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I hived a swarm Tuesday that consisted of backing my pickup under the low hanging branch and giving it one moderate shake into a deep. Placed them in a garden. My son captured another ultra easy swarm the next day and put them next to the first.

On Thursday mine totally absconded. His seem to be doing well.

On reflection the swarm never seemed quite "right".

They wanted to stay clustered outside the box while I initially hived them, during transport, and even for a day after being plunked down in the garden. It was probably a 4lb swarm, tightly clustered on a salt cedar bush. The capture was as gentle as any I've done so I don't think the queen was an issue, and the fact that they were clustering appropriately indicated a queen although I didn't see her. I lopped the branch off that they were on and left it with them so there was very little "searching for queen" activity.

The equipment; bottom board, deep, frames, inner, and top were all old but not trashed. Frames were scraped plastic (not wax coated).

Sometimes bees just flat leave. What conditions have you encountered that you think cause them to abscond soon after being hived?
 

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I had a swarm last year that was probably queenless. I had gotten enough other swarm calls I decided to get to these when I could. 5 days later they left. Since then I consistantly drop a frame of open brood in there to ensure they won't leave. If they are queenless you'll see it from the Q-cells and you can act as you see fit with that knowledge. Yours' may have been unwilling to draw out the foundation, who knows.
 

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We had several this year early on that just left, easy catches, 99% sure I had the queen, they just didnt like my box. One in particular stayed clustered in a corner of the box for 4 days like they were scared to move. We did not have this problem last year. Now each swarm I place a queen excluder over the reduced entrance, immediately give them a bucket of 1:1, and in about 60% of them I had the time to throw them a frame of brood. Since implementing the first 2 methods we have not lost one, and of course the ones we gave a frame of brood to stayed also.
 

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I had two swarms do the same thing but was able to recapture the second one. I placed a queen excluder on the bottom board before I sat the deep supper on it which made the excluder an includer that would not let the queen out, worked good. I left it on for about four days and removed it. I placed a feeder on them and they have most of the supper full.
 

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Perhaps the swarm originated from very close to the place where you placed the hive. That might not be enough distance for them to stay ?
But then again, sometimes they just don't like the new diggs.
 

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like i responded to another thread, i have never had a FED swarm to leave. i suspect that this is a result of local genes(tendancy to abscond/not). on a side note i dont consider a swarm "hived" till i see fanning.
 

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This swarm was captured about 5 miles from where I placed them and I could see activity in a nearby cottonwood trunk which I suspect was the parent colony. I guess I'm going to have to step up the attention to detail from now on to include feeding and placing of a brood frame. Dang. Just plunking them in a box used to work pretty well.

I agree that fanning is a great indicator that at least for the moment they've decided to pull everyone into the same place. These did cluster but did not do the typical fanning from the highest point they could climb to and from the landing board.


We're moving from "a load of hay" to "a silver spoon" in a few days so I hope I get a couple more this weekend.
 

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I guess I'm going to have to step up the attention to detail from now on to include feeding and placing of a brood frame. Dang. Just plunking them in a box used to work pretty well.
Every year I say I am going to start putting an includer under swarms BUT after the bees are gone I say it again :doh: couple years ago I hived 2 swarms side by side and the next day they both were on a limb about 50 ft up :( Lost a real nice one last year, they didnt like their new home :scratch:
 

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2 out of the 6 I gathered this year, left the afternoon after being hived. Recaptured one sent it several miles away to a friend in a 10 frame box, they left his house the next day.

If the swarm has a virgin queen, trapping her in the hive might be a bad idea.
 
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