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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Me and my dad have raised honey bees since 1987, but slowly my dad got out of beekeeping, he kept 2 empty hives in the backyard, in the garden area for decoration, and they've been empty for 4 years.

This past Sunday afternoon...............and just 2 hours ago today..............a wild swarm entered each empty hive, both have Italian queens.

My father was stunned..............in 23 years...............he and I have never seen anything like this.

The honeybees have a new home now, and my dad couldnt be happier. I'm wondering if i shouldnt get another empty hive made up and set it out near the other ones.............3rd times a charm??


Has anybody else had this happen?
 

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Great for you & your Dad! Any idea where they came from? Are there beekeepers nearby? I've noticed afterswarms tend to go to the same general area, so setting up another right quick just might result in 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are no beekeepers known to me with in 5 miles of my dads house, but I have seen bee trees, around Midland in my life time.

I'm guessing, that it must be local, maybe a mile away, there is a park behind my parents house, and looking at distance homes, there are some large elms, or oaks, so its possible they have a hive in one of them.

Wherever they came from, they must have one heck of a big hive inside that tree.

I think I am going to assemble another hive and set it out, I dont have anything to loose.
 

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If those bees are from a colony that has survived in a bee tree for several years, they can survive without treatments and you have something great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it common for a swarm to move into a empty man made hive?


My best guess is that robber bees scouting for nectar, or obviously a new home, stumbled upon both empty hives and decided to let the rest of the family know about them.
 

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"Is it common for a swarm to move into a empty man made hive?"

That's how I get most of my bees for new hives. Just bait them with some old brood comb and a few drops of lemongrass oil in the hive. Just got another one yesterday.
 

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Yesterday's swarm was 2 ft away from another hive. Other boxes are anywhere from 20ft to 300 ft. However, the incomming bees are usually not from my hives. So they are coming more than 300 ft in general.

The last two years I have averaged capturing 5 swarms in bait hives.
 

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I set up a lure box like that too. about 25 feet from my two active hives.
One deep box with 10 old drawn frames, some drops of lemongrass oil inside and on the front porch. It's sitting on a little table about normal hive height, over by the spruce trees in the partial shade.
Maybe I'll get lucky!

I love the story about your father. :)
 

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Hey there:

I am going to set up some empties for hoping to catch bees. Now, where do I get the lemongrass oil ? I need to order some.

Do any of you use the "lures" I see being sold on ebay? I guess I need to get some of those, too.

Thanks to all of you, it's getting super hot down here in Louisiana. I've also studied putting on some insulation on the tops of my hives maybe to help them out in this hot heat.

What do yall do for bees in hot weather. Mine have shade, but, not all day.

Thanks,

casper_zip aka Bob
 

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I got my Lemongrass essential oil from WFmed. wfmed.com 15ml bottle was 5.99. free shipping and handling.
 

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I had a nuc box, sitting outside my garage this weekend, with three old combs in it.. saw some activity, and thought it might have been a few just cleaning out the comb... that afternoon, saw a lot of activity, had my gear on to go running, but popped the top to peak inside, filled with bees! pulled the first frame, saw a queen and promptly closed it up... was like a little kid again the rest of the weekend!
 

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Hey there:

I am going to set up some empties for hoping to catch bees. Now, where do I get the lemongrass oil ? I need to order some.

Do any of you use the "lures" I see being sold on ebay? I guess I need to get some of those, too.

casper_zip aka Bob
Health food stores sell essential oils of lemongrass. Supposedly the same ingredient in lures, so a lure is not needed if you sprinkle in a few drops of lemongrass oil every few weeks during swarm season. A couple of old combs is important too.
 

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7387 chevynut,

Congratulations to you and your dad! That is an awesome experience, one that you and your dad will share forever. I'm glad to hear that he is excited and pleased.

By all means, quick...get another box out there and see what happens.
 
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