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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hived a swarm this morning. About 2 - 3 lbs of big dark bees, look like my Carniolans but bigger. I believe I got the queen in the box as there were a bunch of them hanging on the entrance fanning away. Unfortunately there were also a lot of bees still flying around, was a little difficult getting them out of the rose bush they had settled in, and as there were tons of kids walking around in swimming gear, this was about 100 feet off the beach, I left the box there to see if I could get the stragglers too, then go back later this evening and bring them back to here.
I'm assuming this will be a swarm with a virgin queen?? Do I have a chance of her free mating at this time of year and them making enough to get through the winter. I typically overwinter on 2 deep or 3 medium brood boxes. Figure there is no way they are going to make 2 deeps but maybe with serious feeding I could get it to one deep and a medium?
Suggestions welcome.
Thans
 

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Hi Peter,
I would NOT assume you have a virgin queen. I would assume you have an older queen, if this is an initial swarm, but I don't suppose there is anyway for either of us to be sure of that. I think you have a chance of getting them to build up enough for the winter if you pour on the feed. You've probably got 6-10 weeks of good weather left and a package can build up to two deeps in that time so I'm sure a swarm can too. I'd give it a shot, at least, and in the worst case, you could combine with a strong hive later say late September/early October. Good Luck!
 

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Your best bet may be to let them build up for a month or so and then combine them with another hive. If you are not seeing signs of eggs/brood within two weeks I'd combine it early (just be sure to squish the queen first.)
 

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Rules for swarm catching,

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay,
A swarm in June a silver spoon.
a swarm in July they ain't worth a darn fly.
a august swarm waste of time and money too just let them fly. we need farrel bees too.
 

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If I came across something like that,,,I'd do what I had to to get them through the winter just to see what their performance the next year would be. You have to wonder " What is going on with them." I'm small time hobbyist so I have the time,,,I'd let'm settle down and add frames of brood assuming you have other, hives and feed them. Just MO

Rick SoMd
 

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Hi Peter, best of luck to you. I never leave a swarm to pick up after dark or later when they are in a public place like a park or beach or grocery store parking lot next to a bus bench... Most of the times I've done it in the past the hive box had been vandalized when I returned. I never come back later anymore when boxing swarms in public places, but take them home when they reach that point where I've gotten as many as I can to go.
 

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Swarms are comb building machines. Feed them and they'll quickly pull out the foundation you give them. I caught a small one 4 weeks ago as of last Friday and the queen laid eggs as the foundation was being drawn. They have, or had, 5 frames of capped brood Saturday morning. I looked at them this morning and have tons of young bees. Fed them 1 gallon of 1:1 and refilled the bucket but they're not taking it because we have a good flow going right now. Even if you have to feed them in the fall it's a $100.00 hive for free!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Picked them up yesterday evening with no issue. Guess the mesh block I boot across the bottom of the deep wasn't as good as I thought since this morning there were a whole bunch of bees outside the hive trying to get in, could have been worse they could have got loose in the car. At first thought it was just robbing but decided that made no sens as there was nothing in it to rob and the ones that were trying to get in were clustered around where the frames with the queen were and also were the same large dark bees as on the inside. Finally removed the hardware cloth and replaced it with a wood entrance reducer. Some bees went in, some came out no apparent fighting or anything. Added a 1/2 gallon of 1:1 about 7am, they appear to have gone through about 1/4 pint of it already. Attached some pictures. Was intrigued by the one with the bee at the entrance with the light stuff on it's thorax, can only think that its been in the mallow bush/tree flowers. One of the pics has a yellow jacket on it, they dispatched him a minute or so later.
Anybody hazard a guess at to what race they may be?

http://picasaweb.google.com/100143776349078707865/HamptonSwarm?feat=directlink
 

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Rules:
a august swarm waste of time and money too just let them fly.
Disagree there. Bees caught are free bees caught. Now sure, you wont get anything of them and you've got to help them out some, but you have to look farther down the road to next year. One of my top hives is the one I brought home on Nov 2nd of last year.

C2
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do I assume they're thinking of staying? They are bringing in pollen like mad. Can't understand where they are putting it. That was basically 10 frames of new undrawn wax foundation I put them on yesterday, one frame had a small patch of partially drwan comb on one side.
I have the entrance reducer on the smallest setting, can I enlarge it to the wider setting or should I wait a couple of weeks since I have a bottle feeder on the top of the inner cover? It's over 90 here again and very humid and am worried they may overheat, though they are on a screened bottom board and there is an entrance on the inner cover that has a hardware cloth block on it.
 

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Just me....if the feeder is on the top of the inner cover, you've got an empty super around it to hide it, and the only way to the feeder from the outside is in through your bottom entrance and the whole way up through to the inner cover, I'd probably put the entrance reducer on it's next size opening. Keep an eye on robbing but I've had good luck when feeding like that. I think it's much harder for robbing to begin when the feed isn't sitting right there on the bottom board or out in the open.
 

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If they're bringing in pollen it usually means they've decided to close the deal on your property! Keep feeding, they'll draw out that foundation licketysplit! BTW, it's highly likely they've already built some of the foundation out enough to hold the pollen stores. :D
 

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Peter, congrats, you're a landlord! Now just be sure to help them out any way you can, help them find the necessary supplies to continue to adapt to their new place and let them know rent will be due next year sometime.

C2
 

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My bees swarmed yesterday and were gone this morning. From what I'm reading here, it may be hard to keep the hive going through the winter. Not sure whether this is the first or second time they swarmed (I found a queen cell in the beginning of August)Is it best to wait and see if a new queen emerges and is mated or should I consider buying a mated queen and replacing her? It's a new package kept in three medium 8's. They didn't seem overloaded or honey bound. Not sure why they left.

Ma
 
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