single deep of drawn comb and feed syrup heavily until it gets cold. I'd maybe even throw in a frame or two of brood from another hive. In order to survive the winter, you'll still have to give them a full honey super as well. Get them out of the box ASAP and into a hive, so they can start brooding winter bees. The queen needs to lay quickly since a much of the workforce in that swarm will die before the new bees emerge. If you're able to spread some wealth from other hives, they have a decent chance.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Dundas, ON, Canada
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbeer View Post
    If I dump all those bees in one deep I don't know if I can get the frames in without crushing lots of bees.
    Put the frames in first, then dump the bees- don't worry they will find their way down between the frames. At this time I would only do one box, not two, most of those bees probably will die off soon and you won't have enough to fill two boxes as it will take some time. Also higher density will help them build comb faster.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,477

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbeer View Post
    A fellow beekeeper called today asking if I wanted a swarm. I have them in a carboard nuc till morning.(no) frames. It is a very large swarm and I am wondering if one deep box is enough or do I need 2? If I dump all those bees in one deep I don't know if I can get the frames in without crushing lots of bees. I only have one at the moment but I can make a run to Mann Lake tomorrow. How long can I leave the swarm in the carboard box? Also what are the chances of this swarm surviving the winter when starting over at this time of the year?
    Chances are 50/50, but a lot will depend on you. As stated give them mostly drawn frames and honey frames if you have it. Be prepared to Winter feed and baby them along if needed. I would start with one box, after all you got them all in a nuc, if it is that big, are you sure they are not emptying there honey stomachs on each other? I would get them out yesterday, a large swarm in a nuc box with no frames is asking for trouble
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    5,508

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    I would put as much drawn comb as you can find in a single deep, put the worst looking to the outside positions. Use another deep with no frames on top as a shaker box so that the bees end up in the hive and not all over. Smoke them down and remove the box, replacing it with a super with some stores if you have them and drawn comb, and add hive top feeder. If you can spare a frame of open brood, add that to the deep also as insurance, but the bees will probably be glad to have the hive any way you provide it. The chances are about 50/50 as Fields mentioned, but the alternative for them is 0% on their own.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    One thing Iíve done when worried about getting the bees into the box with a large swarm is put an empty super or two on top of the deep to act as a funnel. Then just smoke the bees down and remove the super and place a lid.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Covington Twp Pa
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    I put the swarm in one deep box with the only 2 drawn out frames I had and added a feeder. Plan on feeding them right up to winter. Bees are coming and going like a normal hive. I will check on them in 2 weeks. I want to add a full super of honey as was suggested here. When would I add this super and should I just put it on top of the deep box? Should I treat now for mites (OAV)? Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Dundas, ON, Canada
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbeer View Post
    I put the swarm in one deep box with the only 2 drawn out frames I had and added a feeder. Plan on feeding them right up to winter. Bees are coming and going like a normal hive. I will check on them in 2 weeks. I want to add a full super of honey as was suggested here. When would I add this super and should I just put it on top of the deep box? Should I treat now for mites (OAV)? Thanks for the suggestions.
    Yes, treat them now while they are broodless! I don't see the benefit of full super now while you are still feeding, I would add it later when it cools down, let them work on drawing comb now. Are you feeding 1:1 or 2:1 ?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Covington Twp Pa
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Got a swarm today

    Quote Originally Posted by dekster View Post
    Yes, treat them now while they are broodless! I don't see the benefit of full super now while you are still feeding, I would add it later when it cools down, let them work on drawing comb now. Are you feeding 1:1 or 2:1 ?
    I gave them 1:1 because I already had some mixed but I intend to switch to 2:1 when I mix the next batch.

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